By Eoin Harmon – bbmm.ie
Facebook, as a whole, is for anyone and everyone. When it comes to growing your business, however, the glory doesn’t have to belong to just the big brands.
It’s easy to assume that the more likes you have, the better your business page is, but it’s also crucial to maximise the audience you do have and find new potential customers.
The varied advertising tools on Facebook allow for multiple approaches and pay rates to suit your business. Alternatively, you can mix up your approach by taking the ‘organic growth’ route, which involves sharing your activities without paying for adspace. Neither method is unanimously the best, but there’s no stopping a business taking both approaches on their social media.
With a substantial number of Irish people connected to the internet, it makes complete sense for any company to operate online. A less reputable business could have the greatest website going, but if they are lagging behind on the likes of Facebook, there won’t be anyone in the forest to hear your tree fall.
In a study conducted by the Irish International Business Network (IIBN), companies in Ireland gave their top five preferred uses of social media.
With a near 90% feedback rating, improving the awareness of the brand was number one on the list. Promoting products and services (74.2%) and increasing consumer enagement (71%) were also popular practices. Participating in two-way conversations with customers finished ahead of increasing sales by more than 20%.
More than one million Irish people are on Facebook (source: GlobalWebIndex), but every company will have a different reach or niche. In order to make full usage of Facebook’s advertising services, it is important to specify your target audience. Fortunately, many search parameters are available by default.
Images are king when it comes to catching people’s attention. Plain text on its own is not always engaging, while a video, regardless of length, may get ignored or saved for later. Facebook users often home in towards pictures of the workplace, brand graphics, finished products and/or members of staff. A more outgoing worker can be a ‘mascot’ of sorts if their picture is uploaded consistently to Facebook – a selling point nobody else can have.
Do ensure that your customers have reasons to give you a high review score – low star ratings will discourage new customers who see your page on an advert. Negative customer feedback on your business page is almost an inevitability, so be sure to reply to constructive criticism whenever possible and learn from it. According to a 2013 infographic from the EightyTwenty Digital Agency, Irish consumers use social media to send praise and to complain in equal measure (15%).
Don’t be afraid to see what your competition are doing on social media, particularly if you are in a specific location. Study their page’s strengths and weaknesses to benefit your own account. Facebook advert search tools can detect fans of competitors and make your business viable to them.
By following these basic tips, businesses of all sizes and fields can begin to forge their own path towards their ideal online identity.