As a vehicle through which to share information, it is probably fair to say that social media is fluid and constantly changing. For younger users the “traditional” platforms such as Facebook and Twitter almost represent the establishment, and a bevy of new options provide fresh ways through which to disseminate gossip and share pictures and events in real time.
From a purely business perspective however, Facebook remains a surprisingly user-friendly option for getting your product or service out there, and with a bit of imagination you can still reach audiences in their tens or even hundreds of thousands with little or even no financial outlay.
1. Paid adverts
Like most social media platforms Facebook offers an option to pay for advertising, and the special appeal of this is that rather than your ad being fired out randomly it can be carefully targeted at your preferred audience.
Once your advert is ready to go you will be asked to specify demographics, allowing you to determine the location, age, gender and interest groups of those you are seeking to reach out to. If the thing you are selling is liable to be of particular interest to a specific target group or groups this enables you to place your ad on the feeds only of those who are likely to be attracted to it.
2. Use your friends list
With a bit of imagination however it might not be necessary to spend money at all in order to call out to your market. Let’s face it, your first and most reachable audience is usually going to be those who actually know you. That’s why your own timeline should always be the first port of call when it comes to letting the world know what it is you have to offer. It is your noticeboard, you can use it in any way you like.
3. Set up a Facebook group
Most services belong to a particular niche, so if you have the time to build slowly it can be a good idea to create your own Facebook group which others who are interested in that particular subject can join. As the administrator of the group you have complete control over the content that it is posted onto it, and as such when you display your wares you will be doing so before an audience of people with a special interest in your line of business.
4. Join existing groups
Most Facebook users will from time to time join groups with a dedicated focus upon a particular subject. Most often this is a leisure interest, but with a little research it is possible for you to seek out a whole raft of different groups within your niche with a view to using them to discreetly market your product or service. Do this methodically by creating a database of all the groups you belong to and bookmarking them so that you have the links available at your fingertips.
It is important that you familiarise yourself with the rules of each individual group, and respect them. Many operate a strict no advertising policy, and spamming them will earn you not only a ban but also a bad reputation within the industry. If in doubt, you can always message the administrator of the group before posting and ask for permission. Admins generally are grateful when people take the trouble to ask, and even if your request is met with a refusal you will have cultivated some goodwill with an important player in the field.
Ultimately how successful you are in your efforts will depend on how organised your marketing strategy is. Making it work properly takes time, but then forward planning is the key to achievement in any field of work.