According to a recent social media report by Technorati, over 90% of brands have a presence on Facebook - pretty astonishing for a tool designed not for selling, but for keeping in touch with friends and family.
So, what is all the fuss about and why should companies have a Facebook page?
This is the no brainer. Having a company Facebook page is a positive step towards building your brand and community. It's a way of showing your brand has personality and inviting your customers to interact on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis.
24/7 Customer Service
Perception, (which is 99% reality in customer minds), sees a company Facebook page as an instant access, free from elevator music, connection with a brand. Thrilled by those sunglasses you just bought? Look for the company Facebook page and share the love. Discover you've paid more than you needed to? Find that Facebook page and have a rant. Like it or not, Facebook gives a very clear view of how well your products or services are doing, in realtime. Be warned though, your customer expects a response, just as they would had they called your help-line, so make sure there is a dedicated resource monitoring and replying to each comment.
Daily Research and Development Opportunities
With the rapidly evolving new feature set, you can reach out to your audience for feedback on a regular basis. Ask them questions. Invite them to rate photos of yet to be released product. Poll for suggestions. Offer free samples or behind the scenes sneak peaks, to gauge reaction to and interest in, your future plans. The possibilities are endless.
We all know that an engaged audience is a revenue generating audience. While Facebook is not primarily a sales tool, fans are well used to receiving offers and even getting access to exclusive content from the brands they support. Lead generation may not be the first thing that comes to mind when setting up your Facebook page, but ask yourself how many spending decisions you've taken, based on something a friend shared on social media.
Facebook insights is a great way to measure the success of your Facebook page. At the click of a button (or two) you'll have the numbers needed to show how engaged your audience is, how your fan base is growing, how people found your page and most importantly reach (how far your content can be shared through friends of your fans). Facebook insight stats are complimentary to those provided on your website by Google Analytics and together they give a picture of how well your marketing is performing.
Still not convinced? Here are some great examples of company Facebook pages.
The Honest Company