This article is part of a 3-part series on Facebook marketing.
Clients often ask us which social media platforms they should be on, along with many comments about Facebook and its effectiveness. When it comes down to it, each platform has a different target audience and can be more or less effective depending on your industry and the type of business you run. But one thing is universal – companies that steer clear of social media – and Facebook in particular – are only hurting their branding and their bottom line.
These days, pretty much every Canadian consumer is using social media platforms such as Facebook, and potential clients who can’t find you online may simply turn to your competitor.
According to social media firm SocialBakers, the number of companies with Facebook pages grew from 60% to 80% from January 2013 to March 2015. Facebook itself tells us that in September 2015, it had on average:
• 1.01 billion daily active users
• 894 million mobile daily active users
• 1.55 billion monthly active users
• 1.39 billion mobile monthly active users
So who’s on Facebook, anyway?
Contrary to what many business owners think, Facebook is not just a social-sharing platform for bored teenagers. In fact, the majority of today’s Facebook users are older millennials (30 years plus), as well as some Baby Boomers and retirees. As one of the Internet’s oldest platforms stating up in 2007, it was popular instantly with those who were most socially active back then, and since that time, older generations have created profiles as well. So why does this matter? Well, these older, established adults are particularly the target market with both time AND disposable income to spend online with you and your business.
How do I use Facebook for business?
Because of Facebook’s ability to limit personal profiles, we often have clients ask us how it can be used for business purposes rather than just a place to share updates with their friends and family.
There are a few effective ways to use Facebook to promote your business:
- Leverage Personal Connections: Not everyone feels comfortable doing this, but using the close connections your personal page has already built over time is a sure fire way to get started promoting your business. New business owners are often told in their start-up phase to approach their existing connections first, and social media is no different. It takes time to build trust and relationships, so it makes sense to use the database of potential customers you’ve built up organically first. It may feel awkward at first but trust us, it will pay off and gets much easier with time!
- Create a Facebook Business Page: Creating a Facebook Page (not a Group) has many benefits, such as separating your personal brand from your professional brand, and tying the two together through cross promotion (e.g. announcing your new business, asking people to Like your Page and sharing updates). In addition, you can start running paid online ads with your Page in an effort to spread the word about your business beyond your personal connections. TIP: Be sure to include all the basic info about your company as well as your branding, values and what sets you apart.
- Running Paid Ads: As we mentioned in point #2, you can run ads to increase your potential customer base. Facebook has a variety of ads to choose from, depending on your goal (e.g. buy a ticket, attend an event, visit your website), and their budget options have become much more flexible over the years, allowing you to target your market effectively without spending too much of your budget.
The only true way to really find your voice on Facebook is to go ahead and do it, but your best learning comes from the success of others. Follow pages you enjoy, take the time to see how they’re engaging, and the rest will follow.
Visit our blog again next week for more information on what to post on your Facebook Page.
MKT Communications is a full service, integrated marketing firm providing marketing and communications strategy, consultation and all online marketing services calgary. Operating out of Calgary, AB, we have a proven track record of providing successful online marketing for clients in a variety of industries.