Ways Small Businesses Can Win With Facebook

Posted: October 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Are you seeking a bigger Facebook presence, but have a small budget?

You may see your small business efforts on Facebook like David compared to the Goliath presence big businesses enjoy.

There’s a lot that small businesses can learn from the way big businesses approach Facebook, but the separation between your little company and international corporations isn’t as vast as it may sometimes appear.

Big businesses have plans for their Facebook endeavors. They’re focused on strategizing, plotting and forecasting. They have goals in mind and they know the hurdles they’re going to have to jump en route to achieving those goals.

Small business owners, on the other hand, often create Facebook pages just because they see other businesses doing so, or they read somewhere that experts say they should. But they create their pages with no real goal.

You may not have the same manpower or finances to assign to your Facebook efforts that big businesses possess, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead.

Think about what you want out of your Facebook presence. Is it more foot traffic? More sales? Or is it just more contact info to populate your newsletter mailing list? Figuring out your goals is the first step in initiating and directing your Facebook presence.

You’ve probably seen those sharp, shiny customized page tabs that big businesses have. A couple of years ago, companies had to hire designers to build these tabs. They were hand-coded, labor-intensive and difficult to maintain. It was a near full-time job that many small businesses just couldn’t afford.

ShortStack, along with numerous others, gives small business owners the ability to create their own custom tabs with relative ease.

You don’t have to know programming languages and you don’t even have to be a particularly adept web designer. They’ll give you the look and functionality boasted by the pages of big businesses at a fraction of the cost. These custom tab applications have really leveled the playing field, so it’s important that you take advantage of them. Facebook users want interaction and attention, and this is where big businesses blow the little guys out of the water.

From contests and sweepstakes to virtual gifts and sharable content, big businesses know how to give Facebook users what they want.

Unfortunately, it seems most small business owners missed this memo. Their business pages consist of a couple of pictures, a short bio and perhaps a map. But this static content will not hold the attention of your fans.

To be effective on Facebook, you’ve got to buy into the ideals of Facebook, and that means embracing engagement and interaction.

Promotional features like contests, sweepstakes and virtual gifts are available on most custom tab apps. So again, if you’re not using a custom tab app, sign up, create engaging content and be social. Gathering feedback and looking for improvements is part of the job of a big business community manager. But taking advantage of any such data usually includes reports, committee meetings, action items and a host of other steps in the filter-up process of big business bureaucratic hierarchy.

This is where you, as a small business owner, really have an advantage. Posts to your wall from your customers become instantaneous feedback that you can use to make appropriate changes, resolve issues and even enjoy compliments. And because you’re the owner, you make the decisions. There’s no waiting for teams of higher-ups to convene and agree on a response. It’s all up to you, and you can make things happen right now.
Corporate decision-making lumbers. Not only are there reports and meetings, there’s planning and marketing. Action takes a while. As a result, big business community managers have little flexibility.

But small business owners don’t have to wade through that corporate process. Want to get a bunch of people to your restaurant tonight? Let your fans know via wall post that everyone who comes in and mentions the post gets two-for-one drinks.

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