Can you grow your business and brand on Facebook? Absolutely. Some of the most effective brands that ‘get’ social media utilize proven techniques, tools and tactics to create unique user experiences. With over 500 million active users on Facebook, creating a strong social brand is a cost-effective brand building strategy for small businesses.
Does your business need a boost? Here are my top 15 tips to gain instant “likeworthy” traction for your small business on Facebook.
1. Pages vs. Profiles. Profiles are for people. Pages are for business. Generally, it’s not recommended to utilize a personal profile for business. Pages have their benefits. With a business page you can assign administrators, specify category listings to improve search results and grant immediate access for fans without prior approval.
How Can I Start? Create a Page
2. The Welcome Page. Most visitors may stumble upon your Facebook page from other sources outside of your website. Ensure a proper landing and communicate who you are and what you offer. Create a custom FBML (Facebook Markup Language) tab to act as a welcome page. A visual image and call to action or direct link to your website can aid in conversion and usability.
How Can I Start: FBML
3. Facebook Insights. Is your post activity effective? Are you posting too frequently? What types of content does your network prefer? Answer these questions and many more by utilizing the Facebook Insights dashboard. This nifty tool provides metrics for your content. Track User Insights (Total page Likes, or a number of fans, daily active users, new Likes/Unlikes, etc.) and Interactions Insights – post Likes, post comments, per post impressions, etc.
How Can I Start? Facebook Insights
4. Facebook Grader. Are you looking for a third-party holistic perspective on the effectiveness of your Facebook business page in comparison to others? Score your page using facebook.grader.com. Measure the reach, authority and overall effectiveness of your Facebook page in a simple and easy to use format.
How Can I Start? Facebook.grader.com
5. Social Integration. Provide “one-stop-shop” social access to your social networks. Integrate your RSS Feed, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn content for immediate access directly from Facebook. Encourage engagement and accessibility for Facebook fans to interact on your other social sites.
6. Website Integration. Do you want to gain instant Facebook fans? Let potential customers know where to find you by adding Facebook icons and/or feeds to your website.
How Can I Start? Facebook for Developers
7. Facebook Search Ranking. Increase your fan page ranking in Facebook search. You’re your page updated with fresh content and optimize wall posts with targeted keywords. No time to regularly update content? See Tip #5.
How Can I Start? Google Keyword Tool
8. Crickets and Conversation. Have you ever posted something on the Facebook Wall of one of your favorite brands and all you ever heard back was … the chirping of crickets? Respond to posts and comments left on Facebook. Fans don’t like to go unheard and it could discourage further interaction.
How Can I Start? Delegate Social Media Management
9. A Thousand Words. Facebook is visual and boasts over 10 billion images – larger than most photo sharing sites. Encourage picture sharing and rewards fans for doing so. Also, share pictures as often as possible. Share pictures of your teams, events and new products. Ask for feedback and encourage fans to comment on their favorite images.
How Can I Start? Flickr Tab
10. Spread the Link Love. In the business information section, add links to all of your social and digital hangouts. A link to your website, Twitter feed, LinkedIn, RSS feed and email newsletter should all be there. Empower fans to find you and communicate in their network of choice.
How Can I Start? Manage My Page
11. Exclusive Experience. Increase fans and stickability by developing exclusive content (video, content, coupons, etc.), first-look on new launches, behind the stage passes to product development and more. Make the experience exclusive and reward fans for their social loyalty.
How Can I Start? Wildfire Contest Apps
12. Social Street Team. Enlist an online street team to act as ambassadors and connectors. These social influencers can help you build your brand by sharing relevant links and reposting your best content. Think of it as an online street team. Make your content “shareworthy” and find ways to return the favor.
How Can I Start? Create a Social Mastermind Group
13. Post in Moderation. What’s the fastest way to make fans unlike your business? I’d wager to say posting content 24/7 does the trick. Don’t crowd the news feed. Find a happy medium to the number of posts per day or week, using Tip #3. Make sure content is relevant and if it isn’t don’t post it.
How Can I Start? Launch Tip #3 and Track Metrics
14. Sharing is Caring. The quickest way to add value for customers is to cross-share complimentary content. Find several brands that are complimentary (i.e. if you sell hotdogs find a brand that sells potato chips) that you can repost and link to from time. You’re not only adding conversational value but your helping fellow entrepreneurs.
How Can I Start? Start Networking Online
15. Set up Shop. Create an online store and sell Facebook exclusive products directly on your page. Utilize scarcity marketing tactics (i.e. for a limited time) to drive purchase. Or test new products and give your fans exclusive access.
Who Does it Best? LiveScribe
Have additional tips for YFS readers? Please share them in the comments section below. Also, don’t forget to make our friendship official – join Young, Fabulous & Self-Employed entrepreneurs at facebook.com/yfsmagazine.
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