Marketing Your Business Through Social Media
Over half of the American population is on Facebook - are you? Whether you're unhappy with your current level of Facebook success or simply have no idea where to begin the process of developing a page, it's high time that you learned how to reap the benefits of social media. The good news is that creating and maintaining a winning Facebook account is not nearly as difficult as you might imagine. By following this simple, six-step guide and working closely with your trusted social media agency, you can attract more leads and develop deeper relationships with your customers than ever before.
1. Fill in the blanks
The first step in creating your business Facebook account involves completely filling in all of the requested data fields. These days, many customers tend to reference company Facebook pages when seeking out business hours, phone numbers, locations, parking information, etc. The more information you are able to provide to your consumer base, the more likely you’ll be to receive their business. If your company's profile does not include your hours of operation but your nearby competitor's page does, which business is your prospective customer more likely to visit? Most of the time, they'll choose the facility with clearly posted open and close times. After all, no one wants to drive all the way to the store only to find out that it's closed.
In addition to providing your customers with valuable information, a properly completed profile simply looks more professional. If you can't be bothered to spend the time to provide your clients with the most basic information about your business, how can you expect them to bother with you? Famous Dave'sin Louisville, KY has the right idea. In addition to a detailed description of their restaurant, their contact information, and business hours, the eatery informs Facebookers of their payment options, names the general manager, and gives other specifics of the franchise.
2. Cover Your Personality
You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can judge a Facebook page by one. Any good social media agency will tell you that without a cover picture, your Facebook account will look naked, unappealing, and unprofessional. Although a company profile picture is a representation of your business side (typically a professional logo), your cover photo is a way for you to express the personality of your company. A good cover picture should by eye-catching and a strong representation of what your business stands for.
A good example of this can be found on Pepsi's Facebook page. The cover picture is clean, visually interesting, and brings Pepsi's personality to life. The company's current logo, "Live for Now," is clearly printed in bold, eye-catching letters that surround the Pepsi logo and a very inviting looking can of cold soda. This ideology is reinforced by the display of Pepsi drinkers celebrating life. Don't be afraid to get creative as you work to develop a cover photo with your social media agency.
3. Update and Bait
The only way to gain business opportunities from your business Facebook page is to engage your customers through frequent updates. But don't just update your status with fluff. The key is to post often, to post at regular intervals, and to post high-quality information. When your customers know you will post a weekly special or a daily coupon like clockwork, they will not only remember to check your page, but they will be excited about it. If you post infrequently or sporadically, you can't be too surprised if your clients forget to look at your page. It's also smart to use your updates to "bait" your customers into communicating with you, sharing their thoughts, sharing your page, and liking your posts.
Take a lesson from Olive Garden. The well-known chain interacts with its fans on a daily basis by posting pictures of their dishes and asking users if they've ever tried it. Other ways they engage include introducing new menu items, polling their customers on what their favorite dishes are, and many others. These are the types of posts that compel readers to take further action, which is exactly what you want. The more people who "like,” "share,” or comment on a post, the more popular it will become. This means that it will show up on more of your customers’ Facebook news feeds and prompt them to take action as well. As your followers interact with your updates, their every move will be posted on all of their friends’ Facebook tickers, and that means FREE advertising for you. Brainstorming with your staff and your social media agency about how to generate high-quality, engaging posts can make a huge difference in the success of your page.
4. Keep Tabs on Your Guests
Don't ignore the various tabs you can utilize to make your business Facebook page even better. Standard tabs include your page's photos, how many people "like" you, where you are on the map, etc. But did you know that you can create your own? This is what makes you stand apart from the crowd. By customizing your page's tabs, you can prompt your customers to dive deeper into the world of your business, becoming more interested, and more likely to make some type of buying decision. Take a look at the Facebook page for Cinemark Theaters. Visitors are easily able to check out the great deals that they can score under the weekly coupons tab, find out show times for the theaters in their area, and see which movies are trending on the Cinemark Pinterest board. Working with your social media agency to create tabs linking to your specials or your blog is a great way to boost sales.
5. Holler Back!
If you want your Facebook followers to keep talking to you, you've got to talk back. If a customer leaves a comment raving about your business, take the time to thank them. If a client has a suggestion, acknowledge it and consider implementing a change to your business. And when your page's visitors ask you a question, make sure you answer. Today's consumers are looking to forge relationships with their favorite brands, and the key to those relationships is communications. If a customer feels that you are not responsive to their inquiries or needs, they may turn to a competitor. A small business in Helen, GA takes this to heart. Cool River Tubing Company not only posts about what's going on with their business, but also takes the time to read customer comments and questions and responds to them in a timely manner. Ultimately, it's small gestures like these that make all the difference in customer loyalty.
6. Listen Carefully
The last step involves working closely with your social media agency to "listen" to your audience's responses to your Facebook page through careful observation and web analytics. By observing certain trends, you can see what's working and what's not so you can better invest your time in profitable posts and activities.
Taking your Facebook page from "zero" to "hero" doesn't have to be a challenge. By working with a professional social media agency and following these six steps, you'll find yourself on the fast track to social media success.
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/basketman