I worked in a bakery where the owner was a self-professed technophobe. He didn’t have a cell phone, rarely used email and if someone brought up Facebook, he shuddered at the thought of using something he considered to “contribute to the downfall of society”.
He just didn’t see what a social network had to do with people’s food choices. I tried to explain that it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, people from all walks of life use Facebook and by not using it for his business he was missing out on sales every single day.
Eventually I got him to sign up and his business is all the better for it. He pays someone to monitor it, but he will now readily admit that it’s something he should have done long ago.
Facebook is one of those things most people either love or hate. Whichever end of the spectrum you fall, it’s hard to argue the fact that it has changed the way we communicate. And not just with our friends and family, but in business as well.
7 Reasons You Should Use Facebook
Whether you are tech-friendly or not, if you have a business and have not created a Facebook page for it, you are behind the times. You must sign up on Facebook, no matter what business you’re in.
1. Almost everyone uses it.
One out of every 13 people in the world has a Facebook page. While it’s hard to say how many people actively use it versus how many signed up and never logged on, that’s a lot of people. A lot of people log on everyday, sometimes several times a day, so if you want to reach out to your customer base, this is the way.
2. It’s better than email.
Email is still a valuable marketing tool, and you should not stop collecting those email addresses, but Facebook offers a different kind of advertising for your business.
A lot of people check Facebook multiple times a day, every single day. If they are a fan of your business page, and you offer a promotion on your wall, it will show up in each user’s stream.
They don’t have to open anything, and it won’t get lost in a junk mail folder. If they happen to glance at it and it’s something they are interested in, great. Even if it’s not, every time they see your updates, it reminds them you are still there.
I have been to several local events all because of something I saw on a Facebook stream. If I have made a purchase based on info I saw on Facebook, other people will too.
3. It’s easier to manage than a traditional website.
Facebook is used by people of all tech levels and age groups. If you can manage a personal page, you can set up a business page in no time. You can upload photos and videos yourself; you don’t have to pay someone to manage it (unless you want to).
4. It shows up in Google searches.
If someone googles your business, they might not see a website in the top results, but a Facebook page will show up. Even if your company site shows up first, it can’t hurt to have more exposure.
5. You can connect to your customers.
People love to have conversations on Facebook, and if it’s your page, you should be included. Post things that get people talking and then respond to them. They’ll feel like you are interested in what they have to say; you’ll build more personal relationships in the process.
6. It’s an easy way to get customer feedback.
Post a question asking what customer’s think of a new or existing product. People aren’t generally inclined to take long surveys or polls, but if they can respond to a status they are already looking at with one or two sentences, chances are they will.
These can be invaluable when trying to decide on new products or services. You’ll know more about what your customer wants; they’ll feel like they had some input, making everybody happy.
7. People upload pictures to your page.
People gravitate towards businesses that look like fun. Asking customers to post photos of themselves using your products is free advertising for your business. They feel like part of the business, others are encouraged to try your services; you don’t have to do the work. It’s a win-win situation.
These are just some of the ways Facebook can help your business. There are more advanced (and paid) options that work well too, such as targeted ads and marketing, but you don’t have to start at the top to see the rewards.
Bottom Line: You don’t have to become a geek to gain customers from Facebook. If you can check your email, you can do this. And in business, is there anything better than free advertising?
How do you use Facebook for your business?
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Facebook is quite possibly the greatest marketing tool every created. End of story. It is a brilliant service for creating communities, and that is why they have been so successful in attracting fans and marketing. If your business is not utilizing Facebook, you are missing out on an absolutely HUGE segment of new business.
Facebook is okay, I guess, but it certainly doesn’t do more for me than my actual website or blog. It has limits for beginners to. Overall though, I would agree with you that it’s important and very valuable as a marketing tool.
Marketers repeat how great is Facebook for business. But I have never seen a real numbers (before/after going to Facebook). I think that Facebook business value is highly overrated, not real. Prove me wrong if you can.
And one big argument against Facebook: PRIVACY.
For this alone I refuse to use Facebook.
Honestly, privacy issues are over-exaggerated. They’re not Big Brother, they’re the world’s largest social network and want to use your data so that they can provide a better experience for their users (you). If you’re not on Facebook and it isn’t because you haven’t got time, or cannot access it, the chances are that you wear a tinfoil hat.
Facebook is one of the easiest things to sign up to, and as a business after you have put all the information up, you don’t really need to manage it. So I don’t really see why anyone would not get a Facebook page up. Even if it doesn’t prove amazingly effective, you won’t have to spend a long time, a lot of money getting it up there in the first place, so it doesn’t matter.
JP – For a business I don’t think the privacy matters of Facebook really make a difference. Also if you are careful, the privacy settings etc. really aren’t a problem.
One out of every 13 people < Almost Everyone