Despite the recent emergence of Instagram and Twitter as strong social media forces for your small business, Facebook is still one of the most important instruments in your small business social media toolbox (along with LinkedIn.)
Indeed, when your average customer looks for you online, they will typically find your website, LinkedIn profile, and Facebook page. Of those three, your business Facebook page has the highest probability of reaching the most amount of people as Facebook has more than a billion more monthly users than almost any other social networking website.
Here then is what you need to know to use Facebook right:
Make it personal: No matter what social media platforms you use for your business, the cardinal rule is to always present your small business as approachable and welcoming.
This is especially true for Facebook. Because Facebook is so often about interpersonal interactions, you need to make sure that your customers want to interact with you there. Too often, big businesses look like untouchable omnipotent entities that neither listen nor care. The good news is that you are small businesses. Use that to your advantage.
For starters, this means that no part of your page should appear robotic. Choose a custom URL, a recognizable profile photo, and a relevant and eye-catching cover photo (the banner across the top of your page.) Don’t forget to include your location, hours of operation, and a snappy, brief paragraph about your business in the ‘About’ section. Customers are interested in your business and what you have to say – that is why they are on your page in the first place!
To keep the experience personalized, you should really be posting regularly, daily is best, and ‘Liking’ and replying comments. Interacting in a friendly way with customers is essential in distinguishing your small business from impersonal big businesses.
Make sure your page gets seen: In a sea of millions of other Facebook pages, you want to make sure that yours stands out. Fortunately, this is actually easy; the trick is to post updates regularly that are eye-catching and engaging. This is where the art of Facebook gets creative and fun:
- Advertise your sales, specials, or new products. It is epically effective to give special discounts to folks who find you on Facebook.
- Use photos and videos – these are considered to be the most engaging type of Facebook content
- Post surveys or polls – people love sharing their opinions
- Announce contests, giveaways, and events
As long as there is variety in the updates you post, people will be much more likely to ‘Like’ your page and keep coming back for more. These types of interactions are important not only to foster a personal relationship between customer and brand, but also because these interactions will often show up on their friends’ Newsfeeds, and that is the magic of Facebook.
It is today’s word-of-mouth.
Go Live: If you want to interact with your customers even more (are you sensing a pattern here?) check out a new offering from Facebook called Live Stream. The way it works is that your followers get notifications when you have a live event and will want to tune in. If they miss it, they are notified when you’re live streaming and will still be able to watch the footage. Live streaming could be a fun way to show your loyal customers some behind-the-scenes footage of your store.
Review: Lastly, at the end of the day, go to the ‘Insights’ tab at the top of your page. This will show you easy to read graphs and statistics that let you know how your posts have been performing over the past day, week, or month. This is a great tool to help you figure out what’s working, and what’s not.
If you do it right, you will learn to Like Facebook a lot (groan, I know!)
© 2017, The Strauss Group, Inc.