Of all the social media platforms in use today, Facebook is probably the most familiar and longest-lived of them all. Still going strong 17 years after its initial debut as a social networking platform for Harvard students, the company has also purchased popular apps like Instagram and WhatsApp.
Even with all of the new social sites available, Facebook is still one of the most valuable platforms a business can access. It opens up a lot of opportunities. For instance, Facebook can’t be beaten for: expanding your reach, building a community, and creating highly targeted ads.
Increasingly, there is a drive for businesses to move away from just building a list of ‘followers’ and building a community instead. Followers are passive members of your target audience who might witness your updates if the algorithm allows them. On the other hand, a community is a group of target audience members who actively engage with and support your business.
You can start building a community by creating interactive posts that include things such as polls or open-ended questions. The key is to get conversations started not only with your business, but between community members as well. This is a great way to increase brand loyalty, open up conversations and maybe even grab a few quotable comments.
Expanding your reach
Using Facebook is an easy way to expand your reach. Having a Facebook business page is vital for getting your company in front of more people. While you most likely already have followers (maybe even a community if you started with the tip above), you may not realise how easy it can be to grow that number.
One simple way to expand your reach is by encouraging your existing community to share your business page with their networks. While it’s not as direct as a referral, personal word of mouth is still a very powerful tool.
Another reach-building benefit to Facebook is all about search. When people look your business up, search engines will typically show your website and other relevant pages. Having an active Facebook page often means that it will show up in search results as well. This makes you more visible and keeps competitors from sneaking in.
Facebook is a marketing goldmine. With it, you can create highly specific audience segments to advertise to. There are a huge number of demographic categories you can filter by because users tend to share a lot of data through the app. This means that the more information you have about your target audience, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to get your ads in front of them directly.
Once you have a good list created, you can also use Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature to expand your advertising reach further and find users who share similarities to the original audience you created. The degree of similarity is usually inversely correlated to the amount you want to expand your audience. So it's important to bear in mind that the bigger you want your audience to grow using this feature, the less they’ll have in common with your initial list.
To help you make the most out of these opportunities, there are a few best-practice tips to consider. Following these will give you the best results as you explore all Facebook’s possibilities:
Understand which audience segment you’re reaching
Be sure to post regularly
Use a friendly, open tone of voice
Post content that can be interacted with and starts conversations
Encourage sharing of your page
Be engaged and responsive
Facebook is an incredibly powerful tool, even amongst other social media platforms. Optimising the way you use it can have a significant, positive impact on your business. Be sure to try these tips and tactics to get even more benefit from your Facebook business page.
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