As competition gets tougher, small businesses need to find innovative ways to reach more consumers, and one of the most effective innovations is social media marketing. The Information Age, with its smartphone apps and Wi-fi hubs, has enabled today’s consumer to be much more connected as an online community, with nearly 1 in 4 people using social media. Social media platforms have responded (as they pretty much planned to all along) by turning their social environments into the perfect marketing opportunities for businesses. Even with the undeniable marketing value that is evident in social media, we’re still surprised that we come across small businesses who underestimate the utility of the social platform. In fact, we’ve come across businesses that haven’t yet created a Facebook page (gasp!), not to mention profiles on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, etc.
While we could use up this entire blog post just listing all the social media profiles small businesses should be using within their marketing strategy, we’ll start with something simple and easy: Facebook.
The Success of Facebook & Targeted Marketing
Created in 2004, Facebook has become one of the dominant social media services, and one of the first to successfully integrate targeted marketing for business advertising. With over 1 billion users who have willingly shared information about themselves (like their age, location, likes, education, and other status data), a small business that uses Facebook for marketing is all but guaranteed their message will reach their target audience.
7 Ways That Small Businesses Can Use Facebook
Have we convinced you that it’s worthwhile to use Facebook within your small business marketing strategy yet (or at the very least, create a page for your business)? If you’ve been persuaded (or still need a little more incentive), here are 7 practical ways you can use Facebook as a small business marketing tool to reach your target market and increase your profit.
1. Facebook Offers Free Business Advertising
Facebook allows you to create a page for your business at no cost. You can use your account to advertise your business to other Facebook users and gain followers. In turn, your consumers’ friends and followers will be able to see who “likes” your business page. Facebook also has options that allow you to promote certain status updates so that potential consumers will see your brand’s message more visibly and regularly.
2. Reach New Target Audience Demographics
Social media is used by a variety of people, from different locations, age ranges, professions, etc. Facebook’s business advertisers have access to numerous filters that narrow down their ad’s audience to exactly their target market. If you find that your target market changes, or wish to focus on a different group for another type of product or service, Facebook gives you the ability to reach out to different demographics. You can also use it to get your information out to niche markets that would not otherwise find your business through more mainstream avenues such as television and print media.
3. Get Feedback
Think of Facebook as a tool to foster communication with your customers and potential consumers. Consumers often praise or complain about a business to their family and friends by using social media. Comments posted to your status updates can help you see what people like or don’t like about your product or service. Due to the relative anonymity of the Internet, more people are willing to give their honest opinions online than they would in face-to-face communication. For these reasons, it’s good to ask for feedback frequently.
4. Post Updates
Foster consumer engagement by regularly updating your business Facebook page. People enjoy being the first to know about new products. Best of all, they will likely share the information with their Facebook friends, resulting in your audience expanding and more traffic being directed to your page.
5. Offer Exclusive Deals
Show how you value consumer loyalty with offering exclusive Facebook-only deals to your followers. This can be in the form of code discounts of online orders or reward points.
6. Build Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty is established when consumers view a business’ product or service as more valuable than its competition. Facebook allows you to establish rapport with your consumers with frequent conversation, interaction on your page and consumers’ pages, and noninvasive advertising.
7. Gauge Where The Market Is Headed
You can keep track of the latest trends in the market and advertising simply by maintaining a Facebook account. Chances are that your competitors also have a presence on social media, and are blithely posting away their latest news and launching their own ad campaigns. With Facebook’s analytic feature, you can observe what works and what doesn’t work (as well as see what your competitors are up to!) for reaching your target market on Facebook.
Start Using Facebook Within Your Small Business’ Marketing Strategy!
These seven reasons are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of using Facebook marketing for engaging your consumers and build your small business. Hopefully you’ve been inspired to create and maintain a Facebook page, and develop a marketing campaign using Facebook’s targeted ad service. If this is sounding overwhelming to you but you’d still like to utilize the benefits of social media marketing, never fear! We’re social media marketing experts at Thrive, so just contact us and we’ll help create a custom marketing plan for your business on Facebook!
And of course, if you have any great ideas or insights into Facebook marketing, we’d love to hear from you, so don’t hesitate to comment below!