In the past we have written a lot about why businesses should invest time and money in social media and over the last couple of weeks, in my own personal life, I have examples of why.
Last summer Katie pondered the question, “Should your business bother with a Facebook page?” which she concluded:
“For brand and business pages it is now more important than ever before to post interesting content that people will want to log in for and engage with.”
She discussed how Facebook is now making businesses pay to sponsor their Facebook posts in order to get them in front of a decent number of people. But what about using Facebook as a search engine and for customer service? Yes, many people will go to Google to search for a product or service, but are more of us now using Facebook as a search engine as well as a way to share photos and stay in contact with our Friends?
About a year ago it was reported that people search on Facebook 1 billion times a day, a fraction of the searches performed on Google, but people are using it and the results you see are very localised and also come with friend recommendations.
Yesterday my, not-so-little-anymore, Westie pup, Oscar had to go for his first proper haircut and I wanted to find a dog groomers near to my house so I could easily drop him off and pick him up. Instead of heading to Google, as all the websites were pretty poor quality and out of date, I decided to look on Facebook. These were the results:
Four very local dog grooming results in order of distance from my house. Result! I then clicked on the one closest to my location, saw that they had loads of lovely pictures of happy, tidy dogs on their Facebook page, alongside other posts to show that they clearly love dogs, so I contacted her via Facebook to arrange an appointment. Done!
And here is the result…
Another experience I had recently, proves that Facebook is a very useful tool for businesses is as a customer service channel. A couple of weeks ago I bought some new taps for my new bathroom and as a consumer who knows absolutely nothing about taps I wanted some advice on which ones to buy. The website I was looking at, VictorianPlumbing.co.uk, had two types available that looked identical to me, for two very different prices.
Not wanting to call, I decided to email and got an automated response saying I’d get an actual response in 3-5 days. Not known for my patience, and needing advice fast, I decided to try out their Facebook page, and as I hoped I got a response within 12 hours (and I did send the message at 8.35pm at night).
The guy that responded to my Facebook message told me what I wanted to hear (I could buy the cheaper ones :) ) and then placed my order for me. They are now fitted in my shiny new bathroom!
These are just two examples of why Social Media should not be ignored by businesses, both big and small. Some small local businesses probably don’t have the budget (or need) to spend money on a fancy, expensive website and therefore a tool like Facebook is perfect for them. For a business like a dog groomers especially, as they can be easily found, can upload photos easily and receive enquiries. There are a lot more people searching on Google so if budget allows then a website will never be a bad thing, but if you are just starting out and budgets are tight, then Facebook can be a free and easy way to found by potential clients.
What do you think? Is your business Facebook page bringing in customers for you? Have you ever found a service or used a social network channel to find/enquire/complain about a service? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.