The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Friday Guest Blog: Three Steps To Improve Facebook Marketing For Business

By Hakeem Adebiyi, Director of Hands Associates

There is a great buzz about Facebook for keeping in touch with friends, but most local businesses have a healthy level of scepticism when it comes to using it as a marketing tool. I say healthy because lots of local businesses try and fail to make any money with Facebook. Don't worry though, it's too early to panic just yet. This article will help you understand how to use a Facebook campaign to attract customers to your business. Firstly I want to dispel a few myths about Facebook which hold people back from using it to market their business

Facebook is just for kids

According to the research, the average Facebook user is a 25 year-old woman, living in a big city, with a college degree and a household income of more than $75k a year. There has been a huge increase in 30+ and 55+ year old people joining and participating. According to another survey conducted by Pingdom, 61% of FB users are over 35 years old so make sure that you communicate with your target the right way. Whatever research you look at it's obvious that it's not just for kids

No one makes any money from Facebook - here's a couple of examples which blow that myth right out of the water

a) The English Cheesecake company - 30% of new customers come through Facebook
b) Tough Mudder - 24x increase in sales in just two years, with Facebook being the primary advertising and engagement channel

Facebook isn't as flexible as a website

You can actually replicate a website in Facebook if you want that individual feel and the number of apps/tabs etc can really give you that competitive advantage if you know what you are doing.
I could go on but I think you can see that most of the naysayers don't like Facebook because they don't understand it. So that you don't become one of them, let me give you 3 simple tips which will make your page explode with activity and hence opportunities for you to sell your products or services.

1. Interact regularly

You need to post 3 -5 times a day so that you are in touch with your fans. You should be taking note when people make posts on your Facebook page. The public can offer many great ideas. Your fans are the reason you are successful.

2. Vary up your posts

E.g. contests, quizzes, coupons, information. Make sure the post is engaging and use lots of pictures with calls to actions, pictures get shares and go viral much quicker than long paragraphs of text

3. Increase your edge rank 

Edge Rank is an algorithm developed by Facebook to govern what is displayed - and how high - on the news feed. In plain English, this effectively means how many people are going to see your post. Since social media is all about exposure if you have a low edge rank then you are going to struggle to get your marketing message out there. Hence it is key to focus on edge rank. How? I hear you ask. This is one of those good news/bad news points
Bad news - there is too much detail to go into in this article
Good news - if you do 1 & 2 you will be well on your way to improving your edge rank.

In short if you know what you are doing with Facebook then you can make a significant ROI. For a local business that may not have a huge marketing budget, Facebook was effectively invented for you.

·         No set up costs
·         No recurring fees
·         You know where the customers are
·         If you build a decent fan base you have an ever attentive customer base

Get your Facebook up to date with the tips you've just read. Getting started immediately means that you will get results quickly. Begin now!

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