28 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Use Facebook for Business
Social Media is here and it is not going anywhere. Many brands focus on specific social media sites because of the type of updates they can make or the activity level of their target market. Facebook is no different even with the changes to organic reach, the social media giant is still often the first choice for businesses that are seeking to get started on social media to promote their business and communicate with customers. Rescue a CEO asked some businesses how they use Facebook to help their business.
1) Have Fun
At Bubbly Paws Dog Wash and Spa (2 locations in Minneapolis) we are very active on Facebook and Instagram, but what you will never see is us selling anything. Our customers get frustrated when businesses are trying to push their products and services on them. We have taken the route of just having fun on Facebook and Instagram. Often we will post cute pictures of dogs. For example to mention we are having a sale on dog sweaters, we just have a picture of a dog who came in and tried on sweaters. We also do bonuses for our staff that get a certain number of likes. We also do contests for prizes and encourage lots of interaction.
Thanks to Keith Miller, Bubbly Paws Dog Wash and Spa!
Facebook (FB): Bubbly Paws
We have had great results from conducting social media giveaways on our Facebook page. Not only have they helped us expand the followings on all of our social media channels, but they have also given us the opportunity to really engage with our customers on a very personal, 1:1 level. When customers comment on our giveaway statuses and posts, we always respond back and have a fun and insightful conversation with them.
Thanks to Grainne Kelly, BubbleBum!
FB: Bubble Bum US
3) Connect Customers
Get out of the way and let the customers talk to each other on Facebook to engage them with your brand: Our approach is to let the power of our platform connect customers. We get out of our customers’ way and let them talk to each other across all social media channels. We facilitate real peer to peer interactions without censoring, allowing our customers to engage each other about our products and designs rather than us starting the conversation on our social media channels.
Thanks to Philip Rooke, Spreadshirt!
4) Multiple Ways
If we're on Facebook, so are our clients! So it's vital to have a Facebook business page in order to reach them and get indexed by google. Here are 10 ways I have used Facebook for my business and you can too: 1) share blog posts, inspirational quotes & stories, 2) promote your courses & products, 3) create polls and surveys for new product design, 4) get feedback on your brand, customer service, and offerings, 5) ask questions to learn about and engage with readers, 6) use the analytics feature to understand your customers and see what posts are doing well so you can do more of that, 7) schedule posts in advance when on holidays, 8) post consistently at least twice a day 9) respond to comments and questions, 10) mix up your social and business posts in a ratio of around 80:20 to create a lasting connection that goes way beyond a one off sale. You could also boost your posts and use Facebook ads to reach more potential clients (haven't tried this one yet personally though).
Thanks to Tia Sparkles Singh, Your Life YOUR Way
5) Great & Engaging Content
Produce Engaging content on topics that matter to your customers and they will connect emotionally. Nothing is more powerful than connecting an authentic voice and expert approach to an audience that needs it most. We recently shifted from direct response and traditional advertising to online engagement. The best way to get in front of this generation is to draw them in emotionally with great content that matters to them. Our experts respond to parenting related topics on our EmpoweringParents face book page to offer valuable insight and thoughtful discussion .
Thanks to Steve Anderson, EmpoweringParents.com!
FB: Parenting Advice
6) Brand Promotion
At Salcura Naturals, we use Facebook to help promote our brand. We use Facebook to reach an audience that has already placed an interest in our company while providing them with great tips to help them maintain healthy skin and a healthy mind. Not only has Facebook helped us reach a targeted market – it has also allowed us to spread our wings into different segments making new audiences aware of our natural skincare products. With 71% More Likely to Purchase Based on Social Media Referrals (Ewing, 2012), Facebook has permitted fans to share our information with their friends, creating opportunities to increase our conversion rates because of the 71%.
Thanks to Kyle Washer, Salcura Naturals
7) Ad Campaign
Facebook ad campaigns have been extremely successful in helping us grow our customer base. Because we are able to target people with our ads according to certain demographics, locations, and whether or not a person is already a fan of Isabelle Grace Jewelry, we are able to reach the exact people who are more likely to become new customers or repeat purchasers. We also always make sure to include a special discount code for Facebook fans in our ads as well, which has resulted in many new fans and customers.”
Thanks to Claudia Montez, Isabelle Grace Jewelry!
8) Personal Touch
We use Facebook to add a personal side to what many would consider a ‘boring' business. We do the business filings, so while it is exciting to help new businesses get started, it is not fancy or sparkly. We post information about who we are as people ‘behind' the business. We also post helpful business articles and content for small business owners.
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com!
9) Connect & Create Content
Our Facebook page not only helps us stay in touch with the nursing community at large. It also helps us create content for our website. For example, we ask a question on our Facebook page, and when we get lots of responses we use those to create an article to be published on our site. An example: #SongsForNurses: Top 8 Songs That Will Remind You of Nursing – created from responses on Facebook, re-shared on Facebook, went viral.
Thanks to Clara Buenconsejo, NurseTogether.com
While it's possible to grow your business for free with Facebook, its advertising opportunities are another great way to expand your reach. Relatively speaking, Facebook advertising costs just pennies compared with traditional marketing tools! Each year our organization produces two resources that are great for the wider community. We post this info on Facebook, drive our current followers to our website, and then for just a few hundred dollars boost the post. You can reach people by geography, age, interests, gender, and a number of other demographics. Your message reaches a target audience, they get what they're looking for, and you get more followers and hits on your website. Last fall we spent just $100 to boost a post for the first time. We reached nearly 16,000 people and got more than 40 new pages likes, more than 300 interactions with the post, and dozens of shares. New people were exposed to our brand and it was easy and inexpensive. Thanks to this successful campaign, we'll be exploring Facebook's additional advertising options in the months ahead.
Thanks to Melissa Logan, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary!
FB: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
11) Organic Growth
Facebook has been invaluable in marketing my product. The growth seen from the use of it is quite amazing. I am often at an event and meet someone who will say that they have heard of my company on their Facebook News Feed. My neighbor saw a post on her News Feed from a friend of hers with an image of my product. She was raving about it, telling people that they needed to try it! I would not have seen that post if it was not for my friend coming across it and sharing it with me. It shows the organic growth Facebook can generate and how other Facebook users are essentially marketing for you. As consumers, we all know the value in a testimonial versus a company pitch of the product. I also use it to share company updates, new products, when fresh deliveries are made and information or news that I feel will be of interest to my customers. This keeps customers engaged, making it interesting to read my content as it is not constant marketing on my part.
Thanks to Tracie Long, Avocadough!
12) We are Real
We have been using Facebook for a while for our weight loss blog. From past experience we have found that many weight loss and fitness blogs are littered with unrealistic pictures of dream bodies and no one ever eats white pasta. However we are real we eat carbs and we are honest about our weight loss journey. We even post pictures of the fast food we've consumed. We also have different features so that fans don't get bored. Such as weekly recipes, weight loss tips and our latest blog posts. In return this has led to excellent Facebook interaction, people buying our products and excellent brand awareness.
Thanks to Samantha Milner, My Weight Loss Dream!
13) Spread the Word & Recruitment
I work with Tech Talent South- an educational startup that teaches coding immersion programs. Like many organizations, we have our own Facebook page, but we really like to use Facebook to spread the word about the programs we offer and use it as a way to recruit new students for the four cohorts each of our campuses teaches a year. We use Facebook to find groups that are local to each of our campuses (we have one in Georgia, one in Louisiana, and three in North Carolina), and reach out to them if it seems they'll be even remotely interested in learning how to code. Because we believe coding is a skill anyone can learn with a little direction and willpower, there are plenty of groups to reach out to.
Thanks to Ray Howard, Tech Talent South!
FB: Tech Talent South
14) Adding the Personal Touch
Sometimes the most intimidating part about a home improvement project is picking up the phone and calling a contractor. We lower the risk factor for those considering our company by allowing them to watch installation videos, read reviews from those we've done work for and see albums of completed jobs. Potential and current clients appreciate that we continuously post new links to our blog which contains relevant information about industry trends. Facebook is a great way for us to have to interact with followers and we regularly use their app so that we can respond to questions & concerns 24/7. Since a lot of our followers are in our immediate geographical area, it's also been a natural way to showcase employment opportunities.
Thanks to Andy Lindus, Lindus Construction!
15) Connect with Customers & Communicate
At On Location Tours, we use Facebook as a tool to connect with customers and foster two-way communication. On our tours, we encourage customers to share photos of their experience with us on Facebook and provide feedback. Through this encouragement, we've increased our reviews on the platform. Facebook is also a great way for us to build awareness around our products, especially new tours.
Thanks to Lauren Nicholson, On Location Tours!
16) Daily Communication in a Unique Way
PickleballCentral has had a Facebook page for 4 years. Looking at those early years, we were pretty lost. We didn't know what to do on Facebook. We'd post something about a product and then nothing for months. Sometimes we'd post about things going on in the warehouse. It took a while for us to find our way on Facebook. Now I feel like thanks to Facebook, we're in daily communication with our community in a great unique way. Our community is people who love pickleball, not necessarily customers. We have nearly 5000 likes. We post daily and nearly every post is something newsworthy about pickleball and not self promotion. We're working to associate our brand with real quality information about pickleball, a sport that people are passionate about. We're not just pushing products and coupons on our page. There's still quite a bit more we could be doing with our FB page. We're taking it one step at a time.
Thanks to Anna G. Copley, PickleballCentral.com!
17) Facebook Groups
We are beginning to see power in Facebook Groups. There are at least two local closed foodie groups in our area and we monitor mentions of our restaurant, our neighborhood and people looking for fun things to do in general. We also participate in discussions and offer cooking tips when we can. While we can’t join a group as our restaurant, our logo is my Facebook profile picture!
Thanks to SandroGalindo, Wexler's Tavern & Eatery!
18) Engage & Communicate
My company, Strand of Silk has used Facebook since almost the start of the company to engage with customers and communicate company initiatives and products, including product launches, events and ideas about creating looks using our products. In our experience however, the constant changes in Facebook’s algorithm has consistently reduced our organic reach, forcing us to use advertisement options on Facebook!
Thanks to Vivek Agarwal, Strandofsilk.com
19) Inspirational Messages or Tips
About 80 percent of my content on Facebook is either inspirational messages or tips for my audience (mostly entrepreneurs/sales professionals) to use to positively impact their business. I also share my podcast sessions and YouTube video links, as well. I love giving busy professionals tips to overcome their day-to-day challenges.
Thanks to Erica Castner, Queen of Results!
20) Ask for Opinions or Ideas
Facebook updates for business has changed over recent years, unlike Twitter you won't get a great deal of views if you just post a product or promotion. I find the best way to gain exposure for your business on Facebook is to ask your followers for their opinions or ideas, whether this be on something that has happened in the news or specifically relating to your business, its products or services. People love to feel that their views are important so as long as the question is right you will get comments, this can quickly spiral into a debate with a number of people and get your business some fantastic exposure.
Thanks to Jamie Rice, The Skill Centre!
21) Free Promotion
Being a one-person company located in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, I find Facebook to be an invaluable source of free promotion for my company. I post several times a day and keep fans updated with text, photos and videos related to The Vegg. I don’t use their ‘BOOST’ paid advertising because I find their pricing scheme quite sketchy and difficult to understand. Occasionally I search out like-minded pages to post on as that helps grow my fan base. Facebook is not the only image intensive social media site of course. If Facebook didn’t exist I’d concentrate my posting to Instagram and Tumblr. Not a huge fan of Twitter really.
Thanks to Rocky Shepheard, The Vegg!
FB: The Vegg
22) 2 Ways: Own Space & Ads
Camino Information Services uses Facebook in two specific ways. First and foremost, we wanted to own our space on Facebook. It does not help our SEO directly, but having a page show up on Facebook as a search engine result when someone searches our name is invaluable, and it's free. Secondly, we occasionally run advertisements for blog posts about specific services we are promoting, generating some buzz and hopefully reshares. We also use Facebook to share new content and interesting news articles, but that generally serves the purpose of keeping our profile fresh and active. The only thing worse than not owning your Facebook space is owning a dead Facebook space.
Thanks to Sarah McMullin, Camino Information Services!
FB: Camino Information Services
23) Sales Growth
Our company's increased presence on Facebook has directly led our growth in sales. Facebook is our best vehicle to directly connect with our customers in a non-obtrusive way. If we want our message to be seen by more current and potential customers, we spend money on Facebook ads. Through Facebook we have cultivated relationships with key players in the fashion industry. Now when we post important announcements, they are shared by influential leaders in the fashion world. Our messages often go viral, reaching potential customers that wouldn't have seen the post otherwise.
Thanks to Steven Bernstein, Lauren’s Fab Finds!
24) Fans into Cheerleaders
Facebook is my go to platform to connect with tired moms around the globe. The days of pushing your products on prospects and just hoping that they'll buy are long gone. People want to know that care about and get them before making a purchase. To build trust with my community I share daily spiritual inspiration, funny parent memes, and offer free sleep advice. On my birthday in Hawaii last year, I offered 10 free calls to my Facebook community and the response was huge. One the moms got her baby sleeping all night with just the advice I shared during our 15 minute conversation. Now she's one of my biggest cheerleaders and sends tons of clients my way. That's the power of Facebook. It turns your fans into devoted cheerleaders for your brand.
Thanks to Tamiko Kelly, Sleep Well. Wake Happy!
FB: Tamiko Kelly
25) Open Social Media Policy
BlueGrace Logistics not only has a Facebook profile for the company, but we also inspire our employees to be active on social media while at work. I created an open social media policy here in the workplace. It's part of our culture. It's who we are. We encourage employee engagement internally and with our customers. Our customers really enjoy getting to know our employees on social media, it's an out of the box engagement. On the company page we share just about anything, from industry related news to pictures of our monthly culture events and employees' work anniversaries. One of the benefits is that it keeps everyone educated with the latest in the industry, news of what's going on in the office while promoting a fun and exciting work environment.
Thanks to Bobby Harris, BlueGrace Logistics!
Facebook: Bluegrace Logistics
26) Posting Articles & Resources
I am a private practice therapist and life coach. Making a decision to seek therapy for anxiety or depression is a very personal and private one. I have found that by posting articles, resources and other information on a business Facebook page people can get uplifting messages and tips and when the time is right they can reach out for treatment. People often need to feel connected and trust you before they call or reach out to book an appointment and my Facebook posts provide that connection. I also do community based workshops and presentations and Facebook is a great place to post events and have people forward them to others in the area.
Thanks to Cara Maksimow, maximize Wellness Counseling & Coaching!
FB: Cara Maksimow, LCSW, CPC. Supportive Therapist & Life Coach
27) Unique Work
Rose Brand uses Facebook to show off some of the unique work we’ve done for customers. Most of the work we do is custom, so we use social media to inspire others with the designs we’ve worked on. Facebook is also important to us when running events and contests. Using the targeting feature of Facebook Ads, we’re able to reach potential participants, give them a soft reminder, and encourage them to participate. The caveat is that you have to know who you want to reach; otherwise you’ll spend a fortune. If you know who you want looking at your ad, then $20 will go a long way. Use the built-in targeting tools to get the most bang for your buck.
Thanks to Anna Klimczuk, Rose Brand!
Facebook: Rose Brand
28) Make it Personal
As a business within the web industry, we don't want to fill up newsfeeds with technical jargon and abbreviations that don't make sense. We blend the posting of our industry news, our blog and weekly tips with a heavy dose of trending, mainstream and entertaining topics. More often than not, we post about Karma* (our office dog), the incredible no-hitter at Fenway last night (cross your fingers!) or the recipe for a dish everyone enjoyed from our last pot luck. We do this to give our Facebook page a unique personality. We want clients (and potential clients) to know we not only work hard, but we truly enjoy our time in the office. In return, we hope they want to work with us too!
Thanks to Seth Worby, Champ Internet Solutions!
Facebook: Champ Internet