4 Steps to Drive Your Business Forward with Facebook

Facebook IconWith more than 1B users worldwide1 and 167M in the United States2, Facebook has become one of the most important properties on the web. According to comScore, an average Facebook user spends 6 hours and 45 minutes per month on the website3 and 7 hours and 20 minutes on the mobile app4; that’s more than the time spent on all other social networks combined.

The important question to be answered is how you can make your company visible during those interactions. Here are 4 steps that you will put you on the right path:

1) Build a Compelling Page: your page is the core of your Facebook presence. It’s how you develop a relationship with your customers, build a brand, and grow your business. Take the time to make sure that your Facebook Page covers your products, services and brand identity. Here are some suggestions on how you can fine-tune your page:

– Choose the category that best represents your business. This helps your customers find your business.

– Set an easily recognizable Facebook address to use on marketing materials. Use the following link to create an address for your own page: www.facebook.com/username

– If possible, use short (between 100 and 250 characters) and visual (photos, videos) posts. They tend to generate more likes/comments/shares.

– Organize your photos in albums. Users are naturally curious and they’ll navigate through your Photos. Also note that the “Photos” rectangle close to your page description is not removable and is fixed in the first position.

– Use Facebook Insights to better understand how your customers react to your post. For example, restaurants may find that they get more responses to posts published at 11:00 am and 5:00 pm due to the proximity to lunch and dinner respectively.

2) Increase Your Fan Base Organically: The question that you’re probably asking is: “how many fans can I get?” Though there is no right answer to this question, you should consider the following numbers as reference:

– # of active customers you currently have

– # of unique visitors you have on your website

– # of registered emails you have on your newsletters

The number of Facebook fans that you can attract organically will initially be a subset of one of the data sets above. Therefore, set a realistic goal for your page and work hard to increase the counter. Over time, you can grow beyond this base, but it will usually require a  more concerted marketing effort.  In the meantime, here are some suggestions on how you can achieve your organic users goal:

– Invite your Facebook friends to like your page. If your regular Facebook account is managing your page, you’re allowed to invite your friends.

- Spread your Facebook link in your day-to-day communication. For example, you can add your Facebook page link to your email signature or you can add the Facebook icon followed by a “/YourPage” in your flyers and other print media.

Facebook Icon/YourPage

Facebook Like

Yes you’re allowed to use these images. Follow this link for the templates: http://ads.ak.facebook.com/ads/FacebookAds/Facebook_Signs.pdf

Finally, if you have a budget, you can experiment with Facebook Advertising for your business. All you need to do is chose your target audience and create an ad.

Facebook Must Be 18
Example of a well targeted Ad. Yes, I am a gamer.

 

3) Gain Relevance: as a business page, you want to show up on your fan’s news feed as often as possible. Facebook has a news feed sorting algorithm called EdgeRank that determines which posts are rendered to each user.  Factors that will influence the algorithm are:

– Interactions with a post: if users like, comment or share your page post, it will show them more from your page.

– General reaction to a post: if users are ignoring or complaining about a page post, it’s less likely that the post will be shown to the remaining users.

– Interactions with posts of the same type: if a certain user always likes photo posts, there’s a higher chance that he or she will see a photo posted by a Page.

– If a Page has received complaints in the past, users will be less likely to see posts from that page.

Currently, Facebook’s average organic reach is approximately 10%5. In other works, out of 100 fans of your page, 10 will see your posts on their news feed organically (without advertising the post). Your challenge is to drive this percentage up by gaining more relevance with your audience. Don’t forget to check Facebook Insights regularly to understand what is working for your audience.

 

4) Attract Friends of Fans: this is what most businesses want from Facebook: a digital equivalent of word-of-mouth. It’s important to notice that it only occurs when the 3 previous steps are implemented. That is, your Page must have content that is relevant to your audience, who will then react by liking, commenting, or sharing the posts. When this reaction occurs, friends of your fans will see this piece of news on their newsfeed. According to Facebook6, 80% of consumers say that they are more likely to try new things based on a suggestion by a friend in social media.

Facebook Organic
My friend Fabio likes the band Champu. He is a music producer, so I should probably check this band out. This news appeared organically because Fabio and I chat on a regular basis.

There actually is an advertising format on Facebook that promotes your posts to friends of fans and it is called “Sponsored Stories”. We will talk more about this format in a future blog post, but what you should know about it is that you must be comfortable with your number of fans and your engagement metrics in order to fully benefit from Sponsored Stories.

Facebook Sponsored

Example of a sponsored story. See how my friend’s name is the first element of this ad? This makes a huge difference in ad effectiveness.

 

Hope you enjoyed this article and good luck with your Facebook endeavors. Don’t forget to comment below and let us know if you want us to cover any specific topic.

1 http://newsroom.fb.com/News/457/One-Billion-People-on-Facebook
2 http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics
3http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204653604577249341403742390.html
4 http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/11/time-spent-on-facebook-mobile
5 http://www.socialbakers.com/blog/1053-content-type-massively-affects-brands-reach-on-facebook
6 https://www.facebook.com/business/influence

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