With 40 million businesses actively using Facebook, you’d think this article is out dated, but for our clients, it’s not.
Most of the businesses in and around the White Mountains of Arizona, are not using Facebook, or any social media platforms to promote and grow their business.
I’m specifically focusing on Facebook because for our clients and the other businesses in the area, it’s likely to be the most effective strategy. And experience has shown that focusing on the social strategy that fits your business and market the best, will provide better long-term results.
Let’s use an example.
If you own a bakery, and your ideal target customers are looking for fresh baked goods that they can pick up on their way to work, after work, and order for a special occasion, Facebook offers a great way to connect with those “everyday consumers” and share your tasty goods via images.
Twitter in comparison, is too busy and requires more effort to get the same amount of connection and notice you’ll get from Facebook.
Should you be using Facebook?
I can not think of one business that wont be able to connect with their target audience through the platform. So, Yes!
However, you cant just setup your page and hope for a following and for results. You’re going to have to put in the work.
You need to have a real strategy that is driven by real results.
When I say “real results”, I’m not talking about, Likes, Comments, and Shares. While these things can be used to calculate the level of engagement your post are getting, they may not be producing customer acquisition or increased revenues, which are “real results”
When you first start using Facebook, your initial strategy should be to grow your following by constantly adding value to your ideal customer.
Using the bakery example, you wouldn’t just start posting promotional offers and product discounts, hoping to get attention.
Instead, post pictures of the special order items you’ve hand crafted, talk about the fresh baked donuts and coffee available every morning at 6AM. Show pictures of the cozy dinning area and mention the free wi-fi available. You want to use social media to help share the experience you’re creating for your customers.
Tell a story that will invite your target market to want to follow you on Facebook, but also come and experience your business for themselves.
How to successfully use Facebook
These suggestions are not meant to provide you with the “absolute how to guide to using Facebook”. Rather, they are basic fundamentals that will get you started in the right direction. I have posted additional reading that will provide deeper guidance and a more elaborate strategy.
Be active in making connections.
Don’t create your new Facebook page and sit back and wait for people to find you. You need to do some social stocking and networking to bring those connections to your page.
Start by sharing your page with your friends, and family, inviting them to share it with their friends and family.
Try locating other businesses on Facebook that have the same or similar target market, then look for commenters to connect with.
You can also create a Facebook ad, that could target the followers of a specific page. For example, if you have a competitive bakery in your town, that has a strong Facebook following, you can create an ad that will specifically target their followers and bring them to your page.
Every day you should be making a couple new connections. In the beginning this will require some manual effort, but as your page gains popularity, you’ll notice that you’re getting new followers everyday without searching for them.
Be consistent with your posting.
You should post at least two times per day. If you’re business is open and your customers are active on the weekends, you should be posting seven days a week. Assuming you’re open every day.
Ideal times to publish content will vary based on your customers and their usage times, however, you can start with a schedule like 9AM and 3PM.
Facebook allows you to schedule out your post so that you don’t have to remember to publish you post throughout the day.
After several weeks of consistent posting, review your stats to see when people are viewing your post the most, then adjust your times to fit that trend.
If your putting fresh donuts out at 6AM every morning, an image of the fresh donuts sent out via Facebook might be a great reminder.
Be spontaneous too. You may find a recipe or have a funny story from a customer you want to share, it doesn’t mean you have to wait and schedule that for the next available slot. Post things has they happen, those post will be the post with the highest engagement.
Break away from business topics.
Don’t corner yourself by thinking you can only post stuff about your business.
Social media is about building connections with people. And in the physical world, we call those connections, friendships. People want to see that you are human just like them. It’s ok to post pictures of your kids, talk about your vacation, share personal stories of triumph and failure.
The more human you can be, the more connections you can make and at a deeper level. Which means people will come into your store to see a friend (first) and buy a donut (second).
If you’ve read this and have had some ideas of how Facebook can help you reach a larger audience and grow your business, then go get started today. Take the next 10 minutes to setup your page. Then use the guides listed below to help you take the next steps to successfully launching your business Facebook page.
If you’d rather have an expert setup and manage your page for you, contact us, 928.368.2024, and let our marketing team get to work for you.
- The Does and Don’t of How to Use Facebook for Business (HubSpot)
- Facebook for Business Basics (Facebook)
- eBook: How to Use Facebook for Business (HubSpot)