Facebook may have hurt you in the past – making it harder to reach your customers without advertising – but its recent changes are a win for small businesses.The social media giant has turned it’s attention to small companies and entrepreneurs with new tools to generate business on your page. These tools aim to make search easier to increase brand awareness and revenue. And because you want to make money, you should become adept at them.
45 million businesses use Facebook to reach and engage their customers. Unless you’re living in a cave with no WiFi (in which case we’d like to come over for a monthly digital detox), you know the platform is a critical tool to collect information on customers, gain feedback and build your online community. Now, Facebook can do so much more to drive business.
Let’s review three recent updates.
New call-to-action buttons like, Contact Us, Send a Message, and Call Now, now live at the top of your business page under the cover photo. These buttons are meant to drive business objectives and encourage engagement. By placing calls-to-action front and center on the page, customers can interact with your business more easily and be enticed to take an action with the click of a button.
No one business is alike, so having a Pages section that fits one, fits all is impractical. Facebook put an end to this with the new sections for Pages. Different businesses can now customize their pages so their unique offerings are up-front and center. The new Services section allows businesses to highlight their services at the top of their page. So your coffee shop can list its different types of drinks, pastries, and other goodies right up front. That way, someone visiting the page knows exactly what you’re all about.
You’ve attracted fans with great social media content, now you have a vehicle to close a sale – Facebook’s new Shop section. This new section also comes with a Buy button, making it easy to purchase products and services, helping to drive online and local sales while increasing brand awareness.
You’re always on the go. So are your customers. Just like you they’re looking for business information when they’re in the car. They’re scrolling through Facebook in the Starbucks line. That’s why Facebook has updated the layout of its mobile site, with tabs for customers to navigate between posts, services, shop, home, photos, and videos. In this mobile-driven age, these changes make it easy for people to find the information they want and need in a more simplified, direct way. And, the call-to-action buttons we mentioned above are bigger and more prominent on the mobile site. These mobile changes translate into less scrolling and searching (and we think, less bouncing) and more clicking and discovering.
As a small business owner, it’s important that you stay on top of social media updates, but more importantly, you need a strategy for consistent, quality social media content. If your goal is to grow your business and delight your current customers and clients, you’ll want to take an honest inventory of your social media so far.
- Do I post consistently? (Once a day is better than four times on the one day a month you get around to it.)
- Does my audience engage with me, giving likes and comments?
- Do I engage with them, answering questions and replying to comments?
- Is my social media a customer service tool or a burden to me?
- Does my social media drive business?
- Are my competitors doing it better than me?
If you answered no to any of these questions then your company’s social media is an unleveraged asset.
Let me be straight with you – you need to devote some time and money to social before it makes you money. You can DIY it and get some results, but if it’s not your jam (or your area of expertise) maybe it’s time to pass it on to a professional. At Rival we’re great at social media, pr, writing and marketing. We don’t know anything about bookkeeping, law or coffee roasting. We leave that stuff to the professionals because we’re serious about growing our business. We know know we make better progress when we concentrate our efforts on our areas of expertise. That’s our advice for small (and large) businesses too. Like mama says, Do your best, outsource the rest.