It amazes me some organisations still exist in the shadows of the online world without a website or even a facebook presence. A website I can forgive, they can be expensive, our web design packages begin at €500 which isn’t small change for any SME. That’s probably the month’s electricity bill. However, you must know that retail commerce is cascading to the online environment with companies like Walmart losing shares every day to Amazon. While finances may deter investment in a website, I’m less forgiving if your business hasn’t a Facebook presence.

Get your Business on Facebook

No matter your business, without a facebook page your neglecting to reach a large audience with your marketing message. Most(if not all) of your customers have a Facebook page. Worldwide, there are 1.8 billion monthly active users, 1.6 billion mobile users and 1.1 billion daily active users. The stats speak for themselves. Facebook is too big to ignore. You cannot afford to remain ignorant. With consumers seeing your competitors offering daily, you’re losing the opportunity to be the first to mind. Let’s remember, many business searches are carried out on Facebook as well as Google.

The average Facebook age demographic is 25-34. If you’re targeting the young generation, Facebook is the prime tool to reach them. Facebook’s next social media rival is Whatsapp followed by Instagram. No wonder Facebook decided to purchase them. This shows that Facebook now commands most of the young generations communication vehicles. They can integrate vast arrays of data from these platforms to help business and advertisers connect with their potential customers.

You may feel overwhelmed at the idea of starting a page from scratch, but the good news is, a Facebook page is very easy to start.

Facebook Pros and Cons

Creating a Facebook business page is also free. A massive audience to reach exists as previously mentioned. You can target them by collecting their names and email addresses through an opt-in page. It is great at managing customer service and many add-ins exist to give your page a professional front-end view.  As always, some downfalls also accompany Facebook marketing.

The first negative is that having a Facebook page requires time to manage with content creation and answering audience questions. You’ll need to keep the content fresh to be engaging. The page will need regular updating costing you time and cognitive fatigue due to constant idea generation.  Another downside is that not everyone who likes your page will see your post. This is due to Facebook’s algorithm. If your page isn’t receiving likes from your followers, it will be deemed irrelevant to them and stops showing up in their news feed.

However, I believe the positives certainly outweigh the negatives.

Creating Content for Facebook

You need to put some thought into what you post on Facebook. What does your audience actually want to see? What’s your audience interested in. The more people who interact with your posts by commenting or liking them, the more times they are likely to see future posts. Posting great content will attract audience interaction. Other types of posts which help your page increase visibility include posting photos, asking questions, competitions, and planning your posts. Getting interaction isn’t easy though as most people are too busy or just don’t want to be advertised to when they’re on Facebook.

But by having a page and regularly updating it, you’ll appeal to your “fans” – those really interested in your product. They’ll then spread word of mouth about your business. Everybody else will find it when they need a business like yours or are in the research phase attempting to “suss” your business out. Having a page shows these people your brand personality making your business more trustworthy and likeable.

Adding Value with Facebook Marketing

You need to add value to your customers day by offering them some new thought, tip or inspiration to attract your audience’s attention. Spread your company’s story by showing visuals of behind the scene footage or reinforcing what your core product is all about. Show visuals of other consumers using the product or other ways your product can also be used. This makes the product more relatable and human.

Live your company’s story through your Facebook updates. Celebrate new employees joining the team as well as leaving. And mark employees birthdays and company milestones. These types of posts create both a unique and personal feel for the company as well as authenticity. This helps people believe in your product and spread the message. It’s all about using visual storytelling to spread brand awareness and capture the minds of the audience.

Broadening your Brand’s Reach

It’s no longer sufficient to merely focus brand activity in the physical premises or local environment. We need to propagate our brand story using different online communication platforms to provide a consistent image to increase sales levels and reach a larger audience. Facebook is the perfect medium to do this with their high user numbers. So no more excuses.