Whatever your business, social media should be a major part of how you market yourself. Facebook, the biggest network of them all, has nearly 2 billion monthly users. That’s a lot of potential customers.
If customers can find you on Facebook, it’s good for them and for you: they have a quick and easy way to communicate with you, and you have a tool for connecting with people, making people more likely to hire you. So how do you reach them?
Create a page
Facebook allows you to create a Page as a business, and fill it out with all the relevant info, such as your website, business hours and phone number, just like with your Google Business page. You can use your Page to keep people updated about news, events or special offers related to your business. You can also interact with other Facebook users as your Page rather than as yourself, which is useful for separating business relationships from personal ones.
But that’s not to say that personal connections aren’t useful. You can grow a Facebook audience by encouraging friends and family to ‘like’ your Page, which gives you a solid base of followers, making it easier for new people to track you down. You can develop a sense of community by encouraging users to leave comments, and by replying. If people feel connected to you, they’re more likely to hire you.
Target your audience with paid advertising
You can also advertise to bring people to your Page. Facebook adverts don’t have to be expensive, and they’re much easier than putting a flyer through every letterbox within a three-mile radius of your home.
Rather than just throwing money at Mark Zuckerberg and expecting the customers to come rolling in, though, think about who you want to attract. Facebook adverts let you target your audience very carefully, by gender, age, location, interests, and more.
For instance, if you’re in the business of baking, you might want to target people between the ages of 25 and 34 who are interested in ‘weddings’, ‘vintage fashion’, and ‘The Great British Bake-Off’. It’s likely your adverts will be seen by people planning to get married who might want a fancy wedding cake, or, in other words, your ideal customers.
Be creative! And remember, if it doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to switch it up. Advertising is a small investment but the returns can be huge.
Facebook also has a tool called Insights, that lets you see which of your adverts and posts people are engaging with. You can use this information to make better decisions about what your customers want to see. Remember, the more people you can reach, the more your business will thrive.
Make use of other social networking sites
There are, of course, other social networks beyond Facebook. Depending on the kind of work you do, you might find some of them extremely useful.
If your work has a strong visual or creative aspect, consider getting on a photo-sharing network like Pinterest or Instagram. A beautiful paint job, tastefully photographed, can quickly reach a large audience if it looks good enough to share.
You can use sites like these to boost awareness of your business, as well as interacting with users and giving them contact information. Learn the popular hashtags for your field, promote examples of your work, and follow your followers back. And as with Facebook Insights, Instagram and Pinterest also give you info about who your followers are and what they like.
You may have heard about LinkedIn, which markets itself as the social network for business. It’s not that hard to set up a profile that lists your skills and experience. But in reality, it’s not that useful for most people.
LinkedIn is used by big companies for headhunting, and for professionals to connect and interact with one another. But if you don’t work in an office, LinkedIn probably isn’t for you, and until that changes, you’re better off without it. It takes time and effort to maintain a presence on any social network, and you don’t want that time to be wasted. And always remember, a rubbish profile is worse than not having one at all.