For those of you who are sitting on the fence about marketing a business on Facebook, there is some bad news to digest. Not only is there already a myriad of businesses creating, building and profiting off the social media network, but they are doing so without diverting any crucial resources.
To make matters worse, those operations will be peers and competitors of yours, cashing in on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. While your organisation is spending capital on billboard advertisements, radio spots and magazine listings, thousands of potential customers are scanning Facebook for an alternative.
Facebook marketing does not require any intrinsic expertise or even financial investment to make it a successful venture. The user-friendly platform is specifically designed for any company from any niche on the planet to tap into a community of consumers.
So the short and obvious answer to the headline question is incredibly simple – yes.
Unless your circumstance is so unique that you are looking to abandon sales, downsize or just outright quit the capital game altogether, there is no rational reason not to have a presence.
Still not convinced? Let’s take a more in-depth take on why Facebook has become such a booming hub for businesses to market themselves in the 21st Century.
Sheer Size of Marketplace
If you consider yourself an individual who makes decisions based on data, think over these figures. According to Social Media News as of July 2017, we can glean that Facebook is all encompassing when it revolves around the online habits of general citizens.
- 17 million active monthly users
- That surpasses YouTube (15.5 million), Instagram (5 million), LinkedIn (4.2 million), Snapchat (4 million), Twitter (3 million), WordPress (5 million), Blogspot (1.3 million), Pinterest (290,000) and Reddit (100,000)
- 70% of Australia is an active Facebook user
- 50% of Australians log into Facebook daily
- Facebook’s global monthly users amount to 2.01 billion
- Facebook’s global daily users amount to 1.23 billion
Should the old adage “fish where the fishes are” amount to anything in the modern lexicon, then Facebook is the equivalent of the ocean. It dwarfs much of the competition by including elements that other social media outlets have integrated.
Yet this is an open environment where friendship circles mix with businesses, entertainment sites, sports hubs and everything else.
Presence on Facebook alone does not equate to a following in the millions or billions, but it gives your enterprise the capacity to be found and followed. Do not stumble at the first hurdle because it is incredibly simple to bypass that hassle.
Stay Competition Savvy
Spying on the competition can be somewhat immoral and disingenuous, but in a cutthroat business environment, every little bit of information helps. As Social Media Examiner has outlined, there is a feature titled “Pages to Watch” on Facebook Insights that allows an operation to keep tabs on competitors.
Simply having your finger on the pulse of current trends within a niche is completely legitimate and even encouraged. If the best in the business have an in-depth knowledge of habits and trends, why shouldn’t you?
Certain techniques might be copied verbatim, yet others might want to see what the convention is and buck the trend. Put your enterprise against your peers on Facebook to see where you truly stand in the online marketplace.
Be Geo-Specific With Advertisements
While the free and cost efficient element is inherent with Facebook, capital can be spent on advertisements. These sponsored ads are easy to create and actually allow the operation to focus on a specific geographic location.
For example, an institution such as The University of Wollongong can design a campaign that brings aboard a number of locals heading into the next semester.
By creating an advertisement that has their landing page and contact information, they can set a radius over the following suburbs:
- North Wollongong
- Port Kembla
- Lake Illawarra
- Fairy Meadow
This can easily be shifted to source prospective students from elsewhere near Sydney, around NSW, across the country or overseas.
It can be so difficult to market to a specific demographic of people. Fortunately Facebook’s advertisements put the control and power in the users hands.
Caters to Mobile Users
Whether we accept technology and new age trends or not, the habits of consumers has drastically changed throughout the last two decades. The era of door knocking, cold calling and corner store selling is a practice of the past.
Mobile therefore is something that has become an intrinsic element to the marketing domain. Smartphone users are engaged on their device on an hourly basis and a large percentage of that is through social media apps.
According to Sprout Social, 19% of time spent on mobile devices around the globe is on Facebook. This accounts for a remarkable 74 billion mobile monthly active users and dwarfs general browser searching by 11%.
Your website and online strategy must be geared towards mobile usage. Yet a Facebook presence will have that crucial category ticked.
Analysis on Hand
Heading to Facebook Insights allows business owners to see the raw data for themselves. It enables those that run the page to track impressions, likes and visits.
The information will be boiled down into geographic reach and essentially how you stand amongst your peers. Any advertising campaign or a post of content will be compared to previous instalments. Demographics can also be micromanaged, ensuring no detail big or small is overlooked.
Other online activities require owners to source their own means of analysis, whether that included third parties or software instillation. With Facebook, it comes as part of the deal.
Building Brand Awareness and Customer Relationships
One of the greatest elements that drives the concept of brand awareness is content. Yet content needs an outlet and a source of contact. This is where Facebook comes into its own.
Social media users are inherently active and responsive, particularly if they have picked out your enterprise to follow. What can follow from these interactions is a sense of ownership, understanding and even a community should the numbers build well enough.
If the content is geared towards the demands and habits of that niche, then visitors can quickly transition into regulars. Such a switch falls under the banner of brand awareness because there is a change in routine. What was once considered a distant third party is now a page where content can be sourced, questions asked and others to talk with.
Brand awareness can also be thought about in a more intrinsic way than just pure page visits. An organisation like Optus has experienced a number of PR struggles in the past couple of years, from widespread job losses to the acquisition of English Premier League rights.
Despite a number of technical issues that has resulted in a series of negative feedback on their Facebook page, the company used that platform to convey an important message. Rather than sweep the issue under the rug, they engaged with those dissenters individually.
This communicates to those who were dissatisfied that Optus’s Facebook page is a domain where views can be freely expressed and concerns managed in real time. Even under trying circumstances, the Facebook page became central to overcoming a serious issue.
Those marketers who have been around the block before will argue that the strength of a web domain should be prioritised over a social media account. They are not wrong, but that is an oversimplified theory that lacks perspective and context.
The reality of the matter is a platform like Facebook perfectly compliments search engine optimisation (SEO). This is a means of garnering stronger search engine rankings, whether they be Google, Bing, Yahoo or anywhere else a search is conducted.
Any site that wants to be visible in this field must have the capacity to generate traffic via trusted avenues. Backlinks are great. Referrals are welcome. Online business directory listings are brilliant. Yet Facebook is a one-stop-shop for millions of Australians and billions around the globe.
A search engine like Google has evolved over the years to see Facebook as a guiding light. The two now manage to work hand-in-hand as trends will mirror each other. Both of those platforms end up acting as reflections of societal behaviour, so it is obvious that whatever works for Facebook will translate to Google and vice versa.
Caring Through Sharing
Using Facebook allows your enterprise to create a personal touch. This is not to say that your business switches from an organisation to a living, breathing entity. What it does is validates those who would share your information and content on Facebook.
Marketers know that a referral from a trusted source like a friend or family member is far more likely to garner a sale than from the cold. That individual knows there is nothing in it for them than performing a service.
These recommendations are like gold and Facebook helps that process. The “share” and “like” button on the social media platform is easy to locate and it can create a snowball effect where content spreads exponentially.
Any business owner will tell you that marketing is a costly activity. Entire departments are created just to cater to this essential need, making visibility paramount when there are so many options presented to consumers. This is where Facebook bypasses the necessity to spend big dollars.
Having already established the reach of 17 million Australians on this platform, a business page on Facebook can be designed and managed from one simple hub. Facebook’s Business Manager allows users to freely ad, switch and designate accounts at their leisure.
The only central investment that must be made on Facebook advertising is time and effort. That is human capital that can be measured, yet the bottom line will not require any significant hit of substance.
What do you think about setting up a Facebook profile for your business? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you!
Lucas is the Managing Director and the Head of SEO Strategy at SEO Shark. He has over 15 years of experience in achieving SEO results for small and medium businesses as well as multinational and ASX-listed brands. He is also an author of multiple publications about digital marketing.