Facebook for Small Business Owners
When checking Google for information about Facebook for small business owners, you'll find millions and millions of results. A lot of information about why it's so good for small businesses. Benefits, tips, ideas, and many ads trying to convince you that it's the best thing since sliced bread.
Just what are the Benefits of using Facebook for your Business?
One author writes
- Increased Exposure to Potential Customers
- Get More Leads
- Lower Cost for Marketing
- Reach a Targeted Audience
- Brand Loyalty
- More Web Traffic
- Better SEO
My Response: Yes of course you'll get more exposure, more leads and maybe even get some customers. The big question though is how much will it cost?
If done right it can work efficiently and result in a lower cost for marketing.
Yes you can reach a targeted audience and that's what you need to get a positive return on your invested advertising dollars.
The targeting you can do with Facebook advertising is powerful, but the basic targeting that most people use is still often not targeted enough to get that positive ROI that you need.
You have to go a little further and build your audiences of website visitors and/or people who engage with you on Facebook.
More Google searches about "Why you need to be on Facebook"
(As stated by many online sources).
- Facebook has billions of users - My response: That doesn't help if your customers are local
- Average user spends an hour a day on Facebook - My response: This can certainly help you if many of those people are your potential customers
- Average Facebook user has 150 friends - My response: Yes this can help your message connect with more people if someone engages with your post or ad
Common Facebook Tips
What are some of the more common tips?
They’re easy to find. Here are some of them:
- Build your fans (page likes)
- Create great content that engages with your fans
- Use contests to get people to engage
- Write a new post every day
It’s OK to have fans but I’d focus on promoting your offers rather than trying to get more fans. I think fans should happen naturally. If someone likes you or your business let them "like" on their own.
I agree that you should create great content that engages with people. But just saying that doesn’t help. What’s great content? Helpful information, useful tips, or entertaining and pleasant posts. Use colorful images that are very closely related to the topic of your post. Keep your posts relevant to your business.
Contests are a common way of getting people to do something such as “liking” your page or commenting or sharing. Be careful with this though. You don’t want people who want only to win the contest and have no interest in your business or offers. If you get these people it dilutes your potential audiences that you can show ads to. You want only potential customers in your audiences. I usually don’t recommend using contests on Facebook.
Are you sure you wouldn’t be annoying if you posted every day?
Will your followers get sick of you if you do that?
As a rule I’d always post for a good reason rather than posting just to flood your audience with posts, or because you heard you should post every day. There should be no reason to set a time line for how often to post. The reason you post is to make connections. To make connections you have to be useful, nice, or entertaining. Maybe even all of those things.
Have you seen this statement before?
"Why you must use Facebook for your small business"
What actually is the best advice?
Facebook really is not the best place for a business to advertise. I don't mean to avoid it all together. And to be more specific I'd say that Facebook is not the best place for a business to try make sales.
It’s not like a trade show or conference where vendors are offering products and information to the attending audience who is there because they want to know more about those vendor’s products. The analogy is more like a businessman at a wedding reception. No one there is looking for what he offers. However, they’re all still people. Just like the people at a trade show. Sales won’t be made but connections can be made. That’s what you do on Facebook too. Not sales. Connections.
Should you be using Facebook advertising?
You may be missing out on a huge opportunity if you’re not using Facebook advertising. But it requires an ongoing plan and strategy to improve results, get your ads showing to the right audience, and get the results you're looking for.
Some businesses are naturally a better fit than others for Facebook. Businesses that offer food, fun, and entertainment are good fits as are some specialty businesses that have passionate customers. Businesses in the golfing category or the hiking/camping category are two examples.
If your business is not one of these you may still be able to benefit from Facebook. You just need to be useful and helpful instead of fun and entertaining. For example, an insurance company can offer free information that is vitally important to people. Accountants and financial advisers can help people by providing important tips.
In all cases, you start by making connections. Within those connections you'll find people who will do business with you.
Here's Facebook's area for help on advertising for small businesses: Facebook Business Advertising
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.