What are your Facebook for business goals?
There are several reasons to invest time, energy and, in some cases, money, into Facebook for business. Yes, it’s another avenue to promote your business and what you do. And perhaps you want plenty of Likes on your page to act as social proof – evidence of your business’s value to prospective buyers. Maybe you need a place to hang out with your customers and find out what makes them tick. Or perhaps you’d like to receive honest reviews and provide a place for your audience to share its experience of you and your service.
Whatever the goal, make sure you know exactly what you want from your Facebook business page, and tell your audience what they can expect, too. Social without strategy is a time-suck, and you need that time to run your business and your life.
Before you begin: I went on a brilliant course by Jackie Harris of Brightspark Marketing and she reminded us of something important early on: people aren’t in work-mode when they’re on social media, so don’t be too businessy. It’s SOCIAL media, where we go to unwind and be entertained. No-one appreciates being spammed or drowned in jargon when they’re on the sofa with a cup of tea or having a quick scroll before bed. Thanks, Jackie!
Sometimes you just get talking to someone and before you know it, the subject of what you do comes up. They’re impressed. You’re just what they’re looking for. They may even become a client.
Those conversations are harder to have online, but they do exist. Just as you would in ‘real life’, you may need to attend some networking events – of the digital kind.
If you don’t have your own audience yet, you can participate on other websites and blogs that attract the audience you’re trying to connect with.
Join the community you’re trying to serve. Take part in discussions and conversations via social networking sites, blogs, forums and other online groups. – Content Marketing Research: The Crucial First Step.
If you have tons to offer, you could even consider setting up a Facebook group where you can help and support the kinds of people who could become customers and bring like-minded people together around a common interest.
Tip: You can comment as your Facebook business page. Try using this persona rather than your personal profile. If what you’re saying is relevant, it won’t seem contrived.
Discovering your audience
Your audience is online right now, searching for things they want to discover more about, and looking for real-time answers to their questions. They’re also socializing online in LinkedIn groups, Google+ circles, and Twitter chats. – Content Marketing Research: The Crucial First Step.
Over time as a freelancer or small business owner, you’ll amass a vast amount of knowledge about what troubles your customer, what’s missing from her life, and the problems you can solve. If you’re starting out, or if you want to jump-start this process, try doing a little online research using social media platforms. It may even feed into your keyword research, as you’ll discover exactly how customers put what you do into words.
For example, I’m a freelance copywriter, but most people blink when I tell them this and change the subject. It sounds too law-related, like something to do with copyrights, not commercial writing. My customers call me a ‘ghost-writer’ and ‘someone who takes care of my blog’. Others prefer ‘content writer’. It’s important to know how people talk about what you do if you want them to be able to find you online and understand your message.
Sharing your content
What is your primary way of sharing fresh content? Is it email or a social media site like Facebook? Is there anyone on your Facebook list who isn’t on your email list? Why is that? And can you make it worthwhile for a prospect to be on both lists?
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to share, as well as how and when you’re going to share it, remember to ask for a Like, share or review. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Getting more Likes
We all want more Likes, and if we can, we want to get them for free. On the other hand, we’re very selective about who we Like and Follow. To drive up Likes on Facebook, make sure you’re offering a valuable incentive, and be specific about what that incentive is.
…Amongst the top reasons for Liking a brand were: “to take advantage of promotional benefits”, to be informed of new products offered by the brand”, to access exclusive information” and “to give my opinion about the brand”. – From Why I Don’t Like Your Brand On Facebook (my bold).
Ideas for Facebook incentives:
- Find us on Facebook and never miss a special offer
- Find me on Facebook and leave a review!
- Find us on Facebook and have your say
- Find us on Facebook for our latest news
- Find us on Facebook for upcoming events
- Find me on Facebook for local exhibitions
The Fosters beer page… is full of great exclusive Alan Partridge content… Their TV ad, however, had nothing more than a Facebook URL. Had they said “for exclusive Alan Partridge episodes” they would’ve opened their brand Facebook page up to a whole wealth of people… Why I Don’t Like Your Brand On Facebook.
3 list posts to help you get more Likes on Facebook
There are several steps you can take now to help you make more connections through Facebook, from adding a Like box to your website, to running a contest. If content is easy to share and if you offer incentives, you should see your brand grow on Facebook. Remember to engage with comments, too. Here are 3 great posts to give you some ideas:
- 13 Engaging Facebook Post Ideas To Grow Your Business Page – I love this post from my friend Jenny, which includes 13 solid ideas to help you decide what to publish on your Facebook page. Great for those days when you’re staring motionless at the screen.
- 7 Tips to Get More Likes and Connect to More People – Another batch of quick and dirty tricks to get you started or enhance your Facebook marketing strategy.
- The Do’s and Don’ts of How to Use Facebook for Business [Infographic] – This is a more technical guide that will help you lay the foundations of a great Facebook page for your business.
- Make it easy to find your page and share your content
- Be specific about what you’re offering
- Give away cool free stuff, whether that’s content or prizes
Ideas for Facebook freebies and prizes:
Special offers, sneak-previews, lists, articles, photos, videos or podcasts that don’t appear on your website or email list. You could give away tickets to upcoming events, e-books, recipes and products (signed t-shirts, mugs, artwork, books, or your services). Or how about hampers, vouchers, spa days, experience days, counselling sessions, readings and health consultations? The list is endless!