Let’s consider the facts about Facebook, the world’s leading social network (as reported in their quarterly statement):
It’s October 2013 – we all know by now (or should!) that Facebook represents a gigantic potential market for your business’ social media efforts. However, as those numbers dictate, the number of Facebook users – and your (potential) customers – is growing every second. This number also includes business pages looking to take advantage of this social market as well.
How are you supposed to stand out from the crowd?
Facebook may seem like a casual initiative for your business – after all, up to this point it’s just been a tool for your inner circle to share baby pictures.
But don’t underestimate the value of this marketing tool – like all aspects of your marketing plan, your engagement and utilization of Facebook should consistently be reviewed.
So let’s do that now.
Creating a page should be considered the first step, but once launched, regularly posting and engaging should become a priority. However, similar to your business blog, Facebook shouldn’t be used simply as a promotional tool.
It is important to engage your customers and fan base rather than sending them to your “Products” page daily. Consider these suggestions on how best to manage your Facebook page:
To Engage is to Ask – include questions to initiate conversation
Keep it simple – posting a Facebook status in one thing, but the ultimate goal should be to coax engagement from your audience. You want your page to be the forum in which your followers hold conversations.
Coffee Shop: “What’s the perfect pastry to pair with your coffee?”
Any post can (and should) end with a question to kick-start conversation. To turn a standard post into an engaging one, follow it up with a question to encourage discussion.
Pet Boarding: “Our holiday schedule is quickly filling up – call us today to schedule your pet’s stay! What are YOUR exciting holiday plans?”
I Want You to “Like” Me – create contests/giveaways for users that “like” or “share” a status.
Facebook business pages, according to Facebook’s official guidelines, are acceptable tools to communicate and administer a promotion, contest or sweepstakes. While the stakes don’t have to be incredibly high, even a modest promotion can generate both comments and “likes” on your business page.
Pizza Parlor: “What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year? Tell us your costume for a chance to win a free appetizer!”
Always keep the entry process simple – this way, users don’t have to work too hard to participate – they just click “like” and they’re entered! Think about holding a contest for “likes” rather than requiring responses.
Hair Salon: “Who’s excited for Halloween? Like this post for a chance to win a free gift certificate!”
Be an expert – share external content
When selecting content, a pivotal rule to follow would be the “80/20” rule. Facebook may seem like the perfect outlet to promote your business, but over-promotion of your brand will hurt you. Surprisingly enough, only 20% of your posts should be related to your business and/or promotion of your products, whereas 80% of your posts should be value added. Now what does that include?
Whether you like it or not – Facebook users are logging in to be entertained and engaged – not to be continuously bombarded about the paint selection at your home goods store. There is a balance, and it is an important one to find.
Dentist: “Chew on this article! 8 foods that are good for dental health and breath!”
Bar & Grill: Check out this awesome infographic highlighting the health benefits of beer!
Knowing how to approach Facebook (and all of your social media channels) is half the battle. Knowing how to properly manage, publish and schedule your social content puts you ahead of your competitors and in front of customers.
Facebook is a business tool – and every new user is a potential new customer. Be consistent, embrace your audience, and most of all – have fun with it!
Need help with your business’ Facebook page? Learn how we can help!