Why Are You On Facebook?
Okay I have a Facebook Page for my Business…Now What am I supposed to do with it? For a lot of small businesses just getting “into” Facebook to market their business this is a real question. First question I would ask you is: Why are you on Facebook anyway? The answer I get from a lot of our small business clients is:
- My competition is there I guess I need a page too
- Somebody said I should have a page
- I read an article in a trade journal about how businesses are using Facebook
- Went to a seminar about social media
BUT…you still didn’t answer my question: Why are YOU on Facebook? Or perhaps a better question is: What do you want to accomplish with a Facebook Page for your business?
This is the question that stumps a lot of “newbies” because they haven’t taken the time to decide exactly what they want their Facebook Page to accomplish and how it will be integrated into their overall marketing plan. What? you don’t have a marketing plan? Give us a call!
The “mechanics” of setting up a Facebook Page for your business are pretty straightforward and there are a lot of great “how-to” guides out there that will walk you through the process. If you were at one of recent Facebook for Business seminars around the area we spent a lot of time going over the process of making sure your profile was right (creating friend lists, creating categories, and setting up privacy) and the steps to get your Facebook Page created to get started. If you were at the workshop you received our power point handout as a guide and of course you should download Christi Wharton’s free eBook Facebook 101 for Business from Wharton Marketing. If you haven’t downloaded this great “how to” guide from Christi do so NOW!
Now, before you publish your page or start inviting people to “like” you…create some goals for your page. What do you hope that the time and effort you are going to invest in this social media site is going to return to your business?
If you just throw a page up and hope for the best you are probably wasting yours (and more importantly) your Fans time. Number one HERB RULE TO FACEBOOK MARKETING: NEVER, EVER FORGET WHY PEOPLE FAN PAGES!
What Users Want from Facebook Pages
I have mentioned this study by Exact Target several times in the past and it bears repeating again before you set goals. Facebook users “like” business pages because:
- They want discounts and promotions
- They want freebies (coupons and samples)
- They want advanced notice of coming sales and events
- They want exclusive information that is important to them
- They want to be entertained
Bottom line they want something NON-FANS don’t get if you want them to fan your page and stay engaged. So as you think through goals keep in mind WHY people fan pages in the first place.
In our recent series of seminars Christi Wharton with Wharton Marketing suggested these possible goals:
Goals for Your Facebook Page
- Generate Potential Sales & Revenues – sure after all that is the whole reason we are in business to make our cash registers ring! And certainly your fans will expect you to tell them about your products or services but… you can’t make your Facebook Page nothing more than another advertising platforms.
- Most obvious goal for most of our small business friends but also the most challenging since spamy “BUY MY JUNK!” posts are the fastest way to lose fans. They didn’t join Facebook so you could throw advertisements at them
- You can use it to build revenues but you have to approach it differently than you do in traditional advertising mediums.
- Spread Brand Awareness – Make your business log o or brand standout with your fans.
- No matter how small a business, you have a brand or “image” that you want people to associate with you. Facebook is a great tool to help you get your brand and logo out in front of a lot of potential customers especially when your posts are shared by your fans.
- Make sure the photo on your page is your logo…not dancing kittens. (unless of course your business is to teach kittens to dance)
- Update clients, fans on News Events or Promotions – Keep your fans aware of what’s going on
- Finding content to share that your fans will find helpful, informative and basically make their lives better. Sharing articles or videos that are related to your business in some way that you give.
- Always try to make your fans aware that you are giving them special information that is for fans only…Make your fans realize that they are getting something SPECIAL no one else is getting BECAUSE they are your fans. We all like to feel part of a special club.
- Build Relationships – Make yourself a “real” person not just a business.
- Meeting potential customers through your Facebook page and establishing a relationship that will make them think of you and your business.
- Always remember people want to do business with other people NOT organizations. And more importantly I want to do business with people I trust
- Provide Customer Service – Help me solve a problem or answer a question that they have.
- Believe it or not social media sites like Facebook pages can be a great way not just to build relationships but to actually provide assistance to customers. If a fan has a question about your business or products/services or has a problem helping them on-line can be a great way to show other fans that they can ask questions on your page and get answers.
- Build & Sustain Credibility – Facebook pages are great ways build trust for your business product or service and you. Most consumers do not trust what they read from business websites or advertisements so building credibility among fans can really make you stand out from the crowd.
- By building relationships and helping fans I trust you and that again makes you more credible to potential customers
- To GIVE AWAY something of value to Fans and Fans ONLY! When you “like” the ASU SBTDC Facebook page you get access to $600 worth of on-line seminars totally FREE! If you aren’t a Fan you pay $30 per seminar so there is a monetary value to being a fan. We also give fans discounts for on-site workshops to Fans and, if it is a limited seating seminar we tell our fans about the seminar 48 hours BEFORE the general public. AND WE MAKE SURE FANS KNOW THEY ARE GETTING SOMETHING SPECIAL THAT NON-FANS DO NOT GET!
- Give valuable content for fans, news, articles, videos, etc. that will help our fans with their businesses. We post our ASU Small Business Blog articles to our Facebook page on topics about small business marketing, finance and management as well as sharing other articles we find that we think our fans could use.
- To monetize our Page! To make money…So we do tell fans about our workshops, how to register and put money in my cash register. If I am not making revenues from my page… or getting people to contact our consultants for free assistance then I should spend my time somewhere else.
What should you take away from this article? Before you launch your Facebook page decide on realistic goals that you want to accomplish with your page, especially as it relates to your overall marketing plan. Setting goals keeps you focused as you are growing your page, helps you decide what types of content to post, how to engage your fans AND what you want your fans to do that promotes the business.
Need help with your Facebook marketing?
Setting goals or finding the right content to share? Contact the Arkansas State University Small Business and Technology Development Center and ask about our free, confidential, professional consulting assistance or make plans to attend our coming small business marketing seminars.
In Northeast or North-Central Arkansas? Visit our ASU SBTDC website to learn more, call the ASU SBTDC at (870) 972-3517 to make an appointment with Laura Miller or Robert Bahn, our consultants. To find coming seminars go to our ASU Small Business Workshop calendar.
In Arkansas but outside of our territory? See the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center website to find an office near you.
Outside of Arkansas, visit our national association website to find SBDCs in your area or leave me a comment and we will help you locate your nearest office.