The days of advertising on billboards and newspaper clippings have come and passed. The modern billboard, in fact, is the Facebook news feed. Instead of glancing at a giant sign on the drive home from work, prospective customers glance at the various posts from businesses on Facebook throughout the day.

Whether this is a good thing or bad thing is often debated by business owners, but it is a forgone conclusion that the modern audience is online (specifically, they are on social media). This is why 42% of marketers feel Facebook is critical to increasing brand awareness (Hubspot).

Surprisingly enough, there are still plenty of businesses that have not made the leap onto Facebook.

Businesses that don’t use Facebook aren’t just missing out, they are actually hurting their business.

Many owners, regardless if they want to be on Facebook or not, don’t realize that there is likely already an unclaimed Facebook page for their business with their business’ name, address, phone number, and the option for Facebook users to leave a rating and/or write a review.

Leaving unclaimed Facebook business pages at the mercy of users who expect modern businesses to have a social media presence can be very harmful to that business’ reputation. This can force their page deep into the basement of the Facebook search results, where it may never be seen.

These unclaimed business pages are examples of what you might see at the bottom of a Facebook search for "Dentists" in your area.

These unclaimed business pages are examples of what you might see at the bottom of a Facebook search for “Dentists” in your area.

These unclaimed pages demonstrate a business’ lack of interest in their Facebook audience and an unwillingness to adapt to modern times. This may prompt a Facebook user to skip over a business in favor of a competitor that uses Facebook.

There are certainly many cons for businesses that avoid Facebook, but there is an endless list of pros for using Facebook that is continuously growing.

Businesses that use Facebook can humanize their brand with social content and establish relationships with their fans. They also generate website traffic with use of Facebook apps and the new call-to-action-button, which can expose their business to a new audience.

The fact is, 82% of consumers say they trust a business or CEO that posts on social media (EMarketer) and 92% of people trust the recommendations of their Facebook friends (Nielsen). Showing organizational transparency and utilizing a business’ current fan-base can be extremely beneficial to growth and reputation.

As Facebook is a social media site, it also pays for businesses to be social with their audience. Posting entertaining, fun, and engaging content is an opportunity to humanize a business with their fans. This practice allows the audience full of customers and potential customers to feel a closer connection to the business.

An example of this might be a dentist office posting a birthday picture of their receptionist at her desk with a cake from her co-workers. The audience, who may or may not know the receptionist, now feel even closer to that dentistry. In addition to enhancing the personal bond with their audience, posts like this receive higher levels of engagement that allow a post to be seen on the newsfeeds of non-fans, increasing the business’ reach on Facebook.

Using Facebook is also an opportunity to become a go-to source for educational content. If an insurance agency is frequently posting helpful tips on how to protect one’s assets, audience members may periodically check the insurance agency’s Facebook page for new tips. This also can help establish the agency’s status as a credible industry leader.

These Facebook business pages are well tended to and have worked their way to the top of a local search for "dentists."

These Facebook business pages are well tended to and have worked their way to the top of a local search for “dentists.”

The list of reasons to use Facebook for business can go on forever, and it will certainly keep growing.

Projections of mobile use make it even more necessary for businesses to develop a Facebook presence moving forward.

Many marketers have predicted 2015 to be the year of the mobile device due to increased mobile advertising budgets and consumers’ time spent on mobile devices. Emarketer found that Facebook accounted for $6.8 billion in mobile advertising revenue in 2014, up $3.7 billion from 2013. Facebook was the top smartphone app of 2014 (for Android and IOS users), showing up on 69% of devices. Also, global market analyst company, OVUM, conducted research which found that 13% of Americans will access the internet exclusively from mobile devices by 2015’s end. Facebook stands to benefit greatly from these trends.

Simply not participating on Facebook is no longer an option for businesses. Facebook is where a large portion of a business’ audience resides, and it makes sense to target their viewing habits. It is understandable that business owners simply don’t have the time to learn how to use Facebook, but with services like ours at NEXT! Ad Agency, there is always a way to tap into the surging Facebook market.

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