Another great article from the most helpful Web Design & Digital Marketing Agency in Hertfordshire.
American social media goliath, Facebook, is arguably the worlds most used social media platform with a global reach of over 1.25 billion users (as at Q2 2014 source: Statista.com). You are probably now thinking ‘well that’s all very interesting’, but asking yourself how exactly can Facebook help my business? Well the simple answer is if managed correctly your Facebook business page will help you reach all the right people more efficiently enabling you to achieve your business goals. With over 8.9 million people liking Facebook for business it makes good strategic sense to target this popular social media platform, with global advertising reach, for advertising your product/service. It is an especially good platform to use if your target market is the B2C (Business to Community) population.
All too often the reason people don't buy from you is because they simply don’t know anything about you so there is no trust. This is particularly noticeable in service industries such as electricians, plumbers, mechanics, builders, and so on. By using your Facebook platformin the right way for your business it will enable your prospective customers get to know you far better, and enable them to buildtrust in you and your company. Readers will get a feel for your honesty and integrity, your company culture and values, all of which will give your prospects a ‘feel good’ factor, and make them happier to do business with you. It also gives you an opportunity to connect and engage more with your currently client base, and is an excellent way to keep them informed of new products/services, promotions and competitions you may offer.
OUR TOP 15 ESSENTIAL STEPS FOR ENSURING YOUR BUSINESS STANDS OUT ON FACEBOOK
1. COMPLETE YOUR BUSINESS PROFILE
Ensure you have fully completed your business profile, especially the ‘About’ page, included all your contact information, your business location (this is vital for Google searches), a profile avatar (usually your Company logo), and added an appropriate cover designed to inform your prospects how you can help them. Advenzia can design profile avatars and cover photos for you if you do not already have these, or would like to update your current branding.
2. CREATE A VANITY URL
Set up a "Vanity URL" (your customised web address) in order to make it easier for your customers to remember and find you. By default your Facebook business page will be given a randomly assigned URL such as: facebook.com/pages/yourbusinessname/987654321. You should customise your Facebook page URL to something easier to remember like facebook.com/yourbusinessname. In our case, our vanity URL is facebook.com/advenzia.
Choosing a custom name is optional, but for a business it will make you look more professional, and make your page easier to remember.
3. VERIFY YOUR WEBSITE AND LINK IT TO YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE
The aim of your social media is to get your prospects to visit your website to find out more about the products/services you provide, so it is most important to ensure this is verified and linked to your Facebook business page.
4. USE RELEVANT KEYWORDS IN YOUR POSTS
Public social media channels get crawled by the search engines so it is vital to include appropriate relevant keywords into all your posts to get the maximum effect from your posts. These keywords can be further maximised by preceding them with a hashtag, i.e. #webdesign, #digitalmarketing etc.
5. Post Company and business related Pictures
Make your company Facebook page more personal by taking photographs of events which you have attended, your employees,your offices, and if possible take some photographs of yourself with your clients. Facebook posts which include a photograph are known to receive around 39% more engagement than posts just containing text. These simple steps will help your prospective and existing customers get to know more about you, and build up trust in your company. By engaging with you on social media they are more likely to be willing to engage with you in business.
6. Post interesting and useful links and videos
If you can make posts on your Facebook business page useful to your customers they are likely to keep coming back. Don't overdo it with lots of irrelevant links which are not business related or helpful to anyone. The key is to be selective and only select useful links and videos to post, which you are sure most people will find interesting and helpful.
7. Post questionsto generate engagement with your customers
What's great is if you can post questions which readers will find interesting and engage with. If you can start a conversation you are getting to know more about your customers or prospective customers, and that will help them think of you when they are in the market for your services.So communicate consistently, be authentic, be passionate, and have fun!
8. GIVE AWAY PROMOTIONAL CODES/COUPONS, OR RUN A STELLAR CONTEST
You can encourage people to become your Facebook fans by displaying promotional codes/coupons on your Facebook business page, and many businesses particularly restaurants have found this a very successful marketing strategy. Around 42% of fans like a page to get a coupon or discount. Remember once you have established a bond your followers they are going to be more interested in the content aspect of your Facebook business page, your website, and marketing material.
Competitions are also great way to gain new followers. You simply ask readers to like and share your competition post as part of the criteria for entry. An estimated 35% of readers will like a page so they can participate in a contest.
9. USE FACEBOOK ADVERTISING
The great thing about Facebook Ads is that you can target specific audiences relevant to your business. For example, if you were a driving instructor you could run a competition for say 5 free driving lessons, and target your audience to males and females who are turning 17 within your local area. Another example would be if you had a wedding dress shop to target all women who had just changed their profile status to ‘engaged’.
Ads can appear in desktop News Feed, mobile News Feed, and the right column of Facebook. Facebook Ads are best for brand awareness, generating sales, and targeting specific audiences by selecting target audience by location, age, gender, likes, interests, relationship status, and workplace & education. There is even a custom options where you can create your own bespoke targeted search criteria.
Facebook Ads can be considerably cheaper than Google Adwords, and are certainly worth trying out as part of your marketing activities. We strongly recommend you give this a try.
10. ENGAGE WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS
Showing an interest by liking and commenting on other peoples Facebook pages shows you are interested in them. After all no one likes someone who only talks about themselves, and you will get a great insight into other peoples businesses, and be able to see opportunities to help them with advice or services. The golden rule is 80:20, 80% of your posts should be information, helpful advice, news, videos, stories, links etc., and only 20% of your posts should be directly promoting your products/services.
Engagement with your prospects and customers is a key aspect of participating on social media; after all it’s not called ‘social’ media for no reason! It takes time but in the long run you will reap the benefits. Be interesting, respond to queries and offer solutions to problems. You could also consider starting a ‘Poll’ on your page, and ask followers some questions related to your business which would be helpful for market research and will have the added benefit of increasing engagement.
11. PROMOTE TESTIMONIALS FROM YOUR SATISFIED CUSTOMERS
Don’t be shy, ask your satisfied customers to post a testimonial on your Facebook business page. Try to get testimonials on a regular basis if possible, once a week would be optimal. This is an excellent way to establish engagement, and indicates to customers what they can expect from you when they deal with you in the future.
Consider running a stellar contest on Facebook. Look for a unique different approach which no one else has tried. This is an excellent method of increasing engagement, building on your visibility, and increasing followers.
12. SHARE YOUR BUSINESS PAGE ACROSS YOUR OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
Share your business page throughout all your other social media channels e.g. Twitter, Google+, and also on your Blog, etc. Ensure you place a Facebook link on your website, and also consider putting the vanity URL on your business card too. Get your account noticed everywhere you can in order to maximise your visibility to your prospects and customers.
13. SCHEDULE YOUR POSTS
Certain times of day are more powerful for publishing your posts as more people are online using Facebook. It is therefore vital to publish at peak times in order to maximise your online visibility. These times in the UK are: Monday – Thursday 1 – 4pm, Friday after 4 pm, and anytime over the weekends. If you find it difficult to post during these times there are automated tools which can help you with your scheduling your posts such as Hoot suite.
14. USE PROMOTED POSTS
Each Facebook post has a certain duration associated with it. Once this duration expires your post will no longer be visible to your followers. Promoting one of your posts is an easy way to reach a much larger number audience as it will automatically appear in their News Feed.
15. JOIN SOME TARGETED GROUPS
Use Facebook Groups to build up your brand awareness. Research and identify your customer base, and join groups where your potential customers are also likely to be members. By doing this you will be able to connect and engage more with your prospective customers. Facebook has a ‘suggested groups’ feature to assist you with searching for suitable groups to join. You can also use Facebook’s ‘Graph Search’ to identify suitable groups to join.
Once you have joined a few groups work at building a solid reputation, be helpful and genuine. Focus on asking and answering questions and engaging with other group members, rather than focusing on promoting your product/service. By being helpful and of service to others you will gradually build relationships and connections that manifest into referrals and sales for your business. As members begin to notice you more, recognise you as an authority/influencer, they are likely to build a rapport and trust in you and your product/service. You will then find they are likely to connect directly with your Facebook business page, which in turn will lead them to visit your website, and hopefully result in a sale.
While Facebook won't be enough to market your business by itself, it will certainly help you in promoting your product/service, build trust and brand awareness, and has the potential to provide you with many new customers.
Thank you for reading our article and we hope you found it useful. If you would like us to assist you with creating any of your social media channels or your marketing material for your business, please contact us on 01438 906200 we would love to help you.
Good luck with your marketing from Advenzia, the most helpful Web Design & Digital Marketing Agency in Hertfordshire.