- Facebook is the largest and most recognized social media network worldwide, making it an excellent entry point for businesses looking to develop their social media strategy.
- Of all the social networks, Facebook exposes your business to the broadest audience and offers the most comprehensive set of business tools.
- Facebook’s business tools help you build your online brand, create meaningful connections with customers and potential employees, and increase overall productivity.
- This article is for small business owners who want to generate brand awareness and create meaningful connections through Facebook.
In recent years, some studies have shown that Facebook can be detrimental to mental health. While spending too much time on the social networking site can be harmful – and the company has historically been terrible at protecting your data – Facebook does have some redeeming qualities for businesses and professionals, especially when used in moderation. In fact, Facebook is one of the best ways to use social media for your business.
Here are 10 ways Facebook can benefit your business and career.
1. Facebook can help build your online brand.
Your online presence is more important than ever as consumer interest in mobile and social media shopping continues to grow, and Facebook may be your best opportunity to get in front of customers near and far.
With Facebook’s over 2.9 billion monthly users, according to Statista, no other social network can offer your business a matching level of potential exposure. As the largest and first social media network to achieve mainstream success, Facebook offers the most integration tools compared to other platforms, including follow buttons, account logins and photo sharing. These tools can lead customers back to your business website and other online content you want to highlight.
Facebook’s reach and structure make it the most useful platform if you want to reach an older demographic.
2. Facebook forms professional bonds between competitors.
One of Facebook’s overarching goals is connecting people, whether it’s old friends, current acquaintances or those looking to meet new people. While not every interaction on Facebook is helpful, there are specific instances when its sheer number of users can be beneficial.
Jo Trizila, president and CEO of TrizCom Public Relations, uses Facebook for business and personal improvement. Trizila joined a group of fellow PR professionals in the Dallas area. The group members, who agreed not to steal business from each other, collaborate by sharing tips and advice, such as what reporters to pitch to, insurance policies to consider, and software to implement. All information shared with the group stays in the group.
“It truly has been a blessing to meet, collaborate and share thought leadership with my colleagues,” Trizila said.
These PR professionals put their egos aside to help each other and improve the quality of the PR industry in the Dallas area.
To understand your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and to find areas where your business can improve, consider conducting a competitive analysis.
3. Facebook can change preconceptions.
Certain careers carry negative stereotypes. People working as lawyers, politicians or used car salespeople can be seen as dishonest just because of their job. Facebook can help defeat these stereotypes.
“Attorneys are often seen as distant and a bit aloof from the general public,” said Kevin Patrick, owner and founder of Kevin Patrick Law LLC. “To me, though, the key to developing business is making a personal connection. People want to feel like they are human and not just a case number. Facebook has been a great way of making those personal connections.”
Patrick posts content that differs from most law firms. Because he shows who he is and who his employees are, potential customers are more willing to work with the company.
“For example, my law firm page doesn’t include the typical ’10 things to do if you have been in a car accident,’ but rather, we focus our posts on ways we have served the community, such as making meals for the homeless and other volunteer activities,” Patrick said. “For one, it’s the right thing to do, and two, it has helped create a level of trust, and it leads to new cases.”
The best online reputation management services can monitor, build, and maintain your business’s online reputation, and even repair negative perceptions of your company.
4. Facebook can help you find top job candidates.
While a problematic social media persona may eliminate some candidates, Facebook provides direct access to everyone who follows your brand. This visibility can attract the best potential employees to your company.
Post job openings on your Facebook Business Page so people who would be excited to work for your company are the first to know there’s an opportunity to join. If they aren’t looking for work, they can use the “like” and “share” features to notify other qualified candidates who might be interested.
Regularly monitoring your Facebook Page can also help you adopt a more focused, proactive recruiting strategy. Check to see which customers engage positively with your brand. Do they post pictures or posts that showcase your product and service? Do your homework and reach out; you might convert a passionate fan into one of your best assets.
If your company has a brand ambassador program and you’re currently recruiting, see if any ambassadors are seeking employment.
5. Facebook can increase productivity.
While many argue that social media networks only distract employees, the opposite may be true. When employees take breaks to do something that interests them, they tend to be happier and more productive. If employees enjoy a quick break to check the Facebook News Feed and feel more connected to friends and family, they may be more relaxed and focused when they get back to work.
“Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf on the internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher net total concentration for a day’s work and, as a result, increased productivity,” said Brent Coker, researcher and lecturer in the management and marketing department at the University of Melbourne.
6. Facebook facilitates lead generation.
Facebook implements lead generation templates directly into its Ads Manager, the portal and hub for creating Facebook ads. These ads can send customers automated messages through Facebook Messenger and then analyze the response, helping you discover what the customer wants in a relatively straightforward process.
For small businesses, this tool is a helpful asset for generating leads without constantly monitoring Messenger or Facebook on the desktop and responding to spam accounts or soft leads.
The automated conversations make it easier for companies to connect to target customers, understand their interests, build an email marketing contact list, and convert prospects into paying clients.
7. Facebook’s Book Now tool makes appointment scheduling easy.
Another key feature on Facebook for small businesses is its Book Now appointment-booking tool. Book Now can integrate with a business’s calendar system and help customers book appointment times or demos when they’re available.
If customers schedule appointments through Facebook, assuming the calendar is accurate, this process can save companies time by reducing the number of phone calls to book appointments or time spent monitoring an online booking system. A handful of automated messages can make the process more straightforward than someone manually scheduling appointments.
After customers book their appointment, they’ll receive a calendar invite and information, directions, and instructions.
When using Facebook’s appointment-scheduling feature, keep it up to date with any other scheduling application you have, such as Microsoft Bookings, to avoid the risk of double booking.
8. Facebook’s keyword search function helps you find people or content.
Facebook’s keyword search feature makes it easier and faster to find the most relevant content when you need it. It lets you search all types of posts – status updates, photos, videos, news articles and more – using simple keywords, just as you would for a Google search.
To find information on a person, business, event or subject, users type in a simple keyword or phrase, and relevant information will appear. This process makes finding information on a business partner or network connection easier, even if you only have limited information.
9. Facebook offers digital marketing and conversion rate optimization.
Facebook helps users contact and get information directly from businesses through a series of specific buttons on Facebook ads. These features help users communicate directly with small businesses in as little time as possible.
From a business perspective, these features allow companies to expand their reach to new clients, making it easier to convert them with the click of a button. With buttons, businesses can customize their call to action (CTA) based on their communication styles and conversion goals. These CTA buttons include Call Now, Get Directions, Send Messages and Shop Now, among many others.
10. Facebook Pay makes it easy to get started with e-commerce.
If you want to start selling online through a Facebook shop, Facebook Pay is a straightforward way to jump into e-commerce and start accepting payments. When you sign up for Facebook Pay, it’s easy to link it to your Facebook shop and include it in your payment arsenal.
Anyone with a Facebook account can use Facebook Pay on Facebook, Messenger, or Instagram to buy almost any type of goods and services. When your shop offers Facebook Pay, you’ll have access to many customers and give them an easy way to pay and a speedy checkout process.
Facebook Pay is free to use for consumers and businesses.
Ways to promote your business on Facebook include creating a Facebook Page, posting consistently and forming a Facebook Group.
Why Facebook is valuable to businesses
Facebook is a social media networking site that allows users to connect with friends, family, co-workers and others, including groups of people who share similar interests. Users can share pictures, videos, articles and opinions with their friends.
To get the most benefit from Facebook, business owners should understand how it differs from other social networks. When social media networks were first launched, they focused on individual expression. However, Facebook prioritized relationship-building to foster an interconnected online community.
A Facebook Business Page can be an effective small business marketing tool. Here are some of its benefits.
- Connections: Businesses can connect with their customers and target audiences to share updates on hours, sales and promotions, new product offerings, pictures of merchandise, and more.
- Easy notifications and sharing: People who follow your Page receive an instant notification when you post new content. With one click, they can share it with people in their network or a select group of friends.
- Messaging: Customers and followers can comment on your posts and Page and send you direct messages.
- Customer engagement: A Facebook Page can help boost customer engagement. Engaging with followers and answering their questions can immediately elevate a prospective shopper into a loyal customer.
- Visibility: Even followers of your brand who don’t share your updates are public endorsers because their connections can see the brands they follow.
Other social networks may have different purposes. For example, Twitter lets businesses share news or short written blurbs of up to 240 characters. However, Facebook has developed the broadest set of business and networking features. Its feature set exposes businesses to a massive community of consumers and allows brands to engage with shoppers in unique ways.
Sean Peek, Chad Brooks and Jordan Beier contributed to the writing and research in this article. Source interviews were conducted for previous versions of this article.