October 31, 2012
So you’ve created a Facebook page for your business because your friend told you everyone was doing it and you didn’t want to be left behind. You’ve uploaded the ‘big picture,’ the profile picture and have made a couple of posts. Now you are waiting for people to start ‘liking’ and interacting on your page. You check every day … still only two likes – one from your Aunt Mary and one from your best friend John.
You decide to get really proactive and post a message on your personal Facebook profile begging your friends to ‘like’ your page, so your business page seems more popular. Wow … three more likes from friends who feel sorry for you.
Now you have a total of five ‘likes’ from people who are only interested in seeing your family pictures and personal status updates. They are busy enough with their own lives and not really interested in promoting your new venture.
OK, so now what?
It’s simple. Get interested in others.
That’s a lesson I learned from my 11 year old, who joined Instagram (a social photo sharing mobile application). He started ‘liking’ everyone else’s photos and commenting on their pictures and, within a few days, he had more than 150 followers. How he figured out this is the best way to get more people to ‘like’ him, I’ll never know, but I am guessing he followed his instinct and did what others were doing. It’s human nature … if someone is interested in what we do, we want to know more about him or her.
Your first step – join Facebook Groups, where your potential clients may be hanging out. For example, if you sell kids clothes, do a search on Groups that have the words “kids,” “child,” “mom,” “mum” etc. Then visit those groups and see how others are interacting. Many groups will allow you to post comments or questions, so go ahead and give it a go. Make sure you share useful tips and information. Never, I repeat, never try to sell anything – you are trying to get people interested in who you are.
Make sure you are posting in those groups as your business page, not from your personal account. To change how you post, simply click on the down arrow in the top right-hand corner of your Facebook page. You will be presented with an option that says “Post on Facebook as…” then choose your business page.
While you are being interested in others, post new comments and photos on your own page, so there is fresh content as people come to visit. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Post photos with your comments.
2. Ask questions.
3. Put in ‘blank’ statements, for example: This weekend I am going to…
4. Post news from your industry.
5. Share “how to” tips.
6. Post funny stories and pictures.
7. Give away free gifts such as e-books and reports.
I should probably backtrack a little bit first. Before you start getting interested in others and posting on your page, make sure your page is set up properly.
1. The large photo, also known as cover photo should be used as a branding opportunity. You can show off your products and also include branding statements and benefits of using your products / services.
2. The small profile photo should be your logo. The reason for that is, as you make posts, this is what will show up next to your comments.
3. Fill out all the information about your business under “Edit Page.”
Once you’ve done that, you are ready to start bringing in new visitors.
It is important to understand interaction on your Facebook page is critical to your success. The more people interact, the more your posts show in their newsfeed. Their comments may also show up in their friends’ newsfeeds, slowly going viral.
Search engines also take note of your social activity and interactivity, so the more people ‘like,’ ‘share’ and ‘comment’ on your page, the higher it will rank.
If you own a restaurant, for example, or a camel-riding business, make sure you take photos of your customers (with their permission, of course). Let them know you are planning to put their picture on your Facebook page and where possible tag them in the picture. Most people like their 15 minutes of fame and will give you permission. By tagging your customers, their friends will also see the picture and may become curious enough to click through to your page.
When you have been on Facebook for a while and understand how it works, you may consider running Facebook ads. Again, make sure you don’t try to sell anything in your ads, simply ask people to ‘like’ your page if they agree with a certain statement, for example. One successful ad, which has brought in several hundred new likes in a short time and for very little investment, was for Kids Universe (a business dedicated to places to go with kids).
The advertisement showed a picture of an Oreo cookie and simply said: “Click LIKE if you agree that cleaning the house while the kids are awake is like brushing your teeth while eating an Oreo.”
One of the key things to keep in mind, Facebook is a social medium. People are there to have fun and share information. It is not a shopping cart or a sales page. Your Facebook page should be used to build your brand and your credibility.
Ivana Katz of Websites 4 Small Business makes it easy for you to get your business on the Internet. If you’re looking for a professional and affordable website designer, who can also assist you with search engine optimization, visit www.web4business.com.au and download a copy of your free website plan.