Top 10 Reasons to Use Facebook for Business
Both Facebook and Mashable put monthly Facebook visitors at 1 billion, from December 2012 to February 2013.
Visitors spend an average of 28.8 minutes per day within Facebook’s portals, hanging out with friends and acquaintances, and looking for entertainment or news. Its daily reach is an enormous 43%, with use and popularity still on the rise.
But wait – just because it’s the most popular social network in the world, is that any reason to use it for business purposes? Isn’t it primarily social? Won’t your voice get drowned out amid all those millions of users?
Great questions. Let’s see exactly what Facebook can do for you and your business – and why you should use it for that purpose.
1. Facebook is a Community
For a staggering number of people, posting their daily status update and seeing who has replied to previous posts is the most important action of their day – whether or not they openly admit it. And that goes for some surprisingly outgoing people, totally busting the supposition that Facebook is for introverts. (One survey last year revealed that people rank Facebook friends on a par with their local, immediate friends.)
Facebook is here to stay. It is a part of our times. But what does this friendship connection mean to business?
Mainly that people nowadays do not buy on product value alone: They buy on the basis of social proof. Google states that 70% of American consumers don’t purchase until they’ve read formal or informal reviews.
As far back as 2010, Ecoconsultancy stated: “81 percent of respondents said they’d received advice from friends and followers relating to a product purchase through a social site; 74 percent of those who received such advice found it to be influential in their decision.”
Communities create trust. And that’s when people buy.
2. People are There
“There” being “on Facebook”, that is.
Facebook is part of almost everyone’s day. Stats site Alexa.com shows it as reaping approximately 139.2 million visitors per month – and that’s in the U. S. alone. (Mashable put monthly visitors at 1 billion in a February 2013 infographic.)
82% more visitors visit Facebook from outside the U. S. It’s the world’s most popular social community… with the longest engagement time per visit at an average of 28.88 minutes per person. When you stop and actually visualize this, that’s an astonishing thought. (For example, one documentary on Mongolia showed two young Mongolian schoolboys accessing Facebook in their felt-covered Yurt.)
There is no point writing aboin ut a product on your blog on Monday mornings if 99% of your entire online net base (including subscribers) are busy chatting away on Facebook. Well, there’s a point – you can write a more in-depth product review or point out more benefits on your blog… but first, use Facebook to drive people to that carefully-crafted post.
3. Facebook has Pages
Facebook also allows you to create dedicated Pages for your business or any of its products. If you run a Virtual Assistant business called “VAs-R-Us” you can have a business page for VAs-R-Us. If you write a book, you can create an Author page for that book and any others you write. And Facebook itself allows you to create as many pages as you like.
But here’s the part nobody tells you: If you forget that Facebook is, above all, social – if you are too hard-sell on your Facebook Page – you will find your audience tuning out to what they feel is endless promoting. Your Page has to have value. Share needed tips, news and knowledge. Include dazzling or touching graphics or videos. Entertain, captivate and capture.
And above all, interact and exchange… opinions, news, life.
To fulfill these conditions, always to make the Page about your target audience – their needs, interests, feedback, comments and opinions – not about your need to sell 5,000 units by Friday.
4. Facebook Pages Make Your Business Feel Real
A Facebook Business Page can give identity to intangible entities like businesses or services. You can brand anything through them: Your signature product, your business’ “voice”, your business culture – even yourself.
The psychology behind it is simplicity itself: “She has an author’s page, therefore she is an author.”
Seeing it in print makes it feel real to your viewer. People quickly begin to identify you as an author on a sub-conscious level, as well as consciously.
Your book then becomes, psychologically-speaking, a “real book”.
And people will begin to recommend your book – even when they haven’t read it themselves.
5. Facebook Pages are versatile.
You can do all sorts of things to help enhance your business branding. You can customize the Cover background, insert your Profile Photo, write a powerful “About Me” blurb. (That’s just for starters.)
Facebook Pages integrate with other social networks, via apps. You can add Facebook apps – and then make those apps appear as a menu choice by creating custom 111 pixel X 74 pixel tabs for your apps.
For example, here’s an easy way to install the Pinterest tab on your Facebook Page – just visit Woobox and click on the “Install Pinterest Tab” button.
This is what a Facebook App Tab looks like…
From your Facebook Page, you can also:
- Run contests
- Feature quizzes, surveys and polls
- Feature your website URL in your “About Me” section
- Gather “Likes”
- Claim and operate under your vanity URL, making it easy for your Page – and business – to show up in Facebook search results
- Install custom app covers to your tabs, showing anything you like
- Run sponsored posts
- Watch people share your posts (and sponsored posts) – unsolicited!
And that’s just a taste of Facebook Page power!
If you’d like to create a Facebook Page for your business, start with Facebook’s Build Your Page section.
6. Facebook is mobile-friendly.
There are Facebook apps galore, allowing people to access Facebook and interact in a variety of ways. Of Facebook’s 1 billion monthly users, it is estimate that 680 million are accessing it from mobiles.
The ability to do so strengthens the Facebook habit, increasing both user dependency and engagement – as well as your reach.
Install the Facebook app on your mobile.
7. Facebook has valuable analytics.
You can track your fan interaction and your Facebook Page popularity with Facebook Insights, its easy-to-grasp analytics suite (available after your Page has gained 50 “Likes”).
Facebook is also introducing Graph Search (currently in beta), which experts have predicted will cement Facebook as the king of all social networks – and increase user enjoyment by enhancing relevance.
Visit the Graph Search page and get on the waiting list while you still can.
8. Facebook allows Follows.
One feature that many people don’t seem to know about is Facebook’s “Follow” system. For one thing, it has to be enabled. You need to turn “Follow” on.
If you do, anyone can follow you – but they will see only posts you designate as “Public”. You can turn on Follow right from the Facebook About section.
And – as with any Facebook app – you can customize its privacy settings.
“Follow” is meant for people you don’t know. To post a public update, set the individual update to “Public”.
TIP: Be sure to turn your post setting back to “Friends” again on your next post – Facebook keeps the last setting you specified as your default setting.
You can choose to follow industry leaders who wouldn’t normally connect if sent a “Friend” request. Following experts and seeing their up-to-the-minute posts can really give a leading-edge, bird’s eye view of what’s coming in the industry.
9. Facebook allows Interest Lists.
One criticism that has been leveled against Facebook is that its Edgerank algorithm suppresses posts users might want to see in favor of ones Facebook deems more important – such as sponsored posts. Teach your subscribers, friends and followers how to use Interest Lists to get around this.
Creating an Interest list means that users can override Facebook and decide exactly who they want to see in their feeds. They can create your own personal “dance mix” (only with Facebook users, instead of bands and tunes).
Not only can users select from “Friends”, “Pages”, and who they are currently Following; they can select from categories too.
Creating an Interest list is easy, so teach your fans how to do so. Sure, there’s a risk you might not end up on their Interest List – but chances are, if they’re already seeing some of your posts, you’ll go to the top of the List… and earn their gratitude when they see how ridiculously easy it is to choose whose posts they most want to see.
Here’s how to do it:
- Go to the left-hand menu and find “Interests”.
- Click “+Add Interests…” at the bottom of your lists.
- Ignore all the suggestions in the page that opens up and click on “+Create List”.
- Name it – and add all your friends and interests by going through each category and simply clicking on their icons.
10. Powerful Advertising Opportunities
Facebook’s versatility in advertising can really help your business shine here – particularly if you want to make people aware of your new Page. The Facebook ad type you want to choose and use is the Marketplace ad specifically to get “Likes” for your Facebook Page.
So that’s it: Ten top ways you can use Facebook for business.
But don’t think of this as the whole array of Facebook business possibilities – think of it as a solid place to start.