With more than billion active users every single month Facebook really is the site to be seen on. Despite the social scene becoming more and more important when it comes to B2C companies engaging with customers; its often neglected and as a more and more valuable tool for creating a real revenue and a hive of social sales activity.
However despite its proven potential for making money – so many brands are avoiding the networking site wondering whether its worth their time at all. How do they take the extra step to encourage the add new custom to the ‘sales funnel’ mix? How do they introduce this new social sector to their already busy sales and marketing strategies?
Social Sales; if you aren’t making them someone else will.
For any consumer facing business; the solution for more sales is simple – “Where are my customers spending their time online? Where should I be visible?”
To put it bluntly – if you are shunning the social scene, you are shunning sales. And whilst you might not ‘want’ their potential pennies; your competitors certainly will. The harsh and honest reality is – why would you want to fall behind when it comes to generating leads and ultimately making money?
Whether you like it or not, social networking and online marketing isn’t an option anymore; if anything – it is a must.
The everyday person will spend vast amounts of their time using Facebook; liking, sharing, and most importantly; investing. Not only their time, but their money too.
With any sales process; it is vital to identify every step, even in a social scenario. Understanding how your customers (existing and potential leads) think and act on the arguably most popular and socially successful network will lead you to encouraging users to part with their ever-precious pounds.
Free information, free insight.
For every new and existing user on Facebook; during the sign up process you give away a fantastic array of information, from your gender and geographical location, your education employment, not to mention your favourite movies and current marital status. Whilst as a business you can’t always physically ‘see’ the information (often hidden by privacy settings) you can use this insight into your customer base and tailor your efforts accordingly.
Next time you log in to your own personal page, take a moment to look at the brands that are already targeting ‘you’. Be they booming businesses or local livelihoods; chances are they know more about you than you think – and are ensuring that they use your information in the optimal ways possible.
Understanding and optimising your network.
It is important to remember that using Facebook doesn’t ‘change sales’ per cé. It is purely a new channel (and an interesting one at that) allowing you to engage and promote your products/services to increase your income.
Like all other marketing methods and advertising avenues you need to understand who it is you are trying to target. Firstly, understanding your demographics is key, and a real tool in your arsenal of attack. By understanding your demographics (male/female, single/married, student/professional, etc) and how each individual uses the social network; what type of content they like to see and engage with, what sort of information and benefit they are looking to gain from ‘liking’ you publicly, what times are ‘peak times’ for your users to ensure you are visible.
Secondly, by using this information and investing (and this really is a key word, as with most forms of marketing you need to put *something* in to receive anything in return) in the pre-provided advertising methods and management tools are a great way of getting your name out there to the right people at the right times. As mentioned above; the tools and insights are already there – you just need to choose to take the step in using them.
Bare in mind that ‘likes’ whilst important; are not a fair reflection of ‘sales’. Quality is as important as Quantity, knowing that those that are seeing your presence are those that will appreciate it. For example; if your target market are parents with young children of school age; posting your content at traditional ‘school run’ times with all your likes centred around single/childless individuals your services are likely to be (on the large part) shunned.
Always judge a (Face)book by its cover.
You wouldn’t botch together a window display using paint on your PC would you? Yet time and time again people are posting pixelated pictures and relaxed in their approach to the social appearance on Facebook, giving off an ‘unprofessional’ approach and slacking when it comes to their social services. Treat your Facebook page (and other networks) much in the same way as your website. Design and functionality are important considerations, especially with Facebook’s expanding dimensions (using tabs and apps) leaving users with a “one-stop-shop-multi-page “mini website”.
By allowing users to have an enhanced usability online, you are giving them little doubt that you are the authoritative voice when it comes to your service and sector – and a business they would indeed “like” to spend their money with.