Facebook for Entrepreneurs 101: Why Facebook?

Facebook for Entrepreneurs 101: Why Facebook?

Social Studies | Posted by YouInc.com - March 10, 2014 at 12:30 am
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Does your business have a Facebook page? If not, here's something for you to consider: Your customers are on Facebook.

Here’s the quick and dirty:

  • On average, Canadian Facebook users spend 1 out of every 5 Internet minutes on Facebook.
  • Facebook currently has 19 million monthly Canadian users; that’s 71% of all Internet users in Canada who are connecting to people and things - events, brands, causes and businesses – that matter to them, while maintaining their authentic identities online.
  • 74% of those 19 million monthly active users return to Facebook on a daily basis. That’s 14 million people daily; 2x more Canadians than the viewership of the 2013 Super Bowl, and nearly 3x more viewers than on CBC for the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs during game 7, Toronto vs. Boston.

These 14 million people return to Facebook daily to engage with their friends, discover and engage with brands they are connected to, and collect and share information from these trusted sources with their network of friends. This results in boosting your brand and services through word-of-mouth marketing, whether through simply engaging with posts from these brands, or choosing to share the content tied to your business on their feeds.

Having a presence on Facebook gives you the opportunity to be discovered by any of these individuals. With the platform’s targeting capabilities, not only are you able to reach more people, you can connect with specific people who may have already expressed interest in similar businesses. It also allows you to reach large groups of people with timely and relevant messages, customized specifically for the customers who have opted in to learn more about your business, as well as potential customers.

Your Facebook page will give you the ability to remain connected with your customers – the people who matter the most to you and your business - in a meaningful way, through two-way conversations, building trust and allowing them to share content you post with their friends, acting as ambassadors for your business. The page also provides you with insights and real time analytics, which will give you a deeper understanding of your customers and how your content and engagement is resonating with them, to figure out what works and what needs more work.

Ready to get started? Then, click here.

Sources:

Facebook internal data based on reported and inferred data, August 2013

Media in Canada, “Super Bowl tops six million viewers on CTV”, February 2013

CBC, “CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Sets Audience Record with Toronto VS. Boston Game 7 Broadcast” , May 2013

Tags: brand, engagement, facebook, friends, online sharing, traffic, profiles

Serene Thio
Serene Thio is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her previous four years were spent at Facebook, helping to manage brands and their marketing efforts, focusing on strategy and page management.
Comments
Faith Chipman
March 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm
Using Facebook really paid off for me in terms of brand exposure and customer's real introduction to my PAW Su-Creme line. I received many inquiries, all my initial on-line sales were via Facebook prior to even having an ecommerce website and customers and Retailers immediately received a professional perception of my business. At no cost. It's great as a tool to connect with international (USA) rep's and businesses. Easy access.
Lisa Ghaffari
March 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm
We have just reached 200 Likes which is really great. @PacificCoffeeRoasters has seen a rapid increase in Likes and this has helped us become very well known in our area as well as in BC
Jody LeBlanc
March 14, 2014 at 6:30 pm
I'm really frustrated by this post. This is something I expect from an "I'm considering starting a business" forum, not an entrepreneurs network for experienced SMB entrepreneurs.

The reason small business owners struggle with understanding social media (or properly taking advantage of social media) is because most marketers don't understand how to explain it. Hell, half of them don't even know how to use it.

As an experienced B2B marketer, I came here expecting to read stuff I already knew. I had that expectation that I might gain just an extra little bit of that golden insight we seek as marketing professionals - or at least read some very specific value-driven content. But then I read this rhetoric driven article.

You didn't justify why organizations should be on facebook ("Your customers are on Facebook" - well, they're also on Google, and on YouTube, and on Twitter, and on the street walking by my store, and reading the newspaper, and watching tv), and you didn't even explain how to use facebook to generate more business - you just said it was possible.

Wait, here, let me use some rhetoric for you: You gave us no meat, you just said there was some on the bone.

In fact, if you literally replace the word "Facebook" with "Google", the article is still acceptably accurate, and still adds almost the exact same value for an _entirely different type of marketing_.

You just wasted my time, and that takes me from frustrated to angry.

My time is worth something, and I am willing to give you that time if you put content in front of me that adds value to my life or helps my business.

Instead of unsubscribing and never coming back, however, I'm going to tell you that you wasted my time and I'm not happy about it, because I happen to like what you're trying to do. I'm going to give you a second chance to improve that content.

Entrepreneurs, take heed - especially B2B entrepreneurs that target senior management. If you pump out garbage content like this, you will alienate your target market and they will unsubscribe. You will lose that valuable marketing dollar that you spent gaining that follower.

This is a fantastic example of what NOT to do in content marketing. If you don't have quality content to put out, don't put anything out at all. There are LOTS of businesses that I follow that only put out one article a month - but that article is so full of gold, I pay attention every time.

Because I feel like you wasted my time, I feel like I've just wasted everyone elses' time ranting about you wasting my time. So for those who just wasted 5 minutes of THEIR time reading MY opinion and I feel like a complete you know what, I'm going to give you that time back in the value you deserve.

First, understand the customer buying cycle. People first are unaware that you exist; then they become aware you exist (or at least about the service you provide); then they become interested in the product/service you provide (but may not know if their need is great enough to buy from you); then they evaluate your product/service to determine which meets their needs; and then they purchase.

There's one key thing you need to understand about the buying cycle: Customers do not immediately start out as "Unaware". If you are in a well-established market, they most likely know your service exists, and may be interested in it. They may even be evaluating your competition right now. So, when they initially meet up with your brand, they could be in any one of those stages.

They are travelling the buying cycle at their own speed - whether you are guiding them or not.

Now that we've got that out of the way, there are two aspects of Facebook which make it a powerful platform; First, you have Pages. These allows your potential and existing customers to follow your posts. Second, there's Facebook Ads. These allow you to target specific demographics and show advertisements through many ways.

If your marketing strategy respects the customer lifecycle, this means there are two ways to effectively use Facebook - to connect with customers that are interested in what you do, and to connect with existing customers and remind them you exist. Determine which one is more important to you. Until you have someone who is dedicated to driving your marketing efforts, focus on one of these, not both. Be effective at one thing, instead of ineffective at two.

If you're just starting with Social Media (and this page is a 101 page, so I'm going to assume you are) you're going to need to invest some money or time into building a social following. You can do this on Facebook through Facebook Ads. To make them incredibly effective, develop a very specific target "persona". Persona's are an exact definition of your target audience.

Here's a great example for a Spa: Let's say you want to target the professional woman, between the ages of 30 and 40, with 2 kids, that works out. Between 30-40 who is married. I can estimate that the kids are still in school - elementary or junior high/middle school range. She's a professional, so most likely a 9-5 worker. Dad most likely works too - stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason - so there's always a morning rush to get the kids out to school. Definitely has a babysitter or daycare. Probably works out in the morning, because when she gets home in the evening she has to cook and is wiped out for the entire evening. She has no time for herself, and has to maintain her family life and her career life. She tries to be a fantastic mom and a fantastic partner, but the demands of her career and her kids give her no time for herself.

Now that I have a persona, I have a very clear idea of who I'm looking for now and how to send them a message that will actually resonate with them. I know generally what they're interested in, and I can create a very specific, targeted campaign to make them give me permission to advertise to them.

And once I have them, I'm going to continue to send them targeted messages, building the need to come buy my products or services.

Facebook is an opt-in marketing tool; meaning, as soon as they 'Like' your page, they are giving you direct permission to advertise directly to them. This is much, much different than interruptive marketing, such as direct advertising. Paying for a customer to "Like" your page gives you the ability to repeatedly advertise to that customer at no cost - you pay once, they like you, and then you can send them content THAT ADDS VALUE TO THEIR DAY. Just saying.

Facebook is NOT free marketing - it's INEXPENSIVE marketing - and only if you do it right. Once you get going, "organic growth", meaning people sharing your content, etc. starts happening. But don't expect that to happen overnight. You'll need to invest some effort/money into driving people to that page. But once you have them, make sure you stay on top of them. Give them quality - and keep them interested and engaged.

As Enterpreneurs, we don't have time to read this kind of crap. As marketing professionals, you should know better. Add real value - or get out of my feed.
Jody LeBlanc
March 14, 2014 at 6:30 pm
...And it totally didn't respect my formatting so now it's impossible to read. GAH!
Marilyn Paisley
March 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm
Keep up the good Arlene, your posts are not a waste of my time :)
Jeanette MacDonald
March 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm
I think that Jody Leblanc's comment below, had some really valid points. I did indeed take the time to read everything he wrote. I appreciate his candid direction for new businesses with regard to using their Facebook pages as a very valuable platform. It really made a lot of sense to me. I love the fact that he took the time to paint a picture of his ideal customer! It has given me many good ideas from which I can work from and implement into my own page. So for that I want to respectfully say thank you for the gift. My only regret, however, is in the manner in which he delivered this gift. The most important principle, that I try and run my life by, is being positive and respectful of others at all times.The negativity that was mixed in with all the really great tips ruined his comment for me! I feel that he actually did not take advantage of his own sage advice. If his wisdom could have been delivered in a more respectful way, I would have definitely looked further into what he was about, and that makes me a potential client. We pick up followers and potential customers everywhere with our minute to minute interactions with all people we come in contact with. I don't ever want to ignore this fact. I think even Arlene would have been impressed with what Leblanc had to add, had he added it in a way that people could hear and therefore benefit from? So in conclusion, I think we all have a few really important things to learn form Leblanc's comment. So, for that I am forever appreciative! :)
Neil Hamilton
March 16, 2014 at 10:14 am
Hey, Jody. Be mindful that some posts are directed to the neophytes in the group and those that might just be getting their feet wet with the idea of online marketing, in all it's different and varied forms. Some posts deal with the "how"...this particular post pointed out some of the "why" which resonated with myself quite well. Cheers, Neil.
Liz Snell
March 16, 2014 at 7:01 pm
I really appreciated and fully agree with Jeannette's post. It is the same principle that I try to keep, realizing that every interaction I have with a person, be it in person or on social media, is an opportunity to market my business by being authentic and representative of my and my company's values. I almost missed the incredible education Jody had to offer because of his rant, i.e. I almost quick reading. One of the things I like about this group is that contributing posts do, and should, promote discussion and sharing. My understanding is that the point of this site is not for Arlene and her team to provide all the information but for members to share from their experience and expertise. That is the big value here and I would like to see more of it. Thanks Jody, in spite of your rant, and thank you Jeannette for putting it in such thoughtful perspective.
Jaclyn Sutton
March 16, 2014 at 8:18 pm
Like the stats. And thanks for the builds, Jody. One thing resonates with your posted tips which is "pay to get them to like your page, then you have the opportunity to market to them for free". I struggled with whether my better ROI comes from boosting posts or Ads to solicit likes. This gives me some food for thought.
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