Helping Your Temecula Business Through Social Media
Social networking has completely transformed the way people communicate with one another. Phone calls are passed over for text messages, handshakes have been replaced by video meetings over Skype and social networking is now one of the most used avenues people stay in contact with friends and family members. Information is shared freely and openly on these social networking channels, giving people a forum to tell their circle of friends and family where a good local restaurant is, what type of clothing stores have the best deals and where the local hot spots are come Saturday night. Many small businesses quickly saw this changing trend and the value social marketing could offer as a way of staying connected with the customer, something that is widely recognized as a key component in both the short and long term success of a business. Today, the most used social networking website is Facebook. With an estimated 800,000 plus registered users, Facebook dominates the social scene, making it critical that every company create a business page on the social networking platform. Here are the top 5 reasons your Temecula Valley company must have a Facebook business page!
1. Keep An Interested Audience Updated
One of the best things about company Facebook pages is that a user must “like” the page in order to follow it. This means that people who push that little thumbs up “like” button are an interested audience who generally care about what your business is doing. This gives your business a strategic advantage because you already know that the audience wants to to hear your companies’ voice. Let them know if you plan on offering a Temecula coupon for 50% off entry to your comedy club, a buy one get one free offer on drinks at your sports pub or a daily deal for wine tasting!
2. Brand Recognition
Having people see your brand on a consistent basis is VERY important. This is the reason why companies such as Coke-Cola spend millions every year on commercials featured during all of the biggest sporting and television events. They don’t necessarily think you are going to jump off the couch to run out and buy a Coke when you see their ad, but rather want their product in your head as much as possible so when you do feel like a cold beverage the frequent exposure of their brand will make you more likely to purchase their product. This is actually a very big deal and something you can use to help your Temecula area business. This is because of the news feed feature that publishes that a user “liked” your company page. This allows all of that user’s friends to see that they are a fan of your company, creating a small level of viral marketing. Also, once a person has “liked” the company page, every time your business posts a photo, update or contest, that information will appear in that user’s news feed. This keeps your brand in their face and on their mind. For example, when they see your plumbing companies’ update in their news feed they might not think anything of it, but if/when they need a plumber your company might be the first thing they think of!
3. Developing Relationships
The key word in social marketing is social. That means if you plan on simply creating a business page for your business just because this article tells you to then you won’t find much success in your marketing campaign. The goal of posts and updates on your Facebook company page is to engage the audience so they care about what you say and do. If you flood their news feed with non-sense or nothing at all they will unlike your page faster than they “liked” it! Use the company Facebook page to send updates to followers about new products offered at your store, entertainers performing at your restaurant, special promotional coupons that are available, local events your company is participating in, discounts coming up and stuff that generally interests the audience. The goal is to develop long-term relationships with your audience. Let them see you are a small business that cares about the Temecula Valley and the local community. If your restaurant only purchases produce from the local farmer’s market at the Promenade Mall that is something many foodies will find interesting. If your company gives 10% of all sales made on a charity day to “Animal Friends Of The Valley” that is something many animal lovers might want to support. Let the people know what you are doing and take the time to respond to messages, comments or likes!
4. Low Cost Marketing
Social networking websites offer their services for free, making them one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies available to small businesses. The only thing a Temecula Valley business needs to do is first create a personal account (which they probably already have), and then spend a few minutes inputting all the relevant company information. This should include a link to the company website, directions to the store front location, a company logo, contact information and any relevant photos showcasing what the business can offer in terms of services or products. For example, a local bar such as The Shamrock will have photos that emphasize food and atmosphere, whereas a local make-up artist or hairstylist should have photos showing actual work on past clients. However, it is VERY important to choose the photos you upload wisely because they are part of your brand identity. That means spending a small amount of marketing dollars to hire a local photographer in Temecula to professionally photograph products, services or atmosphere. A picture is worth a thousand words and you do NOT want blurry pictures of your business captured on a smart phone using an Instagram filter!
5. Online Identity
Many small businesses in the Temecula Valley do not require the presence of a store front location because they are on-the-go or online businesses. Examples of these types of companies can include DJs, dog groomers, handymen, e-commerce and more. These small businesses just starting out should first create a Facebook page and have as many of their friends as possible “like” and share that page. This will help get your companies’ name out there while you build your website or blog, depending on the type of services you offer. The Facebook company page can be used as your first method to essentially announce to the community that you are available and open for business! However, it is critical that any company, regardless if they do not plan on having a store front operation, develop a website with a frequently updated blog! Your online identity is important and should be and feel professional! If you want people to respect your business identity you need to create a business that does not have a gmail address for outbound/incoming emails, or website that appears it was designed in 1984 by the people at Atari. Facebook company pages are also indexed on all search engines, making your company page likely to show up via search engine results placement (SERP)!
Make certain when you are setting up the company page that you don’t set it up as a personal page. Take the time to read blogs or Facebook FAQ so that the company page created is developed correctly. Also, make certain that you, the business owner, is the primary admin and that the business page is under your personal account! Facebook company pages CANNOT be transferred so don’t let a friend, family member or marketing director at your company create the company page under their personal account. Having complete control over your business page is important! Last but not least, have fun, be social and let your personality shine!