With over 750 million active users on Facebook, site it’s a bit of a hard medium to pass up when trying to reach an audience. Granted, herbal these people are quite diversely spread around the world which may not be of much use if you’re focused on selling curtain rods in Wandsworth.
Facebook however does have the added benefit of being able to drill down into very specific sections of the community for highly targeted advertising. But if annoying people with sidebar ads isn’t your thing, buy cialis a cheap (read: free) alternative is to create a Facebook Page for your business. Why do this? Let’s find out.
Facebook Pages Vs. Facebook Groups
According to Facebook’s own statistics, the average user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events. It doesn’t take much extrapolating to realise that if you want a low-cost way to reach out to an audience, a Facebook page for your business may not be a bad idea.
Both Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups are free to create, so already you don’t have much to lose other than the lunch hour it will take you to create your new online presence. The main difference between the two is that Facebook Pages can be viewed by Facebook’s entire network, Facebook Groups however can only be seen by registered users of that particular group.
In a bit of a nutshell, Groups comprise of “members” while Pages comprise of “fans”, and really, who wouldn’t like a few more fans telling them how awesome they are? Facebook Groups can work better for organisations trying to raise awareness of a specific cause, as it collates like-minded people together.
Facebook Pages will maximise your reach by not excluding any users from seeing all activity on that page, and once someone becomes a fan all of their friends are notified about this on their News Feed.
Facebook’s reach allows you to potentially reach out to new clients while maintaining relationships with existing customers.
You can instantly update everyone with any new products, services or competitions without having to liaise with a third party agency to get your message out there.
A Facebook Page works brilliantly as well for any promotions or competitions you want to run. People are more likely to Like your Page and spread the word if there’s something in it for them. By running a competition for the person who provides you with the most Likes, you can easily tap into those myriads of users Facebook is known for.
The more you engage with your Fans, the more your Page will be active and “Liked”. On your Wall settings you can allow Fans access to post on your front page which is great for interaction- just make sure you continually moderate the site to avoid any offensive comments being posted. By publicising the good and the bad of what people communicate with you, you start a dialogue and as close to a meaningful relationship to your clientele as you can get. Especially if you address the negative comments in a way to show that you’re taking on board constructive criticism.
Also by having a Facebook presence, you are showing yourself to be up to date with technology and can create a voice for yourself as a leading authority within your industry. If you want to take your Page further, you can use it as part of a wider PR campaign for your business.
Downsides to a Business Facebook Page
Your Facebook Page needs to be an active part of your marketing campaign. If you don’t update your Facebook Page at least once a week (once a day is even better) you’re not going to get much market traction because people won’t get involved with something that is static. A Facebook Page with a last update a year ago is worse than having no Facebook Page at all.
You will also need to monitor the Page to ensure any offensive comments by your fans are moderated. Again, a Page that is full of insults to your business or is offensive to your Fans obviously will do more harm than good.
Why a Business Page is Better than Straight Advertising
Apart from the obvious monetary benefits of not having to shell out any cash upfront to set-up a Facebook Page there are a few other Page plusses over traditional advertising streams.
The Page also provides a means of communication with your customers, if you respond to people who write on your Page’s wall, you can actually create something close to meaningful dialogue which will showcase your customer service skills.
How to Create Your Business Page
Finding the link to create a Facebook Page can be a bit tricky, as Facebook has done a great job at not placing it anywhere prominent on its site. To create a page, wander over to:
- Local businesses or places
- Company, Organisation or Institution
- Brand or Product
- Artist, Band or Public Figure
- Cause of Comminute
Simply click on your category, fill in your details and you’ll then be asked to log into an existing Facebook Account or click “I do not have a Facebook Account”, and voila, you will find yourself with one Business Page! Keep in mind though that once you’ve created your Page you won’t be able to change your business name or category so make sure you’re typo-free before submitting your details.
Facebook now helpfully uses popup screens to help you navigate your way around your new Page, and to let you know what details and updates you can post to the world. Kick this off by clicking on the “Get Started” button under your image.
You can upload a main image which could be a logo or a picture representing what it is your business does. You can also include some info on why you’re awesome in the “About” section. Make sure you also include your website URL as well in case any visitors are so taken with your Page they want more information.
Once you have a few things happening on your Page, you’re going to want some people to get involved with it. An obvious way to kick off your fan base is to share your Page with as many people as you already know, asking them to Like your Page.
If you have a storefront, create a sign so that your customers know that they can Like you on Facebook for special deals. If you have a website, add a Facebook badge to your site so that people can instantly click through to your Page. If you have a Twitter or MySpace Account as well, network with these platforms to consolidate your presence online. There are a number of ways to get your new page out there, do as many as you can for maximum impact!
To keep tabs on how well your Page is going, you can click on the “View Insights” tab on the right side of your Page. This provides you with info such as how many “Likes” you’ve amassed, and can change the timeframe you’re interested in to compare this on a day-to-day basis. It’s not quite as thorough as Google Analytics but it’s not bad.
Your Facebook Page
The more you engage your Fans, the more your Page will work for you. Facebook has given you a two-way street to speak to and listen to your customers. Remember all of those old-school “We Welcome Your Comments” forms that never got returned without an obscure drawing scribbled on it? No more do you have to decipher hieroglyphic-esque handwriting to give your customers a chance to air their opinion! Used correctly, Facebook Pages can be an extremely effective tool in your Marketing arsenal and best of all (don’t tell the agencies this), it’s free.