Five Ways to Use Facebook to Grow Your Business

Gone are the days when door-to-door, face-to-face lead and customer generation were effective; even television advertisements are losing their stronghold as a profitable marketing tactic. Social media has swept today’s culture by storm, reinventing the way we communicate. From its meager inception, Facebook has developed into, by far, the hallmark of social networking platforms. Initially intended as a means for interaction among college students, the ease with which ideas could be shared via Facebook has paved the road for its success in the world of marketing, since it allows for a synergistic relationship to form between the business and the consumer. If you haven’t yet jumped on board, let’s see how Facebook can be an invaluable tool for your business development.

Customer Interaction
By large, customer interaction is the name of the game on Facebook and the heart of why social networking has developed into such an effective marketing tool. Prior to its rise, advertisements and their targeted audiences were segregated in the sense that the means by which customers’ needs and desires were established differed substantially from the way customers could view these advertisements. Market research from companies could only represent so much of the population and it was difficult to reach niche markets. Today, however, Facebook bridges this gap between your business and the consumer; not only do you both use the same platform to publicize and view advertisements, but customers are now equipped with the most powerful tool yet: direct interaction. By frequently checking your Facebook page, you can receive and immediately assess feedback from your customers, improving upon their critical suggestions or strengthening those areas in which you exhibit exemplary performance. This is crucial to “putting out fires” before possible complaints run rampant. Not only should you maintain a fastidious eye on the page, but address customer activity by replying directly to their posts and frequently submitting valuable updates. Your active involvement will encourage customers and pay off in dividends.

Promotions and Deals
Reciprocity is the key to developing and maintaining a strong, diverse, and ultimately, loyal customer base. Specifically, if you offer incentives to bring in new customers or retain your current clientele, you elevate your chance of generating recurring business. What a better way to offer customer incentives than through your business’s Facebook page? All things equal, a customer will typically favor the competitor who provides him or her with the best deal. Due to the heightened social activity on Facebook, customers frequently scour the business pages for coupons and deals; moreover, it might help you attract those impulsive buyers who are simply browsing pages. Incentives increase the affordability of goods and services since they give customers the sensation of reciprocity and immediate valuation of their investment, even before making the purchase.

Specials
What makes you unique? Showcasing product and/or service specials at your place of business is important for two main reasons; creating allure and establishing identity. The idea of creating allure is very similar to the need to advertise promotions and deals; it shows customers that you’re sacrificing your profit margin so that they can get a better deal. Though a nearly surefire revenue booster, what’s more important is that your customers remember you for something specific. Do you have an awesome service package deal? Post details, what it includes, and price. How about a mouthwatering sandwich that the locals love? Everyone will fall prey to picturesque culinary delight.

Company Information
People on a hunt for information want it to be thorough and want it to be readily accessible. They don’t want to scavenge throughout the cluster of flashy graphics and extraneous information that some websites present. Facebook has identified this need by providing you with a clean interface in which you can post critical information: a mission statement, purpose, locations, hours, contact information, etc. With such a consistent interface, fellow businesses’ pages will appear remarkably similar, so it’s really your content that sells. Though it sounds trite, prospective clientele will often determine who they patronize based on how easily they can find information on a company; address the “low hanging fruit” by providing complete and accurate information and satisfy this basic requirement of customers.

Integration With Other Services
Being such a versatile social networking platform, Facebook integrates smoothly with many other social networking services, allowing you to branch out and attract clientele outside of the Facebook network. By linking your business’s Facebook page to, for instance, Twitter and Foursquare accounts, you can easily establish multiple marketing portals. Send out a message on Twitter with a link to your Facebook page, and encourage those who check in to your place of business on Foursquare to also like your Facebook business profile.

The beauty of Facebook is that you’re effectively a marketing catalyst; you’re not solely responsible for soliciting your business. As a matter of fact, the best marketeers are those devout patrons who have posted praise to your company page and will eagerly share their esteemed view of you with others.