The move to social media for business is going full speed. While most large businesses are still locked into old school strategies, many have added social platforms to their business plan.
Small Businesses Must, And Many Are, Moving To The New Media.
To Ignore Social Media In Your Business Is Tantamount To Leaving Your Business Sign Unlit So Customers Can’t Find You.
A bold statement, but one worth considering.
Imagine that your best customer is looking for proof that your business can meet their need. That your business can solve their problem.
If you are not on Facebook, and your best customer is there looking for you, you’ll never know what you missed.
The Sign Analogy Is Similar
Your best customer is driving by. They’re considering the product or service you provide. They drive right past because they never saw your unlit sign.
Your best buyer is doing business with your competitor only because they don’t know you exist.
Businesses spend thousands of dollars on a sign to tell customers they’re open.
Why would a business not want the cyber customer to have the same information?
The Image Of Facebook
Many business people have wrongly decided that Facebook is for kids. Some might acknowledge that adults will use it, but only to stay in touch with family. Others only use it to take pictures of dinner. Others see the abuses that will incur from time to time and refuse to be apart of it.
No longer the case
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. According to Statista, in just the United States, the 2016 number places users at 156 million. That is nearly one in two people using Facebook.
It is a favorite advertising platform among advertisers. A look at any news feed will find major brands reaching out to Facebook fans.
The targeting data that Facebook has a massed, can place your ad in front of your best customer.
There are any number of examples. I’ll try a couple.
Your business is a Spa and Salon in Dominion Square, Peoria, Illinois.
Using Facebook to reach your best customers, you decide to run a targeted Facebook ad.
- Facebook tells you there are 60,000 people within five miles of your business.
- Target women between 21 and 55 years of age and Facebook tells you there are 26,000 users on Facebook everyday.
- A $5 daily ad spend will reach from 450 to 1,200 of those 26,000 users each day.
- If you are asking what $2 a day ad buys, the reach falls to, 260 to 670 users.
- Increasing the spend to $25 did not raise the probable reach.
This example is only a basic campaign. The targeting can be better with a little tweaking inside Facebook advertising.
Facebook Works For Business
Don’t take my word for it. Wordstream wrote a long piece answering the question. Do Facebook ads work?
The next example:
I like to cite your best customer looking to see if you have the lights on. Remember how we started the article?
A dentist in the same area as the Spa and Salon in our Peoria example above, does not think of Facebook as a valid place to spend time or money. The dentist has no Facebook page.
The dentist does some advertising. The use of mailer inserts is the choice. A customer with a toothache sees the mailer. As a Facebook user, the potential patient checks Facebook for the dentist’s page to get a feel for the practice.
Our potential patient finds nothing and determines the practice is not popular. Before moving on, the patient tries one more thing.
Our suffering customer Googles the dentist’s name. They find a list of dentists and note that one has a Facebook page ranking in the Google search.
The patient clicks on the link and discovers a wonderful dentist to solve the problem with the sore tooth.
There is a possibility that could actually be worse.
What if our patient found a Facebook page for our dentist in Dominion Square? What if the last post was six months ago? What if the total number of Facebook posts to the dentist’s Facebook page were only a handful? What if there was little or no information about the practice, the dentist, or customer comments?
Our potential customer would not only look elsewhere, but would likely talk about finding a less than reputable dentist’s page on Facebook. Sharing that information in posts to friends and family would actually damage the practice.
Social media is a tool that business must embrace to be competitive.
Those Not Using Social Media Are Rapidly Losing Business.
A wonderful point about platforms like Facebook. Even the smallest player, in any market, can appear to be an industry leader.
A well run social media platform can project an image that every business owner would welcome.
If the employees of that business follow through with quality service and meeting customer needs, they will soon be that leader.
Word of Caution
Not all platforms are for all businesses. To use one or two platforms is good. To attempt to be all things to all people in using social media usually ends with a mediocre presence at best.
Excel in one or two. Facebook being the largest is also likely to be the best option for most companies.
Instagram and Pinterest are photo based. When attempting to display a profile of products, either may help.
Those marketing to business may find a home with Linkedin.
Twitter is a platform for short messages where ads are an option. If your best customers are on twitter, it may be a good choice.
Snapchat has many older platforms worried. They can’t figure out where it’s headed. The right business with a target market of millennial’s may find this platform to be pure gold.
YouTube is a social media platform. I donate an entire section of my website to the value of video. Small business, with the proper strategy, can find incredible growth with YouTube.
Business videos are not the ‘cute kitty’ video that finds viral traffic with views in the hundreds of thousands. That is a separate market with no connection to small business.
I out line my strategy on my website. You can read it here. Many small businesses have had tremendous growth using video. It is possible to achieve evergreen exposure on a limited budget.
Even the large advertisers have moved into social media. There is room for everybody. Doing it right is vital. Small businesses best customers are using social media.
Growing small business needs to include social media. Authority for your company or brand is enhanced when you have a positive presence.