Personally, as I write this article, I am genuinely disappointed in Caribbean entrepreneurs. My disappointment stems from the fact many, or dare I say most neglect a HUGE, affordable opportunity to use social media particularly Facebook advertising to seek brand awareness, launch a new product or service, generate sales, get the word out about a new promotion, and in general to explode their businesses. Admittedly, what saddens me most is that many Caribbean businesses, or least those I interact with, are not using Facebook ads, but spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars in print, radio, and television advertising. Please understand that I am not trying to knock anybody’s hustle however, but if as a Caribbean entrepreneur you have not started using social media and online marketing strategies to spread the word about your business as yet, you my friend have not entered the new era of marketing.
For instance, you offer some form of coaching service such as a business coach, life coach, health and fitness coach, or an image consultant. Your client base is stagnant, and you need to continue building your brand. You get marketing advice from prominent marketers, or maybe you get proposals from your television or radio stations. They offer you a 30 seconds per week window on one of their programs to promote your services at a weekly fee of $350. You agree to the terms because you think you’d certainly reach potential consumers and start seeing your business improve. However, your grand plan doesn’t unfold and here is why.
- You have no control over who sees or hears your ad, so there is a possibility that your services are being broadcasted to uninterested persons.
- When some people are watching TV and the ads come on, they may change the channel or utilize that time to use the washroom or grab a snack, so you miss them.
- Your ad will play at a set time every day whether people are watching TV or not.
- Because of the advent of social media, the current role of radio, television, and print media has diminished significantly. And although people obviously still watch TV, listen the radio, and read newspapers, the attention of a huge group people is really online. They are practically constantly on the popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
As a businessman or woman, you should attempt to reach people where they are. Therefore, you should ensure that your business’ message is on the platforms your clients and potential patrons use. Facebook, with its robust advertising mechanism and vast number of users, provides one of the best opportunities. By advertising on Facebook, you can target specific audiences. For example, if your intended audience is women between the ages of 20-35 who like health and fitness, you can create an ad specifically for them. Your ads will only show to those people, and someone like me, who may not be interested, will never see it. By streamlining your ads, you are not wasting money marketing to uninterested people like you have a greater chance of doing on TV or radio. Also, Facebook ads are much cheaper than other forms of advertising. You can possibly start with as little as $10 a day and get more results than you would with a TV ad for $350 a week.
Another reason why you will kill it on Facebook as an advertiser is because not many businesses are taking advantage of this opportunity. Therefore, as the basic law of economics goes, when the demand is low, cost will be low. Consequently, you will be paying very little to advertise to your target audience. Even if you think this will not work for you, just try it. Also, if you don’t know how to make a targeted ad, fear not. You can ask a more tech savvy person who can do it to teach you or you could simply learn by looking at free training videos on Youtube. Unfortunately, Facebook and by extension social media marketing is the opportunity that many businesses are not making use of. Stop marketing like it’s 1956 and start marketing like it’s 2016 because I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it is 2016.