Here’s the most important thing that needs to be known about Facebook advertising as a means of helping a business succeed. It is going to take time. To build a successful following on the site of REAL customers and interested users, work needs to be done over time and it will be a time investment.
You say you do not have time?
Do you plan to keep your business operational for the next few months, how about the next few years? If the answer is yes, then you have the time to make it work for you. Facebook is not going anywhere.
But, you don’t have time right now to put into it?
That’s another key benefit of Facebook. You can allow this process to take time without demanding a lot of ongoing investment of your time right now. In other words, you do not have to put a lot of hard time into building your Facebook profile right now. You do have the time if you have just a few minutes each day to make it work.
Yes, minutes. It does not take hours a day to build a Facebook following that can rival the celebrities and big name sports stars out there. In fact, putting more time into it is not necessarily going to help you to make this work faster. Here’s the goal:
- In other words, you need to go where your customers are.
- You need to interact with your customers in a meaningful way.
- You can to provide information and resources to your customers so they stick around and click on your links.
- You need to do this consistently.
- You need to interact with your customers consistently as well.
Keeping that in mind, you may be wondering where to start. As a small business owner your goal, is to start by creating a page.
You are likely experienced enough to know how to set up a Facebook account and to respond to all of the initial setup information. You’ll need to fill in a profile. Don’t worry about keywords here. Rather, make it specific to your organization. Provide details to those real people who will read your profile so they know:
- Who you are
- Where you are
- What you have to offer
- Why what you have to offer is the best
- How to interact with you
- Why to do so
Think about these things as you get started. Put some effort into doing this well and it will pay off for you.
Pages, Profiles, and Groups
One of the first steps to avoid getting overwhelmed with, though, is the proper use of Facebook for a small business. It used to be that businesses could not have Facebook profiles. These were meant for individuals and unless you, as an individual, were a business, that made it hard for you to connect your business with these professionals.
Things have changed. Most businesses will benefit from having a Facebook Page. This differs from a Facebook Profile. Profiles are meant for individuals and those individuals will connect to your page from their profiles. Confused yet? In short, you just need to realize you need a Facebook Page rather than a profile.
What about Groups? Facebook Groups are another type of entity to themselves. However, you should not out rule using them at some time in the future. They may work very well for you, in fact. Groups are subsets of profile users. For example, individuals who belong in the same industry may join groups to help support each other.
Let’s say you are a real estate agent, for example. You may find a Facebook group that is all about real estate marketing, licensure, etc. in your state. This is a networking opportunity. You can join groups as a way to network, but this is not a place to advertise your business.
However, you can join groups to connect with others that may be in your industry, or who may want to know about your business. For example, if you are selling a product for work at home moms, and you are a mom, joining such Facebook groups where work at home moms come together can help you to open the door to new followers of your site. If you are using the groups like this, though, you need to do so slyly. Most groups have rules against selling or advertising and doing so could get you booted from the group.
In short, if you join groups, be active in them. Avoid putting too much time and effort into the wrong groups. These can weigh on your time investment and may not pay off in all industries.
Your goal should be to create a Facebook page for your business. As mentioned, creating it is easy enough to do with the on-site tools and methods available. If you want something that’s truly impressive to visitors, it may be a good idea to contact your favorite marketer to ask him or her to do the Facebook page for your business.
What do pages allow you to do? They allow you to collect “fans” of your business or product. When people “LIKE” your business page, they will then get posts on it in their News Feed about what your business is up to.
- You post something on your Facebook Page wall.
- Those who have “liked” your Facebook Page get to see that without you doing anything or the individual doing anything – it appears right on their newsfeed.
- They can interact with you by posting comments or concerns about what you’ve posted right on the comments.
- They can choose to share what you’ve posted with others on their wall. If they do this, all of their friends will get to see what you posted as well. (HINT- That’s Important!)
According to some reports, Facebook now has more than 1.4 million Facebook Pages set up. These pages collect more than 10 million fans each and every day! Your business can sink its teeth into those hardcore numbers.
Do You Need a Website?
Even as you just get started in this process, it is important to realize that you do still need a website. While a Facebook page is a good place to build recognition and gain brand awareness, there is no doubt that you need to maintain a website so that people can get further information, make a purchase, sign up for your newsletter or take the other action you want that person to take.
You can and should link your Facebook page to your website and your website to your Facebook page. In either case, the visitor will want to get to know more about your business and will click through to your website or Like you on Facebook if you allow them to do so.
Getting the Foundation Set
Now that you know how to set up a Facebook Page for your business, you need to start thinking about what you will do with this account. That’s a loaded question. You can use your account for a variety of reasons, but what you need to do first is to decide what your marketing goals are. That way, going forward, you can make the right decisions about your business Facebook Page.
Ask these questions:
- What is the basic goal or objective you would like to achieve with the use of a Facebook Page?
- Are you aiming to drive people into your physical location or to drive them to a website?
- Do you want to use this tool as a sole means of building brand awareness?
- How does this fit into your overall marketing campaign and advertising plans?
- Are you doing this to grow a list or otherwise to establish yourself as a guru in your industry?
Asking these questions can help you to better use your time once you do log into Facebook to begin using it to market your business. Here’s why that’s so important.
It is very easy for individuals to be carried away with what’s happening on the site and to lose track of their focus. It is easy to waste time and money on Facebook by losing track of your focus. That’s something you need to avoid from the start.
As a business, you do not have time to waste. You should create a business marketing plan for this social media site and then stick with it. Once you know what your objectives are, you can begin tailoring every single post you make to those goals.
Making It Real
There’s one more essential element of being successful with Facebook Pages for businesses. You have to make it personal and real. In other words, you need to devote as much to this page, as you would your storefront.
Here are some ideas to help you with the planning and execution of your page to make it realistic.
- Use photos to bring color and activity to the page. Though you could create a graphic design, you’ll get a better response on Facebook from photos that show you, a real person, or something else that’s tangible to your business, such as a storefront view of your physical
- Do create a positive atmosphere. Every element of your page should be upbeat rather than a drag. Rather than trying to convince people are you are not like the other guy who does everything under the sun wrong, just be the good guy with plenty of positive things to say and to
- If you do not want to invest a lot of money in a custom designed Facebook page, especially if you are just starting out, don’t. The benefits here may not be significant enough to immediately make a difference.
Every element of this page should be related to your campaign goals. In other words, keep your messages even. Be sure that every component comes back to what your business’s goals are. That way, people know exactly what they get when they work with you.