According to marketing maven, Seth Godin, “You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers, and customers into salespeople.” But most small businesses (and many large ones, for that matter) lack the understanding of this concept, let alone how to put a strategy in place to realize it.
In fact, if you look around Facebook, the majority of the 50 million-plus fan pages on that platform are going about it all wrong. Some businesses post as if they were posting to their personal profiles; some post non-stop promotional content (sell, sell, sell) with no redeeming value to their audience; and others lack the ability to engage anyone in a “conversation.”
Remember, we’re talking about SOCIAL media here. That means Facebook is a place to start and develop relationships… not close the deal.
But this is a pretty hard concept for many businesses to embrace. In this age of quick results and instant gratification, “relationship building” both online and offline feels like an investment of far more time than business owners are willing to make.
But when they do – the ROI can be amazing!
The online business directory site, Manta.com regularly polls business owners on all kinds of subjects. And when they ask small business owners about their challenges in social media marketing, Facebook almost always come out on top as highly desired, but incredibly frustrating to have to manage.
So, with that in mind, here are three simple solutions for getting your business set up for profitability using Facebook:
1) Make a plan, and stick to it
Facebook marketing needs to start with setting goals. Actually, all marketing does. If you don’t know what you want to get out of it, how can you possibly determine if you’ve been successful?
Let’s say you want to build your email list. That’s great goal, and one that Facebook can easily help you do. You need three things in place: 1) a way to collect email addresses, 2) incentive to get people to sign up, and 3) a way to get the attention of the people you want to sign up. Now all you need is to make sure to create a pathway from Facebook posts to your email signup page which includes those components. That’s it.
Be consistent, and provide value along the way, and people will join your list.
2) Get a little help to manager the process
There are many social media management platforms out there, and each of them has their strengths and weaknesses. Some enable you to schedule posts, others help you find great content to share, and still others help you create attractive images and other custom content.
Once you’ve got a plan in place (see above), why not leverage one or more of these tools to help mange the process?
3) Don’t overlook advertising
Facebook offers an unparalleled ability to connect with the exact consumers online you want to reach. And when you integrate a consistent flow of promoted (paid for) content alongside your regular organic content, you’ll not only grow your audience, but you will have greater control over who is seeing your message, and when they see it.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that advertising is a cost. It’s an investment. And when you position it in the right place, it can have an outrageously positive ROI.
Now it’s time to put it all to work for you.