On March 24, 2014, Colleen G McCauley (owner of Earth to Business Marketing) presented benefits of social media and strategies of promoting a small business on Facebook to the Thames Centre Business Association (TCBA) on behalf of Kendell Hall of Powerflower Web Design and Vice President of TCBA.
At the end of the presentation, members were encouraged to LIKE the TCBA’s Facebook page and network with each other by posting their own business Facebook page or website in comments to the presentation post (known as link love i.e. link building in search engine optimization). TCBA also decided that follow-up workshops should be set up for more in-depth learning.
Within a week of the presentation, Wendy Spence, Editor/Reporter of The Signpost reached out to Colleen asking questions about how well it was received and other question to share key answers with readers. See article below.
In follow-up to the article, below are extended answers of a few key interview questions to help small business owners better understand how to use Facebook and social media in general.
What are some of the underutilized applications?
I believe three key things that business owners underutilize in Facebook are acting as their business online, viewing and using statistical data in Insights, and using automation to schedule posts and manage time online more effectively. ~ Colleen G McCauley, Earth to Business Marketing
1) Some businesses do not realizing their potential reach by ‘acting’ as their business aka networking as your business rather than a personal profile. Your business page will get more exposure with a like/comment from it on a post by other pages or groups, or when you like another Facebook page via your business page. The latter shows support to your online professional network whether the page you like is a client, supplier, membership association, non-profit or community organization, etc. Another advantage of liking other pages with your business page is that you can share their content, which is also a time saver and builds community.
2) Insights for Facebook pages (available after 30 likes) can help you track how well your businesses page and posts are performing with your online community i.e. it has a lot of statistical data to help you track return on investment (ROI). Who are you reaching? When is the best time to reach post? What posts have higher engagement responses? Even if you only use the free and none of the paid aspects of the application tracking your ROI is vital to manage marketing efforts.
If you are not monitoring and measuring then you are not marketing. Always check the statistical data for the marketing tools you use! #ROI
— Colleen G McCauley (@CGMcCauley) March 30, 2015
3) A key functionality feature difference of Facebook from other social media applications is that you can schedule posts in advance, backdate any post, or save draft posts to help you manage your time more effectively. For most other platforms, you have to pre-schedule posts using a third party app like Hootsuite, Buffer or Sprout Social, etc. Pre-scheduling helps business owners better manage their time spent online. However, you should still monitor posts regularly i.e. automation should not be left unchecked, and create unscheduled posts for any pertinent and timely subjects or events.
How important do you believe social media is for businesses?
I believe social media is very important at helping businesses to better leverage their online marketing efforts as well as to achieve and maintain a larger professional network. ~ CG McCauley
Basically, social media is word-of-mouth and social/professional networking online. Many consumers do their research online before making purchases, search engines like Google have given social media sites more credibility for inbound links, and the potential for word-of-mouth increases by maintaining a good online presence and community. Taking advantage of those opportunities in a highly competitive and consumer-focused market is vital.
Do all businesses need to embrace the technology, or is it more important to some than others?
Whether a business needs to embrace new technology e.g. social media for marketing is highly dependent on how much their target market has embraced new technologies to make their purchases or make a decision to purchase. ~ CG McCauley
For example, if your target market such as 55+ males rarely spends time (or any at all) on Facebook then would it be wise for a business to spend a lot of time investing in marketing on Facebook?. What if that 55+ male’s spending habits are highly influenced by a wife that does spend a lot of time on social media?
Every business needs to make a decision about what marketing tool to use or do not use depending on their potential to engage their target market. ~ CG McCauley