1. Brand Awareness
Social Media is a powerful tool to create awareness for your business. With over 1 billion members on Facebook, your business has a chance to potentially reach a very large target market. Although the potential reach is very large, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be able to reach everyone over night. Business owners may get discouraged, especially ones that are well established offline, because the process of building a good brand awareness strategy on Facebook takes time. Starting a “Page” on Facebook is like starting your brand awareness strategy from scratch. Think of it in terms of the early stages of your business, you will need to build up a community of brand advocates over time with a long-term strategy.
Thousands or even millions of people may be aware of your business offline, but these same people won’t necessarily know that you exist on Facebook. In order to be effective on Facebook you must merge traditional efforts with efforts on Facebook. Let your customers who come into your business know that you are on Facebook. Incentivize them to go and “like” your page. Social media is an important distribution network that needs to be completely integrated into every other form of your marketing strategy. Most importantly, do not be discouraged if your page doesn’t get 1000 “likes” overnight; or even in the first month. Posting consistent content, interacting with customers, and providing value outside of trying to sell will organically establish a community of brand advocates for your business over time.
2. Extraordinary Real-Time Customer Service
Channel Customer Relationship Management(CRM) is perhaps the most important part of running a business. Your customers are the heart and soul of the company because in reality they are the ones buying your products/services and paying the bills. Simply having an awesome product isn’t going to cut it. You need a way to provide customer service in a timely and effective manner. Customers are going to have questions and problems that they are looking to solve immediately.
Facebook is a perfect tool for businesses to answer the questions and solve certain problems their customers may have in real time. When a customer has a problem with your product or service they usually will turn to social media to vent their problems on your wall and to their friends. If these questions or problems are left unanswered you are potentially losing that customer and all of their friends. Facebook allows you as the business owner to guide the conversation by responding to these questions and problems in a timely manner. Facebook is about building and managing relationships with customers through an environment driven by two-way dialogue. Actively engaging your customers on Facebook can transform a bad customer experience into a positive brand advocate for your company.
3. PR Channel
Facebook is a great channel to spread news and content about your business and industry to the public and the press. It is also a great hub to manage public relations in a crisis control situation. Public relations and Facebook go well together because Facebook is a public platform and the core of PR is the management of communications between an organization and the public. Billions of conversations occur on Facebook every single week. Specifically, both positive and negative conversations about businesses occur everyday; whether or not that business even has an actual “Page.”
The only way to spread positive press and manage negative press on Facebook is to actually have a presence online. This is especially important in the instance where negative press goes “viral.” Negative press is always the first to go viral and it can become viral almost instantly on Facebook and other forms of social media. If a certain business doesn’t have a presence on Facebook to respond to the news they will have no way to control the outcome of the situation. Managing PR on Facebook is all about a timely response. Business owners are often afraid to create a presence on Facebook because they are afraid of negative press, posts, or comments. What they should be afraid of is not being able to control the conversations about their business on Facebook because they don’t even have a Facebook “Page.”
4. Converting Paid Media to Earned Media
The difference between paid media and earned media is quite simple. Paid media is any form of advertising that you as the business owner pay for. Earned media is any form of advertising that happens organically. A business’s Facebook “Page” can use both paid and earned media to market themselves. In order to be effective with Facebook, a business must use a combination of both paid and earned media in order to reap the highest potential out of the platform.
Facebook uses an algorithm known as EdgeRank. EdgeRank is the deciding factor as to where your content goes, and to whom it reaches. It was developed by Facebook to limit the amount of spam found in its user’s newsfeeds. It also allows Facebook to utilize its advertising (paid media) platform and be profitable. Facebook has forms of advertising called “Promoted Posts” & “Sponsored Stories” where you as the business owner can choose to promote content to reach a greater target audience. Essentially the more money you pay, the greater the amount of people that will see your content. So why is it worth it to pay all this money for a platform that is free to sign up? That answer is simple. Conversions. When you as the business owner pay to play Facebook’s game, you gain more traction online because your content is reaching more people’s eyes.
Through Facebook’s advertising(paid media) your content is reaching more of your current audience and also new potential customers who may not currently “like” your page. This is extremely important because over 80% of posts are seen through the newsfeed alone. Most of your current fans won’t even return to your actual “Page” to see your posts, so you must rely on that content being seen in the actual newsfeed. The only fans that will return to your actual Facebook “Page” will be your brand advocates. These brand advocates along with fans who organically view your content are the true “earned media” on Facebook. Brand advocates are the earned media of Facebook because they seek out your specific content and are likely to share it among their friends. The most effective way of creating brand advocates is converting the audience that you are paying to reach organic viewers of your content. If the audience you reach finds value in your content they will actively seek you out for more.
1. Brand Awareness