With Facebook recently hitting its one billionth user mark, there’s no denying we’re living in a very different world than just 10 years ago. With this change has come some new and exciting ways to market our businesses online. If you run a small business, there’s a very good chance you’ve already started to use Facebook as a marketing tool. With the help of your online scheduling service Appointbook, it’s become easy to create a promotion and share it online. But are you really taking full advantage of power to market your services online?
Let’s take a look at your business’s Facebook page. How many “likes” do you have? If you have one hundred “likes,” then one hundred people will hear about your specials and promotions, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Facebook has implemented new technology that measures the engagement your “fans” have with your business. Do they go to your page often? Do they “like” your posts? Do they share your posts with their friends? Unfortunately, if a user has low engagement then they’ll likely not see the majority of your postings in their life feed.
To make matters worse, the people who are most engaged are probably your best clients anyway. So at best your marketing plan does very little to attract new clients and at worst provides your existing clients with discounts hurting your bottom line.
So what is the most effective way to market your business online? What’s the secret? No surprise, its word of mouth. Research shows that people are 80% more likely to respond to a recommendation from a friend than to an advertisement, online or otherwise. Think about it: wouldn’t you prefer the unbiased recommendation of a good friend?
Then the big question is this: How do you put your clients to work for you? How do you turn your most loyal clients into your best sales people? It’s a lot easier than you think. Facebook partnered with your online scheduling service Appointbook can completely transform the effectiveness of your marketing if you follow the marketing strategy outlined below.
Pew Research recently reported the average Facebook user has 229 friends. While some users have less, some have a lot more; 18% of women between the ages of 25-34 have 400-600 friends and 11% had over 600.
So what does this mean to you? Let’s suppose your run a salon and have a client who is one of the 11% percent of Facebook users with over 600 friends. What would happen if you shared something like the following?
Client Name, I have an idea. If you’re happy with your new haircut, how about taking a picture and posting it to your Facebook page? If you’re willing to write something flattering and include a link back to my scheduling webpage, I’ll take $10 off your next service and give you a coupon code so your friends can get $10 off too.
Your client has nothing to lose by this proposition, she’ll feel good about sharing an exclusive deal with her friends, and you’re only out $10. If that sounds like a lot, do the math and that’s less than two cents per “trusted review from a friend” seen by over 600 people. To maximize the results, it’s important to offer online scheduling so your clients friends can book their appointments on the spot. The easier you make it for clients to schedule appointments online, the better.
Let’s say you get just one new client out of it. How much revenue is your average client worth over the period of a year? If you run a salon where a typical appointment is worth $60 and the average client comes in once a month, that’s an extra $720 per year you’ll earn from each new client.
Apply this marketing strategy to 100 of your best clients and you could reach an audience of 20,000 – 50,000 new potential clients! How many clients can you get from your customers giving personal recommendations to 50,000 people? The sky is the limit.
Gone are the days of sending out expensive mailers to entice your customers. The limits to small business success are endless thanks to Facebook and your online scheduling service Appointbook.