Facebook is the mighty goliath of the social media world right now.
With more than 1.4 billion registered users from all over the globe, the chances that your target demographic is logging into the service isn’t just a possibility, it’s a probability.
Will they find you if they look for you there? What will they find if they do?
It’s true that Facebook can look, on the surface, like a place to share cat videos and pictures of the grandchildren. That’s because both of those are what Facebook is for: sharing content amongst your friends, and connecting with people and companies you trust.
Your business should be tapping into that trust. Getting started on Facebook can be as simple as starting a business page or as complex as your marketing department wants to make it. But no matter how big you go, you should get started, and here’s why:
1. That built-in trust works very well for brands who leverage it. – Facebook’s inherent trust comes from being surrounded only by people a user knows and likes. (Or is related to, which may not encompass either of those, but still has an implicit trust.) When one of those users shares your posts or content, his or her friends are automatically inclined to trust what they say. You don’t have to fight as hard for credibility, since shares have a little of that baked right in.
2. That reach can be huge. You know that Facebook is big. Do you know how big? 1.4 billion people is an almost incomprehensible number, but for perspective: it’s bigger than the population of China. You read that right: the world’s biggest social media platform is now bigger than the population of the world’s most populated country. Tap into the Facebook market and you tap into an almost limitless pool of potential buyers.
3. Not only is that audience huge, it’s also deeply engaged. A study conducted last year found that the average Facebook user spends more than 55 minutes on the site per day. Compare that with a Chartbeat study from roughly the same timeframe that found that the average time spent on all other websites is about fifteen seconds, and that number becomes even more impressive. Facebook’s audiences are interacting for a length of time that literally blows the bell curve. They could be interacting with you, too.
4. You don’t reach just one person with a share, you reach three hundred. Statista.com ran the numbers in 2014. They found that the average Facebook user has an average of 350 friends. This means that when your content is shared, you’re not getting mediocre word of mouth. You’re getting a guy on a stage with a megaphone, yelling your message to more than three hundred people… every time.
5. Tracking ROI is made remarkably simple. Facebook’s Insights and Analytics have done nothing but improve over the years of its existence. You can not only target remarkably specific groups of users to see your ads, but the reporting you receive with Facebook advertising is incredibly in-depth. Even if you’ve never advertised online before, Facebook’s analytics are user-friendly and helpful, so you can gauge what’s working and what isn’t with a minimum of frustration.
6. Even though it’s offsite, your SEO gets a bump – When it became clear that Facebook was going to stick around the social media stage, Google adjusted its algorithm to include public Facebook content in searches. If your business has a public business page that’s engaging its users, Google rewards your main site, as well.
7. Let’s call it “market research”. Or, more accurately, keeping an eye on your competitors. Because Facebook business pages are so ubiquitous now, and are almost always publicly available, keeping an eye on your direct competition can be as easy as reading through its posts. On the flip side of that same coin, you can find complimentary companies with whom you can partner with for marketing ventures just as easily. Finding out what others do right, and how you can adapt that in your own business, is priceless over time. Not bad for a free/low-cost platform.
8. It lets you get personal without cluttering up your main site. Customers can be very loyal, and very interested in your business. You can use Facebook to tell your brand’s story on a more personal level, interacting with customers and giving them more of what they want, without having to deal with sometimes-complicated web updates to your main site. It’s a two-fold benefit: you get access to your most involved customers, and your interested customers get access to you. Everybody wins.
While it shouldn’t be your only marketing strategy, to ignore Facebook’s many benefits is just inexcusable these days. Facebook user numbers are only going up, and you want to capture those fans and customers as early as you can.