When Facebook first started gaining ground, it was mainly used as a way of staying connected with friends and family. Over the last 5 years it has gone from roughly 100 million users to a staggering 901 million monthly active users. Half of these users are considered active, meaning they log into Facebook at least once a day. 46% of all Facebook users are over the age of 45. (It’s not just for kids anymore). The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events. These days, it seems like just about everyone is using Facebook.
What does this mean to our local contractors, boutique owners, dog walkers, and event planners? While people are sharing details and pictures of the “new to them” home that needs refurbishing, organizing family reunions, and expressing their excitement for a vacation they just booked, a goldmine of opportunity is being created for local businesses. Hardly a day goes by that you don’t hear or read about a remarkable success story from a business that got active on social media. By following a few easy steps, you can take advantage of the vast opportunity that awaits you by creating a business page on Facebook.
1) If you haven’t done so already, create a Facebook Fan Page! Facebook offers an easy step-by-step process. If you would like to learn a few tricks of the trade, check out one of our earlier posts explaining Facebook’s recently-launched Timeline for business pages.
2) Send people to your Facebook page! How do you anticipate getting people to “Like” your page if they don’t know you have one? Ask friends or family to “Like” your business page and then ask them to share it with their network. Use social plug-ins or widgets that will link the user to that specific social media page. Include these well-known icons with links to your profiles on your website and in your email signatures.
3) When users “Like” your business page, they are basically giving you the OK to communicate with them in their news feed. Post engaging content!
4) Study and learn from successful pages – even (or especially) your competitors. Why do they have so many fans? What types of pages are they connected to? What statuses or pictures are they posting that make people want to respond or share their own? Keep an eye on frequency, length and even the times of day they are posting.
Now that you have a Facebook fan base, the key to converting fans to customers is through engagement. Through social media you are building your word of mouth reputation, listening to your customers, engaging prospects all while building trust and loyalty. Trust, loyalty and good service are the main reasons why anyone will buy your services. This remains true with social media. Facebook gives you an active visual platform for people to learn and engage with your business. Drive fans, WOW them, and convert them into customers by taking advantage of some of these suggestions!