FREDERICK COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
When the announcement that Facebook Community Boost, Facebook’s training boot camp geared at small business owners, would be making a stop in Baltimore popped up in our Chamber newsfeed, signing up for the event was a gut reflex. Anyone who spends time managing a business Facebook page knows in their souls that you do not pass up an opportunity—a free one no less—to learn about Facebook directly from Facebook itself.
The largest social media platform in the world is just kind of an enigma like that.
And yet, it really shouldn’t be.
With over 2.2 billion active users a month on the platform and another 1 billion or so hanging out on Instagram (Facebook’s adopted younger brother), the idea that these platforms are still not being utilized well for business by business owners, including some of our members, is somewhat baffling.
The statistics speak for themselves:
Want to know how The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce can help you with your marketing and social media efforts? Reach out to our communications team today to learn more: email@example.com
And yet, we see several of our members struggling to find a footing on the platform.
We get it, especially for smaller business owners, social media is just another thing you have to think about. On top of managing day to day business operations, keeping your customers happy and your product relevant, designing a social media strategy and building an engaging presence across several platforms can feel overwhelming.
Well, that’s because it is!
Like traditional marketing efforts, you aren’t supposed to just wing this stuff.
It takes education, experience, time, money, and effort to get it just right.
And, just like a successful traditional marketing campaign has the power to change your business in a major way, so does social media –at a fraction of the cost, sometimes, with even further reaching results.
Which is why we burned a few gallons of gas and a few hours in the office to get a little face time with Facebook on your behalf.
What Our Members Need to Know About Using Facebook and Instagram for Business
Small businesses are figuring this stuff out.
And maybe you should be too.
Here’s the thing –there’s no one strategy that is going to work for every business. Not every company is a great fit for Facebook, but not taking the time to figure that out for your business could be a mistake.
Facebook reports that there are more than 50 million small businesses using the platform to market their pages. They’re being creative, they’re trying new things, they’re connecting with customers in exciting ways, and their efforts are paying off.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
With new tools like Facebook Live and Instagram Stories, businesses have the power to connect with customers and potential customers in ways they never have before, and they are seeing the benefits. Brand awareness, search engine visibility, customer loyalty, customer communication, audience understanding, and competitive advantage are just a few of the reasons business owners express for why having a Facebook page is beneficial to them and their brand.
And, as their experience and activity grow, many are truly noting financial benefits as well.
Right here in Maryland, 79% of small and medium-sized businesses on Facebook say Facebook has helped their business increase sales.
Not understanding social media marketing is not a good excuse for not trying social media marketing.
In 2018, not understanding how social media works is a pretty lame excuse for not using social media and digital marketing strategies to promote your business.
The Internet is chock full of resources to help you get a handle on this thing. Consider it professional development and require yourself to become more knowledgeable about how and why social media marketing can and should be a part of your business strategy.
Facebook has a great resource library where you can literally learn everything you need to know to create an effective, efficient marketing strategy utilizing their platform. It’s called Facebook Bluprint and they have courses on everything from bringing your brand story to life to measuring how the ads they teach you to develop or performing.
It's kind of amazing actually, and it's free (mostly, certification costs about $300, but no one is suggesting you get certified here).
If you’re sitting at your desk hastily reading this post thinking THE CHAMBER IS ALL THE WAY CRAZY IF THEY THINK I’M ABOUT TO SIT HERE FOR THE NEXT 100 HOURS AND FIGURE OUT FACEBOOK, we’ve got an answer for that too: There are people for that!
People who specialize in just the type of creative, effective, efficient, digital marketing, social media platform managing, community building we are talking about.
And, they’re darn good.
So, just like you outsource your tax returns and your electrical work, you can find skilled, trained, experienced individuals who will whip up, implement, and managing a social media marketing strategy that will turn your head. And those of the people you want to pay you their money.
Not sure how to find a social media marketing guru you can trust? We got you. Reach out to your communications team here at The Chamber for some advice. We know people.
Instagram is nobody's unwanted stepchild.
With over 1 billion monthly users and growing, Instagram is seriously kind of a big deal.
Acquired by Facebook in 2012, the image-based social media platform has undergone many changes in the last few years –adding Instagram Stories and Instagram Live to its offerings.
When it comes to marketing your business in this space, you could be doing yourself a considerable disservice if you’re not taking a hard look at how users interact with brands on the platform.
This requires a chart…
And it’s not just about brand awareness and follower counts.
Brands tend to see 10x higher engagement rates on Instagram than they do on their Facebook pages. That means that your customers are actually taking a moment to like, comment, click, or otherwise act on your images on the platform. That's an experience that happens, on average, with less than 1% of brand posts on Facebook and Twitter.
It’s hard to justify not taking a minute to think about how this level of engagement could change the game for you.
And, just like every other innovation you’ve brought into your business, it’s only hard until it isn’t.
If you just made it to the end of this post and are freaking out a little about how you’re going to do all of the things, take a deep breath, reread the post, and then get in touch with your friends at The Chamber –we're ready for you.
Copyright Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. All Rights Reserved.
118 North Market Street, Suite 200, Frederick, MD 21701
firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: (301) 662-4164
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm