It’s a great question, so many people stick up a Facebook personal page or business page because it’s trendy but if you ignore the people who join your page you’re in danger of damaging your reputation.
Three particularly good uses are reaching new clients, handling current customers and watching your competition. There are a few more of course but these are the three most obvious:
Sharing is caring
Reaching new clients via social media is like word-of-mouth in written format, your current customers can ‘Share’ your posts to their friends and colleagues generating interest in your postings and ultimately your business. If you’re not getting direct business from these referrals you are least buliding brand awareness. Your conversion techniques may also need tweaking.
Handling current customers is made easier by messaging although this is primarily through your personal page over your business page which is fine for an individual but not practical (& I personally would not recommend it) in a company with employees. Your regular wall posts are a chance to keep your brand high in your customers thoughts and also deliver added value. Free software abounds on the web, provide a link to it demonstrating how it can help them and you will be seen as a source of useful information, knowledgable within your own field and therefore an authority on the subject, i.e. exactly the place to turn when they need your business type.
‘Like’-ing your competitions page will give you the up-to-date news previously reserved for private e-mail lists so you’ll see new product and service launches early on. Equally you can see who else is has ‘Like’d your competition, giving you another insight into where they get their customers.
In terms of actual statistics, monitor your website stats for links coming from your social media channels. Watch Twitter ‘Mentions’ to see if people are talking about you, not to you. This is ‘organic’ branding. If your brand and product is appearing in blogs, it’s being talked about. Track those blogs to see who reads them for more info on your customers. (This works for the competitions blogs too 😉 .
The old adage of ‘figure out where your customers are going, then get there first’ is now made that bit easier, you know your customers are going to be checking their Facebook and Twitter accounts, what else they look at while they are there is up to you.
For some industry stats though there are any number of reports, normally priced between £200 and £1500 but the link below will give you some freebies: