Not having your business on Facebook is like saying you don’t need customers. It simply makes no sense.
Facebook is an absolute game changer for small businesses. It essentially levels the playing field, allowing small businesses to compete in ways only big companies were able to in the past.
However, just showing up on facebook, throwing up any generic page and say, “hey like us” won’t get you the benefit.
But that is exactly what I see alot of Bahamian businesses do.
But not you. You read gsb so you know better or at least you will in a few minutes.
Here’s 5 things to consider before putting your business on Facebook;
Ok, I know your goal is to increase sales and profit. That’s probably everyone’s overall goal right?
But how do you go about that? Do you want to;
- Increase awareness
- Improve Customer Service
- Get customer feedback
- Offer customer support?
All of these can help increase sales but depending on which is your goal, your tactics might be slightly different.
In addition, having clear goals means you can measure whether your social media efforts are working or not. Too many business start “doing social media” with only a vague idea of what they want to accomplish.
Then they get frustrated and quit because it’s not working the way they thought it would. Worst still, is they don’t know how or where they need to make an adjustment.
Ensure you have specific, measurable, achievable realistic and time sensitive goals before joining social media.
Knowing your target audience is very important. It will determine how you interact with them and how you post content to your page.
30 -45 year old, married mothers will have different interests and needs than say, 20 – 25 year old, single females with no children. Targeting the right audience could have a great impact on your bottom line.
The Bahamas is a relatively small market so the tendency is to want to target everyone. This is a mistake. Some people are simply not going to need or be interested in your product.
By figuring out your core audience and focusing on them you will get better results than if you try to cater to everyone.
The saying “the surest way to fail is to try to please everyone” is really true.
This is often overlooked simply because most business owners don’t consider it. It’s almost like they fail to realize that it’s called social media for a reason.
You have to know how you are going to be social; meaning how you’re going to engage with your audience. Engagement is at the heart of social media.
Many local businesses join Facebook and treat it just like the radio or newspaper; they start broadcasting.
We’re open from 9 to 5, We’re located at x street, We have new stock, SALE, everything must go etc.
The above updates are all about the business and they’re all one way communications. They don’t invited a conversation.
To engage, you have to be interested in what your audience has to say and you have to seek out their opinions to help them to participate.
Remember social media is about relationships. Conversation drives relationships.
Another key question. Who will be responsible for showing up and managing the page each day.
- Who will come up with stuff to post
- Who will decide when and how often to post
- Who will be responsible for monitoring the page
- Who Will respond to customer queries or negative feed back
These are very important questions. One of the key areas I see businesses falling down is in consistency. In order to establish the kind of community that can have a massive impact on your business, you need to be consistent.
Consistency comes from having a plan and ensuring someone is responsible for carrying it out.
Getting help is something you should seriously consider if you;
- Are not sure how to use Facebook for business
- Do not have the time to learn how to use Facebook effectively to promote your business
- Do not want to spend a lot of time updating your fan page
- Want to focus on your core business
- Are not getting the results you’d like
As a business owner you’re probably more focused on your business and probably don’t want to learn how to use a new platform. It would be a good idea to outsource this function to someone who already has an idea of the best way to get results using Facebook.
But if you hire someone, make sure that you’re both clear on the benefits that you want and that there is a way to measure the impact of their services.
I believe if you consider these 5 points before deciding to put your business on a social media network, you are much more likely to succeed.