“We know we need to get with the times,” explained a potential client I was talking to last week. “In fact, we just set up a Facebook page!”
This potential client and I were having a phone conversation about what her company needed as part of a redesigned website. I’d started to inquire about the online marketing strategies the firm currently had in place and what she was interested in starting.
“So I don’t know why I would need a blog,” the client continued. “Isn’t that what Facebook does?”
Well, not exactly. A lot of our customers are excited about getting started on Facebook, because it is cheaper and looks easier than starting and running a quality blog. However, a well-written blog on a company’s website is one of the best ways to get people to come to and to stay on your website, hopefully learning about your company’s services and products at the same time.
Here are a few differences:
- Facebook cannot be searched. Unless someone is a fan of your business, he or she won’t see what you have to say.
- Facebook posts are for people who already know you and like you. Blogs are for both people who know you and people who are looking for a business like yours.
- Facebook is for short, informative statements about your business, such as a sale; questions for customers; and other ways of engaging people in one or two sentences. Blogs are a way to inform or educate people about your industry and your business.
For example, let’s say you have a garden shop and you just began to carry a new line of organic fertilizers. Of course you’re going to let your Facebook fans know about the new fertilizers, but how will you tell people who don’t currently shop with you or have a relationship with you and who want to buy good organic fertilizers locally?
You write a blog post. Include details about how you are carrying the product, why it’s part of your inventory, where it is in the store and what you like about using it. Your blog post will be indexed by Google within a day or two. After that, when people search for “organic fertilizer” in your city, or the specific brand of fertilizer, your informative blog post should pop up in the first page or two of results.
By using both Facebook and a blog on your website, you’re telling people who love you about what you’re up to, and you’re laying the groundwork so people now and in the future can find you if they are looking for a product you carry.
It’s even possible that someone will see your Facebook post, forget about it until next spring, and then suddenly be reminded that he needs organic fertilizer. Hmmm. This person remembers that he saw a local garden store mention they were carrying the brand he wants, but which store? A Google search will uncover that blog post quickly and lead him to you!
Be sure to share your blog posts in Facebook and other social media tools that you use. It’s a great way to get someone from social media to your actual website, where you should have more information about your business and the solutions it offers.
Both Facebook business fan pages and blogs are ways to engage and inform your customers. But they work different ways. Keep in mind what your goals are for each tool you use and be sure that everything you do encourages potential customers to call you or visit your website for more information.
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