ShortStack CEO Jim Belosic shares the following things you can do to persuade your boss or client to invest in Facebook marketing.
1. Identify your goals
First of all, businesses should know what they want to achieve using Facebook as a marketing tool. Using Facebook is not a necessity for all businesses. In fact, some businesses, like those engaged in B2B, are probably better off using LinkedIn as their social media marketing tool of choice.
Before you start formulating a Facebook campaign, goals should be set and expectations measured and evaluated. Starting a Facebook Page and being successful takes a while. A business can't expect to get 10,000 likes right away.
In addition, Facebook will definitely lead people to know more about a business, but figure out exactly what type of limelight a company wants to have with this social media presence. Will a company use its Facebook page to have more interaction and engagement among its customers and fans? Will a company use the page to promote its products or limited offers? Will a company use its new page as a venue for customer service or public relations?
A company should also try to figure out what kind of feedback they want to get from their customers. They should decide what feedback they need most regarding their products or services. Also, they should consider figuring out what demographic they want to reach out to through their Facebook page.
Return on investment (ROI) expectations is also important. Obviously, business persons want to know how much they will get out of their Facebook marketing investment. However, it is important to understand that ROI measurement through Facebook is done by obtaining better feedback from customers, growing word-of-mouth marketing and learning more about the needs and wants of customers.
The following are several things you can do to convince your boss or a client to use Facebook as a marketing tool. (Image: OVO.Creatives (CC) via Flickr)
You will be more convincing to your client or boss if you backup your Facebook marketing proposal with some supportive case studies, market research and future prognoses.
Give examples of businesses that have used Facebook successfully. Point out the pros of having a Facebook presence and show where there is room for improvement. It will be helpful if you can present examples of businesses that are similar to your boss' or client's business and perhaps equally helpful if you can throw in your competitor's business in the mix as well!
Use statistics, especially the ones that you can obtain through CheckFacebook.com. This website allows you to get an estimate of the number of people on Facebook who are interested and ready to purchase in the products or services offered by your client's or boss's company. It will also help if you can present the future of Facebook; how many users will there be in the coming years? What are the projections and trends, especially for the target market of your client or boss.
3. Show how Facebook Helps
Facebook marketing presents lots of opportunities for all types of businesses. For businesses that are relatively new, Facebook helps build awareness, especially across regions that are previously unused, through a number of targeting features, including targeted ads. Facebook targeted ads allow you to specify audience location and even interests that are indicated in their profiles. These interests are broken down into categories such as travel, cooking, technology, sports, among others.
Facebook also has several features that focus on the sales and business aspect. You can use Offers, for example, so that you can offer discounts to people liking your business page. Facebook can also be used to assess how well you are connecting with fans or determine where the conversions are happening.
Facebook also benefits businesses that are already well-known and reputable; they can use the social networking site to showcase their brand and culture and build loyalty. Loyalty is built because through Facebook pages, customers will be able to talk to the people behind the brand by sharing their feedback, through customer service, or through crowdsourcing.
Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor to a large group of people, and especially from an online community. Content, ideas or services are obtained through this method. Big companies have used crowdsourcing to give customers the democracy of choosing product preferences, such as new Lays, Oreo, Pepsi flavors, etc.
4. Talk about the risks involved
Many chief executives and owners are afraid that they will be publicly criticized if they make a mistake on Facebook. It would be wise to talk about these risks and share your plans on how to ideally and ultimately prevent these blunders from occurring.
Transparency is important to customers. Social media provides the transparency that customers cherish and provides an avenue to encourage loyalty. In addition, customers understand that no company is perfect, but what they really want is to be noticed and valued. When fans post messages on Facebook pages, they expect opportune responses from real people.
If things don't go right, then it's best to have a crisis-management plan, letting your boss or client know how to respond when negative feedback and comments arise.
5. How much does it take to create and support a Facebook Page?
Show your boss or client an estimate of the cost of having a Facebook page. First, you need an educated guess about the number of hours per week you will need to take care of a Facebook page.
Think about how often you should post about your brand on a daily or weekly basis. For example, small businesses can allot around 30 minutes per day to manage Facebook pages, such as reading and responding to comments. To make your Facebook page look professional, you might need to hire a graphic designer and also consider redesigning costs when Facebook changes up. Aside from maintaining and embellishing your Facebook page, also consider monthly costs for Facebook advertising.
6. Recommend a Trial Period
Belosic suggests that companies should have a 60-day trial period to test the value of having a Facebook presence. At the beginning of the trial period, you should provide your client or boss with an outline consisting of more than a few sensible goals. These may include getting a twenty percent increase in Facebook page fans that engage through shares and comments.
During this trial period, the company should promise to make the Facebook page active by posting a couple of times on a weekly or daily basis. Furthermore, you should provide a style guide and determine whether the page is formal, informative, or casual. More importantly, all significant parts of your Facebook page, such as the profile, cover photo and apps, should signify the brand.
7. Conclusions after trial period
Present a summary of the details, achievements, and what was learned during the trial period. In addition, recommend strategies that will help improve the company's Facebook marketing efforts based on the lessons learned during the 60-day probationary phase. Finally, discuss using other tools such as Facebook apps and ads to further improve page engagement.