Many small businesses are now jumping on the social media bandwagon and using Facebook to connect with customers and clients. Facebook pages are free to set up and can attract more targeted customers interested in your products and services. Since these pages also connect directly to your website, they help to increase your search engine rankings and can direct more traffic to your main site. Facebook ads are very targeted and can also attract more quality prospects.
I work with several small business owners who want to establish a social media presence and use Facebook to promote their services and build their brand. I’ve found that many local businesses have great success with having a Facebook fan page because the Facebook presence allows them to connect and engage with current and future customers in a fun, no-pressure way and also enhances the customer relationship.
Here are some important tips for using Facebook for your small business:
1. Provide value in your Facebook page updates. Take the time to craft some valuable posts and contribute links to information that is relevant to your target market. Providing value will encourage more people to subscribe (“Like”) your page. Share tips, insights and import blog entries so that your fans enjoy being connected to you.
2. Set an advertising budget. If you choose to create Facebook ads to promote your page, set a limit on your advertising budget so that you have a chance to see if this form of advertising is actually working. Facebook ads are similar to pay-per-click advertising campaigns such as Google AdWords, except the ads are shown only on the sidebar of the user’s Facebook page. Running ads on this network can be a trial and error process, so take the time to adjust your advertising budget only if you’re getting the type of traffic that generates sales.
3. Don’t try too hard. The primary goal of having a Facebook page is to build a friendly community of fans. Don’t try to push products or services on your fans because this may come across as spamming. Focus instead on providing value (see #1) and allow fans to make the decision to do business with you on their own.
4. Monitor your metrics. Facebook provides Insights data that tells you how many people commented on a post, how many “Likes” you had in a given week, and the level of activity on your page. Use this data to determine whether your Facebook activity is actually working and generating a positive response. If it’s not providing consistent results, it’s time to modify your approach.
5. Offer Facebook-only discounts and incentives. You may be able to attract a strong following with a simple promo only for Facebook fans. Many people are looking for a great deal and Facebook is a great platform for promoting exclusive offers and discounts. Facebook promos can also have a domino effect. When one of your fans likes what they see, they may post it on their own Facebook wall or send it to friends in their network.