Jim’s WebLetter for 6/3/17

Hi-ya business owners and Facebook friends!

It’s time for another issue of Jim’s WebLetter, now in its 20th year of existence, born out of the idea that folks like you find the Web an interesting place to be with great Websites, new features, and the technology that supports it.

For those of you who have been with me on this journey, we have discovered new places like Facebook when it was first launched in February 2004. It has since grown to become the largest social media site of its kind with more than one billion users.  

It is Facebook I want to review again today. More specifically, using Facebook for business. Because I design websites, the businesses and organizations I work with all ask the same sort of question … “Why does Facebook play an important roll in promoting my business?”

Today, I will give you 10 good reasons …

First, you get increased exposure to potential customers. I did just mention over a billion users. If your business can’t find new customers on Facebook, maybe you should rethink about the business you’re in!

Next reason … gathering more leads for email-marketing. Just having people Like your page isn’t enough to provide yourself with a long-term, sustainable business. Sure, you can make a good living short-term off just using your Facebook page, but you need to make a connection with your followers outside of Facebook.  

This is what I did when I was on the air as a radio DJ in Jacksonville years ago. I determined I needed another means to develop a relationship with my listeners. Creating a “WebLetter” allowed me to receive an email address and name so I could write to them as well as talk and play music for them.

That’s why smart businesses gather leads in the form of email addresses so they can contact their community outside of Facebook. Most do this through contests, giveaways and newsletters, like this one.

But note this … be careful how you use your leads. Don’t hammer fans with daily emails peddling affiliate products and other junk, unless that’s what they signed up for. Instead, email them consistently once or twice a week with helpful information that also leads them to your website, where they hopefully will become customers.

Reason #3, using Facebook can lower marketing expenses.  

To start a Facebook business page costs you zero dollars. Now, you may pay a graphic artist to design a profile picture and cover photo, but it’s not a necessity. Using photographs you take of your business will work and in some cases that’s better than a creative image from a designer.

There is no fee with a Facebook page until you start paying for ads to get page Likes, boosting posts and running Sponsored Stories … all of which you should be doing with your page.

Next reason for Facebook for business (#4) … advertising is relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional print, radio or TV ads, and are much more focused on whom you are trying to reach.  

Just because there are over a billion Facebook users, it doesn’t mean they all want to Like your page. In fact, I wouldn’t want all of them to Like my page because only a small percentage of them would actually engage with my posts.

If you’re a local business, direct your ads to target customers within a 10-15 mile radius. Your advertising will reach potential customers who are most likely to reach out to you.

If you run an ad on TV, you’d be hard pressed to know with certainty whether your ad targeted the right kinds of people for your business. Facebook advertising ensures you can be certain if you target the ad correctly.

OK, we move into another reason for Facebook in business. It’s a feature of Facebook which needs some explanation. It’s called Facebook Insights.  

Granted, not everyone likes to pour over numbers and stats, but Insights helps you understand who is visiting your page and what reaction they had to your advertising and posts.

You can dig around and find out how specific posts are performing, the demographics of your fans, etc. Compare this to running an ad in the local paper. Are you given any such stats as to how many people visited your store or Website based on the ad? No? Right.

The sixth reason for a Facebook business page … build Brand Loyalty.

If you consistently provide valuable and entertaining content, your followers will stay loyal. These days, people look online to find businesses to buy from … and they search social media.

Put yourself in their shoes, if your followers see you as active and responsive, they’re much more likely to do business with you than a company with no Facebook presence or a poorly run page.

Next (#7), using Facebook can increase your Web traffic.

Look, if all you’re doing on Facebook is getting attention and reaction to your posts, then you’re really just an entertainer, not a marketer.

Start using link posts to drive traffic to your site. The great thing about link posts is Facebook now generates a full-width thumbnail image if your website makes one available.

Because they draw more attention, these wider images are more likely to get clicked.

Bottom line … having a Facebook page will greatly increase your web traffic if you use the right posting strategies.

Reason #8 in our top 10 reasons for Facebook for business … boost SEO.  

The subject of Search Engine Optimization and Facebook gets debated quite a bit. Some experts argue that the information in the About section of a business page is viewed and therefore searchable by Google. Others say it’s not 100% effective.  

All I know is, if I post something considered “useable content” on a FB page and have something about the business related to that content in the About section, when I test search that info in Google, more times than not, it shows up near the top of the Google results page. Remember, the more ways people can find you, the better!

Something else about Facebook for business (#9), it’s “mobile friendly”.

The vast majority of Facebook users are using their mobile devices. This means your Website should be seen and used with mobile phones and tablets as well.

When people view your Facebook page on a mobile device it shows users, hours of operation, your address, reviews, and your phone number to call directly from the Facebook mobile app.

Now, we reach the tenth reason for using Facebook to promote your business. This one is just as important as all the rest and when you read it, you can take it for what it’s worth. 

You use Facebook to … spy on your competition!

An interesting new feature on Facebook pages lets businesses spy on competitors. It’s a great way to see how others in your area and your niche are growing on Facebook. And Facebook makes suggestions to enhance your page based on your competition.

Why is this useful?

If you look at the “Pages to Watch” and see a page has gained lots of new Likes, so you can visit that page to see what they’re doing right.

Perhaps a post had huge success and you can copy their idea to gain more Likes. You see, sometimes you just a little motivation to improve your posting and advertising.  

So, there you are … 10 reasons for using Facebook for business. And you thought Facebook was just for posting your kids’ pictures for grandma to see!

If you own a business and want to talk more about using Facebook to enhance your presence and that of your Website, I’m available. Email me.

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iTab Magazine, for tablet owners or wannabe owners. http://iTab.jimonline.com

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That’s it this week, friends. Have a great weekend and may God bless you and keep you safe.
c-ya!
Jim

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