Whether you have a brick and mortar business or you run your business online, Facebook can still be a great way to reach new clients and customers. It's true that it has gotten harder for business to make an impact on Facebook without out shelling out some cash, but it's not impossible. (Plus, in the grand scheme of advertising, Facebook is still a very inexpensive place to advertise!) Here are a few of the ways my clients and I use Facebook to find customers.
1. Optimize your personal Facebook profile to sell your services or product
You can and should promote your business with both your personal profile and your business page. Your personal page should be mostly personal, but it's good practice to periodically talk about "business" things on your personal page. It reminds your personal network what your business is and keeps it top of mind. This makes it easy for your friends to remember you if they are ever in a position to refer you. Hard-selling on your personal page (or any page for that matter) usually isn't received well. So be sure to keep any business-centric posts on your personal page light and give them a personal edge.
Also, make sure that your personal page links to your business page. If you add your business as your place of work to your personal profile, it will show up every time someone clicks on your profile in a Facebook group. (See tip 3!)
2. Optimize Your Business Page to Represent Your Brand
While your business page should primarily focus on your business, it's good to occasionally post some personal stuff there too. It helps your potential clients and customers know, like and trust you, which makes them more likely to buy from you.
You can use your business page in two different ways. Some people use their business page to drive traffic to a website. They post a lot of engaging content with the goal of enticing people to click on the content which leads to a website where they sell products. Businesses using their page in this way have to post frequently and consistently: at least once per day, sometimes up to 8 or 10 times per day.
Other people (especially people with brick and mortar businesses) treat their business Facebook page more like a website. They might post store hours, information about the business, where they are located, etc. It's important to occasionally post fresh content on this type of Facebook profile so that Facebook will know you're still in business, but you don't have to be cranking out multiple posts per day to have this type of presence on Facebook.
3. Network in Facebook groups
Facebook has made it clear that it wants to promote more human connection and less mindless newsfeed scrolling. What Facebook wants, Facebook usually gets. In this case, Facebook wants us to join groups and engage in more one on one conversations. Facebook is working hard to promote its Groups platform and is prioritizing group engagement. Plus, many business owners (including me) find some of their best customers in Facebook groups. I've made friendships and built relationships in a variety of Facebook groups. I'm in some Facebook groups with people who have the same type of business and I do. We refer clients to one another and support each other with industry-specific questions and issues. I'm also in Facebook groups with people who have businesses that look very different from mine. They're also able to refer customers to me, and I'm able to refer customers to them. Plus we're able to support one another with general business ownership questions and issues.
4. Go live or use video
Video is one of the very best ways to get attention on social media these days. Whether you "go live" or simply post a video that's been pre-recorded, sharing video will get you more engagement on your Facebook page and it will help your potential customers get to know and trust you. Social media videos don't have to be fancy. In fact, more natural, "in the moment" videos tend to perform better than polished, scripted videos. People connect with you more deeply when they see you on a video because they're seeing a multi-dimensional you.
5. Run ads
As a Facebook ads manager, this is one of my favorite ways to get customers from Facebook. Not too long ago, Julie talked about email list opt-ins. Running a Facebook ad to promote your email list opt-in can be a very easy way to gain new customers. Even if they don't buy something after clicking on your Facebook ad, if people sign up for your free offer, they'll be added to your email list so that you can nurture those prospective customers with emails until they become buyers.
Social media is still a great way for many businesses to get new clients and customers. You just have to find the path that works for your business.