Facebook Business

Facebook: Why It’s Still Important for Small Businesses

Gene Marks

Transcript

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Gene (00:02):

Hey everybody. This is Gene Marks and welcome to the Small Biz Ahead podcast, my weekly edition of different thoughts and advice to help you run your business. So today, let’s talk about Facebook. Shall we? It’s parent Meta, they announced just recently that the social media powerhouse that Facebook is, actually saw a drop in its daily active users for the first time in its history. Not really great news. The company continues to come under congressional and public scrutiny for its actions after the damaging testimony of a whistleblower last fall. It’s core application, Facebook is a social media app. It faces challengers from like dozens of other social media competitors, like TikTok and YouTube and Snapchat.

Gene (00:54):

So, all of these are challenges for Facebook but I don’t know if you feel the same way and if you’re active on Facebook but a lot of my small business clients they’re aware of these issues, but many of them are pretty much shrugging them off. And here’s the reason why: It’s because despite all of these challenges, Facebook still remains a significant resource for them. I mean, the platform still boasts almost 3 billion monthly active users and a third of the world’s population uses it every month. It’s marketplace has more than a billion monthly active users. There are 250 million Facebook shops around the world. Over 90 million, small businesses across the globe use the platform. So yeah, Facebook has its challenges, but it’s also a very important marketing and service tool for lots and lots of small companies.

Gene (01:47):

So you wanna think about that? I mean of my client base, both here in my hometown of Philadelphia and around the country, countless small businesses are using Facebook to attract new customers and engage existing ones. Entrepreneurs, independent contractors, startups and established businesses, they’re leveraging Facebook’s business pages, they run regular ads, they upload multiple posts to their communities. They rely on apps and tools like Canva or MobileMonkey or Sendinblue or Heyo. These are all marketing apps for Facebook, as well as Facebook’s inside apps like internal apps like Polls and Messenger and Conversions. And of course it’s Facebook live platform for conducting webinars and events. So you can make sales and keep close to your community. These are all things that businesses are doing right now. The ones that are on Facebook, they are succeeding with it and listen it’s value…

Gene (02:43):

may vary to different small businesses. But there is one thing I have noticed about my clients who have used Facebook with success over the years and it’s this: They know their audience, they commit the right amount of resources and they’re genuine when they’re online. So, for most of them, it does start with the demographics. One client told me I have a client who runs a yoga studio in Philadelphia. And she says to me like, listen, you gotta know your audience and then you gotta craft content that speaks directly to them. She knows she’s competing with multiple social media channels and other things that can distract people from all the messaging going on. So, she targets a slightly older, later age group of millennials, as well as baby boomers who are interested in dipping their toes into working out and getting into yoga.

Gene (03:33):

So like to attract those customers, she posts regular updates on physical fitness to our company’s Facebook page. And she stays active in Facebook’s physical fitness groups. So she’s very active in these groups. She’s also, by the way, a mother of two, her business partner recently had a baby. So they both know how important it is for young mothers to get physical exercise and practice wellness. So, when they have yoga classes for new parents, which they target that demographic, they go right out to the Facebook groups. They look for parents and moms groups on Facebook and market that stuff. They really know their demographics and they go after that demographic on Facebook. I have another client that does digital marketing for a national association of independent mortgage experts.

Gene (04:22):

She runs a 12,000 member Facebook group. Talk about demographics. She posts regular updates to the groups and on all sorts of things that are happening in their industry. She wants to make sure that she’s staying close with her digital community, because she knows that it’s their lifeblood for getting out major updates and to talk about any pain points that her members are feeling right now. She also uses her Facebook group for members to get current on legislation affecting the mortgage industry and to sort of get the temperature of anything that’s important. I mean these two clients in particular, they know that Facebook is only useful when they can engage with the community, share their interests but doing that, recognizing that community and knowing your demographics, that’s like half the job. Building it takes resources and planning and continuous engagements.

Gene (05:14):

I mean my clients that do well on Facebook, they have people that spend full time, 40 hours a week working on Facebook. The one woman that I mentioned before, who is the digital marketing manager at the mortgage association, she moderates conversations. She responds to questions. She posts news and updates and leverages notifications to respond quickly, regardless of the hour of the day. My other clients, they have frequent planning sessions to discuss their future events on Facebook and future messaging and promotions that are needed to support those events or any sales that they’re doing. For example. Everybody pays attention to engagement because engagement is critical. And the ones that are succeeding on Facebook know that, listen when it comes to engagement, it’s not quantity, it’s quality. They find that, if just 30% of the people are actually seeing a message and engaging with it, that’s much better than two and a half to 5% of the people seeing a message that you’re sending out to a bigger group. In other words, the more engagement, even if it’s a smaller group is better for Facebook.

Gene (06:20):

So knowing your demographics, focusing on your community, going after your market, putting in the resources, putting in the time to make it a success, these are all the different things, you gotta make sure you’re doing. One other point about advertising: People say like, well, should I be advertising on Facebook? And what I’ve found for most is that it’s a matter of finding the right mix between sponsored and organic posts. An organic post of course will cost you nothing. And, depending on the content, you could hit it and it could reach the very people you’re trying to reach, by paying for something. So that’s great, but let’s face it. Facebook makes its money from advertising and it’s targeting tools are very popular. So most of my clients that are active on Facebook, they do a little bit of a balance between paying for posts, promoting posts and actually just having it straightforward, organic. Your posts don’t have to be super complicated or expensive, I mean, they could be as like $10 a day, but they could be useful to reach people for outside of your footprint.

Gene (07:20):

Finally, in one final important thing I wanna say about Facebook, it’s all about being genuine, being legit, being transparent when you’re on that social media platform. You can focus on the demographics. You can commit the time that you want, but if you’re not genuine and transparent, people are not gonna be engaging with you. And that is absolutely a key to succeeding on this platform. My one client, the one at the mortgage association, she says she likes to show personality. She knows that people don’t want to be sold. They wanna get to know you and build trust. And that’s how you build loyalty. And that’s how you build engagement. So the more people can remember who you are and the more that you remember them because you’ve shown some personality, the more likely you are to get some engagement and build a relationship that way.

Gene (08:09):

And that is the way that you build that community and succeed on Facebook. So all of that is really important. Because in the end, people look at it as marketing platform. In my opinion, it’s a customer service platform. Yeah. You wanna engage with new people but the key thing is keeping your community close and tight and expanding your community in that way. And my best clients using Facebook, that’s exactly what they do. So this has been another episode of Small Biz Ahead. My name is Gene Marks. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope some of my insights are helpful regarding Facebook. If you’d like more advice, tips, help in running your business, please visit SmallBizAhead.com or sba.thehartford.com. I will be back next week with some other thoughts on something that I hope we’ll help you run your business that much better. Again, thanks for listening. We will see you again soon. Take care.

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