Social media is such an integral part of most people’s lives that having a Facebook business page might seem like a no-brainer.
That’s far from the truth, however. Social media marketing takes a solid time commitment, and it’s not useful for every type of business. If your industry needs widespread advertising for occasional users, such as for computer repairs, swimming pool supplies or gardening tools, a Facebook page might not be for you.
But if your business thrives on repeat customers and you want to turn your regulars into a close-knit community, a Facebook page can do that like no other method.
Facebook is called social media for a reason: it’s supposed to be social. The most successful pages have very little blatant advertising on them. The aim of a Facebook business page is to turn your most interested customers into a community, and to make them feel like insiders with special knowledge into your business. This is where small business can shine above a large company. If you’ve got a small neighborhood store or restaurant, Facebook is the ideal place to cement your relationship with your regular customers.
Your Facebook Business Page Basics
When planning out your page, look to the strengths of your business to find where you should emphasize most of your posts.
Consider these questions and tips:
- Do you have a great crew of employees that your customers love? Feature one each week, and let everyone get to know your team as friends.
- Local restaurants might want to offer posts about their general cuisine, like Thai or Mexican, and the ingredients that make it special. Anything that makes your business unique is fair game.
- Post the stats of the Little League team you sponsor.
- Hold fun quiz days and ask questions about your local area or your business history.
- Post a coloring page for adults and children to color and post back.
Keep Your Posting Schedule
A Facebook business page doesn’t have to take up your entire day, but the best ones have regular posts, at least once a day, and check back to answer questions and requests a couple times a day. Attorney James Goodnow, a partner at Lamber Goodnow, mentions that regular facebook posts have been a game changer for their personal injury law firm, and creates a new level of engagement with both new and past clients.
Create a list of posts for the week or the month, then use one of the posting apps like HootSuite to schedule posts on a regular basis. After that, it’s just a matter of checking replies from your smart phone during the day, to make sure any questions are answered before your fans get impatient.
What About Negative Posts?
Just like in a live business, your Facebook page is open to complaints and negative posts. Your first temptation may be to delete them, getting them out of sight of other readers, but this might not be the smartest thing to do.
When you’ve got a customer complaint in your store, what do you do? You probably employ a version of the tried and true methods taught in management schools everywhere: listen to the complaint, acknowledge the problem, apologize, fix it, ask if you can do anything else, thank them.
This same solution works on your Facebook page, but with a bonus: when other readers see you dealing with a problem in such a calm and professional way, they’ll be confident that you’ll do the same thing if they should have any problem, themselves. You’ll come off looking like a business owner they want to deal with.
A Facebook business page gives you a tremendous opportunity to spread the word about your business in a big way, for almost no money.
The key is to create posts that other people want to share with their friends. Make a habit of posting great photos from your business, use humor in your posts, and encourage readers to share posts with their friends. Every time a post is shared, it will get in front of hundreds of people who’ve never heard of your business before. You can’t find a wider audience for free, anywhere.