This is a guest post by Jim Belosic, CEO of ShortStack, a self-service custom app design tool used to create apps for Facebook Pages, websites and mobile web browsing. ShortStack provides the tools for small businesses, graphic designers, agencies and corporations to create apps with contests and forms, fan gates, product lines and more.
- “We don’t have time for Facebook.”
- “We don’t know anything about social media.”
- “Facebook won’t help our bottom line.”
These are the most common excuses you’ll hear from clients when trying to convince them to get their business on Facebook. It’s a challenging task. The best thing you can do is be prepared. Here are five tips to help clients see the value of Facebook.
1. Do Your Research
Research is imperative to convince a client that a Facebook Page is worthwhile. When doing your research, focus on three areas: Case studies of similar businesses having success on Facebook, market research and Facebook’s future projections. Here’s why:
- Case studies: If you can find examples of other businesses–or your client’s competitors–having success on Facebook, it can be a major motivator. No business wants to feel like they’re being left in the dust by their competition. Success stories from other businesses also provides proof that Facebook can lend to the growth and success of a company.
- Market research: If you know the demographics of your client’s target market, do the math and figure out what percentage of their target market is on Facebook. Use the website checkfacebook.com to lookup Facebook user statistics. Being able to estimate the number of people within your client’s target audience who are on Facebook will allow you to justify your client creating a Page.
- Facebook future projections: Your client wants to feel secure in their investments. And with more than 1 billion active monthly users, Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet. It’s huge and it’s not going anywhere.
2. Show the Numbers
Think like your client. To convince a business person, you have to show them the numbers. Do this by creating a simple Excel spreadsheet or Word document with the time and money required to create and maintain a Facebook page. Things to include:
- How many hours a week will it take to maintain a Facebook Page?
- How many people need to update and manage the Facebook Page?
- What does it cost to create a professional-looking Facebook Page? Think designer costs for the cover photo and app thumbnails.
- Do you plan to run ads on Facebook? What are your goals and how much do you plan to spend?
- Do a cost comparison between creating and maintaining a website versus a Facebook Page. What you’ll find is that cost to create and maintain a website is far greater than it is for a Facebook page.
3. Present the Opportunities
Facebook presents a lot of opportunities for businesses. Think about two or three opportunities your client would be most interested in and demonstrate how Facebook could help.
For instance, if your client has a fairly young business, present the branding opportunities Facebook has to offer. If your client is more concerned about sales and getting people to walk through their doors, introduce them to one of Facebook’s many business-only features, like Offers.
4. Discuss the Risks
In general, creating a Facebook Page is a low risk venture because it costs nothing. That said, your client may be concerned with other risks involved in having a Facebook Page.
For businesses, the biggest risk involved is transparency. A Facebook Page opens your client’s company up to both good and bad comments from fans. To address this risk, have a crisis management plan set in place and make your client feel confident in your ability to resolve any issue that could be presented on Facebook.
5. Propose a Testing Period
If your client still isn’t convinced that they should be on Facebook, suggest a testing period. If they agree, set a few realistic goals for the company and decide on how long your testing period should be– nothing less than sixty days is suggested. If you’re testing period is a success, present the results to your client, and more likely than not, they’ll start to see the value in a Facebook Page.
Facebook is a worthwhile investment for many businesses. To convince a client who thinks otherwise, it will take a lot of preparation and research. The best way to get through to your client is to show them the numbers, present the opportunities, empathize with their concerns and do your research so that their fears and hesitations are minimized.