Most businesses use Facebook only to post links, after links, after links … but they are missing the mark. Facebook should be treated as a conversation rather than an annoying friend who talks so much that you can’t get a word in! (You know you have one of those.)
Here are my top 10 ways to create a beneficial FB page, and more importantly, turn your business page into something that customers, clients or friends will not only appreciate, but return time after time.
Manage a Community Page
Facebook Community Pages enable you to create a public business persona that is unique from your own personal profile. This is important to set up as a business rather than a personal journal. (No one cares that you went to spin class for 20 minutes straight and sweated through your 80’s style jumpsuit.) This page will allow you to focus on the issue at hand, which is whatever it is your company or expertise is. Also, it will provide a hub for a community to create around your brand.
Link and comment
Don’t be self-absorbed once your page is live! Begin posting links to stories you believe will interest your fan base. (Not for your self indulgence). The biggest difference between Twitter and Facebook in this regard is that with FB, you have an opportunity to create a dialogue as opposed to one-way annoying alerts (much like your friend mentioned above).
Adding your own comments to a post helps create a comfort level that is much harder to create on twitter.
The value-added affect this creates will encourage dialogue and interaction as customers/clients/friends will be more prone to add their own thoughts. (This is the new definition of a conversation as defined by anyone under the age of 15 who pounds away at their computer in their basements who haven’t spoken to a human in over 3 days).
Integrate your blog
Use your new FB community page daily, but do not neglect your blog or website. This is still where you get to really show off and let the prospects see even deeper into your advice, insights, storefront, etc…
Now that you have created a more interactive environment and have more than a few handfuls of interested friends and prospects, utilize the ‘Discussion’ tab. By creating threads relevant to your business through thoughtful questions, interactivity will be encouraged and you will create an even deeper through-provoking forum for retention of clients.
A Picture is worth a couple thousand words
Just because your fan page represents a business doesn’t mean it should be completely anonymous to clients.
Prospects you are trying to get to become friends want to know who they’re dealing with … the reason why blind dates are so unsuccessful. (Cause you end up meeting that guy who talks too much and only about themselves!) Use images sparingly though do not be afraid to include a few pics of you, the family, your office location etc…can have a strong affect for local identity as well.
Free, Sex, and Puppies still rock!
What may seem insignificant, actually can take a lead or promotion pretty far. FREE is still good. Offers such as free giveaway, free download, free coupon voucher, etc are still very powerful. These will cost you a little , but could be extremely valuable to your prospects.
If you don’t know how to do this, then you need to read a different blog than mine…run a contest for captions of pictures, naming a new product, come up with a cool slogan etc… The best caption could be rewarded with a prize.
Utilize the events tab on Facebook. Guess that means you need to be a part of an event right? … Wrong…You can partner with other businesses, cross promote them, and share info here that would benefit your prospects. Also, it opens up a network for YOU to be apart of something bigger than just your own focus. Also, if you are participating at an event, you can use this section to promote it.
An Apple a day … or something like that
What do you do everyday? Actually, save that info for later. I will tell you that you probably e-mail at least 20 x’s a day.
Include a link to your Facebook fan page not only in your email signature but anywhere that you leave a note, business card, letter head, a coconut (Gilligan’s Island reference here), or whatever else you use for communication. Do it for all marketing materials.
Do not wash your hands (DO NOT TAKE THAT LITERALLY)
Just like any form of online marketing, it takes a lot of hard work. Making a successful fan page, website, blog, or anything online takes commitment and sustained effort. Do not get discouraged when the fans do not show up in week 1 or week 20…this stuff takes time, and it truly defines what you put into it, you will get out of it.
In Summary, facebook, twitter, and any other social media aspect that you want to use to benefit your business is not an overnight project that you clean your hands of once it is live. Like your morning coffee, this is something that will have to become routine for you, for the long haul. (Minus the jittery side affects your double mocha bocha largo coffee has on you)