Is Facebook Right For My Business
If you are in the leisure or pleasure industry, Facebook is a great place to have a company presence. People use Facebook in their spare time, to share all the great things they are up to with their friends and family. They want to be talking about holidays, fashion, great days out, fun nights out, music, food and what they (or their children) have achieved. People will choose to ‘like’ brands that they identify with and help to build their identity.
If your company sells leisure products or services, you can really build your profile and generate new business by having an active presence on Facebook. Creating a ‘company page’ or a ‘brand page’ is free and relatively straight forward to set up and you have a potential audience that far out numbers any city centre shop (around 33 million UK Facebook users at the start of 2013).
Simply having a page is not enough, so you need to plan how you can use this opportunity to encourage Facebook users to discover you. Consider it a combination of window dressing and great customer service. You need to set aside time each week to post interesting, amusing or valuable content. Adding images can really enhance your posts and in the leisure industry pictures can be easy to create. Preparing posts needn’t be a time consuming process for example if you write a blog for your website, then add an introductory sentence and a link (URL) to your blog as a post on Facebook. This can provide useful information for those who follow you and also encourages them to visit your website.
You can further entice your potential customers with rewards for ‘liking’ your page (and therefore sharing it with all of their Facebook friends and family). These could include discount vouchers, special offers, competitions or codes for free delivery. A competition could be to photograph your product or service in action with a great prize for the winner, this will attract interest and interaction, whilst providing you with content for many future posts. If you are in the travel industry, you could send a link to a free PDF of the top ten things to see and try in a specific location, or for food companies, free recipe cards that can be downloaded.
Facebook also provides an ideal opportunity for market research. Ask questions, respond positively to feedback received and use the knowledge to make changes. Your audience will feel valued by being asked their opinion, especially when they receive a response to their comments and action taken as a result.
Facebook Advertising provides another great opportunity for generating business. You set up the advert with very specific details on your target audience, so your advert is only shown to the people that match your criteria. You also set the budget, so your advert is not shown after the budget limit has been reached. This style of advertising allows you to have a lot more control over your spend and is likely to generate a higher rate of return than many other advertising options, so can be an effective option for SME’s.
If you are considering Facebook Advertising, make sure you carefully plan before you set it up. Clearly identify what demographic you want to target and what message you want to share. You may be interested in a couple of blogs that offer more advice on getting the most out of your campaign:
If you think that Facebook is just for teenagers, you are mistaken. The highest user group is the 25 – 34 year olds and at the start of 2013 just over 50% of the UK population now has a Facebook account. Think of the business potential if you can get your message right.
Another sector that can really benefit from a Facebook presence are charities. There is the option to set up a ‘charity page’ which could build awareness of your organisation, helping to gain more support and fundraisers. Whilst people like to associate themselves with consumer products, they also want to let everyone know when they are ‘doing good’. Facebook is great for promoting fundraising events and getting people signed up, as well as providing a community where updates of the event and communication between those taking part. You can encourage this communication by asking participants to share tips on training, pictures of costumes, ideas for fundraising etc.
Finally, another advantage is that having an active presence on any social media channel will be one factor to help the ranking of your website in the search engines. The closer you are to the top of page one, the more people will find your website when searching for the products and services you have to offer.