While half of all Americans are on Facebook, half are not.
This article is for you; the other half who just have not jumped on board. If you’re in business, here are five reasons you should care about social media:
> It allows the business to engage its customers and build relationships.
> It’s a great tool for word-of-mouth advertising.
> It’s one of the best ways for a business to communicate news, such as a special offer.
> It’s another “phone number” for your business, another way for people to contact you, ask a question or comment on your business.
> It’s free.
How to get started
The first thing to understand about Facebook is that you first have to set up your personal Facebook page. Whether you want to personally be on Facebook or not. After that’s set up, you can create your business’ Facebook page. The business page is affiliated with you, it can’t just stand on its own.
Setting up your business page is only the start. Being successful means that you have to do two things. First, you have to post something. Second, you’ll have get people to Like your page.
Post writing: best practices
I have been studying business Facebook posts for more than a year, in an effort to determine the best practices for successful posts. Here’s what I’ve found:
> The best posts always include a photo.
> Your post should include a link to a webpage for more information.
> Your post should clearly say what you want people to do.
> It’s always effective to give something away.
> Include the personal touch. Even if you’re posting as a business, people want to socialize with people. Birthdays, retirement parties, employee awards, family pics.
It’s best to post once a day. That can take a big commitment but plan on at least posting three times per week. I recommend that you create a list of types of posts and then just rotate through them. For example, on Mondays point people towards something to do or buy on your website. On Wednesdays, post about something going on within your business, such as a new catalog that’s coming out or a retirement party that just happened. On Fridays, post a special offer. On the other days as time allows, sprinkle in things such as an inspiring quote or funny story.
You like me. You really really like me.
You’re going to need Likes. Your posts are initially available only to those who have clicked the Like button and are following you. You can apply a bell curve to Likes and see that getting the first few Likes is hard. It will get easier in time before falling off once you have captured your market. To help get you out of the gate, I recommend you tell all of your friends and family to Like your page. Likes beget Likes.
You have to tell your customers about your Facebook page
There’s a restaurant being built along my morning commute. The first thing they put up was a sign with a reader board asking people to Like them on Facebook. That’s a great idea. You should put the Facebook logo on your business cards. Maybe create a flyer. There should be a link on your website. Run an ad in the local paper. You need to get the word out. And tell them why to Like you … why should they bother? Specials, stories, recommendations … or ?
Once you start to get some traction, a great tip I got from my friend Amy Porterfield is to run a contest on your Facebook page. You do this by directing people to a page within your Facebook page that enters people in a contest. To enter, they need to click to Like your page. You probably won’t be able to build this page yourself but Creative Company or your Web developer should be able to help you out.
You know how I said it would get easier? Well, at some point, your customers are going to start telling their friends about you, especially when you give them something to talk about and share … something funny, something useful, something interesting. They’re going to start sharing your posts. You my friend, have gone viral.
It will take time
Facebook doesn’t have to be intimidating. It will take time and at the beginning, you’ll have difficulty keeping it going. You won’t feel like the reward is matching the effort…but keep going. Millions of businesses have followed the model I outlined here and grown their business on Facebook. You should too.
If you have questions about any of this and would like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Creative Company would love to help get you up and successful on Facebook.