Facebook for business is becoming less and less attractive with the organic reach of fan page's being regularly chopped down. There is, however, still potential to be found in using Facebook for business.
Facebook for businesses remains a viable channel to attract and engage with target audiences for the simple fact that it is still where they participate. Wherever your potential customers are, your business should follow.
There is a common misconception between a Facebook personal profile and a Facebook business page (or fan page). They can both be set up independently of each other and have some key differences worth noting, including:
- Connectivity: A personal profile is a closed channel, where you have to be have a friend request accepted in order to open up the mutual communication channel. A Facebook page is openly indexed and can be accessed by anyone that comes across it.
- Accessibility: A personal profile can join and engage in Facebook groups – communities where a lot of value can be realised with established clusters of like-minded people – whereas a Facebook page cannot.
Using one resource in isolation obviously limits the scope of any Facebook marketing campaign. The answer – when using Facebook for Business, use both resources to complement each other and create a well-rounded and visible Facebook presence.
There are some important things to consider when using Facebook for business purposes. Being in the public eye on a domain that people mainly use for personal networking can actually have a negative effect on corporate efforts, if campaigns are undertaken naively.
Below are 3 Do's and 3 Don'ts when leveraging Facebook for business.
- Access: If you hire someone to help you setup and establish your Facebook business presence, make sure you maintain ownership and don't 'hand over the keys' without a backup plan. You will be surprised how many employees or vendors who set up pages then move on without providing access, leaving you in a sticky situation.
- Buy Likes: Buying Facebook likes is a waste of time. Those that have bought likes will find that the numbers are meaningless - your profile might have that huge 50,000 number next to it, but all the profiles will be fake. Fake accounts can't engage with you, share your posts or become customers. What's more is that because Facebook shares your page updates with your fans based on engagement levels, having a higher number of people who don't engage means the visibility of your posts will actually decrease.
- Posting too frequently: Social media etiquette would suggest that marketing to people on a domain they use for personal networking is a hard thing to balance correctly. It is acceptable to post a few times each day, with relevant updates to your audience when using Facebook for business marketing. Over-posting will quickly lead to people severing their connections with you. Don't drive potential customers away by flooding their update streams with promotional material.
Tip: When using Facebook for business campaigns, set up an 'alternative' Facebook profile and have that profile assigned as a page manager. That way, you will always be able to access the business page through this additional profile.
- Be valuable: There's nothing better for attracting traffic and converting fans to customers then by offering irresistible value. Value is something that your audience can realise and benefit from in real life. It is something that matters to them and something they will stop and take notice of. Think about how you can present this value to your audience. When using Facebook for business, the uninspiring all-text promotional post has simply become obsolete to your tech-savvy user base.
- Be consistent: The best Facebook campaigns are consistent in the valuable content they deliver, as well as when it's delivered and how often. Your target audience probably has some sort of stereotypical pattern or routine in how they use the social network and what they respond to the most. Use this data to form a routine for continuity. People like it when they know what to expect.
- Have purpose: Too many businesses simply use Facebook because others do. This is not strategic and not purposeful. If your primary social media marketing strategy objective is to deliver exceptional customer service, then your Facebook campaigns will be based around responsiveness and problem solving. Your actions should differ immensely if the primary objective is to build an email list for your direct response marketing campaign. Always be focused on why you are using this channel for marketing and how best you can leverage the domain to meet your objectives.
When these few Do's and Don'ts are followed effectively, the whole Facebook campaign can come together and deliver strong performance.
Take a look at your Facebook insights and campaign frameworks – if you realise that they are under performing due to being guilty of one or more of these elements, then take some time to adjust accordingly.
You may find that your campaign quickly improves on key metrics and starts fulfilling its business purpose.
Are you guilty of any of these Do's or Don'ts when using Facebook for business purposes?