In a recent email exchange a potential expressed concern about whether Facebook was ‘right’ for his kind of business.
“…In my line of business I’m not in the retail or store front type business per say”
Do you feel the same way about your business? There’s the belief that Facebook is more suited to a particular type of business than others. And when I look at the type of local businesses that are having success on Facebook, I can see why you may feel that way. However, I’m going to show you how non-traditional businesses can also tap into the power of Facebook marketing.
Traditional Facebook Business Types
In my article 2013 Trends Local Businesses Shouldn’t Miss, I predicted that local businesses were going to join Facebook in droves. I was right. When you log on you will notice a huge number of local businesses have pages. But whats hard to miss is the majority are in retail. The most common business pages are;
- Clothing stores
- Shoe stores
- Hair Salons
- Nail Salons .
Their Facebook strategy is pretty simple; post a picture of a product and hope someone buys. Very simplistic. Many of them rarely go beyond that. But what about businesses that don’t have a product that’s easy to display or who provide services rather than a physical product. Businesses like;
- Insurance agents/agencies
- Construction Companies
You can’t really take a picture of an insurance policy or a sick patient and post it on facebook, can you? No, that wouldn’t work. This may lead many of those “types” of businesses to conclude that Facebook isn’t right for them. Well, Not so fast, my friend.
How Non-Retail Businesses Can Succeed on Facebook
The first thing you must understand is that there are numerous ways to be successful on Facebook. And because a strategy works for one type of business doesn’t mean it will work for another. In fact, the majority of retail businesses are barely scratching the surface when it comes to Facebook strategy, so there is a lot of room to adjust for your type of business. Here are some points;
1. Have the right goals.
You are not looking to generate a sale with a single post. Instead understand that Facebook Success for you means you are in it for the long haul. You are in a marathon not a sprint as the saying goes. Your goals should fall under;
- Increase brand or product awareness
- Build customer loyalty
- Provide customer support
- Improve customer service
- Reduce marketing costs
- Gather customer feedback
These goals are not necessarily something you can get on one page update. They are achieved based on what you do over a period of time.
Social Media Success For Local None-Retail Businesses Mean Having the Right Goals. Tweet this
2. Focus on Adding Value
As a non retail business posting a photo won’t drive sales. So you have to focus on adding value. By adding value you give visitors a reason to interact with your page.
For a Doctor this may be a health tips, for and insurance agents this may be procedural tips, or little known industry facts. The key is that your target market finds it valuable in some way.
Your goal will be to create a relationship and build trust with your audience. That way when they’re in the market for a product or service in your industry, your business is the first one that comes to mind.
Facebook Success for local non-retail businesses means focusing more on adding value than generating a quick sale Tweet This
3. Connect with current clients
There are two ways businesses can increase sales; finding and attracting new customers getting current customers to purchase more quantity or more frequently Many businesses only focus on attracting new customers, but it may be wiser to focus on current customers more. Because they already know and trust you it may be easier to get them to purchase again. In addition, because you already have a relationship they’re more likely to interact with you on Facebook and spread the word about your business. Local Businesses Should Shift the Focus From ‘New’ Customers To ‘Current’ Customers To Achieve Social Media Success
4. Give online Ads a try
Most Bahamian businesses don’t advertise regularly because it’s really expensive to run ads in the newspapers or on radio. Fortunately, Facebook has developed one of the most powerful ad targeting platforms in the world. And its very affordable compared to traditional ads. The downside is that it is deceptively easy to run ads that don’t necessarily get results. For instance Facebook makes it easy for you to run ads to increase page fans, and they make it easy to boost certain posts so those fans can see your post. So basically you can end up paying twice; once to get the fans and then again for your content to reach the same fans…and there’s still no guarantee that they will become a customer.
Resource: Learn more about Facebook Ads For Local Businesses Here
5. Treat it as a business asset
If you’re going to use Facebook for business, I advise you to take it seriously. Don’t just ‘try it out’ because that’s a sure path to failure. So you can do two things;
- Spend time learning the ins and outs of the tool you’re using and how to be effective with it. Most of all realize that its a journey and social media is always changing, so what is the right strategy this year, may not be the right strategy next year.
- Hire someone to help you. whether that is determining the strategy, setting up the page or running ads, get help getting everything up to par, then take it from there.
Have an expert come in set it up just like you would a computer or point of sale system at your business. Let them show you how to use it then you take it over. If you need expert help you can always bring them back in for support. The Bottom line is that as a non-retail business you have to try a little harder. You have to treat your Facebook page like a real business asset, integrate it into your business and invest in making it successful.