It can be difficult to define a marketing budget, but it helps to look at how peers are allocating resources. We decided to start with ourselves.
Why Companies Should Create a Winning Facebook Business Page
How Growing Your Facebook Page Can Help Grow your Business
Every day, we work with business leaders who want to drive more leads to their website. And, while I am advocate of social media, I have to say it's much harder to see the return on your investment of time and energy on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets when you aren't selling a widget to a consumer.
That said, there is gold there - you just have to dig a little deeper. Let's look at the reasons I've come to this conclusion and how a Facebook page can help your company:
1. Your FB Fan page establishes another outpost on the web for your company
Your Fan page is a place where prospects, customers, employees, vendors, management and the media can find information out about your products and services. These pages are indexed by the search engines and are public-facing by default – this means that people can find you even if they aren’t logged in to Facebook. With more than 500 million active users, it's a place your business should be just to keep up with the competition. And even if you are marketing B2B, with that many folks on Facebook - there's a really good chance your target audience is using it too.
2. Improved SEO and increased traffic
Google has added a new Social Search function. This indexes content on sites like Facebook. So your Fan page content has the potential to improve your search engine ranking and increase the number of ways people can find you. You can capture people on Facebook who are interested in your services, but may not have heard of your company. They follow your links to your website.
3. Connects management and staff directly to customers and fans – easily and free
By engaging regularly with your Facebook Fans, you increase their loyalty and their advocacy. They are more likely to spread the word about your services because you are staying on their radar - your updates appear in their Facebook News Feed.
Your branded FB page allows people to share your videos and photos, ask and answer questions, and interact with your company and each other. And you have a direct pipeline to your customers. You can send messages to them all at once or target people by location or other demographics – for free.
4. Provide better customer service
You can deepen your relationships with your customers by connecting with them in a social way. And if they have specific questions or feedback, you can talk to them immediately. This provides HUGE value to your audience. You can keep them updated with tips, strategies, industry news, latest research, and so on.
Everytime you update your Facebook page, think: How can I best add value to my clients and Facebook Fans? What do they really want to know? For example, a medical practice may be adding a new technology or an accounting firm may want to let Fans know about important tax filing deadlines.
5. Get ROI-related metrics about your Fans
Facebook's Page Insights tools and dashboard facilitate the analysis of your marketing and communication by revealing data related to interactions (Comments, Wall posts, and "Likes"); discussed posts, reviews, and mentions; Fan demographics (gender, ages, geographic location/distribution); and so on. These tools improve your ability to identify and target specific demographics and gauge ROI.
This should get you started thinking in the right direction about how to add value to your community using Facebook. I'll write several more posts to help you with your Business Fan page in the next week or so.
Let me know if you have any thoughts or feedback in the comments section below.