Facebook marketing must be part of your strategic marketing plan. Why? With over 2 billion subscribers, Facebook is an absolute must for your managed services business. You should look at it as a marketing platform. Twitter and Linkedin aren’t close to the power that Facebook provides.
I’m all in on Facebook, even though I’m well into my 40’s. We communicate to our clients and prospects on Facebook daily. Plus, we use Facebook Messenger as our corporate chat tool at Ulistic. I can contact our clients directly—and without spam filters interfering. Our clients know how to use it, so why would I have them use another service they aren’t familiar with. It works for us and for them.
Facebook is more than a B-to-C (Business-to-Consumer) advertising platform. It’s a B-to-B (Business-to-Business) marketing tool. Just talk to your clients. You’ll find that 88 to 99% of them have a Facebook account. Why would you ignore a platform where you’ll have so much exposure? It’s the place to be!
I’m not a big fan of using separate profiles on Facebook (e.g., personal and business). Keep everything under one profile so people really get to know you and your business. Be yourself!
What opportunities exist for you on Facebook?
To Promote “Rifle Shot” or “Highly Targeted” Marketing Campaigns. One thing I really like is to be able to select the type of individual I want to target: The age group, their interests, the types of organizations they belong to, where they work (a large or small business), where they live, etc. You can pick and choose your marketing “targets.”
Sharing Thought Leadership. You can post your blogs and articles on Facebook to exhibit how much you know about a particular subject. Tie this into your:
Facebook Community Pages (see below)
Facebook Groups (Join groups or start your own. When you start a group, you get to control the content. You can invite your prospects and clients to join as well. You’ll be able to build relationships and position yourself as the thought leader.)
Posts (see below)
Notes (allows you to put posts into Facebook)
Showing the Humanitarian Side of Your Business. This helps your target groups see that you and your employees are real people with the same good intentions that they have. This helps to develop a level of trust—which is key to selling your business. Share videos about yourself, your team and demonstrate real-life examples to show who you are.
To Position Your Company in the Marketplace. You can share information that matters to your target market. Position your MSP business as an expert in these areas.
4% of search indicators come from social media. I believe that social indicators will be playing a greater role in organic searches in the future. It’s simple—If you’re not using social media, you’re missing out. And Facebook is the place to be.
Here are some ways you should be using Facebook:
Advertising. You can buy ads on Facebook. They’re still relatively cheap, but they are getting more expensive as businesses take advantage of this venue. Facebook Ads are awesome for targeting the demographics you want to hit:
And much more.
You can maximize your advertising budget with Facebook Ads. They’re easy to set up and maintain. And, you get really good information about who reads your ads, who clicks thru, and your cost per demographic. These analytics are really helpful for adjusting your marketing strategy as needed.
Boosted Posts. This goes hand-in-hand with your advertising. Facebook Post Boosts are another great way to target your audience. The same criteria for targeting goes for posts that you use for your advertising. Typically, the engagement on posts is higher than with advertising.
Your Ads and Boosted Posts must have unique landing pages so you can measure their effectiveness. This way, you can see what pages are generating more interest than others.
Facebook Page. This is your public page for both you and your business. Upload raw videos, blogs, articles, etc. with tips and information people will want to go back for. (Don’t link to U Tube videos Facebook doesn’t like this.)
Community Pages. This allows you to position yourself as the expert. You can set up as many community pages as you want, and it’s easy to do. Use these for:
Questions & Answers
To Share Information
To Tie into Your Ads
Events. Publish info about your Webinars, Lunch n’ Learns, Workshops, etc. You can boost events and share them on Facebook, such as with local business groups, or others interested in the subject you’ll be presenting. For example, we did one for a client on “Keeping Kids Safe Online. We boosted it to PTAs, parent and mother groups, etc.—Anyone who would be interested. This spreads info about your services to people you wouldn’t ordinarily reach. You can promote your events:
And tie them into your ads.
Special Interest Groups. This can help you build relationships, and shows you’re a real person who has something in common with these groups of people. You can join as many business groups as you want. Plus, you can post your videos, blogs, events, and more on these group pages. This is a great way to market your business. The more “eyeballs” that see your info, the better.
Blog Posting. Again, this shows that you know what businesses need to be concerned about in the area of IT, cybersecurity and more. You can post these on your Facebook pages, and on group pages. (Try out DLVR.IT to automatically post your blogs. We use it and have found it to be a great tool.)
Your Own Profile. Who you are, what you’re doing, etc. all make you a Facebook “friend” who people can connect to.
Always be yourself: When it comes to your profile, don’t be fake. People will be more attracted to your posts.
Don’t go to extremes: Be careful about political or religious views. Stay clear of these things.
People first: At the end of the day, businesses are all about people. Make sure you have great people in your networks and client base.
When all factors are equal, people will refer or do business with those they know, like and trust.
So, who should be in your Facebook Networks?
Basically, anyone you work with, socialize with or can refer business to you.
* Some people will be hesitant to do this. But, you can leverage your clients to help you answer a question you receive from a prospect, or explain how you helped them and why your services are so helpful. Don’t worry about competitors stealing your clients. Your client list is already available to the public—Believe me.
**The decision maker isn’t always your best target. He or she may not be on Facebook, but his influencers are—The people who advise the CEO. This may be a better target for you so you can get your foot in the door. Once you prove your value, you’ll have the influencer on your side. The rank and file people have the ear of the CEO.
“One is greater than Zero.” That one person you may reach is really important. Who knows where hey work for, who they know, who they’ll share your info with?
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
This type of marketing takes time, hard work and dedication. You can’t do it “halfway.”
“It’s not about QUANT, it’s about QUAL”— Quality over Quantity. I’d rather have one visitor to my website or Facebook page who calls me, than 10,000 who don’t. Shoot for “Quality” leads.
This isn’t about transactional business, or about one-click equals one visitor type of marketing. This is about creating long-term relationships that lead to new business down the road—About getting a great referral from a member of your group who knows people who can use your services.
My Primary Take-Home Message? —Marketing Takes Time.
When you get on Social Media, people’s guards come down. If you can offer advice and share your expertise without being salesy, you’ll gain new opportunities.
Make sure you have a Social Media Calendar so you keep at it. Be patient. Spend the time to do this properly. It may take months, or years to get the payoff. If you’re a quick hitter and drop the ball when you don’t immediately hit a home run, you’ll lose the game!
Need help with Social Media Marketing? Ulistic will do the heavy hitting for you. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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