When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room back in 2004, his vision was to connect people and get to know one another at Harvard. Since then it has expanded to other colleges and today it has connected over a billion people from around the world.
What he didn't anticipate was how quickly it would pass over the one billion users mark and that it would be used by many businesses as a platform of growth. Today most businesses already have a business page on Facebook and you can hardly find an advertisement without a mention on how to find them there.
Last month, Dan Levy, Director of small business at Facebook shared some statistics about the small businesses from the United States that are on Facebook:
- There are more than 2 billion connections between local businesses and people.
- In an average week, there are over 645 million views of, and 13 million comments on, local business Facebook Pages.
- Approximately 70% of monthly active users in the U.S. and Canada are connected to a local business on Facebook.
While Facebook needs no introduction, I do hope that these stats will convince you of the potential of using it as a tool of business growth. If you're trying to figure out how to do so, here are some tips:
I'm sure you've heard of the saying 'content is king'. That is only partially true and, in my honest opinion, content and community needs to co-exist.
If you want to grow your business with Facebook, you have to be constantly adding value and engagement on your page. Good content would certainly help you to do that, but good content is wasted and ineffective if you don't have a supportive community to broadcast your content to.
Start by growing a community before you start promoting. The reason to do so is because you have to build trust within your community, and your community need to trust that you would broadcast useful content that will add value to them. People will only buy from you when they have trusted your business.
Who doesn't LOVE freebies? I know I do! A few months ago, according to Exact Target, 36% of consumers likes a fan page to receive a freebie or a sample.
Here is a personal story, a few weeks ago, I was searching for photoshop actions to help me improve my photoshop-ing skills. A photoshop action is 'pre-set editing' and one can simply click a button to have a photo edited according to the settings.
I then stumbled upon Paint the Moon website and soon discovered that they were giving away free photoshop actions for those who like their Facebook page. It didn't take me long to go onto their page to like their page to download the freebie.
Today, I'm a huge fan of their product. I'm using the photoshop action and am already considering to purchase their collections to take my photoshop skill to the next level. Not only am I a hugely grateful potential customer, I am also a relevant audience that is likely to return to their page to digest their updates.
3. Facebook Contest
A contest is another great way to grow fans and grow your business on Facebook. What is the difference between a freebie and a contest? Well, a freebie can consist of lower-value items, such as one photoshop action from an entire collection - usually to just give them a sense of what they would be buying. A Facebook contest could actually win them something big, perhaps the entire collection or a private consultation with their in-house designers.
The reason why contests work is because they not only help grow fans on a page, but it helps to grow email leads too. Most Facebook third party contest apps like Binkd comes with an email capture form that would need to be completed before fans can participate.
Two years ago, my girlfriend started Leneys, an e-commerce women's apparel store. To help give a boost to her Facebook page, she hosted a Facebook contest giving away some of her apparels. The contest did so well, it attracted over 2,000 fans. Today, it has over 22,000 fans and many of them whom participated in the contest became loyal customers until today.
A discount is another way to grow a business with Facebook. According to the same survey by Exact Target, 40% of customers like a page to receive a discount.
Here are a couple of approaches when giving away discounts:
a. Like a page to get discount
The simplest would be asking someone to like a page in order to get a hidden discount code that they can use when they pay at your local store or pay when they checkout from an online store.
b. Like a product for discount
This one is slightly different, unlike earlier, it requires someone to like a product to receive a discount. To illustrate it better, here is an example by For Human Peoples, a t-shirt and poster company.
As you can see, when someone clicks the like button, they receive a code for a 5% discount. When they do, not only will they receive a 5% discount, it would appear on their profile too.
5. Use Promoted Posts
Remember the saying 'birds of a feather flock together'? Promoted posts are used to target people of similar interest that are connected with you. It can be very effective for businesses if they use it wisely.
Businesses need to have an end goal that would help grow your business. Promoted posts can be seen as a 'vote of confidence' from yourself to your friends and family - in other words you're telling them that you have trusted the post and they should do the same to.
Use promoted posts when:
- You're giving away something useful that fans will like and they will tell their friends.
- Running a social media contests. Fans loves contest and promoting it would help get the virality you need to spread not only your contest but also your brand awareness.
- You're looking to capture more emails for your mailing list.
Those are five simple yet effective methods that can be used to help you grow your page and your business with Facebook. One of the most important tips is to figure out how you can be part of the conversation on Facebook rather than just turning your page into a promotional feed.
Onto you now, what other methods have you used to grow your business with Facebook? Love to hear from you.
Image credit: Fady Aziz