You are enthusiastic about your small business, and you go all out to create solid #marketing strategies, but are you making effective use of Facebook to boost your business?
The latest estimate put forward by Facebook is that it is home to around 30 million active small businesses globally, but despite being active accounts, not all of them are making much of an effort to attract more followers.
Time constrains and lack of available staff are obvious concerns that may limit a small business from being more proactive on social media, but quite often it is simply a fact that many managers and owners do not know how to manipulate their social media accounts to their best advantages.
If you are a sole trader or have very few staff, then it may be worth making your Facebook page your home. It can be a struggle for a business with under 5 staff members to actively keep on top of a company website and a business blog, as well as be present on social media sites. You can trim down on your commitments by having a comprehensive business page on Facebook and getting a personalised web address to link to your page. You can then promote your page on other sites such as #linkedin and #twitter.
Test your marketing methods
Facebook offer a very simple advert creation tool where you can set your budget and time scale, as well as target audience. The advert analytical tools are really useful here, and you can easily track your customer response in real time.
Rather than blow your entire advertising budget one single all-out campaign, it would make sense to test the water with small simultaneous campaigns over a period of time, monitor which approach has the best response, and then tweak and amend your advertising campaign to suit your results.
Use Facebook Search Bar
Up until last year, Facebook had a very useful tool in Graph search where you could target your demographic quite easily. Unfortunately this has since been replaced by a more general search facility that lacks the depth of Graph search. However, you can still glean useful information through the search bar to find out what your target demographic is talking about in your niche.
For example, if I were opening a vegan restaurant and catering service in Gloucester, I can search out other local businesses in the same niche to see what they are offering and what their customers are saying about them. I can also search for community pages and review pages such as ‘Eat out Vegan in Gloucestershire’ where local vegans leave comments and reviews for restaurants and caterers in the area. By reading these customer comments you can get an insight into what your target audience want, and what they like and don’t like about the food on offer.
Add a Facebook Like button
Make sure you add all your social media buttons onto your company website and blog. Many of your web or blog visitors will have a Facebook page of their own, so clicking your Facebook like button is a simple way of gaining more followers.
Encourage more Likes
Set up special incentives that encourage your web visitors to ‘like’ your Facebook page. You could set up a hidden page on your website that gives a discount code or printable voucher for a free item or heavy discount off an order, but state that you are only posting the hidden link through your Facebook updates. If you are a bricks and mortar business, then you can entice your web visitors over the threshold with a printable voucher for a free item, which could be a sausage roll or fresh ground coffee if you are a bakery or restaurant, or a half-price silk neck scarf or charm bracelet for a fashion shop etc. Everyone loves a bargain!
Link up with a complimentary business on Facebook
Take some time to search out a partner where you can mutually benefit from each others business. For example, if you are a children’s entertainer, find a local cake making business who would be useful for offering your clients a birthday or celebration cake. They in turn can recommend your service on their page to clients who may be buying a cake, and would also be interested in hiring your service for their event.
These are just a few useful ideas you can use to make the most of your Facebook time. If you have anything you can add to this list, let us know in the comments below.