It's becoming increasingly apparent that social media is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Small business owners who use social networking sites effectively are able to promote their businesses in powerful ways. One of the best ways to use social media for business is with a Facebook business page. Here are six reasons to create a Facebook page for your small business today.
1. Your Facebook page can teach you more about your target audience.
Having a Facebook page for your business gives you a way to talk to and get direct feedback from your target audience. Think of it like an ongoing focus group. Your fans are there because they are aware of your company, and want to learn more. While they are certainly expecting to receive useful information from your Facebook page, you can also be collecting useful information from them through their participation. Facebook Insights also provide useful information about your fans and their interactions on your page. As a microcosm of your target market, your Facebook fans can tell you a lot about what they want through their interaction, comments and feedback.
2. A Facebook page gives you a chance to "humanize" your company.
Social connections and genuine communication are integral parts of social media, and a Facebook page for your business gives you a unique opportunity to attach a face, name and personality to your brand. While your Facebook page may be representative of your company, it also allows you to show the human side of your business through one-on-one conversations, personal tidbits and non-business interaction. Even if you automate parts of your social media activity, you can fit in a moderate amount of live, on-the-spot communication to create richer, more "human" relationships.
3. You can build a community on your Facebook page.
Facebook pages are excellent places to gather together your customers, prospects and fans to provide reviews, share opinions, voice concerns and offer feedback. You can build a community on your Facebook page in a number of ways, including:
4. Facebook is good for search engine optimization (SEO).
Having a Facebook page for your small business can be an effective way to direct traffic to your business website and blog. Your posts, links and other activity that are contained on your public Facebook page can also give you an SEO boost if they are indexed by search engines. With the speed of social media and new weight being added to information shared through social channels, having a Facebook page that is filled with rich content that is relevant to your business can help you boost your search engine rankings.
5. Your competition may already have a Facebook page.
I wouldn't recommend taking action in any area of your business simply because your competition is doing it. However, when it comes to social media, not having a Facebook page or presence on other social networks can cost you opportunities, especially if your competition is using social media and using it well.
6. You can put your business in front of your customers every day.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of having a Facebook page for your business is the ability to have status updates, shared links and videos, and other information appear in your fans' news feeds once they "like" your page. With more than 750 million active Facebook users, an increasing number of consumers are using the site to find products, services and brands to solve their everyday problems. Facebook and other social networks make it easy for potential customers to find you. And when they do, they are often more likely to remember your brand and share it with their own connections. Ultimately, a branded Facebook page for your business can be a powerful way to expand your reach and increase awareness of your business online.
Excerpted from an art by Alyssa Gregory for About.com