Dave Thomas, founder of the fast food chain Wendy’s, once gave this advice, “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone. Know your customer. And have a burning desire to succeed.”
However, in today’s digital age it takes one more thing – knowledge of the latest internet marketing techniques. In other words, being a success in business today also means being a success online.
Because so many people are online, the internet provides the best chance of reaching your audience. Being a success online means having people visit your website, and one method you can do that is by using social media networks like Facebook.
Even if you don’t have a Facebook page yourself, chances are you know someone else or even a business that has a Facebook page. It comes as little surprise that as of December, 2012 Facebook had 618 million daily active users. (newsroom.fb.com)
Personal versus Business
Setting up a business page for Facebook is a little different than setting up a personal page. A business page does not have “friends”, but instead allows Facebook users to “like” the page. Using keywords and other information related to your business on its fan page helps people find it.
Using a Facebook fan page for your business allows you to tell everyone who likes the page about upcoming special promotions, schedule changes, and how they can join your email list. The latter is especially important if you are trying to build an email database.
Facebook fan pages allow users to learn about a business in multiple ways. For example, they not only see that Bob and Susan also like the page, but that John and Mary commented about their wonderful experience when using the company’s products or services.
According to Lichtenstein, people in today’s society are relying on things like Facebook fan pages for advertising. This is because unlike outdated methods like the yellow pages which only gave the company information, Facebook fan pages provide up-to-date comments from friends, family, and neighbors.
Everybody’s Doing It
Just because a lot of people are online doesn’t mean nobody reads the newspaper or uses the yellow pages. But the size of the movement towards the trend of using the internet as a primary source of information cannot be ignored.
If you are a business who is still using outdated advertising methods as a sole marketing strategy, perhaps it is time to get social and sign up for Facebook. You can have people like your fan page right from your website, and best of all it only costs a bit of your time.
Learning the Best Social Media Marketing Techniques
A lot of people mistakenly think that online marketing means that you have to spend a lot of money learning how to make your own website or spend a lot of money to have someone else manage a site for you. But many online strategies, like using social media, are completely free.
Because of how many people are online via a computer, tablet, or smartphone, even local businesses are trading in their corner space in the local newspaper for a blog, and radio advertisements for weekly podcasts.
In fact, one way to learn the latest marketing techniques is to listen to podcasts, like Coffee Talk with James Martell which features marketing experts as guest speakers. A recent guest was Stephanie Lichtenstein, founder of Micro Media Marketing.
As James explained at the beginning of the episode, the traditional forms of advertising that businesses have relied on in past decades are no longer effective. People get everything online, including their news, music, movies, and favorite television programs.
And everybody is linked to some kind of social media network. Stephanie went on to explain that there are plenty of reasons why businesses should use Facebook beyond making a personal connection with their consumers based on the statistics alone, including:
- PEOPLE LIKE WHAT THEY SEE ON FACEBOOK – There are almost 3 billion likes each day. Getting people who walk into your brick and mortar store to like you on Facebook helps you retain them as a potential customer even if they do not visit your shop again.
- PEOPLE INVEST TIME ON FACEBOOK – People spend about 20 minutes per day on Facebook. Connecting your Facebook page to Google maps, YouTube, and even Twitter increases the chance that people will interact with you via the social media network.
- FACEBOOK IS GENDER-NEUTRAL – Well, almost. 57% of Facebook users are female while 43% are male. Although many are on Facebook for personal reasons, most interact with business pages as well. This allows you to turn potential consumers into brand-loyal customers.
Facebook is a great platform for internet marketing because unlike other strategies, it only takes time. The only way it costs money is if you choose to pay a nominal fee for advertising, such as promoting a post to increase the chances that people will see it.
Freelance writer Rick Mercado works from the Halifax, Nova Scotia home he shares with his wife where, in addition to regularly updating his Facebook status, he also dabbles in internet marketing. Whenever he finds himself sitting just a little too long, this avid outdoorsman makes time for his two favorite pastimes – kayaking and hiking through the wilderness along Canada’s rugged eastern coastline. Rick is also a huge Canadian history buff.