11 OCT 2010 2
In the modern age, the Internet is integrated tightly in both our personal lives and businesses. Social media is the new cash cow, and Facebook is on top of the wave. No serious entrepreneur can afford to ignore the opportunities brought by a business Facebook account. It's not just about staying in touch with the trends; integrating your business with the online community can benefit you in a whole lot of ways. Sometimes it will require a bit of extra effort on your part, but in the end it will be worth it, if you play your cards right.
The first and most obvious benefit you'll get from having a business account on Facebook is that you'll expand your potential client base. If you let your current customers know that you've set up the page and ask them to "like your page", this will help spread the word to their Facebook connections, all for free. Think in terms of advertising budgets—how much it would it cost to advertise your business to a crowd of this size?
Facebook is also the perfect tool to perform basic research with. Wondering how a certain change in your policy will be reflected on your customers? Or perhaps you'd like some feedback on that new product you are about to launch? Until now, this would have equaled investing money and time to poll your customers. If you do or have dealt with cold selling you might have an understanding of the costs involved. However, by setting up a simple poll on your Facebook business page, you can immediately probe the opinion of all your customers who have liked your page and, again, everything is done for free.
A Facebook business account could also help your company to analyze the demographics of your prospects. The built-in analytics will show you detailed statistical breakdowns: you will learn about the location of your future customers, gender and age groups. Afterward, you can build products to suit them or change the course of your current promotion campaigns. If, for instance, you are selling used sports cars and a large chunk of your prospects are over 50, you might consider selling some vehicles that will appeal to an older demographic.
Of course, being sloppy in your work when setting up the account can easily backfire, so take care to design and set up the page appropriately. If customers have to deal with common mistakes or an unprofessional appearance of your Facebook page (such as the page being stuffed with tons of useless apps, or important pieces of information missing), you are likely to lose the leads. There is no room for, say, a weather applet or a link to Yoville on a corporate page.
Do some research on the current trends in Facebook business accounts. Look at the accounts of your competitors too – there is nothing to be ashamed of. Just don’t blatantly rip off their design and content!