Does Facebook work for business?

Facebook has changed since its inception in 2004. For a start, it used to be called The Facebook, until they dropped the “The” and it became the branding juggernaut that we all know and (some of us!) love. There’s no denying the power and potential reach and influence which Facebook can exert, and in recent times, be party to the delivery of the now infamous Fake News. No unregulated business spanning that many borders can be 100% tamper proof and it seems to me the platform is going through some incredible changes; some enforced, some by choice.

The data breaches and abuse of data by third-party app providers on the platform have led to amendments on the Facebook data policy which shows the platform taking steps to better manage the use of apps and how your personal data is handled.

Maybe it's not the platform that doesn't work, but the understanding of the user that needs to improve to maximise Facebook for #business use? #marketing Click To Tweet

No bigger opportunity – if done correctly!

The power of the data and the information they hold, that we as users offer up on a daily basis, paints a huge opportunity for us as business owners and marketers. Our customer is most likely on Facebook, whether you – or they – know it or not. But it is how you use the platform that will determine your success from a business perspective.

Facebook isn’t there to give you a living – but you can create one from the platform #marketing #socialmedia #business Click To Tweet

Does Facebook work for business? Yes! It may just be how you are using the platform that may need improving as the largest social media platform in the world continues to evolve and change, we need to evolve and change too.

Your Facebook Business Strategy – the cornerstones of building a solid strategy

3 platforms in one – the Facebook eco-system.

I believe you need to approach Facebook not just as “Facebook” the singular, but step back and look at the major sub-platforms that you can manage; The Facebook Page, the Facebook Group, your personal profile.

If you have ever searched using Facebook’s search bar (the Google search-like navigation bar) then you will see that Facebook is getting better and better at keeping people in Facebook whilst delivering excellent value for the user. It is within this eco-system that you as business owners can really step up and dominate the presence of your own business profiles.

If you can begin to understand the different platforms that sit withing Facebook overall then you will begin to see tremendous opportunities open up for you to explore.

Facebook search results for business

Facebook Messenger – the 4th platform

You can find many sources for this, but over on Neil Patel’s blog, you can see the open rates for the Facebook Messenger platform are around 88% with a click-through rate of over 50%. These compare to email marketing open rates of around 25% and a click-through rate (CTR) of anywhere around 3% – 4% (Source: Smart Insights).

The rise and rise of Messenger marketing will be a great opportunity for smaller business in 2019, but for the purposes of this article I want to talk about the platforms that sit directly on Facebook; the page, the group and your personal profile.

The Facebook Strategy for business success

Countless times I speak with business owners who comment like ‘Facebook just doesn’t work’, ‘That Facebook thing is rubbish’, ‘My customer definitely aren’t on Facebook’. I beg to differ and my Facebook strategy for business breaks down into these 5 important points.

Facebook strategy the 5 elements

  1. Strategic Fit
    1. What do you actually want Facebook to provide for your business?
    2. Lead generation, conversions, web traffic, awareness? It could be one or more of these options but be aware that each option holds different challenges and opportunities.
  2. Customer Journey
    1. At what point in the customer cycle does your Facebook strategy fit? Are you retargeting web traffic, driving cold traffic or building communities?
    2. Map out your customer journey across online/offline and see where Facebook fits into the puzzle
  3. Audience Strategy
    1. Is everyone your customer? If so, you really need to work on narrowing this down. Imagine walking into a crowded pub and shouting our sales message from the bar. Who would listen? Who would you want in your pub? Simply stuffing a group or page full of like will not work!
    2. Quality over quantity. This will improve engagement, reach, and efficiency on Facebook.
  4. Content Strategy
    1. Before we have even blasted out any content on our social platforms we have looked at how we want Facebook to fit our business, how we want Facebook to work for us. Content Marketing is going to be a huge topic in 2019 for smaller businesses as the opportunity to tell stories and engage our relevant audience becomes more prevalent and more powerful for growing our business.
    2. What media type does your audience engage with and how will you create this to share your business message in relation to your wider business strategy?
      1. Video
      2. Articles
      3. Links
      4. Polls
      5. infographics
      6. Downloads
  5. Ad Strategy
    1. Facebook ads can be amazing for quick and efficient business wins. If you want traffic and nail down your audience with a well-curated ad you can pick up countless traffic and engagement for minimal spend. Many business owners still spend hundreds of pounds on physical print ads in the local mag because “it’s what we’ve always done” but will baulk at the thought of spending £20 on laser targetted Facebook ads that will almost certainly attract way more traffic and relevance that the expensive print ad.
    2. Think about your customer buying state, the touch points you have had and at what time is best to engage your audience. This will all lead to a better use of your minimal ad spend.

To help you further understand the approach for a modern Facebook business strategy, take some time to read the articles below, keep informed on the Facebook group, dedicated to helping the smaller business community of the Sheffield City Region.

You can also keep up with all the events and training sessions we deliver to help businesses better understand marketing and implement effective strategies over on the Facebook page. We have a popular monthly networking event in Sheffield too, the Power Hour NetworkBe sure to check it out!

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