Businesses can easily make the mistake of dismissing Facebook as a social media channel devoted to keeping in touch with friends, when in fact it is a powerful tool for companies as well.
In the era of the smartphone, consumers expect brands they are interested in buying from to have a presence on Facebook, and may dismiss you simply if they can’t find you there. Crucially, these brand pages have become the hub of many businesses, acting as a one-stop shop where you can post offers, chat to customers and share news.
And with instant analytics combined with infinitely more reach, there’s no reason not to take the leap. So with that in mind, here is our indispensable guide to getting started on Facebook:
Create your own dedicated page, using Facebook’s straightforward page creation tool. As part of this, you can request your own facebook.com web address such as facebook.com/companypage, which you can use on business cards and email footers to direct people interested in you to your page.
Find your audience. This can be a tricky one while you can ask existing friends and family on Facebook to like your new page and share it with their contacts, the key is to find a new audience in your target demographic. Consider what your dream audience is like and what they would want weekly updates, or special offers, perhaps, and then try and spread awareness of your page among those you think can help you reach them. You can also email business contacts to let them know about your page.
Once you have people following your page and quality is always more important than quantity here – the challenge and fear of what to post can arise. The key is to be brave don’t overthink what to write and don’t be afraid of trying things out. While some followers may prefer photos of new items, or chatty updates about progress or new stock lines, some may only respond to offers but unless you post frequently and try different things out you won’t know this.
Learn from what your page tells you. Not only what types of posts get the best response, as detailed above, but what the statistics are telling you. Facebook’s own Page Insights performs instant analytics on your page, measuring engagement and success, so do keep an eye on what works well there and then try to replicate it.
- Engage with your audience whether they respond to a post, like something, ask a question or even complain. If it’s a question or a compliment, reply back speedily and if you don’t have the answer to something admit it, and say you’ll find out as soon as you can.
The final piece of advice is to be yourself. As long as you’re civil and treat online conversations as politely as you would those in real life, being authentic is a massive bonus on Facebook. You can be chatty, silly, jokey or sarcastic whatever suits your brand and comes most naturally to you. After all, it is your page. So make the most of it.