I have decided to start a blog miniseries on which social platforms make sense to businesses. Each business is going to need a different mixture of platforms to best reach their target audience. Now, please also know that I am speaking in generalities. What might make sense for one restaurant, may not be the best course of action for another.
I am starting this series with Facebook for a couple reasons. First, Facebook is the largest platform. As of March 31, 2015 they have 1.44 billion active monthly users with 1.25 billion of those using a mobile device to access their network. That number alone is incredibly important.
I am going to go out on a limb and say 1.44 billion people offer the reason that every business needs to be on Facebook. Since they are the largest network by far, it is the best venue by which to get in front of your customers and prospective customers. The entire population of our planet is 7.32 billion. Somewhere in that huge number is your target demographic.
Not only should every business need to be on Facebook, they should also approach this behemoth correctly. In my line of work, I come across pages everyday where the last post was several weeks ago, and in some cases years.
The problem with posting infrequently is that your clients are searching for you in the vast array of pages and you may not pop up in their search. Or worse, they might come across your page and see your last post dated 2 years ago and think you closed and never call you.
There are pages that are posting fairly consistently and still not taking full advantage of what Facebook can offer them. If you are posting less than 3 times a week, you are missing out. You want your customer to think of you first. Whenever they are thinking about your services, they need to think you. To achieve that top of mind awareness, you need to be a staple in their life.
To become present in their life you need to figure out how to create content that is relevant, useful and engaging to them. You need to also post that content regularly in order for it to continue to pop up in their news feed. More importantly, you need to interact with them as they are interacting with you! If they are asking you questions, you need to respond.
Think of it as if you were out at a party or social gathering.
If you are producing no content, you are essentially standing along the wall with your head down and avoiding eye contact. If someone comes up and asks you a question about what you do, or tell you that they like your product, you need to thank them and develop a relationship with them. It's that relationship that drives sales.
A downside to Facebook is that since they are so large, they can restrict the visibility of your posts. The best way to get in front of your audience is to pay for ad space. One recent stat I read stated that if I post on a fanpage there is only a 16% chance that my fans will see that. As a result you do need to incorporate some level of advertising. How much? That depends on how much you want to get back and how much you want to fork out.