Following up on our last post about Facebook, “Facebook – The New Marketing Frontier“, let’s dig in a little more about why ignoring Facebook can be very unhealthy for your business.

As a business owner in almost any industry, you can utilize Facebook to increase your brand strength, engage existing customers, draw in potential new customers and increase your sales across the board. There are many ways to utilize Facebook in your marketing strategy, so let’s look at some of the most important methods.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads is a similar service to Google AdWords – it allows you to place a bid on clicks for your ad (CPC) or to pay for the number of impressions (CPM). Bidding on individual clicks means you pay each time one of your ads gets clicked, whereas paying by impression means you pay a specific amount for the number of times that your ad is shown. Typically you pay by impression for each 1,000 views on your ad.

CPC lets you know exactly how many clicks you have received and lets you control costs based on the number of click. CPM is slightly different in that you don’t pay for each individual click, but instead you pay for people viewing your ad. According to the Atlantic Wire, Facebook “clicks don’t necessarily translate into direct sales.” This is true of any online advertising, but is worth taking into consideration when formulating your advertising campaign. One of the benefits of CPM is that even though you aren’t always focused on the number of clicks, people are still seeing your ad and this can benefit your overall branding strategy by improving brand name recognition.

Facebook Pages

Paid advertising isn’t the only way to leverage Facebook. By creating a Facebook page, you can develop a presence on Facebook at no cost. You can build up a fanbase, connect with your customers and users, communicate with potential new customers and answer questions, and provide a method for users to spread the word about your business at no cost.

Any business on Facebook should have a Facebook Page, as it enables anyone on Facebook (over 800+ million users) to connect with your business and receive updates, share them with friends, and develop a relationship over time.

Facebook Marketplace

The Facebook Marketplace is essentially a virtual classified advertising spot, similar to Craigslist, which allows you to advertise your products and services. These classified ads can then bring customers or potential customers back to your Facebook page where you can get them engaged.

As a small business owner, you owe it to your business and customers to take advantage of what Facebook has to offer. Facebook is one of the few marketing channels where you can compete effectively against bigger business in your industry, where competition may have a much larger marketing budget.

As a small business owner this is great news. Facebook opens up huge marketing potential for low or zero costs. With a small up-front budget you can create the same Facebook experience as any large company. One of the advantages of small business is being able to create and cultivate intimate personal relationships with their customers, and this is exactly how Facebook becomes valuable for your business.

So Remember…

If your business doesn’t reach out to your customers on Facebook, the competition will. If they engage with your customers or potential customers where you have neglected to do so, you have given up an opportunity that could have been made with a very low cost.