Facebook’s primary goal is to make the world more open and connected. This presents opportunities for businesses of all sizes to expand their market reach and foster deeper relationships with their customer base. Facebook connects businesses with their customers throughout their day and not only when they stop by or check their e-mail. It also allows businesses to create rich social experiences for their customers and increase word of mouth marketing.
Your businesses can accomplish the following objectives via Facebook:
Generate awarenessThis is your opportunity to make your business name, products, and services known to everyone who has a Facebook profile and is within your target market for little to no money. Once someone becomes your “fan” or follower on Facebook, you have their attention forever unless you give them a reason not to listen to you. Facebook gives businesses of all sizes an opportunity to create brand awareness without spending a fortune on TV or magazine ads. There is no reason not to take advantage of this opportunity. As we write this, our ChopperExchange Facebook Page has 102,165 biker followers, which took us less than a year recruit. There is no reason you should not try to do the same.
Drive preference and differentiationYou should think of Facebook as an opportunity to set your business apart from your competition. Use it as a tool to connect with your customers, provide superior customer service, and offer exciting products/services. For example, you can use Facebook to feature and congratulate customers who purchase a bike from your shop or to invite customers to a bike night. If you competitor is not doing the same or doing it as well, you immediately look better in your customers’ eyes.
Increase in-store and online traffic and salesWhile Facebook remains a social networking website, there is nothing that prevents businesses from using it as a selling tool. ChopperExchange does it every day by featuring different deals on new and pre-owned motorcycles on our Facebook Page. Our followers get access to cool bikes and we sell bikes. It is a win-win situation for all involved. There is no reason you should not be doing this for your dealership. To make this easier for our dealers, we offer a free Facebook app that allows motorcycle dealers to list their ChopperExchange inventory on their Facebook Page. It takes less than ten (10) minutes to set up and it is 100% free. Let us know if you would like to try it.
Build loyalty and deepen relationships with your customersGone are the days when marketing was a one-way communication stream. Today, customers are more empowered and they expect to have a say and be heard by businesses of all sizes. This is your opportunity to show your customers how much you appreciate them and care about more than just their wallet. At ChopperExchange.com, we make a significant effort to listen to and build relationships with our customers by helping them price their bikes, offering discounts to those who are having financial difficulties, providing superior customer support, and giving away biker goodies on our Facebook Page at least three (3) times a month. We do this because our customers are one of the main reasons we are in business, and we choose not to overlook that.
Amplify recommendations and word of mouthFacebook now allows individuals to write Recommendations for the businesses they follow or ‘Like” on Facebook. This is a great opportunity to acquire testimonials without asking your customers to provide them. Facebook does it for you. The best part is that once a customer “Likes”/starts following or writes a Recommendation for your Page, his or her friends immediately see it in their News Feed, which gives them the option to do the same. This is the essence of the viral effect of Facebook.
List and promote eventsGiven the fact that Facebook is still a social networking website, listing your dealerships’ events is a perfect way to generate relevant content, create a rich experience for your customers, and drive foot traffic to the event. Your event is immediately featured in all of your followers’ News Feeds and their friends can see if they RSVP to your event. All this can be done for little to no money. It does not get better than that!
Feature contests, sweepstakes or special promotionsRather than primarily relying on local magazines and newspapers, you can also use your Facebook Page to encourage customers to participate in contests or sweepstakes or to come in for special sales promotions. For example, it only takes one Facebook Status Update post to announce the latest sales promotion, and it immediately appears in each of your followers’ News Feed. The best part is that it is free and instantaneous.
Get customer feedback and enhance customer serviceWe encourage businesses to allow customers to post comments on their Facebook Page Wall in order to foster two-way communication and engagement. You would be surprised how many of your customers will want to talk to you on your Facebook Page. The comments may not always be positive, but such comments are not necessarily detrimental to your business as long as you respond to them in a timely manner and try to accommodate the unhappy customer. You should not delete negative comments on your Facebook Page because your customers will perceive it as an attempt to ignore unhappy customers. Instead, use your Facebook Page as a platform to listen to customers and provide superior customer service.
Expand market reachYour business is no longer confined to only selling to consumers in your local market. Facebook gives businesses an opportunity to sell to consumers in any target market of their choice.
What to Do Next?Now that you have learned some useful information about using Facebook to build customer loyalty, expand your customer base, and increase the bottom line, here are three (3) steps for putting the above mentioned ideas to work for you:
Create a Facebook Page: It should not take you more than 30 minutes to create a Facebook Page (not an individual profile) for your business. You should then link it to Facebook Place that represents your dealership’s physical location. Do not forget to invite your current customers to follow you on Facebook.
Engage Your Customers: It is very important to publish interesting and relevant content on your Facebook Page, such as photos, articles and videos. Otherwise, your followers will get bored and stop listening to you in the future.
Build Your Fan Base: This is the most important step for businesses that are serious about using Facebook to increase their customer base and bottom line. Facebook allows businesses to purchase ads to promote their Pages or external websites. Although this step requires a good amount of expertise, it should not be overlooked. ChopperExchange.com’s sister website, CycleSpoke.com, offers Facebook marketing management services for the motorsport industry.
We hope this information gives you some new ideas for optimizing your Facebook Page and using it as a tool for increasing your bottom line. Feel free to contact Mirela Setkic, our Marketing and Operation Manager, at Mirela@ChopperExchange.com, if you have any questions or need help setting up your Facebook Page.
Click here for Facebook’s Best Practice Guide to Marketing.