Facebook, no doubt, is the largest social network today. Every day, all sorts of people from all sorts of places post about life events or what’s happening with their businesses, and make connections with long-lost friends, new neighbors, and others.
But, is Facebook the right place for your managed IT services company to advertise? (Before I jump in with an immediate “YES,” there are a few key areas we need to study at length.)
The argument I hear most often from MSP business owners is that their customers aren’t on Facebook. (But, they actually are.) Are they using Facebook to look for a new IT managed services company? Probably not. If a business had a pressing IT need, my gut tells me they would turn to their best friend, colleagues, or Google to search for an IT provider that can help.
We understand that people aren’t going to Facebook specifically to look for an IT company. So, why should you advertise on Facebook?
When your clients and future clients see your advertising, they’ll start connecting the dots. Research regarding other industries has proven that the more visibility you have across multiple platforms, the more opportunities will be presented to you.
It’s the same reason you buy advertising space in your chamber of commerce magazine or put a billboard on the side of a major highway. After all, people don’t drive down the road looking for an IT services company, right?
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about: Cellino and Barnes is a law firm that advertises in Western New York. They’re on the radio with their “Don’t wait, call 8” ads, they run commercials on TV, they have billboards on 90, 190, and 290 in Buffalo, and when I was recently in San Francisco, guess what I saw? — An ad for Cellino and Barnes on the side of a Muni car. I suppose they’re moving into the Bay Area.
What does this strategy afford Cellino and Barnes? Do I need an injury lawyer right now? No. But in the future, if I ever do—guess who I’ll call? You got that right—Cellino and Barnes.
Stop being so impatient
This the biggest problem facing many of you. (And I have no issue calling 98 percent of the MSP market out on this because it’s true.) You expect immediate results from your marketing and instant ROI from Facebook marketing.
• You cut off your Facebook advertising after one month—Because you don’t get calls right away.
• You dump your direct mail strategy after sending out a few postcards—Because you don’t see an immediate ROI.
• You don’t create a long-standing SEO strategy, even though it’s well documented that an SEO strategy takes years to build, not months.
For those willing to put the effort into a long-term Facebook marketing strategy, here are some tips for you. (I will share these tips and more during my upcoming Facebook advertising webinar on Aug. 17 with the team from Intronis MSP Solutions from Barracuda.)
- Be active on Facebook. I would strongly encourage all “external” facing members of your team be extremely active, not casually active on Facebook. This is not the time or the place to casually post just anything, though. You may need to tone down your political views, etc. But be yourself. Let the true you shine through.
- Connect with every customers, prospects, and the business community in general. People are people, and they often choose to do business with people they know and like. They do business with the person first, the company second, and the product/service third. So you want to make meaningful connections and get involved with groups of people. That means liking their statuses, and making comments here and there. In other words, go “all in” with Facebook.
- Start a group on Facebook. Facebook is an amazing venue for creating private groups and building community. For example, we started one for people interested in MSP marketing. Your communities are not a place for constant promotion, though. They’re a place for sharing, asking questions, and getting answers without a sales pitch. But, get this—they’re also the perfect place for your customers to share how awesome you are.
- Start a local community page. I love community pages on Facebook. Again, this is the perfect place for you to demonstrate your leadership in the community and share relevant information and ideas. It’s also a great place for posting stories that impact the community and business in general.
Quality over quantity
Here’s the is most important tip of all: Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” This type of marketing takes time, hard work, and dedication. You can’t do it “halfway.”
I love what Gary Vaynerchuk taught me one day in Phoenix, Arizona. This is not about transactional business, or about one-click-equals-one-visitor type of marketing. This is about creating long-term relationships that lead to new business down the road. Or about getting a great referral from a member of your group who knows people who can use your services.
As GaryVee’s taught me: “It’s not about QUANT, it’s about QUAL”—quality over quantity.
Here’s another lesson from GaryVee that rings true: “One is greater than zero.” Who cares if you have only 10 followers or 10 group members? Who are those people? That is what matters.
Facebook marketing tips
In closing, here are a few final tips about Facebook marketing for your MSP business. Make sure you let people know what you’re doing on Facebook. Share updates about your Facebook marketing initiatives everywhere you can—in your newsletters, email marketing, social-media posts, and quarterly business reviews. People need to know what you’re doing so they can jump in and participate.
When you gain a small following, be active. I love what Tim Richter at RCOR does with his business group for Raleigh Business Professionals. Tim shares his tech-tip videos and other important content with this group. Can Tim connect the dots from his ongoing activity to new business? Wait! What kind of question is this? We just said it was a long-term play—maybe not today, but in the future. Tim and his team at RCOR started taking marketing seriously at the end of 2016, and so far in 2017, he averages net new MRR of $2,000 per week. Yes, that’s right. RCOR, a Raleigh IT support company averages $2,000 a week in MRR. Why? Remember the Cellino and Barnes story?
So get going with your Facebook marketing strategy today. Here’s how to start:
- Attend my webinar on Aug. 17.
- Take it seriously. Be persistent. Don’t give up.
- Be social. Join face-to-face groups and transition these to your online community.
- Share pertinent information every day, and even several times throughout the day.
- Find someone to help you if you get stuck.
I hope this article helps you establish a successful Facebook marketing strategy for your MSP business. I know it was a bit all over the place, but MSP marketing can be just that. You need to be seen in many different communities, forums, groups, and locations, so your current customers and future ones connect the dots.
And, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing your MSP business. We have so much more to share. So register for the webinar and join me at 2 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, Aug. 17 to learn more about why Facebook marketing should be part of your strategic marketing plan.