Why you should set up a Facebook Business Page for your local or small business
As we discussed in a previous blog post, a Facebook Business Page is one of the quickest and most effective ways to get your small Irish business’ online presence started. It also has the added benefit of being incredibly familiar to a huge number of people. So for most of you, it will be very straightforward to set up and manage. If you don’t know how to set up a business Facebook page, there is a link to Facebook’s own guide at the bottom of the page.
While Facebook may have over a billion active users, as a local business you are really only interested in those users that live in your locality. That is still going to be a more than useful number of people (if somewhat less than a billion). The added benefit of your Facebook business page though is that even people that aren’t Facebook users can find it.
The benefits of a Facebook Business Page for Irish businesses
Facebook provides a number of great benefits to small and local Irish businesses. It remains the most important social network for Irish businesses to have a presence on. It is quick and easy to set up and there are no real downsides to it. So let’s take a look at some of the benefits Irish businesses can gain from having a Facebook Business Page:
An Important source of your business’ contact details
First up and most importantly, especially for those of you that are not technically minded, is that it provides the internet at large your business’ vital details. Your business name, phone number and address. If your business details are not on the internet, then you can be guaranteed that nobody is ever going to find them.
Facebook itself is a huge search engine, with an estimated 1.5 billion searches every day, but beyond that Facebook Business Pages show up in Google’s search results. Try a few different Google searches now for tradespeople or business types in your area. You should see a host of Facebook Business Pages amongst the results.
You should always try and fill out your Business Page profile as much as possible. Include your email address, website link if you have one, opening hours, business description etc. It’s all good information that a searcher might be looking for.
It doesn’t have to cost you anything
Other than a relatively small amount of time that is. Of course Facebook does make its money from advertising and you can spend a pretty penny on Facebook ads (with varying degrees of success – but that’s a topic for another day). However, you don’t have to spend a single cent and can still gain a significant benefit from their platform.
Build Brand Awareness
Alongside providing a result option for those searching on Google, Facebook can also help you to build awareness of your business through more viral means. If you can make posts to your profile on a semi regular basis, this can really help increase your exposure to people in your area.
Take this as just one example of building brand awareness:
Your business carries out work for Mrs. X and you take pictures of the before and after of that work (with Mrs. X’s permission of course). You put together a quick Facebook post about the job, mentioning some of the details along with the photographs. If you can, include a tag to Mrs. X herself, either in the post or in a comment below it.
Not only will your page followers have a chance of seeing your post, but that tag means that everyone that is friends with Mrs. X will too. If you’re lucky, Mrs X will like and/or comment the post herself and her friends will have an even better chance of seeing it. If you’re really lucky she’ll share it gaining you even more exposure.
Now what if some of her friends like, comment or share the post in turn? This is when the viral aspect really kicks in. Everyone that sees that post will know your Business’ name, the type of work you carry out and that you did so for someone they know. The real cherry on top is that most of these people are going to be local to you.
This folks is the quickest and easiest (and still free) way to carry out local viral marketing in Ireland.
A source for online reviews
We have mentioned this a couple of times before, but online reviews are quickly taking over from traditional word of mouth as the top source of new customers for businesses. And that trend is only going to accelerate.
We are red in the face telling people how important it is to ask your customers for reviews. Taking just a few seconds to ask can have a significant positive effect on your business. Even if just one in ten actually do so, for the few seconds it takes to ask it is well worth doing.
Facebook is a great platform to host those reviews, as significant numbers of people have Facebook accounts (even if they don’t all use them regularly). On top of this your review score can show up in Google’s search results as a row of gold stars next to your business name. If you carried out some of those sample searches as we suggested above you probably saw some of those results with 5 gold stars. Makes you want to click on them more than those listings without them, doesn’t it?
A customer communication channel
Facebook allows you to have a two way communication channel direct with individual customers or prospects through their messaging service and through the comments sections of your posts. Customers can have questions answered and you can gain valuable feedback providing opportunities that most likely would be missed otherwise.
Besides the two way communication, it also provides you with the platform to inform your customers about special offers, new products or even just something as simple as alternative opening hours over a bank holiday.
Having a Facebook Business Page is a no brainer
Hopefully the above 5 reasons why you should have a Facebook Business Page will convince you that setting one up is a no brainer. And for those of you that already have a page on Facebook, perhaps this might give you a few extra ideas on how to use it. Or at least prompt you to fill out your profile a little more completely.
All of this is really only the tip of the iceberg, but I wanted to focus on reasons that almost everyone, no matter their technical proficiency, can take advantage of. Discussion on paid Facebook ads, Facebook insights, Facebook Business Manager, targeting market segments and so on can wait for another day.
If you are looking to setup a business Facebook page, Facebook have put together a handy guide to walk you through it – https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/set-up-facebook-page.
About LSB Marketing
LSB Marketing is a provider of local and small business web solutions at an affordable price. Based in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford and serving businesses throughout Ireland, we help local & small businesses to find new customers by delivering an effective web presence.
Many small businesses are put off investing in a website by the often prohibitive costs. There are also plenty of examples of businesses investing in website development and then not getting a return because their site doesn’t appear in search results. This is most often due to no search engine optimisation being carried out.
Unfortunately this often leads to businesses having next to no online presence at all, which really can be a significant barrier to success. This is why we put articles like this together.
Our Small Business Promotion Services
We offer Irish businesses a small business web solutions package, which is specifically designed to get the best results for the smallest amount of investment. You can read more about it here – https://www.lsbmarketing.ie/small-business-web-solutions/
LSB Marketing also provides a fully search optimised web development service for small and local businesses, starting from just €600. This includes your chosen domain name (.ie, .com or .net – if available) and web hosting for the first year, as well all of our web promotion expertise brought to bear.
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