According to TechCrunch, over 30 million small businesses have active pages on Facebook.
Facebook also reports there are over 645 million views on local Facebook pages with over 13 million comments. It’s easy, and free, for business to get started on Facebook, but that also means you’re in stiff competition to attract a loyal audience. Fortunately it’s not difficult to plan and execute a Facebook social media strategy that works for your business.
Here are some tips to get started:
Setting Up Your Account
Dive into Facebook by creating a business page. Simply log in to your personal account and establish your presence. Follow the prompts and ensure you categorize yourself appropriately so customers can find you. Once you go through the basic set-up, thoroughly fill out your “About” section of your page and add more about your business, website, how to get in touch and some photos.
Establish a Posting Frequency
Don’t just sit back and wait for customers to start commenting, you may never see any traction. Post articles, news, photos and trivia questions to get some activity on your page. Brainstorm with your staff to figure out your posting frequency by determining what times of day your target audience is probably the most active.
Some companies like Walmart post early and often to attract a loyal following.
Meanwhile, Starbucks posts plenty of product photos but their content is sparse. Surprisingly, both strategies work for these conglomerates. In Starbucks’ case, customers seem to pay more attention when there are updates because they’re infrequent. For Walmart, customers get involved through the regular updates and always have the retailer on their social media radar.
Add Photos and Videos
Uploading product photos and videos are a good way to establish a brand with your customers. But there are more ways to post photos and videos than simply uploading a shot of your latest release. Instead, ask customers to upload content in front of your store or holding your products.
Ask people to write in funny captions for their own photos, or to create their own caption for an image you recently uploaded. Give away coupons and freebies to entice your audience to keep engaging and spreading the word about your company. Give bonus prizes for customers who upload a video testimonial.
Make It Useful
Turn your Facebook presence into a resource for customers looking for useful information and tips. For example, the LifeLock Facebook page frequently posts news and articles on identity theft protection that expand past their own brand. LifeLock also posts updates from their blog, like tips on helping seniors avoid scams.
You can also make your Facebook page useful by offering content your customers can’t find anywhere else. Offer coupons, insider sales information and host a free video chat that targets your customers
Encouraging testimonials means taking the good with the bad. Don’t censor customers who had an unpleasant experience with your company. Instead, encourage unsolicited feedback to gain trust with new customers who want to balance the pros and cons of using your services or buying your products.
Bare Minerals takes a largely hands-off approach to their Facebook page and lets consumer feedback drive traffic.
With over one million likes, the company’s approach is working. They also post frequent sales, updates on events and new product releases to keep their engaged audience informed.
It’s easy to get swept away in the excitement of social media and quickly get lost in the details. Stay organized by creating a social media content calendar. Hootsuite offers examples and tips on how to create one along with downloadable examples.
You can also use the site to schedule your posts for days, weeks and months in advance across all your channels from Facebook to Twitter and Google Plus.
Jon Rognerud and Chaosmap work with Fortune 500 companies, small business and entrepreneurs to create digital traffic strategies that scales up customers, leads and sales. Mr. Rognerud wrote a best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur). Connect directly here.