Here is the short-version of the presentation I gave at our very first Socialize Sapulpa meeting. If you’re a Sapulpa-area business looking to learn more about engaging your customers online, you should definitely look us up!
Facebook is a big deal. A really big deal. At over 800 million users, the majority of which return to the site daily, the world’s largest social network provides a huge opportunity for small-businesses to engage their audience on a whole new level. More than perhaps any other form of advertising, social media provides the chance to connect with their customers in a way that is easy and at the same time personal. It’s a real shame that more businesses don’t know more about how to use it effectively.
Getting Started Right
I see a lot of businesses hit the ground running, but they’re going fast in the wrong direction. Facebook is a medium that’s meant to be used on a regular basis, but if you’re restricting the ability for folks to find out more about you, you’re doing it wrong. So get started on the right foot by using a page, not a profile.
It makes a lot of sense to set up a profile for your business, because that’s usually the way you’re used to using Facebook. But it’s a mistake to do it this way. For one thing, it’s against Facebook Terms of Service. But more importantly, it’s ineffective. There’s a ton of stuff you can do with a Business Page, that you cannot do with a profile.
Creating custom tabs, advertising on Facebook, using Facebook Insights and checking in – all great features of Facebook for business, all only available to those using Facebook Pages. So get started, right – create a page, not a profile.
If I had to break down three things that nearly any small business could do in order to grow their engagement, it would be these:
Login and post something everyday.
The number one way to grow your engagement online would be to actually get on there and share. Engage. Talk about yourself, your business, your customers. Talk about your services or products. Just get on there and stay active. Check your notifications, and keep up on what’s going on.
Get a proper username
This was such a big deal with Facebook finally released it, that I’m still pretty appalled how many businesses I see that don’t have their vanity URL tied in with their Page. That means, instead of being facebook.com/page=?xxxxx – you could be facebook.com/awesomebusiness – which looks better? Sounds better? Works better for you online or your business cards? The answer is easy. If you haven’t done it yet, go to facebook.com/username and get your vanity url.
This is the big one. Facebook (and other social media sites) are about engagement not just broadcasting. You need to talk with your customers about their experiences and problems, in addition to talking about your sales and and services. Make it a point to highlight other folks, using a Fan of the Week program or something else. Give stuff away. Take polls. Just be a friendly neighbor, not just a bullhorn.
Aside from all of these, the best advice I can give is to just persist. Facebook marketing doesn’t become successful all at once and it doesn’t happen with one status update, either. It’s an ongoing journey of sharing and caring. Building relationships.
But wait, there’s more! As a special bonus to the folks who attended the meeting, we gave out a great ebook from Hubspot about Mastering Facebook Marketing in 10 days. It’s a great read, and I’m going to include the link here because it has some really great tips that will undoubtedly have an impact on your Facebook engagement. Yes, you have to fill out the form to get the book, but it’s worth it, and it’s free! Go get it while it’s available!