While most company owners are being told that having a Facebook business page is important, many are still not clear about why. This is actually dangerous for the business owner, who may start a page because it is expected, put the blue “F” on his website, and then not have a clue about what to do next. Here are my four reasons, with some explanations:
Impression and branding. While companies spend a lot of time polishing their images and using various branding techniques, Facebook business pages provide a more granular branding strategy. On Facebook, the company’s brand is not only defined by the company, but also by the fans of the page. The comments, questions and even the complaints of the page’s audience reveal a lot about what people think of the company. However, how the company responds to them often says even more. Companies must understand that this is an environment where they may not control the conversation, but can definitely steer it in the right direction. Companies that pay attention to how their fans are interacting with the page, acknowledge that interaction, and then tailor their content and responses accordingly will see a better result. These data can also be used by other departments within the company (sales, customer service, product development, etc.) to further shape and grow the business.
Related Class: 7 Elements of Highly Effective Facebook Marketing
Warm leads and referrals. In 2012, comScore released a report that analyzed the impact of social media exposure on several large companies. The results showed that fans of a large retail store were 19 percent more likely to purchase at that store in the four weeks following exposure. Even more impressive is that friends of fans were 27 percent more likely to purchase at the store. In a separate study of four leading retailers, they found that exposed fans spent more than twice as much at these stores, and friends of fans also spent significantly more. The data on friends of fans is significant, as the reach for brands on Facebook increases exposures of fans to friends by 50 to 200 percent.
Customer service. No one wants to hear negative things about their products or services. However, these negatives can almost always be turned into positives when posted on Facebook. If the response is quick, appropriate and solves a problem, the loyalty of your fans may be strengthened. A sincere apology or, better yet, a good solution may spark positive comments that get shared among fans and even friends of fans. Even something as simple as providing a missing instruction booklet or helping someone understand how a specific product can be used more effectively can create the positive feelings a company desires. When fans, themselves, answer questions or help other fans, the page’s worth increases exponentially.
Website traffic/SEO. Many marketers believe that website traffic from Facebook and other social networking sites will soon surpass that from Google. While this is a bold statement, there are studies that confirm that Facebook does generate traffic back to websites. Also, Facebook posts, themselves, are indexed by Google and other search engines. With the right strategies, those posts are conduits back to a company’s website. Facebook managers routinely send Facebook fans and friends of fans to the company website. For example, writing a good profile with a website link, using a Facebook tab with a special website offer, linking to a contest on the website from Facebook or posting an interesting or provocative image with a link to a piece of content or a blog post on the website are just a few ways that savvy business owners are leveraging Facebook pages to generate website traffic.
As the social media field becomes more crowded, these skills are more crucial than ever. It’s not enough to simply post new product announcements on Facebook; marketers need to command attention, craft relevant informational content, and engage in authentic ways. Learn how by enrolling in the Online Marketing Institute's Social Media Marketing Certification today!