At the risk of stating the obvious, Facebook is booming. The daddy of social media platforms recently announced its billionth member. Business usage in terms of Facebook pages stands at over 11 million (and counting). Most savvy business owners recognize the value of Facebook when it comes to communicating with their customers. The majority will recognize the importance of word of mouth recommendations and where better than Facebook to get those? The real question is how to win over those customers sufficiently to turn that engagement into revenue and growth.
Building a Page
This step may seem really basic, but it’s where every successful Facebook centric business has its roots. Getting this step right is crucial for future success, so spend some time perfecting your page. It should reflect your business, as it is where your most important interactions will take place. The cover photo is the best place to start – choose one that encapsulates what your brand is all about. While it’s okay to change your cover photo as you move forward, perhaps to advertise a competition or sale, for consistency your profile picture should always display your company logo.
Next on the agenda is to add important milestones to bulk up your timeline. This is where you can get creative and use pictures to maximum effect. You might include an image of the launch of your physical store or pictures of the awards your business has won. The final step is to encourage any existing customers to head over to your Facebook page to like it. Make it super simple by adding a “find us on Facebook” icon to your website and other communications.
When your page is up and running, the next task is to engage your fans with interesting content. Indeed, engagement is the key driver for maximizing the benefits of Facebook. You should balance the need to update your audience on Facebook with your need to get on with other tasks crucial to the success of your business. A good start can be made with as little as two or three posts a week. Since user likes appear on their newsfeed, each post you make should be considered as an opportunity to not only touch base with your existing audience, but also to reach out to their network of friends as well.
Although not all of your interactions on Facebook should be about sales, from time to time it’s a good idea to reward your fans with a coupon or exclusive offer. Otherwise keep things human by asking questions, soliciting opinions, and sharing third party content your users may find interesting. Make sure you’re on track by setting a reminder to review your timeline every month or so. When you look back, it should be filled with useful posts, videos, images, and the odd special offer. If yours doesn’t look this, it could be time for rethink.
Make Advertising Work
If all that seems like it will take longer than you’re prepared to wait, you’re probably not a million miles from the truth. If you want to build your fan base more quickly, consider Facebook ads as a way of finding fans that can ultimately be converted into buying customers. You have the option of setting a budget so you’ll never end up spending capital you don’t have if a particular ad attracts a record number of clicks. Be sure to experiment with different well-targeted ads. At first, you will have to make tweaks to your ads regularly, making use of the simple reporting tool to discover what ads better suit different audiences and adjusting appropriately as you go on.
Research suggests that over 50% of Facebook users are more likely to purchase a product after they have “liked” it. That’s a fairly compelling number for a marketing channel that is to all intents and purposes free to use. Following these tips to getting started with Facebook for business will have you up and running in no time and start you on the road to converting fans into customers.
About the Author:
Linda Forshaw is a Business Information Systems graduate from Lancaster University in the UK. A contributor to Degree Jungle, she is a full time writer and blogger specializing in education, social media, and entrepreneurship. Contact her on Twitter @seelindaplay