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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Using Facebook to promote your business - checklist

Facebook allows small businesses to build relationships with customers, encouraging endorsement and spreading positive word of mouth. Here's how to get the most out of your Facebook business page.

  • Find out if your customers are on Facebook; and whether they expect to find your business there. If you run a consumer-facing enterprise, your customers may want to keep in touch on Facebook.
  • Consider whether other social media platforms will perform better. Depending on your customer demographics, you might be better considering other social platforms such as Instagram for example if your customers are under 25.
  • Register for your free account and set up a Facebook page for your business. If you've already got a personal Facebook page, it can help to drive traffic to your business page.
  • If you are stuck for ideas, you can get inspiration and advice on Facebook's own Facebook for Business page. It has useful case studies and step-by-step guidance.
  • Tell people you are on Facebook. Use other social networks, like Twitter, to post links to your Facebook page, put details of it on your website and all your marketing literature, and include a link below your email signature.
  • Make the most of your profile. Include appropriate images, a link to your website, an overview of your company and a description of your product or service.
  • Make it easy for people to contact you by including key information such as opening times, contact phone numbers and address.  
  • Use keywords in your profile and posts that people are most likely to search for in relation to your product – that way your page will appear more prominently in search engine results. A key advantage of having a Facebook page for your business is that customers will be able to find you more easily from their mobile devices.
  • Post content that people typically enjoy on Facebook. Images, in particular, tend to attract the most likes, shares and comments. According to Facebook, images account for 75% of content posted by brands.
  • Share different types of content. You can post text, photos, live video, events, jobs and more.
  • The content you post should show the human side of your business, but make sure it is in line with your brand values and does not damage your reputation. Create a social media policy so that your employees don't go 'off-message' with their comments.
  • Consider advertising on Facebook if you want to reach specific groups. Facebook allows you to target ads based on everything from location and demographics to behaviour and interests.
  • Engage with your followers. Facebook users love to talk to real people and share their news and views. Reply to queries and respond to comments, including any complaints. You can also encourage discussion and feedback using posts that include a poll - positive user-generated content provides a very powerful endorsement for your business.
  • Direct people to your own website or blog from your Facebook page. Set your blog's RSS feed so that you automatically publish snippets on your Facebook page to encourage followers to visit your website.
  • Try rewarding your Facebook followers by running competitions or providing exclusive deals. Many people use Facebook to find special offers that aren't available elsewhere.
  • Be sure to measure everything. Page Insights provides an overview of who your customers are and how they're connecting with your business. You can also use the Adverts Manager dashboard to see how your ads are performing against your objectives.

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