In my previous blogs in this series, I offered some tips and best practices to leveraging the power of the most influential social media brand that has the enormous global reach combined with the personal intimacy and immediate engagement - Facebook.
In those discussions, I noted that a Facebook site starts with the business identity, the brand personality. Be sure that your Facebook site reflects the personality, unique character and sustainable value proposition of your business. And, note that if you enter your business as a “brand” or “product” on Facebook, you will be able to enter more detailed information about your company than if you enter it as a “local business”. Once your page is created, add company information and upload an image or logo to use as your profile picture.
Then, once you’ve created and promoted your Facebook business page, consider connecting the virtual with the physical brand identities by sharing news, updates and promotions with your fans, adding Facebook to your business cards and flyers, creating special loyalty offers to Facebook fans through whisper codes, providing exclusive discount codes on Facebook to bring in store and ensuring that all your marketing collateral in-store includes the Facebook logo.
If you engage your fans appropriately, and continue to build your reach, you should be able to reap rich rewards as a B2B or a B2C business. To engage you fans, remember to ask questions, share industry news, create a dialogue with your customers in a timely manner, keep your page current and answer questions and respond to criticism. And, be sure to use Facebook insights to better understand what content your users are engaging with and responding to.
The benefits you can reap by investing a little time and effort into Facebook are significant. Here are a few reasons to be sure to make social media a integral part of your overall marketing strategy:
1. Customer Interaction – Facebook pages provide a forum for dialogue between customers and the brand, giving companies the opportunity to build better relationships with target audiences and current customers.
2. Reputation Management – Facebook allows a company to gain a deeper understanding of how the brand is perceived online – through direct feedback and also by monitoring what users are saying about the brand.
3. New Customer Acquisition – Each time a Facebook user becomes a fan of a Facebook page, a notice is posted as news item for all of that user’s friends to see. This creates an opportunity for a Facebook page to go viral and reach new viewers.
4. Feedback Mechanism – In a service-based sector, like retail or hospitality, customer feedback is vital. Facebook allows users to communicate their experiences directly and give the company the opportunity to respond.
5. Branding – Facebook can be used as a medium for creating brand awareness in addition to a company’s corporate website. It provides brand exposure to a potentially new audience and gives organizations the opportunity to position themselves in new and unique ways.
6. Drive Web Traffic – As a Facebook page grows its fan base, traffic to the company website will increase. Facebook pages also appear in universal search results so your company can be discovered by more and more potential customers!
Of all the available social networking sites, Facebook is arguably the most ubiquitous social networking site in the world, influencing and facilitating millions of decisions about service providers and product purchases. And now both B2B and B2C businesses are finding creative ways to leverage the authority, trust and persuasiveness inherent in this important platform. Follow these easy steps and you can reap all these benefits –and even more!