A Facebook Page For Your Business? Should You Bother?

Word of Mouth is how a business dies, survives or thrives, right?

Well, social media platforms such as Facebook are Word-of-Mouth with a megaphone.

Traditional, mass-media, or “broadcast” forms of advertising are becoming less effective because they are based on interruption.

Media is continuing to fragment (more websites, more TV channels, more magazines) so it is increasingly expensive to shout at your target audience.

The future is about getting permission to talk to your audience.

Facebook is all about building a permission asset.

People of all ages are using it. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s a way to get feedback from your customers.

What is it?

At the time of writing Facebook has 800 million users.

That is an astonishingly large proportion of the people on our planet considering many don’t have any access to the internet.  And where there are people, there is opportunity for business and advertising.

A business Facebook page is simply a Facebook page dedicated to a business. There are some similarities with an individual’s personal Facebook page.

  • An individual has friends, a business has fans (or “likes”).
  • An individual can “like” businesses to show support, a business can too.
  • An individual has permission to send bulk emails to all their friends and invite them to events, a business can too.

One key difference is that businesses also have the opportunity to create small text-based ads and target those ads to precise demographics on a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or Cost-Per-1000-Impressions (CPM) basis.

In just the last 12 months, the concept of having a business Facebook page has begun to permeate the consciousness of businesses of all sizes and types.

The 3 Most Common Objections I Hear From Owners:

1. “I don’t know how to do Facebook, I’m not good with computers”

  • Then learn. Or at least find a family member or staff member to take care of the basics.

2. “I’m too busy, I don’t have time to keep it updated”

  • Keep the content simple. Don’t do anything fancy. Delegate to family or staff to take 2 minutes to check it once per day.

3. “I don’t think it will bring in extra business”

  • Facebook is a way you can keep in touch with your biggest fans in between visits. It may prompt them to come back today, or to talk to their friends about you tonight

The 3 Best Reasons To Have A Facebook Business Page:

Ask owners who do use Facebook for their business why they do, you might hear things like…

1. “Facebook is where fans give us permission to talk directly to them. We can ask their opinion on things and extinguish negative feedback quickly”

  • That’s right.

2. “We knew that a lot of young people use Facebook but now we realise that just as many older people do to”

  • That’s right, Facebook is popular for people of all ages. The opportunity for you is having your business included in online discussions between friends

3. “We think of Facebook as a listening post rather than a talking post”

  • That’s right. Most advertising is about shouting out your message to people who aren’t really listening. Facebook is about asking questions and having your customers provide their insights

How can owners get started?

  1. If you haven’t got a Facebook profile yet, create one. All you need is an email address. You don’t have to use it for personal use, this just provides you with the ability to create a business page
  2. Login, and go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. Choose the appropriate type of business (probably “Local business”) and fill in your details when prompted
  3. Together with your staff, brainstorm ideas about how this might benefit the business. Eg to get feedback about improvements we can make, to get loyal customers to tell their Facebook friends about us, to get people in when we are quiet
  4. Add several staff as “Admins” (and pay them a bit extra). When Admins post on the page they post as the business, not as themselves, so make it clear they need to be professional
  5. Together, brainstorm ideas about what you should post. It can be text, photos or video
  6. Decide on the frequency of posts. Hourly? Daily? Weekly? Whenever? Set a minimum so your page doesn’t look abandoned
  7. Together, brainstorm some scenarios together and as a group decide what action to take eg “If someone complains about our service, what should we do?”
  8. If your team gets stuck for content, encourage them to do a Google search to generate ideas or check out what other brands are doing
  9. Decide if you want your team to work on this during work hours or perhaps you can persuade them to get involved off hours (if it’s fun enough, they just might)
  10. Encourage the sharing of techniques amongst the team to build up a verbal handbook in case people leave, and for when new people come onboard and need to be trained
  11. Ask your staff to get their friends to become fans. You need to get to 25 fans as quickly as possible so you can get a “vanity url” like Facebook.com/NameOfYourPlace rather than the terrible default url filled with numbers (apply for a vanity url from http://www.facebook.com/username/)
  12. To turn customers into Facebook fans, write your vanity url wherever you can think of: hang up a sign on your front desk, include it in your email signature and business cards, coffee cards etc

If you want to get really fancy you can add applications like polls, surveys, games, email newsletter signup forms, and reviews

Still Too Hard?

As a last resort (because the idea of this article is make it as cheap as possible for you) hire me, Sheldon Nesdale for $490+gst.

Call me on (07) 575 8799 or email me on sheldon@marketingfirst.co.nz and I’ll book you in.

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