Dear Professor Bruce: I’ve been told by colleagues that a company’s Facebook page is a must have for business growth. I only have a web site, and am still pondering whether I need a Facebook page for my company. Can you please advise me on this Facebook opportunity?
Answer: Profitable growth planning for small business includes the smart goal to “attract, convert and retain” customers.
Whether you own a corner deli or a construction business, your opportunity for profitable growth comes from initiating a viable Internet publishing foundation. Small businesses need to focus effectively on:
-- Unique, highly creative foundations designed to “attract” customers.
-- Marketing magnets for hunting, finding and “converting” customers.
-- Valuable “retention” programs building lifetime value for old and new customers.
Facebook is the largest publishing model today, with 1 billion global users. Because of its mammoth user base, many small businesses have turned to this social platform to connect to potential customers.
Smart owners realize Facebook is a competitive weapon of choice. But, just like any business tool, it requires an investment of time to learn to use it, and to tune your use for optimum performance.
According to Peter Weedfald, the president of Gen One Ventures and the author of “Green Reign Leadership,” “creating a highly successful small business storefront on Facebook will require your focus and time on 10 digital Facebook principals.”
1. Your customer conversations need to be fresh, relevant and updated daily.
2. Focus heavily on customers “liking” your page to accept messaging, engagements and offers.
3. Deliver a clear mission statement that includes to whom, where and what you offer -- and why it is better.
4. Project value. Provide relevant content, time sensitive coupons and reward programs.
5. Build a community of fans with discussion boards, surveys and reviews, and create wider engagements.
6. Create a referral benefit program for fans who engage with your business.
7. Enlist RSS (really simple syndication) feeds from your blogs and Twitter account inserting content directly into your Facebook page.
8. Link your company’s Facebook page on your company website and emails sent.
9. Make sure physical customers are introduced to your Facebook site.
10. Thank your customers by highlighting them -- add photos that their friends and neighbors can see.
Facebook is based on face-to-face common-sense principles that work for any small business -- valuable products, smart pricing, genuine customer care. Facebook optimization for small business allows you to attract, convert and retain customers.
Once you master the Facebook proposition you will begin the process of super-fueling competitive business growth.
For further information: www.GenOneVentures.com.
Bruce Freeman is president of ProLine Communications in Livingston, N.J., and co-author of “Birthing the Elephant.” He teaches at Seton Hall and Kean universities. Email Bruce@SmallBusinessProfessor.com.