Facebook is an ideal place to start a business. Think about it. There are literally millions of users on the site. They belong to groups and networks. They use the different site applications. Basically, they are sharing their lives and interests with you so that you can help enhance it.
Also, make sure that no matter what you’re trying to accomplish, that you don’t use the site to SPAM people. You will not be successful on the site this way. You’ll just annoy people.
THE BASIC PHILOSOPHY OF BUSINESS
The basic philosophy behind using the site for business is to do what you can to build a community around your profile, service, and/or product. If you just post a bunch of links and a sales pitch, people won’t respond to that. They want to get to know the company or brand and have a good time there.
For example, if you run a fantasy football site, your profile will focus on your love for the game. You may also start a group with fantasy football as the theme. You can post your ad and the link for your fantasy football service in the group and those who are interested will click on it.
If people learn to trust your voice and understand that you’re on the site to get to know them, they’ll respond to that and buy your product or decide to use their service.
To further enhance your group and encourage participation you can create and/or add applications, post a poll, and hold meetings where your group members can discuss things.
GAIN EXPOSURE FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND PRODUCT OR SERVICE
Your basic goal is to use Facebook to get exposure for your product or service. You can use the site to get people familiar with your product. An important aspect of this is to use the site to help build a brand. Even if your product is a little uninteresting (for example, a topic related to finances) you need to do your best to make sure that you somehow make it interesting to your potential customers.
The way Facebook works is that you need to find a way to keep people engaged and interested in what you have to offer. You can do this through applications, groups, and by attracting potential customers based on what’s on your profile.
BUILD A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
In order for your online business to succeed on Facebook, you need to build a sense of community. People crave this sense of belonging – it’s a basic fact of human nature. In order for your business to succeed, you can’t sell to them. You need to make people understand that you want to belong to them, that you want to create a placed for people to go and participate in what you’re offering.
People want to be introduced to new ideas. They want to find people with the same interests. They want to connect with others and form friendships on the site. If you are going to use the site for business purposes, this is something that should always be in the forefront of your mind.
HOW CAN YOU USE IT FOR BUSINESS?
So, how exactly can you use Facebook for business? There are several different things you can do with your account, and all of them will lead to your eventual success. When you decide to run a business from your Facebook account, you can choose the activities that make sense for your goals.
Here’s a list of what you can do with your account:
” Create a user base and a customer base.
” Test a niche to make sure you can sell a product on the internet.
” Promote a business or a service.
” Use the profile to get clients. (For example, if you’re a personal trainer.)
” Use the groups, networks, applications, and general site trends to generate ideas.
” Beta test a product to see if it can sell. Use feedback from your friends to tweak the product and make changes to it.
These are just a few examples of how you can use the site to build or start a business.
If you take a look at companies that are currently using Facebook to promote their products, there are a few basic things that they are doing. Each of these ideas must be applied while still keeping the idea of building a community at the forefront of your mind.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to boost your sales! Take a look at these 10 quick and easy ways to send your profits to the moon without digging into your advertising budget.
1. Test and Evaluate your Sales
Have you ever wondered just how much of your advertising budget should go toward experimenting with the latest marketing strategies? Marketing gurus say… spend 20 percent looking for new and improved marketing methods, while the remaining 80 percent uses the “tried and true” marketing strategies to keep the profits flowing.
2. Capture Attention on your Website with your Sales
Use headlines that leap out and grab the reader’s attention to moment they open your Web page. Hey, they’re just like you… if their attention isn’t caught immediately, they ‘re ready to surf on the more exciting things! If your headline doesn’t pique their interest, they’re gone.
3. Use the Best-Kept Marketing Secret – Postcards to increase your Sales
Postcards are quick and easy to read, not to mention the fact that you can shave off a great deal of wasted advertising expenses by targeting your market. Hey, they’re cheap and convenient for you, and they get read more than other types of advertising materials… a winner all the way around!
4. Let Customers Sell
Some things sound better coming from someone else. Yes, it’s hard to brag your business up as effectively as a satisfied customer. Testimonials are evidence that you deliver what you promise. Paste them across ads, your Website, and any other sales copy you happen to distribute.
5. Just Ask
Great salesmen take the time to listen to the questions the customer has, identify their wants and needs, then ask for the sale. That’s right, they’re not afraid to just ask them to buy! Sometimes customers just need that little bit of pressure to cement the deal.
6. Raise the Value
Sometime value is only in they eyes of the beholder. You can raise the perceived value of your products by pointing out benefits that consumers may have overlooked. While you’re at it, raise the price. Yeah, we all know that more valuable items have higher price tags! Don’t be surprised if your profits skyrocket.
7. Make it Easy to Decide
Have you ever had a hard time deciding what to buy? Uh-huh, you don’t always come to a conclusion immediately. Every time a customer walks out of the store without making a decision, you take a big chance on losing the sale. Keep the options to a minimum to maximize the sales numbers.
8. Break it Down
Got a big ticket item? Break the price into bite sizes for more appeal. Yeah, 90 cents a day sounds much cheaper than $325!
9. Create Bonuses
An unexpected bonus with a purchase makes it seem like you got a lot more for your money. Keep customers smiling when they walk away from the cash register, and they’ll keep coming back for more.
10. Handle Customer Complaints With a Little TLC
Don’t waste time getting to the bottom of the problem. Customers want to feel they are being heard, or they wouldn’t take the time to complain to you. Are you afraid that you’ll be losing profit, if you have to bend too far backwards to accommodate them? Think of it this way… an unhappy customer you turn into a happy customer will become a loyal customer. Yeah, it’ll pay in the long run.
Your Social Network Profile
Online social networks have rapidly increased in popularity, especially over the past couple of years. Social networking websites are popular because they easily allow you to find, connect with, and develop friendships with other internet users, often ones that share the same interests as you. To find those individuals, you must join a social networking website and create a profile. It is often advertised that your social networking profile is the key to making and finding friends online.
As previously mentioned, your social networking profile is important when it comes to meeting other internet users. This is because, in most cases, internet users are looking to chat with someone who has the same goals, views, beliefs, and interests as they do. Without a personal profile, it would be difficult or impossible to tell what your interests are. That is why social networking profiles are not only important, but they are needed.
When it comes to social networking profiles, a lot of focus has been placed on what you should include in your profile or display on your profile page. It has been said that pictures produce the best responses, as well as detailed personal information. Although a picture and detailed personal information may help to increase your page views, you may be getting views that you do not necessarily want. Despite what you may believe, most social networking websites do not have restrictions on who can view your personal profile. In fact, internet users, even those that do not belong to your online community, can easily see profile.
Since anyone, literally anyone, can see your social networking profile, on most social networking websites, you are advised to be cautious. Essentially, this means that instead of focusing on what you should put in your online profile, you should be focusing on what not to put. This is one the best ways to protect your safety, both on and offline.
As previously mentioned, pictures are often recommended with social networking websites. If you are interested in positing a personal picture of yourself in your online profile you can do so, but you are advised to carefully choose that picture. While you will want to look your best, you are advised against posting a picture that is too revealing or seductive in nature. Most internet users can look at these types of pictures without feeling a thing, but for others these types of pictures spell danger.
Social Network Sites
If you make the decision to post a picture of yourself in your social networking website profile, you need to be careful about the rest of the information that you post. Although you may not necessarily think about it, a picture is just a picture, but combined with your name and address, it could be a deadly combination. You are advised to only post your first name in your profile. This will make it more difficult for anyone to try and contact you off of the internet.
It is also advised that you carefully choose your location. A large number of online social networking sites require that you select a city, as well as a state. If it is allowed, you may only wish to list your state and not the city. If you are required to list the city and the state that you live in, you may want to think about using a nearby city or town, especially if you live in a small town. If an internet predator wanted to contact you and you lived in a small town, it could be fairly easy for them to find you. That is why it is advised that you carefully select the answer to the location question.
In addition to the above precautionary measures, it is advised that you do not post detailed information on your children, the location of your home, your income, or when you will be leaving for vacation. By keeping these and the above mentioned points in mind, you should be able to enjoy online social networking without having to always look behind your back.
One of the most common mistakes marketers make is advertising and marketing based on personal opinions and perceptions. Unsuccessful ones tend to think this way, not only about the product being sold, but also regarding how potential customers will act and react to our advertising approach. This then begs the obvious question (which isn’t so obvious)—why do customers buy in the first place. What is their motivation, purpose in buying? What do they need the product/service for? What needs are they satisfying in buying the products in the first place? Seems like simple and basic questions, right? Not really, when you dig deeper under the surface. The better we understand and appropriately respond to these questions, the more sales, revenue and success we will have.
Fact number one: potential customers buy for personal reasons (theirs), not ours. They could care less about our company, glitzy website, or how long the list of product features so skillfully displayed. They only care about the oldest motivation in the book – WII-FM (what’s in it for ME!). They want the benefit, the impact, the improvement, the comfort, or the security it will deliver, period.
Most small (and large for that matter) business marketing fails to address these crucial customer needs directly. All too often the focus is mistakenly on the greatness of the product or service, and not on what is important (to the customer that is). Marketers are often their own worst enemy. Frequently, they are not communicating on the buyer’s level of motivation. They are too busy figuring out how to “sell” the product than finding out the reasons the customer “buys” in the first place.
The problem comes down to the marketing strategy that is employed. Are you pushing the product or are you pulling the customer through the marketing process?
The distinction becomes very important and critical to success. Since buyers only care about their needs and take action for their personal reasons, why should they pay attention to why you think your product is so great?
When you push products, you are essentially telling the customer that they should buy from you because of your reasons. With this egocentric approach you often run into a stone wall of objections and delays. Pushing the product forces them out of their comfort zone and places unnecessary pressure on their decision making process. A relentless assault of closing techniques pushes them away from a purchase decision on “their terms”.
Pulling a potential customer through the purchase process is much more effective. When you pull you are leading them to the purchase like leading a horse to water. You gently guide them through your features and benefits and come to a decision on their terms. If they resist you have not educated them enough with information to motivate them or you haven’t addressed their objections sufficiently.
The potential customer will only make a decision when they are comfortably satisfied your offer has met all of their purchase criteria. As a seller, you must pull them through the process and always let them stay within the limits of their comfort zone. It’s by staying within these boundaries that trust is established and a long term relationship is built with the customer.
Also remember that the purchasing process is completely rooted in the perceptions of the buyer. They have ultimate control over the process, not you. Your job as a marketer is to develop all your communications to make them comfortable and lead them to the best outcome…purchasing your product or service.
Always be aware of which method you are using – push or pull – and adopt it to the potential customer’s personal reasons for purchasing and you will enjoy continuous success.
Have you ever thought of a product that you thought would be a good idea, but didn’t know how to bring it to market? Well, that’s exactly what Matt Urmy did. As an accomplished musician, he saw a need for a product and set out to create it. Never mind that he didn’t have any business background, or deep pockets to fund it, or any experience creating mobile apps. He had a vision, sought out the resources he needed, and now he’s involved in agreements with labels so big they are household names. How did he do it? He shares some of his experiences on this interview with us.
Get the transcript: Matt-Urmy-interview.pdf
Named one of the Best Places to Work by Nashville Business Journal, G-Squared Wireless is doing something right. In today’s work climate where we hear depressing statistics about employee engagement, morale and motivation, this company stands out as an example of cultural, policy and leadership models that brings out the best in their team. Hear from founders Heather Thomas and Diane McDaniel as they explain what they do differently that makes employees actually like working there.
Listen to the interview: http://nashvillesuccesssummit.com/interviews/G-Squared-Wireless.mp3
Get the transcript: G Squared Wireless Interview.pdf
Do you know a company that could learn from this? Share this interview!