As new social networks emerge and others mature, you may hear mutterings about a drop in Facebook popularity, but with 900 million users – Facebook is going to be the dominant social network for the foreseeable future. Facebook is also a tremendous customer relationship management tool and public relations machine for your business, if you know how to use it right. Business was late to join the Facebook party, but the music is still playing.
Here are seven ways to turbocharge your Facebook business profile:
1. Get a Facebook Account for Your Business
The first step may be obvious, but an important one. Sign up! Don’t use your personal page – make one just for your business and start at Facebook for Business. Once you take that first step you are on your way.
Facebook for Business is different than your personal page. These pages give you more freedom to prioritize and schedule posts, decide who from your company can post on behalf of the company, integrate video, photos and promotions and much more.
Facebook pages, like websites, are flat online brochures until you bring them to life with postings, graphics, discussions and more.
2. What’s It All About?
Decide what you want to use your Facebook business profile to be – is it a promotional tool? Is it a way to inform your audience? Is it for generating customer feedback? All of the above?
For instance, if you run a daycamp, you could post weekly newsletters, pictures of the children at play, special events and other reminders. If you are a dentist, you could provide important information about how to maintain a healthy smile and teeth whitening promotions. If you are a financial planner, you can post the latest investment research, tax law changes and retirement planning advice. And if you’re a reputation management company, you can share insightful blog posts, witty tweets and the latest social media news on your Facebook business page.
Think about what is interesting to your customers and clients, look at what your competition is (or isn’t) doing on Facebook to decide what kind content might be right for your page.
3. Plan Your Content
This is the second part to tip #2 – plan your content. You’ll want to post at least two to three times a week and you will want to vary your posts. To do that, you might want to plan a few weeks or days in advance and create an editorial calendar that will keep you on track. For instance one day you could place an interesting article that relates to your business. A day later, you could promote a contest your business is sponsoring or a sale. Another day you could ask your customers a fun question and ask them to respond.
You can also plan events on Facebook and invite customers to a store opening or an open house for a new office.
Keep up with the news and trends in your business and see what might be interesting to your customers. Are there trade shows or other events you could suggest your customers might attend?
By varying the content you ensure that your profile does not become boring.
You might want to hire a designer to add a bit of color to your Facebook account – make sure the design is consistent with your company brand. If a graphics designer is not in the budget, take a look at how you can add logos and other visual elements to brand your Facebook for Business profile.
Providing content that asks questions or links to an interesting article is important – but pictures and video tell a story as well (which is why Pinterest is now so popular). Provide photos or video clips that are compelling – some that relate to your business or simply interesting images or video that would intrigue and interest your customers. You can also invite your “friends” to share their photos and video to provide a forum for a two-way conversation.
6. Like Me! Share This!
The “like” and “Share” buttons are the most powerful tools in the Facebook playbook. Make sure your company website, blog and any other promotional medial you have – offline or online — encourages your customers to “like” your Facebook profile. The more likes the more people following your profile.
Facebook has a targeted advertising program where you can specify gender, age, interests, etc. This is a great way to promote your business in a targeted and affordable way. You control the daily budget and can test various messages throughout a campaign.