Most businesses big and small have Facebook pages these days. From a marketing perspective it’s almost as important as creating a website – more so in some ways as its free and and easy to set up. Yay!
But what to do then? You have created a Facebook Page and now it’s just sat there. You have probably invited all of your friends to like it. Fabulous. You post the occasional ‘Hello’ or ‘Happy Monday’, a few of your friends like the posts, then you get bored and that’s about it. So how do you start gaining some Facebook momentum?
Here are 10 quick tips that will hopefully get you on your way to getting more likes, increasing your business brand awareness and ultimately (this is the main purpose of having a Facebook business page is it not?) to get more business!
- Business vs Personal – this is probably the most vital point and yet the one that a lot of people don’t do. You can use FB (Facebook) as either you – ‘John Smith – or as your business ‘John Smith Accountancy’. When you are on Facebook as your business, make sure that you are set to comment, like and post as your business. You can like pages as BOTH ‘John Smith’ and as ‘John Smith Accountancy’. It is wise to do this as your business so that the page is more likely to ‘like you back’.
- Mobile vs Desktop – most of us use FB on our mobile phones these days which is really convenient and time efficient from a business perspective. However be aware that not all FB Apps are as good as the real thing. What I mean is, the Apps don’t often give you the same options as the actual FB website. Still don’t get what I mean? Ok so try doing point 1 above on your mobile. Tricky huh? That’s because not all Apps or mobile phone browsers will provide you with access to the full FB site so you might not see the option to ‘use Facebook as’ like the screenshot above. However, login from your laptop, Macbook or Pc and you will see the full FB site with all the available options.
- To update or not to update? – following on from the above, if you don’t keep your mobile apps updated you will fall behind the times and miss out on vital Facebook bug fixes and improvements. Keep you phone up to date!
- Network, network, network – spend some time looking at your competitors on Facebook and network with them. Find out who they are and like them. You may even find their posts useful, or you may find that you don’t like what they are posting or how they are using Facebook and ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes. Whatever the reason, it is better to know who they are than to pretend they don’t exist.
- Reach out to the locals – even if another local business is completely unrelated to yours, make sure you connect with them on Facebook. Whether it’s the local butcher, childminder or church, they will all have connections to people who may want to bring business your way. If you can find a village or town Faebook page, even better! Some of these groups or pages will allow local business to advertise for free on certain days of the week. Just make sure that you follow each group or page rules so that you don’t upset anyone.
- Research relevant blogs – for instance, if you are a childminder make sure that you are following blogging sites such as Mumsnet, Netmums or my particular favourite ScaryMommy.com. It doesn’t matter if they are UK based or American, they will all post interesting, relevant information that you can share.
- Quality vs Quantity – don’t be put off by the fact that the business down the road has 5000 likes and you only have 50. The really important thing is that your 50 likes are relevant. Relevant is the important word here! Another business may have 5000 likes that all come from Outer Mongolia, and if you are a local plumber that’s not going to be very useful is it? Yes it might look impressive to all of your friends, but in reality it’s not going to bring you more business. Yet, from your 50 relevant followers one of them might just need their drains unblocking or their new kitchen plumbing in. And if you do a great job, they will hopefully shout about it on their FB profile prompting their friends to keep you in mind for the next time they need a Plumber.
- ‘I’m great’ vs ‘You are great’ – Have you ever noticed that some FB businesses shout about how great they are? That’s all very well, but how much will we believe them? Obviously they aren’t going to tell you anything different are they. But if one of their customers tells us about the great service they received we are far more likely to be impressed and keep that in mind.
- Long term vs short term – FB, or indeed marketing as a whole is not always about instant results. Don’t spend 4 weeks making a real effort and then becoming disheartened because no one is sharing your posts or commenting on your photos or funny jokes. It is about laying a foundation that will support your business as it grows.You might find that you haven’t had a chance to post anything for a couple of weeks and then all of a sudden you will posts 5 things in one day. That’s fine! Don’t beat yourself up about it. We all have busy lives and as business owners often work gets in the way of marketing. It is easy to fall into the trap of having lots of work, so not bothering with your social media or website. But what happens when the work dries up? Try your best to keep on top of things, even if it is just the occasional post once a week to keep your business profile looking relevant and cared for. This can make all the difference when a potential customer is looking at your business. And if you genuinely haven’t had time – (especially in the school holidays between running around after the kids, making dinners, cleaning up, shopping, looking after your friends kids, swimming lessons, football practise….the list is endless!) don’t lose momentum. When you eventually find time, just pick things up again.
- Witty vs friendly vs useful vs professional – just what sort of tone should your FB page adopt, and what on earth should you post about? This is by far the number one most frequently asked question from FB business page users. There is no simple answer to this as every business is different, has different clientele and offers a different service. But as general rules, follow these and you can’t go far wrong;
- Offer useful information (recipes, tips, DIY, quotes, facts…..)
- Don’t be too opinionated
- Portray the character of your business
- Get feedback and make sure you post it
- Take an interest in other people and business
- Comment as your business where appropriate
- Share other people’s information if it is relevant to your audience
- Promote yourself – remind people what you do and don’t be embarrassed about a little bit of self congratulations if you have achieved something new
- Use pictures – be careful of copyright (in other words just don’t pretend something is yours if it isn’t)
- Respect privacy – ask before posting comments or pictures from customers
- Point people to your website as often as you can (if you have one)
- Encourage interaction – ask for opinion, feedback, comments and shares
Perhaps the most important thing to be taken from this blog post is the fact that your Facebook page is there to promote your business, so remember that and make sure you tell your audience why they should use your services or products. If you are a childminder for example, people may be blindly following your FB posts, but when it comes to them needing to employ your services, they might just pass you by and use the person who has put an advert in the local shop. Ask yourself why??? Maybe because you sometimes need to be more obvious. So in the middle of your posts about recent news articles, witty quotes or anecdotes and cute pictures of kittens, be sure to remind people that you are available and bloody good at what you do, so if they need a childminder they have to call you! (yes I am speaking directly to you, dark haired lovely lady from playgroup!) 😉 Thanks for inspiring this post. xx