Pål Kaalaas works with digital marketing for Global Savings Group and Savly. In this article, he explains why spending time on Facebook makes sense for all businesses with an online presence:
Let's get it out of the way right this moment: This is not an article about the "standard posts" where you create content that looks, smells and feels like commercials. We’re not talking about telling people about discounts or, for that matter, asking them to sign up for a newsletter. This is an article about creating content that engages your followers, creates a feeling of belonging and brings new followers into your Facebook universe.
Engaging! The word should be hanging in big neon letters on the wall of any company that needs to create a loyal customer group in a time where loyalty doesn't come easily. We’ve just started to see the beginning of a time where most people can order products or services from anywhere in the world with the click of a button, and it is up to you if you want to see this as a problem or an exciting opportunity to create new customer relations.
No matter what industry you represent, as a small or medium company you will have to compete with "the big guys" and their vast marketing budgets – the ones that pay to spread their message into every living room through TV commercials or banner ads. There’s nothing wrong with that, but not everyone can afford such an approach. This is where Facebook and other social media channels come into play, potentially becoming a great way of attracting the target group’s attention.
Most businesses are already on Facebook today, but how many of them put sustained effort into maintaining the social media channel is a whole other story. Most don't think creatively about what they put "out there", and end up pushing the aforementioned newsletters and discounts. There’s nothing wrong with advertising your deals from time to time, but if the majority of your posts centre around deals then you’ll struggle to create loyalty or a sense of belonging.
It's about creating engagement. The ways to achieve this are many, but what about asking your customer group for their opinions on a new product name, what is missing in your store or alternatives for a new logo? You can do competitions, show backstage photos, share interesting articles, create a quiz or host a webinar. The possibilities are endless. It's all about entertaining people while making them feel like they’re part of something bigger. That they’re part of a community, so to say. That you're on the same team because you get personal and up close.
The last part is significant. You can't be personal without knowing your signature, your products and your voice. And most importantly: your customers or clients. They will connect with you as long as you talk about the subjects that make sense. For example, if you’re selling tools then your potential customers are probably going to be interested in how these devices can be used.
And why not turn it on its head? Ask the customers for their tips and tricks. Facebook could become the modern version of a store counter. In this day and age, a lot of people don't stand in front to many of those anymore, and if there is one thing both customers and store owners can miss because of this it’s building relations through conversation. Not "the price is" or "should it be wrapped?", but "what's your favourite lunch?", "what would you like to build in the garden?", "where do you want to go on holiday?", or "Now I'm going to give you an excellent tip".
It's all about building a positive brand awareness. It's about engaging your customers. Your products or services are essential, but if you don't meet a real person on the other side, smiling and engaging, then why should they remember and choose you next time?
A final point: budgets. Facebook is a business. While building a following of potential customers, you’ll probably have to spend €5-10 on essential posts targeted to the people you want to reach. If the content is good enough, that's all you’ll need to invest. Look at it as giving your post a friendly push so that people can discover it, like and comment in more significant numbers.
Lean over the counter and start working!
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- Publication date
- 4 January 2018
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- Business / EntrepreneurshipExternal stakeholdersHints and tipsSocial media
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