It’s quite possible you already have a Facebook page and feel it’s serving your company well. However, many small business owners aren’t leveraging their Facebook page as well as they could to grow their business.
As with most social media, best practices and techniques change pretty rapidly as consumers become smarter, savvier and eager for something new. However, there are several best practices that have proven successful for many businesses over time.
Let’s take a look at some of your best bets when it comes to growing your business on Facebook.
1. Put Facebook messaging on just about everything.
Do you have signage at your physical location? What about a standard email signature you use in your business emails? Or even direct-mail pieces that go out on a regular basis? Use all of these and more to invite customers to like you on Facebook. You can also sweeten the deal by saying “Like us on Facebook for a chance to win a free iPad” (see section 5 for more on giveaways). It is simply a law of averages: the more people who see a message, the more people will respond.
2. Post regularly.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people forget this simple fact. Businesses that post on a regular basis (somewhere in the ballpark of 2 to 3 times a day) seem to fare better on Facebook. However, there is a disclaimer to this recommendation, and that’s point number 3.
3. Post relevant and interesting content.
Again, this may seem like a given, but when you think about relevant content, don’t necessarily think in terms of just your business; think in terms of your consumer. What is relevant to them? What will they respond to? These are the types of things you should post regularly. Your messaging shouldn’t always be about making a sale or announcing company news; in fact, this should only happen if it benefits the customer (announcing a big sale) or is an important emergency (like your website going down). Facebook posts should be about building a relationship by engaging the customer with something interesting, useful, insightful or humorous. You can also spark conversation by posing a question or making a bold statement and asking people to “like” if they agree and to comment if they disagree.
4. Sponsor contests and sweepstakes.
Hosting a Facebook contest is fairly straightforward and can generate a lot of traffic to your page, along with new “likes.” A contest or sweepstakes can be as easy or as complicated as you want; just be sure to have the rules and regulations reviewed by an attorney to ensure no one finds cause to sue you after the fact. For example, you can host a slogan contest: users can submit an idea for your company’s new slogan by posting it directly in a Facebook comment, and the winner gets something like an Amazon gift card. This helps you brainstorm new slogan ideas and is much more likely to increase attention to your Facebook post.
5. Give something away.
According to research, one of the key reasons people like a business on Facebook is because of a discount or special offer. While some people feel this approach is passé, the fact is that it still works. One good way to keep your “likes” is to continue to offer special deals to your Facebook fans. Remember, it’s about the relationship, not a one-night stand.
6. Use Facebook’s paid advertising.
Facebook ads are starting to grow in popularity, as are promoted posts, but paid advertising still doesn’t perform as well as other advertising platforms (such as Google AdWords). If you want to use paid Facebook advertising, it’s wise to use it sparingly and for events, products or promotions that you think can really benefit from a little added exposure.
7. Leverage your other social networks.
If you’re active on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, leverage these social networks to drive more traffic to Facebook. It’s a good idea to leverage your website as well. How easy is it for site visitors to like your Facebook page directly from your website? How easy is it for them to share information from your site to their Facebook timelines? With more technology comes the expectation that things should be easier to do. This even includes something as simple as clicking a “like” button. Learn more about embedding social media widgets here.
Facebook has proven to be a lasting tool in the online advertising arsenal for businesses of all sizes. Continuing to leverage its reach and audience is a smart move to keep your business in the minds of consumers.