Facebook is the world’s largest and most popular social network, with over 1,4 billion monthly active users as of the writing of this eBook. Facebook’s mission is enabling people “to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
Ever since Facebook’s beginnings in 2004, many businesses have seized the great opportunity offered by this social network; in late 2007, Facebook launched Fan Pages together with the social network’s ad platform and analytics, giving businesses extra incentives to become interested in their platform.
Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to imagine a business not being present on Facebook; being there is simply a no-brainer.
But what are the exact reasons why you should promote your business on Facebook?
We have compiled a list of 10 benefits of being on Facebook and attracting those much-wanted likes and shares
1. Huge exposure
Almost anyone has a Facebook profile nowadays, and most of your potential customers are there, checking their newsfeeds several times a day.
Facebook allows you to regularly put your business in front of your customers; there is no other easier way of ensuring constant contact between a company and its audiences. Once people like your page, a part of your status updates, photos, videos, shared links and other information about your company will appear in their newsfeeds.
More and more people are using Facebook to research companies, products and services, and by reaching to your audiences and showing you can solve their problems or respond to their needs, you are one step closer to attracting new customers.
So, not only can you reach a large number of people on Facebook, but these people are also looking by themselves for brands like yours everyday!
2. Reduced marketing costs
Setting up a Facebook business page costs exactly $0.
You will need to spend money for developing and maintaining your profile, but expenses are lower compared to traditional promotion techniques:
- Profile pictures and cover photo – you can hire an artist to do it, or you can simply use your logo and actual business pictures, which look more authentic.
- Managing Facebook activity – there are different solutions you can try – posting updates by yourself, having an employee to do it, or outsourcing this function. The best option depends on your budget, leisure time, and business needs.
- Advertising – Facebook advertising is cheaper than you expect and is also a lot more targeted and efficient than traditional advertising. Many business owners have spent as less as $30-50 to get their first 1000 likes. The secret is targeting the right kind of people. Another major advantage of Facebook advertising is that you’ll never overcome your budget – once your limit per day has been reached, the ad is not being displayed anymore.
You will have to dedicate time and effort to managing your Facebook presence, but the extremely small costs and wide range of benefits make fan pages an absolute must!
3. Interacting efficiently with customers
Facebook has become one of the easiest ways of providing customer service. Businesses can respond to queries very fast, which leads to a higher level of customer satisfaction.
On the other hand, starting to provide customer service on Facebook is a major decision, as it requires a lot of commitment and regularly checking comments and messages. You may also deal with negative comments that could affect your business, and your reputation will depend on how well-prepared you are to handle negative feedback or attacks from social media trolls.
Even so, interacting with customers on Facebook is still worth doing; answering fast to inquiries and solving their issues online will show you care about your customers and will increase loyalty levels.
But interacting with customers on Facebook means a lot more than solving their problems. Other opportunities your business will enjoy include:
- Fan reviews
- Fan comments that appear on their pages as well
- Offering incentives for fan activity on the page
- Organizing contests
- Encouraging users to create content for your business (videos, photos, etc.)
The immense value of social media comes from two-way communication; unlike traditional one-way marketing channels, Facebook and other social networks are so effective because they enable customers to express their opinion and provide feedback.
4. Facebook helps with SEO
There has been a huge debate on social signals’ impact on search engine rankings. Do search engines actually use data from social networks to determine your website’s ranking?
Here is a short history of Google’s use of social signals:
In 2010, Google’s spokesperson Matt Cutts stated that Twitter and Facebook links were being used as SEO signals. After Google Plus was launched in 2011 together with its authorship markup campaign SEO experts started to believe more and more that social media especially Google’s social network would have a major influence on Google rankings.
Nevertheless, in 2014, the same Google spokesperson declared in a Google Webmaster series video that Facebook and Twitter pages are treated just like any other pages in Google’s web index; if something happens on these social networks and Google is able to crawl it, that will be returned in search results. On the other hand, the number of Twitter followers or Facebook likes is not part of the web search ranking algorithm.
An intense social media activity is related to higher rankings, although there is no direct causal relationship between the two.
What really happens is that having a powerful social presence and generating active engagement leads to more people linking to your content and more chances of being referenced by industry influencers, who usually own high-authority websites. This eventually increases your search engine ranking.
5. Using Facebook Insights
Tracking user interaction on Facebook is extremely easy – as an admin of your fan page, you can analyze page performance and determine the number of active users by taking a look at Facebook insights.
The great thing about Facebook Insights is that you don’t have to be a technical person or a marketing expert to understand the information provided there.
Within minutes you can find out how many page likes you got, your posts’ reach, page engagement, and more specific information like fan demographics, the number of friends of fans available, or how each post is performing.
And it’s all for free!
The next step is customizing your posts accordingly, which becomes a lot easier and more efficient when you find out facts like having a larger females fan base or having most users located in a certain geographical area. It’s important to determine the cause of each fluctuation in your fans’ behavior and take measures – otherwise stats remain just stats. If you are proficient in Excel, you can export your Facebook Insights data and perform more complex analysis to discover user patterns.
6. Building brand awareness and loyalty
Being active on Facebook and offering people a reason to come back fosters a higher interest in your brand. This also encourages your fans to become and stay loyal, even if at some point you make some mistakes – companies with a powerful brand get a lot easier over crisis situations and deal with fewer negative consequences.
Interacting with audiences on Facebook and answering to customer inquiries fast leaves a good impression on page visitors, making them a lot more likely to convert into leads and eventually customers. Demonstrating responsiveness and posting consistently about your business definitely represents a competitive advantage that will determine potential customers choose you over similar businesses with poorly-run Facebook pages.
But why is social interaction so important?
The truth is customers like to interact with humans, and not with companies. Facebook pages offer you the opportunity to humanize your business and attach a personality to your brand. Non-business interaction and content together with one-on-one conversations with customers prevent the cold and abstract brand image so many businesses display.
7. Reaching mobile users
Most prospects and customers access Facebook from their smartphones, and reaching these audiences has become vital since mobile device usage has taken over desktop computers in 2014.
“15% of Americans ages 18-29 are heavily dependent on a smartphone for online access.”
If your business doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website, focusing your marketing efforts on Facebook, especially when you are targeting a younger audience, can help a lot because Facebook is already optimized for all types of mobile devices.
When accessing your fan page, customers have at hand every piece of information they need: address, hours of operation, reviews, and your phone number; furthermore, they can call your business directly from the Facebook mobile app.
8. Facebook advertising
Facebook advertising has become increasingly important due to the changes implemented by the social network in the last couple of years. Many small business owners have noticed a lower or higher decline in the number of users they’re reaching with their posts.
The main cause behind these changes is the huge amount of content that needs to be filtered – Facebook considers they should show people posts that are relevant to them and that they’re more likely to engage with.
Thus, investing in Facebook ads becomes a must if you want your business to make the best from social media marketing. For reasonable costs, you’ll enjoy benefits such as:
- Reaching a targeted group of people by using criteria such as age, gender, location, interests, and keywords appearing on user profiles.
- Using small advertising budgets, as low as $5. You will never end up spending more than you can afford because you can set a daily budget for your advertising campaign. When the limit is reached, the ad is not being displayed anymore. There are two pay structures available – paying by click or paying by impression.
- Using images and videos in your Facebook ads, aside from headline and copy.
- Becoming visible to your fans’ friends – whenever someone likes you page through you ad, this action is featured on their friends’ news feeds.
- Choosing different functions for your Facebook ad – by clicking on your ad, users will be redirected either to your Facebook page, to an event, or to your website – thus you can choose the most effective lead generation path and convert prospects into customers more easily.
- Getting feedback from users – in case someone is not interested or bothered by your ad, they can close it and provide a reason for their action. Getting likes from targeted users or simply being ignored can also help you draw some conclusions and rethink your advertising campaign.
9. Encouraging more user engagement
You have probably already noticed that having a large number of likes is less important than having genuine fans who interact with your brand and are interested in your products and services. This is why buying likes or Facebook fans is useless – it makes you feel good, but doesn’t produce any real impact.
Here are some simple ideas for fostering real user engagement and determining prospects to take action:
- Adding your physical address (if you have one) so fans can check-in
- Attracting new users by using the “Similar Page Suggestions” option
- Creating Facebook events – if someone accepts your invitation, their friends will see they’re going to your event
- Identifying influencers and asking them to support your page
- Using contest and giveaways to attract leads you’ll be nurturing through email marketing and further social media interaction
10. Using Facebook’s less known features
Any platform has a series of “secret” features that not many people know about but which can help you attract more fans and customers:
- Embedding Facebook posts into your website (click on the post’s upper right corner arrow and select the “Embed Post” option from the emerging drop-down menu)
- Discovering when someone mentions your business in their Facebook updates by using the “Posts to Page” section
- Checking statistics for every post (just click on the “X people reached” tag appearing at the bottom of posts)
- Rotating photos after being added on Facebook – you don’t need to edit photos in advance; you just need to select the “Options” link at the photo viewer’s bottom and select “Rotate Left” or “Rotate Right”
- Dark posts – these updates do not appear on your timeline, but can be accessed by anyone who is provided with a direct link. Follow this training video from Facebook to learn how to create a dark post – https://www.facebook.com/fbvideosforbusiness/videos/10151107995291687/
Once you start implementing these features and enjoying their benefits, you’ll always notice a strong connection between your business success and being active on Facebook.
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