If you’re a business, a brand, or a public figure, then you need to have a presence on Facebook. (It’s a MUST that you have one on Google+ too – we covered that here)
But today I’m focussing on Facebook.
While Facebook may be losing traction among those using it as a social network, it’s as strong, and as relevant, as ever for those using it in a business capacity.
So exactly why SHOULD you use it as a business?
- Having a business/ brand/ public profile page on Facebook influences your rankings in Google, and for SEO purposes, you REALLY want that.
- You have access to 1 Billion potential customers, and what’s not to love about that?
- You can define and build your brand personality on a social level.
- You can offer real time customer service, and as long as you relate to your customer rather than upset them, this goes a long way in enhancing your brand image. Twitter is also an excellent platform for real time customer service. Tweet a company with an issue you’re having, and if they’re on the ball at all, they’ll answer very quickly! The same applies to Facebook.
- You are able to impact their purchasing directly.
There are some guidelines that successful businesses/ brands/ public figures follow, which I’d strongly recommend you do too. They are:
Define your voice. Work out who you are, how you want to be seen, your brand’s personality, and then have fun with that. Sure, post serious content, but also have fun. Not everything you share has to be about your business. Don’t talk AT your audience, engage with them.
And speaking of engagement, all businesses (if they’re doing it right) want engagement. Asking questions is a great way to increase your fan’s interest. But, don’t just say something and then ask them what they think. Put thought into your questions.
Another way to engage fans is with sponsored posts.
As social media manager for ROARlocal, I see that our daily posts attract a fraction of our fan base, whereas our sponsored posts attract hundreds of comments and thousands of likes.
Facebook have been quite ‘clever’ with this, and unfortunately, it’s often to a page’s detriment.
Every page has negative comments from time to time. A lot of the time, it’s from trolls, who have no legitimate complaint and just want to cause trouble. But some of the time, the negative comments will come from someone genuinely unhappy with something you’ve said, or a customer with a valid issue relating to your services and products.
So should you delete everything negative? NO. If you’re on the ball with your engagement and notice a comment from someone who has an issue with your product, your service, or something you’ve said, then talk to them! Make it right wherever possible. Respond with a contact email address, and get the conversation offline as soon as you can without being dismissive. Fans that see you’ve taken the time to listen, understand, and act, will usually be delighted with how you handled things, see your business in a positive light, and more often than not, spread how good you were at handling their particular issue. Word of mouth goes a long way.
Anything vulgar, profane, or wildly inaccurate can be deleted – quickly!
Be visual! Use rich media in your posts. People are becoming more visually driven, so a striking image is more likely to capture engagement.
Some social media ‘gurus’ would advice taking a screenshot of a blog post or article you’re sharing, and then removing the image that Facebook draws in via the blog link or article so that you’re only left with your accompanying text and the link. Once these are in place, then click on add photo and attach your screenshot.
However, this is debatable.
If you’re unsure, why not try it, interspersed with the conventional route, and record your results to see the best way forward for you?
Speaking of posts, how often should you do it? Well, studies show that brands that post 1 to 3 times per day are likely to receive the highest engagement.
Because we’re increasingly bombarded with content, we now have the attention span of gnats on social platforms. Posting more than once to three times per day will serve no purpose whatsoever. Remember – there’s a fine line between being informative and interesting, and being a spammer.
Posting updates into the news feeds of your fans too often in one day will get you ‘hidden’ or ‘unliked’ – don’t do it!
Key Performance Indicators
It’s a good idea to track the success of your business on Facebook by recording what we call “key performance indicators”. So what exactly is a key performance indicator (KPI)?
KPIs are company/ person specific, and are measures to track goals and achievements. In online business, they’ll include click-through rates, lead generation, brand awareness, engagement, social traffic (resulting from sharing content on social media platforms, such as Facebook), the increase in likes, followers, circle size, connections etc., and ranking (where your business appears in Google’s search results).
We track all of the above on a weekly basis at ROAR, both for ourselves and for our clients. It’s good business practice and one we’d recommend implementing if it’s not in place already.