There are over 900 million active users on Facebook, with over 525 million users logging in every single day.

Yet, only 44% of small businesses use social media platforms such as Facebook.

That’s a shame, since there are so many ways that small businesses can leverage their fan pages into more leads and sales. In fact, here are 6 ways (or reasons why) small businesses should jump on the Facebook (social media) bandwagon now.

  1. Communicate on a personal level with your customers. Facebook gives you the opportunity to get off your soapbox and talk to your (potential) customers as if you were face-to-face with them. More like a friend or family member, instead of another number to your website or email list. Done right, your fans will see you as  real, approachable person, and will warm up to asking your questions, liking and commenting on posts.
  2. Happy customers will leave testimonials. You see it all the time. Go to a company’s Facebook fan page and if they are doing a good job, their customers say so. Social proof goes a long ways too. If one customer is happy, a potential customer that sees that will be more likely to buy.
  3. Of course, this can go the other way too — where your customers leave comments about how dissatisfied they were. But instead of sending an email or never telling you in the first place, you can now fix the problem — in public. Everyone will see that you care about your customers, and the quality of your product and service. Just make sure to take care of the problem promptly.
  4. Facebook is another way for people to consume your content. Instead of (always) having to visit your site, much of your content can be viewed within Facebook.
  5. Facebook is another traffic source. You can get traffic through Facebook ads (you have to pay for them), or if someone that is already a fan shares your page with their friends and family. It’s word of mouth advertising on the largest social platform on the internet. Also, if for some reason a search engine (Google) decides it doesn’t like your site anymore and it tanks in rankings, a fan page is a way to diversify and lessen your need for organic traffic. The more you do this, the less it matters what happens to your sits in the SERPs.
  6. Add value to your business and/or website. A Facebook fan page full of customers or soon-to-be customers is worth money, and can easily boost the value of your business or website if you’re trying to sell it. This will definitely be on a case-by-case basis, and the value would be much easier to determine if you had the metric of what each customer is worth figured out.

All in all, if you run a small business and you don’t have a Facebook fan page, you’re definitely missing out. They’re not hard to create, and the only real work is in building the traffic and participating on a regular basis. However, if you have no interest in doing it, or simply are too busy, both of these tasks can be outsourced. Just make sure to stay on top of it so that you don’t lose any traction that you may have gained.