Expert Insider – Make the Most of Facebook to Enhance Your Business
So you’ve created a Facebook page for your business because your friend told you everyone was doing it and you didn’t want to be left behind. You’ve uploaded the “big picture”, the profile picture and have made a couple of posts and now you are waiting for people to come and start liking your page and interacting. You check every day … and still only 2 likes – one from your aunt Mary and one from your best friend John.
You decide to get really proactive and post a message on your personal Facebook profile and beg your friends to Like your page, so that your business page seems more popular. Yaay … 3 more likes from friends who feel sorry for you.
Now you have a total of 5 Likes from people who are only interested in seeing your family pictures and personal status updates. They are busy enough with their own lives and not really interested in promoting your new venture.
OK, so now what?
It’s simple – get interested in others!
That’s a lesson I learnt from my 11 year old, who joined Instagram (a social photo sharing mobile application). He started “Liking” everyone else’s photos and commenting on their pictures and within a few days he had over 150 followers. How he figured out this is the best way to get more people to “Like” you, I’ll never know, but I am guessing he followed his instinct and did what others were doing. It’s human nature … if someone is interested in what we are do, we want to know more about them.
So the first step you should take is to join Facebook Groups, where your potential clients may be hanging out. For example, if you sell kids clothes, do a search on Groups which have the words “kids”, “child”, “mom”, “mum” etc. Then visit those Groups and see how others are interacting. Many groups will allow you to post comments or questions, so go ahead and give it a go. Make sure that you share useful tips and information. Never, and I repeat NEVER try to sell anything … all you are trying to do is to get people interested in who you are.
Make sure you are posting in those groups as your business page, not from you personally. To change how you post, simply click on the down arrow in the top right hand corner of your Facebook page. You will be presented with an option that says “Post on Facebook as…” then choose your business page.
While you are being interested in others, post new comments and photos on your own page, so there is fresh content as people come to visit. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Post photos with your comments
- Ask questions
- Put in ‘blank’ statements, eg. This weekend I am going to ______________
- Post news from your industry
- Share “how to” tips
- Funny stories and pictures
- Give away free gifts such as ebooks and reports
I should probably backtrack a little bit first. Before you start getting interested in others and posting on your page, make sure your page is set up properly.
- The large photo, also known as cover photo should be used as a branding opportunity. You can show off your products and also include branding statement and benefits of using your products / services.
- The small profile photo should be your logo. The reason for that is as you make posts, this is what will show up next to your comments.
- Fill out all the information about your business under “Edit Page”
Once you’ve done that, you are ready to start bringing in new visitors.
It is important to understand that interaction on your Facebook page is critical to your success. The more people interact, the more your posts show in their Newsfeed. Their comments may also show up in their friends’ Newsfeeds, thus slowly spreading virally.
Search Engines also take note of your social activity and interactivity, so the more people Like, Share, Comment on your page, the higher it will rank.
If you own a restaurant, for example, or a camel riding business, make sure you take photos of your customers (with their permission, of course). Let them know you are planning to put their picture on your Facebook page and where possible tag them in the picture. Most people like their 15 minutes of fame and will give you permission. By tagging your customers, their friends will also see the picture and may become curious enough to click through to your page.
When you have been on Facebook for a while and understand how it works, you may consider running Facebook ads. Again, make sure you don’t try to sell anything in your ads, simply ask people to “Like” your page if they agree with a certain statement, for example. One successful ad, which has brought in several hundred new likes in a short time and for very little investment, was one for Kids Universe (a business dedicated to places to go with kids). The advertisement showed a picture of an Oreo cookie and simply said “Click LIKE if you agree that cleaning the house while the kids are awake is like brushing your teeth while eating an Oreo.”
One of the key things to keep in mind, Facebook is a social medium … people are there to have fun and share information. It is not a shopping cart or a sales page. Your Facebook page should be used to build brand and credibility.