As Facebook has grown, so have the opportunities and challenges for businesses to get in front of their ideal consumers. With over 800 million users worldwide, it may be the most highly trafficked social media site. Undoubtedly, businesses around the world are clamoring to make the most of Facebook’s ever-increasing popularity, but the very fact that you are reading this article now is proof that it’s not always easy to make the most of the site. By knowing the facts, however, you will be better able to determine whether or not Facebook will work for your business.
Why Facebook is Good for Your Business
You know the numbers. You know Facebook is popular. And it doesn’t take much to show the correlation between these two things and your business; by leveraging your business on Facebook you have the potential to access a much larger audience then you ever would have been able to otherwise. In addition to this wider reach, there are many other ways Facebook can help grow your business.
The Pros of Facebook
Facebook is accessible on just about every computing and mobile device imaginable. It synchronizes with websites and blogs in multiple fashions, making it easier for people to like and share pages with their peers.
Facebook ads may be complex, but they allow you to pinpoint your audience down to the smallest details. Their program works much like Google AdWords in the sense that they are both PPC (pay per click) or impression-based ads.
Multiple sharing methods
Facebook users have many different ways to share what they upload to their profiles. They can connect their posts to their Twitter profiles and they can stream their pictures from Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest, all without ever leaving the platform. Pages operate in a similar fashion, and there are many different ways to streamline what is shared from one site to the next.
Is Facebook Right for Your Business?
There’s no denying that there are many great aspects to Facebook that paint a picture of it as the utopia of social media and targeted marketing. However, there are still some drawbacks to using it.
More people means more competition
No matter how much you may advertise and invite users to connect with you, you are always going to be competing with other businesses who are also established on Facebook. The same goes for your advertisements. When you bid a price for an ad, it is competing with the ads of other higher bidders who share your potential customers.
A never-ending learning curve
Facebook has changed its design and interface over a dozen times in the last four years. Features it has today could easily be gone tomorrow. Even if you were to use a third-party platform like Hootsuite, you will have to access Facebook directly if you plan to do advertising. Facebook’s constant changes and adjustments are not always subtle either, which makes the site difficult to navigate at times.
Your fans are going to need to take action at some point in the process of engaging with you. Without their feedback and comments, at the very least, it will be an awfully quiet and expensive waste of time. Furthermore, the success of your Facebook page is not based upon how many fans you have or how many comments each post gains, but rather how they all convert into paying customers or patrons. No matter what, all action that takes place on your business’ Facebook page needs to support your bottom line.
How to Make Facebook Work for Your Business
- Identify your target audience by creating an ideal customer profile.
- Monitor their behavior, spending habits and how they interact on Facebook (if they do at all).
- Use tools to measure the fluctuations of how they use Facebook.
- Pinpoint the key times to post according to when users are most active.
- Set up an editorial calendar based explicitly on your business goals.
- Balance the type of content you publicize. Ask questions, upload pictures, share links not related to your business – do more than just talk about yourself.
- When trying to figure out how to maintain balance, use a ratio of 70/30 or 80/20. The larger number represents the percentage of posts of non-promotional or non-business related content. The smaller number represents the percentage of posts for direct calls to action for a sale, a special or a campaign.
- Always link to the site where your conversions take place.
- Start small with any advertising that you use to supplement your Facebook presence. Set a budget of several dollars to see how a campaign performs. Monitor the data using the Ads Manager dashboard so that you can reassess and make improvements as necessary.
- Focus on a specific campaign whenever you do advertise. In other words, try not to have too many irons in the fire. You will make it easier to measure results and conversions by focusing your attention on one ad campaign rather than multiple ones.
Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.