(And not just because I said so).
I just finished a meeting in which I explained why Facebook is important to businesses for the third time this week, making me think that while marketers like us have made it apparent to businesses of all sizes THAT Facebook is important, no one has succeeded in properly addressing WHY it’s important. Therefore, I will shoulder that burden myself and try to explain why Facebook should matter in your marketing plan.
- Your customers are there. Plain and simple, people USE Facebook every single day. The average Facebook user has a network of over 130 friends, more than 80 liked pages and a wide range of interests. 85% of internet users have a Facebook account, 74% of them login at least once a day. It’s the second most trafficked site in the world, behind only our friends at the Big G. The fact is, your customers are on Facebook every day, checking their app in line while ordering their lunch, while waiting for their gas to finish pumping, in the bathroom (we all know someone who is guilty of this), during boring periods at work, at commercial breaks, and sometimes at stoplights (Disclaimer: We at Smarter Searches strongly discourage people from using social media while driving – get your head out of your app). Your customers are almost unequivocally using Facebook.
- Make your fans do your dirty work. Facebook allows your brand champions, your fans, your engaged users, to do the leg work (earned media) by championing you, supporting you, “liking” you, and referring you. By being engaged on Facebook and putting out content that is both useful and likable, you are unlocking the substantive power of your brand champions – they can share, tag, comment, post. Give them the heavy weights and let them do the lifting and support you against critics, leave positive reviews, tag you after a pleasant experience. That earned content is gold.
- It creates a secondary tier of authority and relevance. Frequently, when your potential customers are deciding with which company they want to engage, they check out the website first. After checking through it, many customers will seek a secondary layer of authority. Nowadays, that’s frequently Facebook. They go to Facebook seeking validation – does this company really do what their website says they do? If they can’t find information, pictures, a logo, reviews, and fan engagement, you lose major credibility points. While every Facebook fan you get may not equate directly to a sale, those fans – especially the engaged ones – make you look more authoritative. And as Eddie Izzard said, “70% is how you look, 20% is how you sound, and only 10% is what you say.” While I would like to think that what you say on Facebook is more important than just 10%, in this case, you need that 70% of how you look! Look like you know what you’re talking about! Make it look like people like you! Make it look like you’re an awesome company with which to work!
- It can lead to sales. Yes, it can! People purchase based on social media posts. A well-targeted ad can have huge conversion rates. An effective and compelling contest can drive huge numbers of leads and subscriptions. We have examples with our own clients of Facebook posts leading to sales directly. Is it super likely? Not always – it depends on industry, goals, price point, and fan engagement percentage, but yes, Facebook posting and advertising can lead directly to sales.
In researching this article, I was looking at what other people had to say about why you should post on Facebook, and frankly, I was very disappointed. All I found were stats about Facebook usage and just how many people are on it. That doesn’t explain WHY it’s useful! So, hopefully, this helped clarify the reasons why you should look to Facebook and social media marketing in general, as a way to build your client base, drive leads and sales, build authority, and create a passionate, engaged fan base. If you need help with that, fill out one of our contact forms to request a site review and we’ll be glad to help.