The amount of local businesses that are starting to leverage the power of Facebook is booming. More and more companies are increasing their online visibility through social media, and in our opinion, the best place to start is on Facebook.
Here’s a quick primer for those of you who may not be familiar with what a Facebook Fan Page is exactly:
A Facebook Fan Page is very similar to your personal profile. There is a wall so that you can share important news and events or just interact with your customers, as well as a place for photos and videos. Think of it as your businesses way to interact with your customers on one of the most popular websites in the world.
If you decide that a fan page is right for your business, here are 10 tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of the platform:
1) Encourage “Liking”
It certainly sounds silly, doesn’t it? Encouraging people to “like” your business? But on Facebook, a “like” is a very powerful currency indeed. You see every time you or a user “likes” something, it’s automatically included in their news feed. As a business, the more people that “like” your fan page, the more people that are receiving your marketing messages.
2) Give Your Business a Personality
Don’t go with the standard corporate, “beige” way of communicating. People just aren’t responding to those kinds of messages anymore. Facebook is a social platform, and you should leverage that power by giving your business a personality - encouraging more people to interact with you.
3) Have Regular Communication
Don’t be flighty. Have a schedule of communication that you’re going to stick with so people will get into the routine of hearing from you. The more touches you get, and the more ingrained people become with your marketing, the more you’re going to convert lookers into buyers.
4) Use Photos and Videos
Don’t just throw up walls of text. A picture is worth a thousand words, and who knows how many dollars. Use the power of pictures and videos to get people engaged and talking about your Facebook fan page. And people are always more likely to share a video or picture than a plain text update - with Instagram being a great example of this movement.
5) Make It a Safe Place to Share
Moderate the comments. Not to an extreme, overbearing nature, but make sure that people feel safe using your Facebook fan page to communicate whatever they are feeling. Encourage questions, feedback and sharing opinions to keep the conversation going.
6) Publish Testimonials – Good and Bad
Remember that you’re trying to build a personality here, and you want people to relate to you on that level. Don’t only allow positive reviews, in other words, let people see some warts. Companies that appear perfect can give off a sterile and untrustworthy kind of vibe, so use your Facebook fan page to show that you do make mistakes, but you fix them.
7) Poll Your Customers
Polling your customers can be an awesome way to get real data on what people outside your business think of you. If you’re considering dropping a product or service or introducing a new one, this power is invaluable. Setting up a poll on Facebook takes 2 minutes.
8) Post Your Contact Info and Hours
This may seem obvious, but I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve checked out a really cool business fan page, only to discover there's no way to get a hold of them, no website and no directions. It's crucial to provide this information in a prominent spot, such as your About Us and Description.
9) Hold Contests
People love freebies, and your Facebook fan page is a great place to host a contest. Not only is this is a killer way to haul in new “likes” and friends, it's also great for PR and promoting upcoming product launches and events. Consider using one of the many available third party apps, like Wildfire or Shoutlet, to make user registration and email sign up easier.
10) Have Fun with It
Remember that first and foremost Facebook is a social place. People are going to be way more receptive to your marketing messages if they don’t come off as marketing messages. Facebook fan pages are a great place to let your hair down or open your collar, whichever the case may be. Don’t take it super seriously, and you may be surprised with the results.