Facebook, a big toy for small businesses


Director of Impactiv8 (impactive8.com.au), Loren Bartley is educating small businesses to use the power of social media. Her most popular online training program, FB Business Success, provides a complete roadmap of how to use Facebook to generate more business.

“Social media” didn’t exist less than a decade ago and yet today, we use it for almost everything. Facebook, the biggest and most engaging social network worldwide, followed by YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Intagram, Pinterest and blogging platforms are providing opportunities for businesses, especially, stand to gain much from it if used the right way.

The fastest track to achieving success using social media is to undertake some instruction. Loren Bartley is a Social Media Consultant based in Point Cook. Loren is passionate about educating small businesses on how to use the power of social media independently to grow their businesses. She teaches small businesses how to develop a social media strategy, build online communities, effectively engage with those communities, maintain an effective online presence and then, convert them into action that aligns with their overall business goals.

Loren first started using social media for business purposes back in 2006, with a thirst to learn all she could about this new technology. Not long after that people were seeking her out for her knowledge and skills in this area. Five years later, the mother of three kids, launched her own social media business Impactiv8. “There are three key words to Impactiv8. Impact, Active and Activate. These words represent my philosophy regarding social media – to be successful using social media you need to make an impact, be constantly active and have the ability to activate others”. She also really liked incorporating a number within the name as it made it a bit like “text talk”, which is relevant to what she does.

Loren created a definition for Impactiv8 — “make a significant improvement through engaging people and making communities more active”. The creator of the popular online training course, FB Business Success, says that this online training program is aimed at businesses that realize Facebook’s potential but don’t know where to start or those businesses that have a Facebook business page but are not achieving results. The FB Business Success online training is a comprehensive social media roadmap, with step-by-step instructions on making Facebook strategy a profitable reality for your business.

According to Australian Social Media statistics reports for April 2013, there are 1.06 billion active Facebook users worldwide, with 11,489,380 active Facebook users in Australia. Most Facebook users log in at least once per day. This usage provides an opportunity for businesses to meet their customers where they already are by setting up a presence on those social media networks where their customers are spending most of their time. This high level of user activity generates excessive amounts of data that businesses can use to target potential customers based on their interests, behaviours and habits, like never before. Thanks to social networking also many products and services have successfully positioned within the preferences of people because the display of products in the private virtual space of the users, creates greater impact for it lingers in their minds longer.

Facebook usage numbers continue to rise; with the largest growing demographic on Facebook is the 50 years+ age group. There is anecdotal evidence that many youth are starting to be put off by the fact that their parents are also on Facebook, resulting in the need to seek out alternative methods of communicating with friends. Other social media platforms that allow using pseudonyms and avatars that aren’t their real names and faces such as Tumblr, Instagram, SnapChat, WhatsApp and Twitter are becoming popular choices as a result. However, Facebook is not going away anytime soon and with it’s unprecedented reach into the lives of people around the world everyday, it still remains the social media platform of choice for most businesses.

After a recent two year legal battle over privacy concerns relating to “sponsored stories”, Facebook was forced to pay USD $20 million and in two legal documents to make clear that people know and agree with the privacy policy. For those with privacy concerns, Loren suggests that you “only accept friend requests from people that you already know and regularly review your privacy settings, locking down access to your profile and the information that you share to just your friends or friends of friends in some cases if you feel it is appropriate”.

If used effectively, the social media can assist businesses in developing relationships, forming new partnerships, as a tool for gaining feedback and collaboration and most importantly, increasing sales. Many businesses, both large and small, are acknowledging social media as being a driver of traffic to their website, lead generation, referrals, new customers, more repeat business and increases in sales.

Social media, with a relatively low cost to entry, has created a more level playing field between small and large businesses, provided they use it right. Whilst social media can be used as a tool for promoting products and/or services, it should not be used as a platform for broadcasting sales messages. It is also not a place for formal corporate communication. Instead, it should be used as a wonderful space for advertising business, building a community, reaching ideal customers and providing good service by sharing content that adds value to their lives.

Bartley concludes “even though small business owners understand how important social media is to their success, if they don´t know how to use it they not taking advantage of social media’s full potential and losing the opportunity to potentially engage with their customers and potential customers on a daily basis”. In today’s social media age, small business owners can’t afford to ignore the potential social media has for their business.

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