Social Media for Small Business: Part 2 - Facebook
Facebook is a big deal but you probably already know that. To put it into context, there are around two billion people on the internet today, 850 million of them are on Facebook. The only other site that can boast more unique users is Google. So if used correctly Facebook can be a great way of reaching a new or existing customer base. There are whole host of things you can do with Facebook Pages but we will keep it simple.
There are three main parts we are going to cover in this section; Pages, Posting and Sharing but first you need to work out what you want to get from Facebook and then set yourself some goals. Work out how often you want to post. The aim is not to post all the time but infact try to make your posts relevant and interesting enough that people comment, share and like them.
What is a page? Well Facebook themselves probably describe it best. Here is their explanation of a Page:
Pages are for organizations, businesses, celebrities, and bands to broadcast great information in an official, public manner to people who choose to connect with them. Similar to profiles (timelines), Pages can be enhanced with applications that help the entity communicate and engage with their audiences, and capture new audiences virally through friend recommendations, News Feed stories, Facebook events, and beyond.
You also need to work out if a Facebook page is right for your business. If you are targeting Joe public then a Facebook page is perfect but if you want to get the attention of other businesses then it might not be worth the effort you put in. Ultimately you need to make this decision as you know your customer best.
A page is easy to set up if you already have a personal account (when logged in, scroll down to the bottom of any page and click 'Create a Page') on Facebook or if you don't have or want an account, then you can simply click the 'Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business' Link on the Facebook homepage. It will ask you a few simple questions about you or your business to get you started. Once you have set up your page you need to upload an image to represent you. This can be a logo, a picture of you or a picture of what you do. You will know what best represents what you are trying to achieve.
The benefit of using a service like Facebook is that you do not have to be a designer, developer or super-genius to use and update your page. It is as simple as updating your personal Facebook profile. Before writing your first post make sure you are happy with all the information you have put in about your business and it is correct. The more info you can include the better you page will look. If you have any photos that represent your business, create an album and put associated images in it (e.g. Photos from an Event should be together in an Album)
Gaining followers is not going to start overnight so the best way to start off your readership is to tell the people you already know. Talk about it on your own Facebook profile. Identify the friends and contacts that you already have who are either in the industry or may benefit from the information that you are posting and tell them directly about it (Either on Facebook, by e-mail or face-to-face). Link to your page from your website, your e-mail marketing campaigns and add a link onto the bottom of your company e-mails. Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to spread the word.
On your Page you can post Updates, Photos, Links, Videos and Polls. If you know how to use the personal side of Facebook then you will be right at home with this. When posting you need to think about what you are writing and how often you write it. Who is your target audience? Questions and polls often work well to get people interacting. Nobody likes business talk all of the time so try to keep it fun from time to time. You will know your audience and know how much or how little fun you can have with your posts. Try to post often but don't bombard people with posts, the last thing you want people to do is stop liking your page because you fill their Facebook News Feed with posts all of the time.
It will take time to build up a following so don't be disheartened if you haven't got a lot of 'Likes' straight away. Keep plugging away and they will build up as long as you keep up the quality of your posts and keep spreading the word that you are on Facebook. Remember to tell your new contacts about your page and maybe think about putting details of your page on business cards, promotional materials, E-Mails and make sure it is well integrated on your website.
Having a Page isn't the only way to benefit from Facebook. Make sure you have a 'Like' button on every page of your website. This way when someone visits your site they can share it with all their friends simply by 'liking' it. This type of exposure will cost you nothing but is priceless as a recommendation from a friend is always more powerful than one from a stranger.
Also share content from your site or blog on your Facebook page by posting a link. It's as easy as copy, paste, click. The more you can share to keep people coming back to your page the better. Found a video on YouTube that your followers might like, post it on your page.
If you are still unsure if Facebook it right for your business then please call us for advice.
Look out for Part 3 - Twitter - Coming Soon
By David Tilyer
Tags: Social Media