This is a much more contentious issue than you may think. Itís all very well building a Facebook page, which is a simple task and can be set up in a couple of hours especially if you mimic your website (you already have most of the text and images), but where do you go then? There are many options – opening the site to the public, making it a closed group. And what do you say once you have a landing page? DO you hold a competition, ask for intelligent feedback?
You can do all of these things, but the first is to try and get ëfriendsí and ëlikesí for the page – in other words make people aware that you have a page otherwise it will be a lonely and painful experience. Facebook digital marketing offers you the chance to advertise your page and/or products. The rates seem quite reasonable and so you think it will be pretty straight forward, especially when you see how finely tuned the advertisement can be regarding setting up your demographic target by country, age, personal likes, etc. Clicking the button to begin the advert, you wait for approval which is usually quick and hey presto, the page likes mount, the number of people reached mounts and you get excited.
You rush to your accounts department and in conjunction with your marketing people analyse the return for this campaign. Not even a blip on the oscilloscope measuring revenue. ìBut why?î I hear you cry. All those people driven to our Facebook page by the thousand and nothing? You soon start to see it isnít that simple. Your first tentative steps may not have cost a fortune but the returns were negligible.
Second mistake (no, I havenít missed one out – be patient): you used the same logic to develop Facebook as your website. They are two different worlds and the expectations of each audience is different.
First mistake: you were told you needed to be on Facebook – it was a make or break presence for your business. The fact remains that although it would be nice to have a Facebook presence, the reality is that it isnít always relevant to all businesses. Not only that but it has a different purpose. I see Facebook as a ëfuní option, more likely relevant to your actual customers than driving business. When people buy from you online, ask them to like you on Facebook – entice them there using a competition, say a discount voucher or the chance to enter a bigger, higher value competition. Maintain a relationship with them on Facebook; if you make it a pleasurable experience they may suggest others go there – itís more akin to a word of mouth thing.
Facebook has a number of other uses, firstly it can be used to assess a job applicant; you may (or not) be surprised at what people are prepared to share on Facebook, it will give you an insight into the person and whether or not they have a character flaw that may end up embarrassing the business at a later stage.
Less Big Brother is using it to create a closed group, say an employee forum or a customer forum where you can hold Q&A sessions, store easily accessible FAQs, and other support related content. These groups can be tightly managed, membership being discretionary with rules about behaviour in order to remain a member. This is where Facebook has its strengths.
It is true that there are a number of businesses that have used Facebook to generate revenue. Before you run down that route costing you marketing effort and cash, make sure your business would work and think of a suitable process for this channel. Remember that these channels can bite back if inappropriately used and it is quite a challenge to fight against a bad reputation once established. There are many marketing companies that can help you make the most of FB advertising, we recommend Clockwork Sales in Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK. You gave your website careful consideration, you must respect all other channels in the same way and donít be gulled into thinking that just because itís simple to set up that it will be of benefit to your business.