LET’S GET SOCIAL: HOW TO USE FACEBOOK TO GROW YOUR BIZ
These days it’s about so much more than sharing photos with family, tracking down old school mates and long lost cousins or keeping tabs on your favourite celebrities.
It’s now one of the most powerful ways to market your biz by sharing your brand identity, connecting with your consumers and showcasing your products and services.
It harnesses the power of virtual word-of-mouth.
We’ve been running an article series called ‘Let’s Get Social’, where we’ve picked the brains of some of the most experienced and knowledgeable Social Media and Digital Marketing gurus to offer you, our tribe, some brilliant insights, tips and step-by-step guides to help you leverage and get the most from different social media channels. We’ll also be offering some food for thought around building your list and creating email opt-ins that pack a real punch.
So far, we’ve showcased the key business benefits and opportunities offered by Pinterest and Instagram.
FACEBOOK: WHAT IS IT?
When Mark Zuckerberg built Facebook from his Harvard dorm room 11 years ago, his vision was to simply connect fellow students.
Since then, the social network has exploded far beyond the campus grounds to connect more than one billion people — from all over the world — with each other.
These days, Facebook needs little introduction. It’s become so ingrained in our social lives that there’s a good chance you’re already one of those billion people and have your own personal profile. Chances are you scroll through your Facebook News Feed at least once, or maybe a hundred times a day.
If you haven’t yet jumped on the Facebook train when it comes to your business, you could very well be missing out on one of the most powerful (and cost-effective) ways to reach your target audience.
You see, not only can users track down, become Facebook ‘friends’ and exchange snippets of life with old high school flames, colleagues, family members, strangers and well, friends, they can also use the social media platform to connect, follow and interact with their favourite brands, products and businesses.
Yep. Social Media is actually an essential marketing tool for businesses (especially small ones) these days — because it’s where their customers are hanging out — hungry for information and inspiration. And, just like Instagram and Pinterest, Facebook is yet another powerful platform to cultivate and then serve your audience.
In a nutshell (and in its own words) Facebook can help you reach all of the people who matter most to your business, simply by creating a custom page for your business, sharing valuable content and engaging in conversation with your followers.
THE BEST BITS
The benefits and opportunities available to biz users can be pinned on the sheer size and reach of this social media machine.
“Facebook is the number on social networking site, with 1.49 billion registered accounts [as of August 2015] and it is said that 92 per cent of people believe recommendations from a friend or family member than directly from a brand,” the Social Media Strategist and Coach behind The Art of Social, Bec Jerdan, says.
Enter the mind-blowing power of the Facebook ‘grapevine’.
“Facebook takes word of mouth to the next level. Instead of chatting over tea with one friend on the couch, people can share their opinions with all of their friends in seconds via a (Facebook) review, like, comment or share,” Bec says.
In addition to organic, word of mouth reach, Facebook also offers advertising opportunities for businesses by paying (a small sum) to send the right message to the right people, just when they’re most open to discovering your business.
“Facebook allows any business page to get their content in front of a very specific audience,” Bec says.
“You can narrow that 1.49 billion people right down — depending on age, gender, location, interests and behaviours — and then only people that fit that profile will see your ad.
“Not to mention it’s a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.”
Direct traffic to your website
While we’re on the subject of ‘reach’, imagine being able to send what could potentially be thousands (and thousands) of Facebook visitors and followers to your biz website.
Well of course you can.
All it takes is a nifty link to your website on your Facebook business page, and bingo — you’ve created an opportunity to shoo all that traffic to your online store or sales page and ultimately, the option of purchasing your products, services or other offerings.
As with any marketing campaign or social media activity, it’s crucial to identify your strengths and weaknesses and track your progress. Facebook’s analytics capability — or Page Insights — allows you to monitor which posts your community does or doesn’t engage with, so you can make informed decisions about what you post in the future.
Through Page Insights, you can track anything from the number of likes and where they come from, to comments and shares, advert reach, traffic sources, clicks and audience demographics.
Potent, insider information. Uh huh.
Create your business page
Getting your Facebook business page is quick and easy. It’s important to know there’s a difference between a personal Facebook profile, and a Facebook Business Page, which is customised specifically for giving your biz a voice and comes with all the bells, whistles and perks we mentioned above.
According to Facebook itself, your Facebook Page makes your business discoverable when people search for you and allows your customers — and prospective customers — to like your page, read your posts and share them with friends.
When you establish your Page, you can request a Facebook web address, such as Facebook.com/yourbusinessname, which makes it easy to find.
Tell people where you are
Use your website, marketing collateral, email signature and other social media profiles to tell people you’re on Facebook.
Once you’re set up, make it your mission to connect with as many relevant people as possible, encourage them to interact with your business on a daily basis and have them share your message with their own Facebook friends.
HOW TO CREATE CONTENT THAT OFFERS VALUE AND DRIVES HIGH ENGAGEMENT
Our very own Daily Guru Editor Rebecca Caines, who also offers one-on-one consulting around growing your online community, has grown The Daily Guru Facebook community to almost 18,000 followers by offering fresh content and engaging with her active online tribe on a daily basis.
“What I love about Facebook for business is the ease of being able to monitor how popular a piece of content is and then having the ability to share, promote or boost that content — at a low cost — should you wish to,” she says.
“No other Social media platform currently offers this functionality and, if used well, it can help you scale your online following quite rapidly.”
According to Rebecca, one of the key benefits Facebook offers for business is the ability to embed yourself in your community’s life by sharing and offering content that not only keeps you and your brand front of mind, but also being able to help your community with their real life, day-to-day challenges.
“The main opportunity is to capture the attention of your tribe, by demonstrating you are a real living, breathing and passionate business, entrepreneur or blogger who has a genuine interest in making your tribe’s life easier or better,” she says.
“If you think, “I want to go on Facebook to sell my product”, you’re looking at everything the wrong way ‘round.
“Focus on offering significant value through your page and the rest will begin taking care of itself.”
In addition to sharing the daily articles posted within The Daily Guru online publication, Rebecca often creates fun and engaging Facebook campaigns, which tap into the needs of her audience.
“This includes, Tip Of The Week, Affirmations and Soulful Sundays, which allow our Facebook audience to anticipate what they can expect from The Daily Guru and then look forward to key content being shared.”
In bringing your business to life on Facebook by posting updates, photos, videos and other shared content that your tribe will find interesting and inspiring, it’s important to keep in mind what the network lists as five key ways to create compelling content:
- Be authentic
- Be responsive
- Be consistent
- Do what works
- Make successful posts into successful promotions
Don’t just sell, sell, sell
Hard sell tactics, such as repeatedly spamming News Feeds about the same old product or service without any relatable context or conversation will land you with a heap of ‘unfollows’. Sad, but true. In fact, aggressive and persistent selling is one of the most common mistakes Rebecca believes people make when trying to use Facebook to grow their biz.
“People are becoming very sensitive and cluey to marketing and sales campaigns, which means as businesses we must adapt and be equally as sensitive with the way we communicate with our audience,” she says.
Instead, she believes “adding value” should be kept front of mind. You’ll actually have better success in cultivating and converting your following if you freely share information related to your brand that is actually useful, or interesting to your Facebook community.
Share valuable ticks and tricks. Offer insights and wisdom. For example, rather than simply promoting her coaching packages, a Health Coach could add value to her Facebook tribe by sharing basic but delicious recipes suited to the season, or simple ‘health hacks’ that her followers can easily implement.
You know, shareable, actionable content. And try to avoid hogging the microphone all of the time. Listen as much as you talk. Spark conversation. Respond to comments and questions.
Reward your Facebook followers with exclusive content and special offers that aren’t available anywhere else. Get interactive with giveaways, competitions and surveys — anything to get your tribe talking, sharing, liking and coming back for more.
Cross-promote your social media content
If your business is active on multiple social media platforms, you can leverage one following to grow another by promoting links to all your social profiles on Facebook and vice versa.
This lets your followers know where else they can find you.
You can also integrate content from your other social media platforms, such as Instagram.
We’ve created a simple but helpful checklist to help you make sure you’re making the most of Facebook for your biz. Download it below!
ABOUT BEC CAINES
Rebecca Caines is the Editor and Founder of The Daily Guru. She is one talented lady, with experience in international Event Management, as well as being a Life Coach, Writer, Speaker, Wellbeing Enthusiast and above all, wonderfully passionate about helping people surprise themselves.
Rebecca also offers one-on-one consulting to help start-ups and existing businesses grow highly engaged and thriving online communities.
With over 11 years experience working in Marketing, PR and Events arena, Rebecca has gained significant results in community building, which she has applied to growing her own robust online tribe, here at The Daily Guru. In one short year, Rebecca grew the DG community of over 20,000 aspiring women, which continues to flourish each and every day as a result of her consumer led, digital skills. Find out more about how you can grow your online community with Rebecca here.
ABOUT BEC JERDAN
Bec Jerdan is the social media strategist and coach behind The Art of Social. A former marketing manager, Bec now draws on her extensive industry experience to empower people with the knowledge, tools and motivation to expand their brand and business online. Passionate about helping start-ups and small businesses, her blog provides simple tips and how-to steps and she offers 1-on-1 coaching and group workshops.
You can join one of Bec’s upcoming workshops to learn the art of social media and grow your passion, product or profile online. If you’re ready to reach and connect with your tribe, you’ll be able to discover your content, create beautiful images and identify ways to grow your online community. Find Bec on Instagram for more details.