We have heard it all before; get your Carlsbad business on Facebook or risk losing customers because you’re not presenting an up to date socially communicative digital business identity.
We’ve said it, you’ve probably heard it from customers, from the never-ending stream of sales calls, from colleagues, and probably even friends or family members. It’s true…BUT…
Without a plan and system in place to maximize online visibility (you know Twitter, Foursquare, & Pinterest also offer advertising opportunities), social media can become more of a time glut than an advertising strategy to acquire new customers and provide quantifiable return on engagement.
Got Facebook Results?
First we need to define what results we’re hoping to achieve. We can do this by simply identifying a goal, then using Facebook as a tool in your digital belt to meet – and hopefully exceed – the goal, or goals.
Let’s look at some of the goals the average local business using Facebook might hope to accomplish:
- More new customers
- Increased retention/recall percentages
- More reviews
- More page ‘Likes’
- Keeping up with the Joneses
- Event promotion
Now let’s examine how we’ll go about doing all of that – there are certainly more goals that could be discussed, but these are likely the most popular to any small business using Facebook…or any social media marketing effort.
We’ll take care of some of the ways to attract new customers with this first post, then in subsequent posts in the coming weeks we’ll examine the remainder of the aforementioned goals in detail.
Can You Really Get More New Customers From Facebook?
Absolutely! But without a system in place it’ll only be a case of dumb luck dead reckoning – which you’ll probably have no idea how to attribute the new customer to your Facebook presence in the first place.
The keys to getting new customers start with your existing customers, and ends with effective tracking – with a good dose of Facebook Advertising and/or email marketing in between.
You can’t measure what you don’t track.
Your existing customers are the FOUNDATION of any social media marketing plan, but without effective tracking (and CALL HANDLING TOO) all you’ll do is waste time and maybe get lucky once or twice a year from just being on one of the most widely accessed websites in the world.
Social media is an inbound marketing strategy, this means that the marketing tactics focus on creating quality content that pulls people toward your Carlsbad business – rather than pushing your offers at potential new customers with the shotgun approach of more traditional marketing methods such as radio, local print, or direct mail.
Incomplete background lecture aside, just because social media is an inbound strategy doesn’t mean you can’t go out and serve up some advertising beyond (and through) your existing customers.
Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of defining the steps necessary to make Facebook a worthwhile new customer acquisition ingredient as part of your Carlsbad small business marketing plan.
Connect With Your Existing Customers
To do this you will need to have been collecting email addresses – so if you have 3K customers of record, you should have 3K up to date emails. If you do not have this, get a system in place to collect emails and build your list – it could be simple, try just asking for it at checkout…“Would you like to receive our newsletter with special savings & discounts?”
Asking for (and verifying or updating 2x annually) emails and mobile numbers should be SOP by now.
Again, this is a foundational element of any quest for new customers on Facebook – social media is an inbound marketing strategy so your best assets are your already happy and loyal customer base. We all know what happens to the best laid plans when the rubber hits the road but without a solid foundation, success will be that much more difficult to come by.
Now take those emails (exported from your software/POS system as an excel file, or whatever acceptable format you choose) and upload them to your Facebook page so you can invite your customers to ‘Like’ your page – the first step in connecting.
You can download this super simple step by step outline “How to Build Hundreds of Facebook Fans from Your Existing Customers in 5 Minutes or Less!“ to take care of this if you don’t know how to do it.
After that, send off the invites and watch the Likes roll in!
Or maybe not, a word of warning here – if your business culture doesn’t jibe with social media or is more of an antiseptic formal conversation only type place, results may be more difficult to come by…it is social media, so the need to be accessible, communicative, & present is paramount.
Some businesses want to notify every one of their social media presence – and everything else, and have the culture to back it up. On the other hand, some local small businesses are more discretionary with the customer correspondence.
The bottom line is, go with what you know, and what fits your business culture – a brewery is different from a doctor’s office. Most importantly do something. Nobody is going to be that offended your business reached out to them on Facebook – especially if they are already connected to you in some way.
Facebook Advertising Gets Carlsbad Businesses New Customers
All of your customers have received an invite asking them to like your Facebook page, now comes the fun stuff. There are limitless options on what it is you want to advertise, from referral rewards programs, discount offers, office sweepstakes, or guess how many jelly beans are in the candy bowl.
So with the interest of keeping this relatively short, let’s just say we’re looking to promote an office special on your garden variety dental exam & cleaning.
With Facebook advertising you can not only target your existing customers (or patients – by email, profile ID, or mobile phone), but you can also target lookalike audiences (people who “look like” your customers with regards to interests, demographics, locations…etc.), specific locations (your city), and a whole slew of drill down parameters to have Facebook only serve your Ads to the eyeballs that matter most.
It could be as complicated as mining your data set and generating online personas, or as simple as constructing a Facebook post highlighting your offer (discount exam & cleaning), then using the ‘Boost Post‘ feature on your Facebook page to increase the reach with some pay to play social media visibility.
Target the audience, set a daily or lifetime budget (you can risk as little as $10), and your ad is off to the races!
Add in a little force multiplication by enlisting your existing customers – all of them that Like your page at least – encouraging them to share your offer, then reward the one that leads to the most referrals!
OK, now maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here and glossing over the finer details of Facebook ad composition, audience targeting, and effective calls to action – guilty as charged.
But the single point I am painfully trying to illustrate here is that to get results from Facebook, Carlsbad small businesses need to:
- Define what results you desire.
- Track efficiently & effectively (Facebook does all the heavy lifting for you…but don’t you dare let that new customer call DROP by having them hear, “thank you for calling Anytown Smile Excellence, where our patients come first, PLEASE HOLD.“).
- Use Facebook Advertising to boost your visibility and reach more potential new local customers.
Remember that traditional new customer acquisition method of advertising in the local Pennysaver?