Last month, our company released a free special report, The State of NH on Facebook. The report was designed to help professionals get a better understanding of New Hampshire’s Facebook users: The sheer volume of them (two-thirds of eligible residents), the activities and interests that matter to them and their demographics. We also included practical tactics and ideas for how businesses can make use of this information to engage their audiences, boost their brand visibility, and yes, even increase leads and sales.
Since March 22, when the report launched, its findings have been featured on the front page of the Union Leader’s Business section, in New Hampshire Business Review’s News Browser and on itswebsite and on many Patch.com outlets catering to hyperlocal audiences. The report has also been shared dozens of times from our own company’s Facebook Page, and virally to thousands of others on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other people’s social channels.
There is an undeniable recognition by media and professionals alike of Facebook’s role in the now and future success of any business of any size. The challenge is, most people and companies still haven’t really tapped into the power and possibility of this behemoth social platform.
And there’s a bigger picture, too. Businesses in the Granite State don’t just promote their products and services for New Hampshire customers and clients. They’re marketing to regional, national and international audiences and Facebook is a crucial piece of the marketing matrix.
Here are three other pieces of that matrix, and how Facebook plays a role in each of them:
1. International focus. This applies to exporters in any industry, businesses with offices abroad, and for travel and tourism businesses here in New Hampshire, to give just three examples. Of Facebook’s 1 billion-plus users, about 85 percent of them are outside the United States. A December 2012 survey of world social networks shows that Facebook is the dominant network in 127 out of 137 countries surveyed!
Whether you’re promoting a product, a service or an experience, you can reach your audience in more cost-effective ways than you ever could before, wherever they are in the world, thanks to Facebook. And international users are also heavy mobile users, which leads neatly into the next point.
2. Mobile users. More than half of its users access Facebook from a mobile device, and 15 percent of its users access Facebook ONLY from a mobile device. This has huge implications for every business, in New Hampshire and beyond – it’s time to get serious about a mobile strategy, including how your website and email newsletters appear on mobile devices.
Here’s one more remarkable statistic to consider for brick and mortar businesses. The majority of searches made on mobile devices for local products and services are acted upon within one hour of the search. That means mobile users are looking to spend money right now. Are you ready to be found by them on mobile devices?
3. Integration strategy. There’s so much talk about social media marketing, sometimes it’s easy to forget that Facebook is not the be-all, end-all. It’s impressive, yes, for its reach and influence, as well as for being the world’s largest marketing database. But in Marketing 101 terms, it’s just a channel.
Don’t lose sight of the many channels you manage (i.e., email, PR, website, etc.), by treating Facebook as an island unto itself. Your best bet is to make sure your promotional campaigns actively involve multiple marketing channels, and maintain brand and messaging consistency across them.
There is a world of value to be had by creating a powerful, engaging Facebook presence. There’s also a world of value outside Facebook’s borders. It’s never been more important for you to take the reigns, broaden your horizons, and find the right fit for Facebook in your overall business success strategy.
It’s our passion and purpose to help forward-thinking professionals take advantage of the opportunities presented by Facebook, to connect more meaningfully, effectively, and efficiently with the people who matter. Don’t let fear or overwhelm get in your way. Facebook represents a bigger shift in the business landscape that may ultimately determine if you’re in business five years from now or not.
Whether you use the information in The State of NH on Facebook report; register for our upcoming Facebook Business Accelerator training program; or find your own ways to harness the power of the world’s biggest social network, now is the time to take action.
The future of your own ventures, and New Hampshire’s overall economy, depends on you!
About Epiphanies, Inc.
Hailed as ”visionary” and “two of the most creative thinkers in the industry” by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, and the Division’s social media consulting agency since 2009, Lani and Allen Voivod share powerful social marketing strategies through speaking, events, workshops and their online channels. Their company, Epiphanies, Inc., engages leaders, inspires entrepreneurs and helps redefine what’s possible for bold brands, innovative businesses and mission-driven organizations. Join their Facebook community at http://facebook.com/AhaYourself, and learn more about their Facebook Business Accelerator at http://AhaFB.com.