Facebook Tools Can Help Draw Customers
If you have a small business, you need a Facebook page. Roughly 70 percent of people who are active Facebook users "like" at least one local business, according to Dan Levy, Director of Small Business at Facebook. This local connection is significant. Although the value of a "like" is far from settled for major brands, for a small business, local Facebook fans can function as enthusiastic word-of-mouth advertising.
Being well-regarded in your community and being endorsed by other residents has always been essential to small business success. Facebook is an excellent tool to help you accomplish those goals. However, in order to get the most from your Facebook page, you need to post quality content that is current and that engages the viewer and motivates them to spend money at your business.
Keep Your Page Current
Creating a Facebook business page is a good first step, but out-of-date information leaves an unfavorable impression on those that view your page. Once you launch your page, you need to set aside enough time to keep it current.
Facebook recommends posting at least once or twice a week. However, depending upon your business and your goals for your page, daily updates will be even more effective.
Fortunately, providing a steady stream of content for your Facebook page is far easier, cheaper, and less time-consuming than updating print material or even a website. Updating your Facebook page is simply a matter of posting a status.
Plus, with some advance thought, you can put many of your posts on autopilot.
Facebook business pages provide the option to schedule your posts up to six months in advance, by clicking on the clock icon that appears on the left-hand side of the status box.
Peter's Pan Pizza features daily specials on a variety of items. Once Peter has determined the menu for the coming week, he creates a series of posts promoting the pizza, salad, soup and sandwich special of the day. He schedules each post to appear on the correct day in the coming week. Peter's page promotes the specials, without his having to remember to do so each morning.
The scheduled post feature can also be used to remind customers of special store hours or upcoming sales.
Facebook also provides a mobile app that enables you to manage your page (post updates, respond to inquiries or view page statistics) when you are away from your computer. This can be especially helpful for businesses where much of the business in done away from the office, such as landscape architecture or interior design. You can upload photos of your work straight from the job site (with your customer's permission, of course).
Make Sure Your Posts Are Relevant and Engaging
When you are writing your posts, remember three important points. Each post must be:
Make sure you have a purpose for each post, whether it's to inform readers of an event or whether it's to build community via requests for feedback or fan recognition.
Posting on Facebook is fast and free. But, don't let that make you sloppy. Customers and prospects are evaluating your business posts in the same way they would an expensive printed advertisement. Watch for typos! Check your grammar! If you struggle in this area, take a moment and run your posts through a spelling and grammar checking program. For example, Grammarly Lite offers a free online grammar and spelling checking integrated into your browser that can be used to check any social media post.
Use photos and graphics to catch your viewers' attention. However, you must subject your photos to the same scrutiny that you would a photo used in a glossy brochure. Unless you are trying to capture the excitement of an event, take the time to arrange your product—be it food or furniture—so that is visually appealing.
A Facebook page can get cluttered. Help your viewers spot the information that you want to highlight by taking advantage of these post management tools: Pin, Star, and Hide.
The Pin feature enables you to keep the same post at the top of your Page for seven days. This can be helpful in promoting an upcoming holiday or a sales event. More important posts should be highlighted by using the Star option. By 'starring' a post, you make it larger and more visible. Finally, not every post attracts positive attention and many become outdated. The Hide feature lets you remove these posts from your page. All of these tools can be found in the right-hand corner of the post.
Peter's Pan Pizza is located in a Chicago suburb. Both the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Bulls are in the playoffs. Peter decides to offer a Playoff Pizza Package. He incorporates both team's colors into a photo that appears with his post announcing the weekly "game-day" specials. He uses Pin, to keep each week's post of the top of his page.
When the team wins, he uses the star feature to post a special offer to his Facebook fans: mention the winning score and get $2 off your order. When the playoffs are over, he will hide these posts using the Hide feature.
Taking the time to learn the tools Facebook offers for business pages and putting them to use as part of your overall marketing strategies can pay off in increased customer engagement and increased revenue for your business