A guide to promoting your business with a Facebook business page and the importance of growing your page with a sense of community.
There aren’t many small businesses out there that can afford to drop a boat-load of money onto an all out marketing campaign. If you can, chances are you’re not a ‘small’ business any more. With all the methods available, from Google Adwords to sponsored tweets, it’s tempting to go mad with the advertising budget only to come back with very little.
The reason you’re returning with so little is that the competition is vastly increased. Selling a specialist product in one town and to a given radius is one thing, but offering that to the entire UK is another ball-game altogether.
Narrow Your Focus With A Facebook Business Page
The trick is to narrow your focus when starting out and for a physical, trade based business the obvious choice is a Facebook business page. Facebook has by far the widest demographics of any of the social media platforms, with everybody from 16 year old goths, your Grandma and everyone in-between as regular, consistent users.
By narrowing down the focus, the potential rewards are smaller at the start, yet more consistently measurable and more importantly something that every business owner can fit into their working day. In the future, when deciding to tackle another social network, your Facebook business page can provide an excellent jumpstart.
Some of the plus points to this approach include:
- Higher rates of conversion
- A far more granular level of targeting
- A chance to build word of mouth
- Encouraging reviews via Facebook, Google Plus and local business directories.
Get A Step Above The Competition
Many, many small business owners need to update their knowledge base of local marketing techniques, particularly those who aren’t leveraging online techniques. In the medium sized town we live in, we can safely say that less than 40% of business’s have a website and of those few, only 20% are actively participating with their social media audience to any great degree.
Leverage Promotions and Giveaways
Your business has a Facebook page. That page has followers. Now, how do you go about building that following and growing exponentially? The simple answer is – promotions and giveaways. Promoting this across social platforms is a low-cost way to get MORE potential customers in. As an example, this is a small example of how we handle it at the salon I co-own:
Once a month, we pick a random person from our ‘likes’ and offer them a free treatment. The full monty, from dry trims to colours and foils. This is how we leverage Facebook to bring in more users:
- We make a big Facebook business page post, announcing the winner and what they have won.
- We make sure to add that all anyone else has to do to be in with a chance is like our page
- We promote this page with granular demographic marketing – target women, living within a 10 miles radius of Louth, who aren’t already a member.
- Promote that post with £25.
- Bingo! 50 more likes (local, targeted likes) over the course of two days. To advertise in the back of the local paper costs THREE TIMES that much and lasts a week.
- When we get to 500 likes, start giving away 2 free treatments; that’s 2 more promotional posts each month.
- Obviously, there will be a point where multiple giveaways each month becomes detrimental, but by that point your business page has become a self-sustaining ecosystem without the hassles of direct email marketing.
The same goes for FaceBook offers; this is a tool you can use to create special offer coupons and gives you a chance to build likes with ongoing special offers. If there’s one thing the general public likes, it’s a chance to save cash.
How do I get Facebook likes right at the start?
By promoting it! Those first 100 likes are always the most difficult to come by; but fear not, there are ways!
- Ensure social media is linked up to your website, even if it’s just an icon link to your page. If possible, use a call to action: ‘Like us on Facebook and win xxxx’
- Inform your customers verbally
- Use other social media networks (if possible) to drive likes, for example Twitter.
- Use keywords within your business page to show more prominently within Facebook search
- Advertise it – use a page promotion (targeted within your demographics!) and a small budget.
- Make it a highlight on printed media, such as business cards
- Attach a link to your Facebook page in all your email signatures.
- Promote it within Facebook itself; groups are ideal. Most suburban areas have a group set up.
Understanding The Difference Between Personal And Business
A Facebook business page has to be attached to something; it can’t be in existence without a personal account to latch onto. Therefore, you will have a personal page running at the same time. I can’t stress how important it is to not get the two confused.
Posting that amusing photo of erotically arranged vegetables on your personal account is always great for a laugh and to be encouraged, but please don’t make the mistake of accidentally posting it on your business page! It may get a laugh all the same, but it kind of takes the focus off of your skill set and may imply something about your love of cucumbers.
Turning your Facebook business page into a community
Now, you may want to give this one some thought – moderating hourly questions may well get on top of you. It’s best to steer important queries towards the telephone or email.
Keep the tone of your comments fairly informal; uptight and straight-laced isn’t very inviting for a community audience. At the same time, keep your information succinct and to the point; don’t go rambling off with the words.
Provide interesting articles to read – preferably your own content, but there’s no harm in interspersing it with other people’s as long as it’s not driving traffic to a competitor. Fresh content gives people a reason to come back. Draw up a weekly plan with a list of the goals you need to achieve and use your content tactically in order to drive folk that way.
The important thing to remember about this approach is: great content gets shared. Mediocre muck goes in the toilet.
You should also be very wary of overloading your audience with your Facebook business page, keep it to three or so posts a day at maximum. Never forget that everyone can click ‘hide’ and bury you forever.
Use your new-found community to pose questions that you NEED to know in order to improve your business. Questions such as ‘what could we do to improve our McGubbin?’ may lead to surprising answers that you’d not get face to face.
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