We live in an era of social websites; people stay home watching funny videos on YouTube, they check their Facebook or tweet from their tablets or smartphones, they even take pictures of their restaurant meals and post it on websites like Instagram. What should be a "no-brainer" is often overlooked: businesses, especially smaller ones, can benefit from social media exposure, especially from the huge social giant, Facebook.
Five years ago, very few knew exactly what Facebook was; today, you hear that "if you aren't on Facebook, you don't exist." As silly as it sounds, it's true! Especially for businesses.
Facebook Advertising: The Classic Ads
If you've been on Facebook before, you've seen ads because they are, literally, everywhere. Similar to Google ads, they are very basic ads, usually composed of a small picture, a title, and a few other words. Now, you might be wondering, "do these simple ads actually work?" Of course they do! If the didn't, no one else would use it. BUT you have to understand how to use them correctly.
Facebook lets you chose the exact budget and image you want, demographically target users by age, location, education, or interests and, best of all, it even allows you to test these ads.
Tips for Classic Ads
- Look super-fly!
Make sure you pick a visually appealing picture. The picture should capture the attention of everyone browsing the page.
- Font Matters!
Pick a smart, catchy, slightly funny text.
- Target your Targets!
You shouldn't target kids if you own a denture company. It also isn't the best idea to target people from New York when your business is in California.
- You have a brain, use it!
Take the time to understand which people are the best to target based on what you are offering.
Facebook Fanpages: Bring your Business to life Online!
What is a Facebook fanpage? Basically, it's similar to a personal profile, but you can't have facebook friends. Instead, you get "likes" from people interested in your business or who just like you. The best part of a Facebook fanpage it is that it requires no cost to set up. If you're struggling recruiting clients from online sources, you don't have any excuses for not creating a Facebook Fanpage. It's free! What is there to lose?.
Tips for Fanpages
- Invest in a talented designer
If first impressions are so important, why would it be any different for a fanpage? A picture is worth a thousand words, so get a designer (hire one if you don't already know one - college Graphic Design students are a GREAT resource) to create a custom landing page for your fanpage.
- Maintain the page
You want to run a contest? A big holiday is just around the corner? We all hate outdated signs, billboards, and websites, don't let that happen to your fanpage! Make sure it stays relevant to what's going on.
Facebook Promoted Posts
Promoted Posts lets you, basically, bump your posts to the tops of user's news feeds. In other words, the people who liked your fanpage, and even their friends, have a higher chance of seeing your posts. Unless your fans, the people who liked your page, are checking their news feed at the exact moment you post something, most of them won't see that post. If the post is about a contest, a new product, or an important discount/offer, promoting it, for a fee, will ensure a bigger fan-base will see it.
Hosting Facebook Contests
This is currently trending as one of the most effective and popular ways to get a lot of people to your fanpage, IF you do it right.
Tips for Contests
- Prizes matter!
If you're a travel agent, and all you're giving away are a few T-shirt and mugs with your face painted on them... let's just say we could guess why online marketing isn't working for you! Save the cheap prizes for runner-ups.
- Structure matters!
Can people like the page and be entered? Or do they only get a chance to win if some of their friends like the page, too? Is this open forevvvvvveeeerrrr (where people start to wonder if you're ever picking a winner), or is it only open for 5 days? Depending on your audience, and what you're giving away, will depend on how you want to set it up.
Still don't believe you should be on Facebook? Well, how about these 5 simple reasons to utilize Facebook:
- It Makes it Personal
The old addage of "It's just business, nothing personal," no longer applies. It IS personal, it DOES matter, and you've got to connect on a personal (electronic) level.
- Chain Reactions
Suzy Q likes your page, a few of her friends like your page, a few of their friends like your page... it can get big quick!
- It's Popular
Facebook actually competes with Google for the most daily visitors. Are you really willing to give up on that kind of potential?
Have a business you've been doing from home that all your friends know about? Don't already have a fanpage? No worries! Just convert your personal page to a fanpage and all of your friends instantly become fans (refer to #2 if you're unsure how this is a good thing).
- It Doesn't count until it's FBO
Unless something is FBO, Facebook Official, it doesn't really count. So if you're not on Facebook, you don't exist!
Seriously, what are you still waiting for? We know we're a pretty fun bunch, but get out of here - go market yourself on Facebook!