My favorite conversation with business owners today is whether or not they believe in the power of Facebook to grow their business. There are over 1.5 billion (yes, with a b) people on Facebook today and over 1.3 billion people accessing Facebook from their mobile devices. Research shows that almost one billion people look at Facebook EVERYDAY.
One more time, I promise that Facebook can help grow your business.
The typical answer I get next is “we are B2B” or “we are a service business” or “our clients are older or very conservative.” Well, I’m here to tell you that these are the fastest growing marketing demographics on Facebook, believe it or not. People use Facebook today to not only see what their friends, family and colleagues are up to, but for most of us it has also become a personally curated news feed. For example, I follow and learn something from the NY Times, Hubspot, Nike and MindBodyGreen on Facebook everyday, and so do millions of other followers. We have grown to trust and use Facebook (and other social media) for new information on a daily basis. Businesses, big and small have the ability to join this conversation and make money – lots of money – from it.
While my advice to each business greatly depends on your type of business, industry and target client, there is a fairly easy way to explain why it will help you grow your business. If you have something valuable to offer or important to say, there is someone that wants to learn more about it. I see advertisements and Facebook stream posts all the time that help me on a daily basis. Whether it is a new marketing trend (service) or a pair of boots that I just have to have (product), I constantly see things on social that I “like” or “share” or “follow.” This is because the companies that are in my feeds have profiled me, and through the power of Facebook advertising they know who I am, where I live, what I do and what I like. Call it creepy, but it is the way of the web. NOTHING you do today on the internet is secret. There are hundreds of millions of dollars being spent today to create technology that curates content based on what you search for, follow, do for a living and buy.
Now, back what you need to do to make it grow your business. First we have to create a plan. Results can only be measured if we have a strategy, with goals and metrics to measure marketing ROI. Facebook is like the best party, convention, meeting or client dinner you could ever be at. This is your chance to create a plan to capture what is so great about your business and then we have to figure out how to talk about it to your target client. Like the best sales person you have ever had, we need to build the most persuasive, fun, informational person in the room. It is what we say, it is how we say it, it is when we say it and, of course, it is who we say it to.
Once we define the target and create what we are going to say (i.e. content strategy), we then implement the tools and plan to get these visitors to your website to buy, sign up for a consultation, call for an estimate, setup a meeting, join your email database, or whatever you call a success or sale.
I believe Facebook is the easiest place to start because it is the biggest. Much like fishing, the bigger the pond, the easier it is for us to catch something. That said, all forms of social media can provide significant, tangible, measurable revenue growth and Facebook is just the start.
Photo credit: Flickr user Esther Vargas. Used with permission through Creative Commons.