“Community building” and “community engagement” are some of today’s business and marketing buzzwords but what do they actually mean for the small business owner? Small businesses across all industries are already jumping on the social media bandwagon to build these niche communities in hopes of generating more business. The key benefit of having access to this community is that you can generate interest, build your brand and eventually create some positive relationships with customers and clients who want to do business with you time and time again.
For many small business owners, a Facebook page can help to “break the ice” between prospects and the company, and makes the business much more accessible. If you’ve still been on the fence about creating a Facebook page for your small business, consider the following five benefits of maintaining a Facebook page:
1. Free communications with your target market. Unlike traditional advertising methods and online advertising methods where you have to pay fees to market and engage with customers, your Facebook page is completely free. The important thing to remember when using your Facebook page for marketing is to avoid spamming. Make sure you are engaging with the community by providing insights, asking questions, linking to news about your industry, and by providing other information of relevance. This will help you build a thriving community of fans, and many will be likely to become your customers in the near future.
2. Increases brand awareness. In many industries, the companies that have already created a Facebook presence have been able to build a stronger brand than competitors who haven’t joined Facebook. More people are becoming very active Facebook users and are “tuning in” to status updates of their favorite businesses, as well as people they know. Maintaining your Facebook fan page can help to build your brand and make you more visible to your target market.
3. Drives traffic to your website. You can include a link to your website in the “Info” tab on the Facebook page, and also direct visitors to your site through your Facebook status updates. This makes it easy for prospects to complete a sale or just learn more about your business within a few clicks.
4. Measure your market’s activity. Facebook’s Insights tool helps you measure traffic to your page, and also provides information on how many comments were made, how many people liked the page each week, and what the demographics of your fans are. This can help you learn more about your target market’s general behavior and core needs. You can modify your marketing messages accordingly so that your Facebook marketing efforts are that much more effective.
5. Improves your search engine rankings. Facebook fan pages do get indexed on the major search engines so your page – and all links, logos and pictures – will be found after a basic search. Capturing the top spots on the search engine results pages can be a valuable asset for your business, regardless of industry. In some cases, you can even oust the competition from the top spots for certain keywords.