Facebook is the giant of social media providing you with access to over 400 million potential customers, which is growing every day. It is utilised to phenomenal success by all the large brands, the most successful of which is Starbucks who have more than 5.5 million fans. All the major brands see it as a major opportunity to interact with customers, but it can also work for smaller organisations, you just need to buy into the ideals and that means embracing engagement and interaction. Do not expect immediate overnight success, it will take time, so start small with asking family and friends to sign up to your page.
How do we get started? Facebook is a simple free product for promoting your business, start by creating a page. The first step is to choose a page title, it needs to be memorable and reflect your business, so use your business name and make it easy for your customers to find you. When you have created your page, you now need to personalise it to your business:
Start by adding a photo which reflects your business, it may be a logo, sign from outside your business or a photo of business frontage.
- Location- make sure customers know where your business is
- Apps – Your page can be enhanced with customised apps that will allow you to share your menu, You Tube Clips, photos and details of forthcoming events
- Wall posts – Tell your potential and existing customers what is happening in your business, special offers, new items and events, this allows your friends to comment and share with their friends providing the potential to increase your customer base
When you add your profile picture, you need to be aware that this will be utilised as the icon that appears next to all your posts. Therefore you need to ensure that when your profile picture is reduced it reflects good visual branding, to do this hover your mouse over profile picture and click on “change picture” that appears in right hand corner of the image, then click edit thumbnail, click and drag image until it looks good then click save. See example posting from my business page below:
This simple to prepare delicious healthy dish can be served on its own or with mixed salad leaves or lightly cooked vegetables. Ingredients 2 Salmon fillets approx 120g each 100g Couscous Juice of half a lemon Zest of half a lemon, shredded small clove of……
The next step is to start talking to your customers; Facebook users want interaction and attention. You need to post to your page regular:
- Photos from events
- Details about new products, forthcoming events
- Utilise it as free way to conduct market research, you can poll your customers and gauge interaction before implementing a new idea
- Offer benefits and discounts exclusively to Facebook followers
- Allow time each day to check your page so that you can respond to any comments
Having implemented all of the above you will begin to see the benefits, remember it will not be an immediate overnight success, it will take time, but it will be rewarding. We now need to look at how we can expand the reach of our page:
- Tell your customers who come into your business to “Like us on Facebook” by displaying signs
- Promote your page by adding a link to all your business stationery, flyers, business cards and email signature
- You can advertise on Facebook and this can be marketed directly to Facebook users in your close proximity
- Encourage your Facebook followers to tell their friends about your business
If you would like to see how some business utilise Facebook check out the pages for Alton Towers and McDonalds, but also check out your local competitors and see what they are doing.
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