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Using Facebook Pages for Business Success

Posted on by Ian Humphreys

In this post I’ll be answering some of the most popular questions asked by clients wondering whether they should invest time/money into Facebook Pages with the Timeline feature.
facebook-timeline-overview

Why should I invest in Facebook?

Facebook is not only the UK’s, but the world’s largest social platform, now with over 901million active users per month. So whether you are a national business looking for world domination or just a local superstar with the aim to eventually branch out, Facebook accommodates everyone with its diverse fan base.

What are Facebook pages?

Facebook allows you to interact with your target audience through Facebook pages. Here businesses are able to build a network of clients and potential customers who connect with them through this medium. This method of communication is similar to email marketing, where users opt in (‘like’ your page) to receive updates from your business in the form of posts. With pages now being upgraded to include Facebook’s Timeline, research has shown that brands get 46% more engagement per post than previous profile interfaces.

Once you have built up a fan base, all the content you post on your Timeline will appear in your fans’ news feed. Here, content is key, as your brand is attached to every update, so make sure the information you release will only have a positive effect on your brand. Putting effort into your updates can lead to positive brand awareness, which in time increases conversions and repeat business.

How do I get started?

To start a new page, visit Facebook’s website and look for the link “Create a Page” or simply Click Here. Follow the step-by-step filling in the form as you go trying to fill in as much information as possible. You do not want any information missing from your profile that potential customers may be looking for.

As we all know, first impressions count and what better way to send the right message than some nice graphics. So once your page has been created it is time to start uploading some imagery, making sure to use the correct sizes for each Facebook Page element to avoid Facebook’s compression engine destroying the quality of your images.

“Pro Tip: Use graphics to make your USP’s and CTA’s clear, helping to push your marketing goals”

To help you out here are some examples of businesses that have done it right.

What is the trick to getting fans?

Let’s answer this right off the bat by saying there is no “trick” to getting fans on your Facebook page. The idea behind your business page having a following is that they are actually fans who care about what your brand has to say.

Anyone tricked into liking your Facebook page due to false claims or numbers purchased from a website, will not care about what you have to say about your product/service – which is not going to raise your conversions.

I would rather have 10 real fans that want to listen to what I have to say and engage with my Facebook page rather than a mixture of a 1,000 bots and un-interested “fans”. The same ideology can be used for local serving companies, for example there is no need to have a following which is based in London if you are a taxi company that serves Nottingham.
Starting out, the most successful ways to get real fans on your page are:

  • Alert existing fans – Most companies will have existing fans and loyal customers. People who are already fond of your brand will most likely be interested in what you have to say and so will like you on Facebook as well. Alert them by email marketing/offline media.
  • Business connections & friends – Mirror your existing connections onto your Facebook page. Liking your business connections back also creates a partnership where you can share each other’s content to each of your audiences and can develop your relationship further.
  • Increase awareness & promote – Integrate Facebook into the design of your website. Your website’s traffic will soon know you have a page and if you give a reason for themto like your page (maybe a competition/promotion for Facebook fans only) they will soon convert into fans. Using plugins such as Facepile and Facebook comments can aid this.

How do I increase sales via my Facebook page?

Remember, this is a social network and people use Facebook to engage in conversation and interact with their social circles. No one likes constantly being spammed with sales and on Facebook people’s attitudes towards this is no different. With this in mind, try not to be so narrow-minded and don’t just push straight for sales. Give your fan base something to engage with and they will reward you with trust in your brand, which will lead to future business.

Why and how should I engage with my fan base?

Every time Facebook updates its interfaces they seem to place more emphasis on the publication of people’s interactions. In recent updates they have included a real time ticker, which highlights the interactions of your friends with people and pages outside of your social circle. This is great for brand awareness as when a fan engages with your page they not only gain trust from the interaction, but they also display their trust to their entire social circle.
Here are some tips on how to increase engagement with your fan base – remember to keep these as on-topic as possible, as they became a fan of your service/product because this is the niche they are interested in:

  • Most Popular Topics of 2011Conversation – Replying to posts on your wall reflects well on your customer service, ask and answer questions and start polls to create interest.
  • Trending topics – These work best when you are one of the first to post about these – start a calendar so you are always on top of what’s coming up. You can also post about celebrities related to your product/service and announce local-based news.

“Pro Tip: Start a calendar and research iconic dates that are related to your niche. Spend some time on this and you will always have something to talk about.”

  • Promotions – Everyone loves a good bargain and your fan base will thank you for it. So if you have got something you think people will jump at the chance for, then why not post it to your fans? This doesn’t just have to be a money saving promotion; it could also be a competition to promote a new product/service.
  • Mobile users can check in at business premisesCheck In – Give your fan base a reason to Check In as this announces to their social circle they are at your business location. For example, an idea for a night club could be that you give anyone who checks in at the door a discount on entry.
  • Photo tagging – One of the most used features on Facebook is the ability to tag yourself, and your friends, in photos. This sends a notification to anyone who is tagged in the photo and also posts a snippet in each friend’s news feed for their entire social circle to see. An idea for any event centre is to take pictures of people enjoying themselves and let them know they can find these photos for free on Facebook. You get new fans and, with people rarely frowning on purpose in photos, they give a good representation of your brand to their social circles. Win, win!
  • Content with likeability –A recent trend has shown people posting images with likeability, in the hope to go viral. This can be a great method of brand awareness if you post something that is relevant to your product/service. However, done wrong it can lead to bad representation of your brand. There are many people using charitable causes for profit, don’t be one of those guys.

My competitors have X amount of fans, how can I compete?

With social media marketing becoming more and more popular, it won’t be surprising to find your competition has already started making a push to build their own fan base. This does not mean everything is lost. Analyse their social campaign and see what you can learn from them.

 

Starbucks have over 30 million Likes

Trawl their timeline to find updates which have had the most engagement from their fan base and learn from it. If you stay dedicated and use the previous tips I have mentioned, you can catch up in no time.

“Pro Tip: Clicking on the app button which displays how many likes they have will give you a brief overview of their insights”

I will most likely expand further into engaging with your fan base in a future blog post, when I have the space to use case studies and go into further detail about each one. If there are any other topics you would like to see expanded upon then let me know in the comment section below.

About Ian Humphreys

Ian Humphreys

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