More and more small businesses are setting up their Web headquarters on Facebook instead of a traditional website. This has several benefits over a typical small business website. For one, a Facebook page is free. It also provides an instant connection to potential customers in a way that standard websites don’t. You don’t need to hire a professional to design a Facebook page, and you don’t need to pay someone to optimize it for search engines.
However, if you are planning to make a Facebook page the center of your business’s online strategy, there are a few tips you need to consider. While these are easier to learn and remember than the multitude of learning and experience you need to construct a fully functional website, they are no less important to follow.
Facebook is like an online version of Main Street – you want your space to be as attractive to customers as possible. You have to present a professional, friendly face to anyone who stops by. Otherwise, your Facebook page will look tacky, and it will draw no revenue or interest. Read on to learn how to organize your small business Facebook page for maximum profits and popularity.
Facebook Tip #1: Don’t Be Boring!
With a standard website, it is okay to post relatively dry, informative content. If people come across this site, it’s likely because they were already searching for something that you were selling. However, people don’t go on Facebook when they want to purchase things. They go on Facebook when they want to be entertained by links and posts from their friends. In order to use your Facebook site effectively, you need to update it at least several times a week with entertaining content.
What is entertaining content? Being told what to do in the form of a blatant advertisement is not entertaining. An informative article about things that your product does might entertain. A comedy video based on your product is definitely entertainment. Behind-the-scenes footage of popular events might be intriguing. Weird, unexpected happenings are fun to share. Automated posts are not entertaining. Completely random posts might entertain a few people. A variety of unique posts and content types centered on a similar theme, style or brand of writing and content sharing is definitely entertaining.
On your small business Facebook site, people see your content next to their friends’ content. You have to be at least as worthy of attention as interpersonal relationships if you want to be successful.
Facebook Tip #2: Use Facebook Mechanics Correctly
This can’t be stressed enough. You will look like you don’t care about your business or your potential clients if you don’t fill the Facebook space properly. There are many different tools and aspects to a Facebook page in addition to semi-daily posting, and you should be familiar with them all.
* Set up a “Business” page, not a personal profile
* Create a custom welcome page for people who first land on your business’ profile
* Put meaningful content in all of the tabs, such as the Info tab
* Make sure you have fun, interesting pictures in your photo albums
* Make sure your profile pic shows your full logo and not a cut-off thumbnail of it
* Use Facebook Insights to develop an analytic view of which posts receive more engagement
Facebook Tip #3: Connect With Others
Being friendly gets you far. This is as true on Facebook as it is in life! If you can be excited about your product, you can share that excitement in a sincere way with other people. If someone posts on your page, respond back! Keep your page updated at least every few days and ideally every day.
Befriend new friends and if they show enough interest, offer them a deal on a product. People love being on the ground floor of a new small business roll-out; if they are interested in your product, they will post about it on their own Facebook pages. Friendliness is the heart of any viral marketing strategy. It starts with fun, sincere contextual engagement that gets filtered through many different social networks.
Being friendly while remaining professional and businesslike is hard for some people, but it is essential if you want your business to thrive on Facebook. Your business shows up next to your customers’ friends, so you want to stand out and be one of the gang.
Facebook Tip #4: Don’t Over-Sell
This tip goes hand in hand with “Don’t Be Boring,” but it’s important to re-iterate. On a normal small business website, you can hype your product a little more. However, you shouldn’t assume that a customer wants to buy your product when they look at your Facebook page. Nor should you go for the throat to try to make the sale.
The main goal of a Facebook page should be to convince as many people as possible to befriend your brand. You are a fun friend to have that makes interesting things or offers an interesting service. That’s it. Maybe they’ll try you out sometime. Other methods such as opt-in mailing lists, Twitter feeds and promotional roll-outs are more effective than your Facebook site when it comes to converting brand friends into paying customers.
About The Guest Author: Eric Packer has been a serial entrepreneur for the past 10 years; starting, growing, and then selling a variety of online and offline companies. His latest site, Small Business Search, is aimed at helping companies reduce costs through better selection and knowledge.