If you own any kind of business these days, you should be doing at least some of it on Facebook. While some see it only as a means of exposure, the social media giant actually has great money-making potential for businesses who know how to use it. As with any business plan, you should take a step-by-step approach that gradually rolls out a more layered and complex system in order to take advantage of each of Facebook’s facets.
Step One: Build a Professional Facebook Marketing Profile
Create a Separate Professional Profile
You may already have a profile on Facebook, but if it’s your own personal profile, you’ll need something entirely different for your business. As much as people might enjoy seeing your party pictures and family photos, it’s your expertise customers are really after. Take the time to build an entirely different personal profile using your business email and keep all the information as professional as possible. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include a personal touch, but you will need to remember that customers are the main viewers.
Attach it to Your Business Page
Once you have your personal profile, you can use that to set up your business page. This way, if fans are curious as to just who the owner is, they can easily click to your personal, yet professional, profile from there. Make sure you have all important business information correct before going public and that your first status is an interesting and exciting one, because all of your friends and family will see, comment on, and hopefully, share it. This initial exposure is important when it comes to recruiting your first set of fans, so make that status update count.
Update Your Page Regularly
Building a profile doesn’t mean just setting one up and letting it run its course. Instead, you will actually need to build a reputation by posting regular updates both on your business page and personal profile. Fans need a reason to come back and to remain loyal to your brand. If communication suddenly stops, why would they remember your business when the time comes to buy? Post statuses about new products, changes to the company, exciting promotions, and above all, ask your fans to participate. Their participation, whether in the form of opinions, ideas, or comments will help you develop a relationship with them, and, even better, will show up on their friends’ news feeds.
Step Two: Boost Fans with Promotions
No matter what kind of product or service you offer, it’s likely your fans and customers will be interested in finding out about any sales you are having. Be sure to include sales in status updates. In the update, include a picture of the product on sale and a link to where they can buy it. The cheaper and easier it is to buy something, the more likely people will do it.
In order to get people to click Like instead of simply browsing past your Facebook page, you need to give them a reason. If clicking Like gives them a 10% discount, then they’ll be much more likely to do it than simply in order to read your status updates each day. You can also offer weekly coupon codes or package deals to those who share your updates. Basically, if you want to get something from your fans, you should be willing to give something as well.
If you really want to get your fans participating regularly, give them ownership of something. In other words, host contests in which fans can come up with creative uses for your product, a new company slogan, or even a logo. This encourages them to not only buy your product in order to use it for the contest, but also to share their creative work with their Facebook friends, further exposing your business. The best kinds of contests use the number of Likes or shares to determine the winner. This guarantees your fans will be out their advertising for you.
Step Three: Add a Video
Post a Company Overview
The biggest way to reach the social media demographic is by using several different mediums. The best possible medium by far though, is video. If you don’t yet have a YouTube channel, be sure to get one. From there, you can embed your YouTube videos onto your Facebook page. The very first video you post should be your company overview. This can be as simple as a slideshow presentation set to music or as complex as a walkthrough with the owner. Just make sure it looks professional and try keep it short.
Go Viral with a Commercial
Although your company may not be able to afford a television, radio, or magazine ad, you can definitely afford a YouTube commercial. It’s free and fans love a good viral video. Try to come up with something unique, with an original delivery, or that is surprisingly funny. Those strategies seem to work the best as far as going viral. Remember, you want people to pass your video around as much as possible. If you need help, you can always ask your fans to make a commercial for you with a video contest.
Step Four: Buy Advertising Space
Use Facebook Ads
Once you’ve exhausted all of your free options on Facebook, it’s time to set aside a little money for basic advertising. Thumbnail ads are pay-per-click and you can set a daily budget so you don’t end up with more clicks than you can pay for. Make sure you have an attention-grabbing picture and a very brief, but enticing description. Then, link it back to your business site, the product’s page, or wherever you want potential customers to go. The most effective ads seem to be fairly vague about what they’re selling. For instance, there is an ad that shows a cute baby and the text says, “Click if you love babies.” From there, you are taken to the Target website on a page that is selling baby supplies. When it comes to doing business on Facebook, a simple yet smart strategy seems to work the best.