I do business on Facebook all day everyday. My customers do also, and so do their customers. None of us "Sell" our products in this manner but as with many small businesses, we are finding new customers, building awareness of our brands and using the vast amounts of information about our potential customers to our advantage (in a good way). 

 

“You need to be where your customers are and your prospective customers are,” said Clara Shih, author of “The Facebook Era” (Pearson Education, 2009). If advertising budgets were infinite, we would all love to advertise in every place our customers and potential customers see such adverts. However in the real world, we cannot take such a top down blanket approach to marketing, we are not the Coca-Cola's or the McDonald's. Many of us are not even the "Sams yer Man's", yet! 

 

Blanket approach - Good for big businesses 

 

Micro Niche approach - Good for everyone who spends their budgets wisely! 

 

Micro what?? Micro Niche. For the majority of businesses, a Facebook page is one of the most cost efficient (read free) ways to generate awareness and collect "fans" or as I call them, customers. Start small and build on that. 

 

How many thousands of pounds would a Radio promotion take to get 1 customer? Well if you can effectively target your market segment for free....now your listening 

 

Lets get started 

With a multitude of tools at your disposal, Facebook makes it extremely easy to reach your business goals. But first lets decide what they really are: 

 

1) To build awareness of your brand 

2) To get new customers 

3) Customer Support or Retention 

4) Sell more to your existing customers 

 

Regardless of your goal, agree on it from the very start, quantify it and monitor it regularly. 

 

When I began our Facebook marketing activities, I wasted a lot of time! Time as a business I didn't have. Regularly replying to friends updates, and matters that don't concern you are fun, yes, but not good business sense. Once you set out your goals stick to them and do small, regular things to achieve them. 

 

You join Facebook with no friends, it's the way it is. But don't expect people to find you or want to find you over night. Not unless your name is Tom Cruise. We recommend you get friends, family and well-wishers to help build your "supporters". This will help you be perceived as respectable from the outset. 

 

Remember, people have to want to join your page. You cant force them to do so. Ensure you update your page frequently with photos, comments and useful information relevant to your business goals. I personally ask each of my customers to leave a message of thanks on my wall, If and only If, they are happy with my service and products. If they aren't happy...well Facebook ensures you have a way to effectively communicate with the unhappy customer and everyone will see how well your customer service is. 

 

There are two things I know to be true in this world: 

 

1) We're all going to die (not for a long time though) 

2) People are inherently nosey, particularly those from NI... 

 

We like to see what's going on in business, the good and the bad and this is how we play Facebook to our advantage. Your regular updates will be seen by your friends/fans, but they will also be seen by their friends/fans also. As a result they become your fan, so on and so forth. 

 

Facebook however is not and I repeat not about selling!!! It's a never ending marketing tool with unlimited customer interaction. 

 

Todays Facebook chat for us were: 

- Can you print onto Vinyl? 

- What are your Christmas opening hours? 

- I'm not going to be in for the delivery, can you reschedule for tomorrow? 

 

I did not and will not post continuous SALE-SALE-SALE messages, as potential customers will get annoyed, then bored, then you will be hidden from their view. For example, the worlds greatest invention, Sky+ allows us to record our favourite TV shows. Yet, the first thing I do when the adverts come on is fast forward. 

 

In todays we society select what we want to view and adverts for the most part are a big NO. Engage with fans, telling them about special events, contests or anything of interest. We did say Facebook Marketing can cost nothing, but there is considerable time involved in marketing this way, but as a new business, Facebook consistently ranks Number 1 in our marketing results. 

 

People are not going to flock to your Facebook page overnight. But when they do, it will be on their terms and to the marketer, this holy grail of potential customers is Golden. 

 

We are currently taking on a limited number of companies on which to advise on Social Media Marketing. Simply get in contact on Facebook or call 028 9002 2474.