‘Social media’ is a big, scary (overused) term and it can be daunting figuring out where to start in order to make the most of it for your business. It can make you feel a bit overwhelmed…
- Increase brand awareness – Regular posts will generate exposure, trust and recognition for your brand.
- Market research – You can hear what your customers and competitors are saying directly without even asking for their views. (You could also ask for their views directly with things like polls!)
- Building lasting relationships – Social media is centred on having conversations, and building relationships with potential partners and customers. Once they get to know you they’ll keep coming back.
- Access to new customers – You can find new customer bases that you may not otherwise be able to reach. On a technical level, linking back to your website through social media gives you a boost in search engine rankings, bringing more potential customers to your website.
- Affordability – It’s a comparatively low-cost marketing tool and you won’t have to sacrifice on quality to get results.
So, where do you start? There are many different platforms out there -Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn to name just a few. You don’t need to be on every platform. If you’re just starting out I would recommend starting with one and build a presence on there before thinking about any others. With that in mind…
Start with Facebook
Many businesses choose to start with Facebook. It’s the most used platform in the UK with 32 million users – certainly a large audience to tap into. 66% of Facebook users visit daily giving you a regular audience. Unlike many other platforms, Facebook is used by a broad range of people and gives you tools to target them effectively.
On a Facebook Business Page you’re able to list information to help attract potential clients- your website, location and opening hours for example. Facebook uses this information to help get your business seen by the most relevant people. An example is how Facebook uses your location – customers can ‘check in’ to your business which alerts their friends/connections that they’re visiting you. Facebook will automatically highlight your posts to people nearby and to friends of the people that follow you.
Customers can leave reviews on your page or tag you in their posts about your products or services. We live in an era of ‘review culture’, many people won’t use an unfamiliar business without checking reviews or getting a friends opinion first. Seeing glowing reviews from a happy customer can transform a potential customer into an actual customer in minutes.
Facebook is focused on conversation, people can comment on your posts and the more comments, the more people see the post. Customers can send you private messages with questions at any time. You can advertise your opening hours, so there’s no pressure to respond at 2am. However, it gives those night owls a chance to easily get in touch while you’re fresh in their minds and start meaningful, helpful conversations.
When you’re ready to start posting regularly, Facebook is arguably one of the least resource intensive platforms and results can be extremely effective. There are a few reasons for this:
- There are no character limits, which isn’t a licence to write essays as posts but it means you can turnaround a spur of the moment post without intensive editing to get your point across.
- It allows you to link to websites in your posts and will make your link prominent. This means more people tend to click through to your website. Businesses often see Facebook become their top referral source alongside Google searches.
- The lifetime of a post is longer than other platforms and its intelligent targeting means that people may see your posts days after you post it. This means that you can post less frequently than other platforms. Depending on your audience, you may only need to post a few key times a week rather than every day.
- Facebook is great for sharing images and allows you to add lots at a time for people to scroll through. It also supports videos, which is great because social media audiences now watch videos more than any other type of content. There’s also Facebook Live allowing you to broadcast live from your phone and people can interact with you in real time.
Facebook is great for marketing events with an ‘Event Page’ which will appear in a listing of events in the area. People can mark themselves as ‘interested’ to receive regular reminders and updates during the lead up to the event.
With time, you may decide to invest money in with Facebook advertising. You can target age, gender, precise locations, hobbies and interests. Costs vary but even as little as £20 can go a long way in getting your business seen by the right people.
Facebook has easy to use features, space for creativity and automatic audience targeting. You can show off your brand’s personality and build a following of loyal customers. The only thing missing is deciding what to post to maximise the power of Facebook in the right way for you. This is where Kimba Digital Marketing could help.
What support is available?
If you want to know more about getting the most out of Facebook for business, we do workshops in Bristol where Kimba will take you through everything you need to know. Find out more here!
At Kimba Digital Marketing, we can help you with anything from setting up an account, to writing regular content for your social media channels, blog, website or email newsletters. If you want to find out more about our social media services and plans, we offer social media management services.