Monday, September 13, 2010

10 Great Reasons to have a Facebook Page

1. Search Engine Optimisation

Facebook Pages have great SEO benefits because they show up very high in search results for your business. This is because Facebook lists Pages on individual users' public search listings, thus every user who ‘likes' your Page is instantly adding another link back to your Facebook Page, improving your Page's search engine ranking dramatically. On top of this a Facebook Page also provides numerous additional links back to various areas of your website, improving the search ranking of your site.

2. Consumer interaction

This is the most exciting prospect of a Facebook Page. Facebook Pages can facilitate all kinds of 2-way communication between you and your market. In the simplest form this can be done by updating the Page's status to let your customers know about a particular product or service; and then the members of your group can comment on this and so starts a direct conversation with your customers. Likewise, this can be used to update your members about any changes to your business, any promotions or even to facilitate a competition. However there are also far more creative ways of engaging your customers. Facebook Pages allow for customised applications on your Page and these can range from “join our mailing list" data capture boxes (which increases the reach of your email marketing) to special features, games and competitions.

3. Creates a Brand community

There's more than just your communication with consumers, there's the communication between the members of your Page themselves. A Facebook Page is a great platform for people who like your company to talk to each other about their experiences of your business, and why they like your brand. They may even recommend your products and services to each other. This is a brand community and it can be very beneficial as it facilitates and cultivates enthusiasm for your brand.

In this way brand communities can strengthen members' identification with your brand, helping to boost brand image as members pass their message on to others.

And the great thing is that because it's on a Facebook Page it's easy to track and influence, so it's really easy to build brand loyalty among your members.

4. Gain product and service feedback

Having such personal communication available through your Facebook Page is undoubtedly going to have numerous benefits, one of which is that you can see directly what your customers are saying about your brand, products and service. This of course can enable you to resolve any customer issues or queries, and gain much more product and service feedback than you might otherwise receive. This kind of information can also prove vital in market research scenarios as communication from or between your Facebook Page members provides you with important consumer insights, which might lead to helping you to improve your product or service offerings.

5. Drive traffic to your website

A Facebook page is a great additional presence for your business online and greatly compliments you existing website. Your Facebook page can essentially be an extension of your website, and serves to drive increased traffic to your site. With numerous links back to your site, your Facebook Page becomes yet another route through which potential customers can find and reach your website.

6. Share with your community

Because Facebook Page members choose to become so, they open up the way for you to keep in constant contact with your market through uploading content whenever you want. This content will then show up on your members' news feeds, giving them information about your business in a non-intrusive manner. Members might even look forward to new content being added. You can upload news, pictures, videos… virtually any form of content, so the opportunity for creativity to entice your market is ever present. For example, the Australian Working Holiday Facebook Page (below) has uploaded videos advertising various experiences and adventures in Australia.

You may wonder just how much exposure this actually is; well, considering the average Facebook user is signed in for over 6 hours a month, that's a lot of potential time in direct contact with your market. This is also measurable and can be seen with Facebook insights, discussed next.

7. Advanced insights into customers

Having a Facebook Page means you have access to key information about your members. These advanced insights include graphs and stats on the type of users on your Page including male/female split, ages, locations, and other demographic data, the number of active users on your Page, details of their activity and interactivity with your content, and more. This information is not only useful for improving the Facebook Page itself but also gives useful insights into your market as a whole. You can also invite your members to vote in a poll of your creation (yet another consumer interaction possibility), generating more useful data about your market.

8. High potential reach

Ever heard of the 6 degrees of separation theory? Well Facebook is where you really see it work. An average Facebook user has 130 friends in their network, and if one of them “likes" your Facebook Page, potentially all of their 130 friends could see on their news feed that they have “liked" you. Which, in turn, might cause them to investigate, and see your Facebook Page for themselves. Perhaps they'll also “like" your Facebook Page. Now imagine this process several times over. The potential reach of your Facebook Page is huge. There are approximately 27 million active users of Facebook in the UK – that's approximately 45% of the population.

9. Increase brand awareness & promote your business

A recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies, found that 60% of Facebook Page members are more likely to recommend those brands since becoming a member. And an impressive 51% of Facebook members are more likely to buy the brands who's Facebook Page they are a member of.

As mentioned Facebook has a phenomenal potential reach, hence Facebook Pages are a great way of spreading the word to new customers and getting your brand known.

Also quite apart from the huge reach, a Facebook Page can be completely customized and branded, thus it can become almost as powerful a marketing tool as your website itself.

10. It's free!

The Page itself on Facebook is completely free - so you're contacting and engaging with your market, and achieving all these benefits completely free.