Facebook is all fun and games until you are trying to use it as a business tool.
People aren’t stupid. Well, most of them aren’t. We no longer live in the world of Mad Men when advertising was akin to inexplicable sorcery. The public know when they are being sold to and they don’t like it. So if you want your business to succeed you need to stop telling everyone how great it is.
‘But then how will they know that my product is the best?’ I hear you cry. And this is where I share a phrase that creative writing teachers have been drumming into their students since Shakespeare first picked up a plume. Show, don’t tell!
Social Media is now a mainstream way of building your brand and reaching your audience, and Facebook is miles ahead of the rest – so why are so many businesses using it badly?
If you run a small business then the chances are you have your own personal Facebook account (where you share pictures of your cute kids and laugh at cat jokes) and a business page where you communicate with your clients. Before I start please make sure that your company has a business page and NOT a personal one. Setting up a personal page in your company name is against the rules and useless for marketing. Okay…now I can continue.Here are 6 ways you can promote your business for free on Facebook - starting from now.
Facebook is not a pin board. If I had a penny for every time I saw a business Facebook page being used as a bragging board I would be rich enough not to have to write blogs like this for a living! If someone has gone to the trouble of Following your page, they don’t want every post of yours they see reading along the lines of ‘come and buy this, we are brilliant.’ It’s like sitting next to someone at a party that spends the whole time trying to impress you – not cool. Instead SHOW how great you are by sharing with them things that interest them and makes them want to tell others, which leads me on to…
Is it shareworthy? Your main aim of being on Facebook is to collect Likes and followers. It’s like getting bums on seats at a theatre, otherwise who are you ‘performing’ to? Then you want those people to tell their friends how great you are and get them to join in. To do that you need your posts to be seen and shared so that your post goes (every on-line marketers wet dream) viral! But how? Simple. Make everything you post Relevant, Informative, Interesting or Humorous. No one is going to get excited by, or share, a post that reads ‘We sell the best tyres.’ Share tips, advice, articles from other relevant sources, run competitions, share funny pictures that are appropriate to your brand and audience, and of course the odd show off post (ie a letter from a happy client or promoting your sale)…but only a few.
People like pictures. When you are scrolling through your newsfeed it’s the images that catch your eye, use them. A long chunk of text is off-putting. And if you do have to write some copy, make it stand out by having a headline that is controversial, eye-catching or plain weird. You want them to stop the scrolling and read.
Interact, it’s called ‘social’ media for a reason. Most posts only reach about 10% of your audience, so you need to ensure it reaches more people by making that post count. One way to do that is ask questions and reply to comments others make. Get people talking about you through your page. Then their friends will see that and, because most people are friends with like-minded people, they too will Like your page.
Use Facebook to its full potential. Did you know that you can pre-set your posts in advance? You can create a whole week’s worth of posts in one hour. Aim for a couple of posts a day, including weekends. Create ads, Facebook is the cheapest and most accurate way to reach your perfect demographic on-line. You can even choose to target the exact audience of your competitor or other relevant pages.Create a Facebook shop, the perfect e-commerce platform for a small business that has no website yet. Create a Facebook Group for specific interests or audience, then link it to your Facebook business page.
Analyse. Remember why you are doing this. You are building your brand’s image, collecting ‘fans’ and ultimately trying to flog your product or services. It’s all very well having thousands of people following you but you have to ensure that your Facebook page is creating the right PR and sending them to your website/product. So don’t dodge those graphs and numbers at the top of your page. See where your fans live, what time of day and what days of the week they look at your post, how old they are, what posts get the most Likes, who has stopped Following you, who has shared your posts to what sites…then use that information to keep making your page Shareworthy and your brand brilliant.
Now is the part where I tell you how fantastic I can be at managing your social media and raise your online profile. Not really, I don’t need to tell you…I just showed you!