Still wondering if you should use Facebook to connect with customers and grow your business? Just consider these statistics: BlogHer reported that 93 percent of adult Internet users in the United States are on Facebook, while ComScore revealed that one out of every eight minutes online is spent on the social networking site. And it doesn’t matter if you’re B2B or B2C. The bottom line is you can definitely use Facebook to promote your business effectively.
So if you are going to use Facebook to engage your community and build your brand, here are four things you should be doing:
- Brand your page: Creating a custom Facebook page gives you a more professional image and can help you stand out from your competition. In addition to using your logo, colors and other design elements, you can also get a vanity URL that makes it easier for people to find your page. Your URL will look something like this: www.facebook.com/yourbusinessname.
- Feed your other social media content into your business page: Facebook makes it easy to feed your blog, YouTube videos, Flickr photos and more into your business page. Simply visit this page and follow the instructions to automatically add social content to your business page. But be careful about automatically feeding your Twitter stream into Facebook, as not all of your fans will be familiar with Twitter’s unique language and may find your status updates confusing.
- Make your page interactive: When you edit your business page settings, you’ll have the option to allow people to post content to your wall — including photos and videos. Although you’ll need to spend more time moderating your page, it’s a good idea to let people post to your wall. Facebook shouldn’t be a one-way dialogue, where you blast your fans with messages. Allow them to interact with you and start conversations. Many of these conversations can turn into business for you.
- Post often: It’s important to interact with your community on a daily basis. You can ask questions, share videos, upload photos or post your latest news — anything to start a conversation. Try seeking your fans’ opinions about products or services that you are thinking about offering. Doing this will help your fans feel like they belong to your community and have a say in how your run your business.
As for frequency, if your content is engaging, you can probably update your status a few times per day. However, if you notice that you are losing fans or not leaving enough time for conversations to develop, you may want to reduce your posting frequency. The important thing is to strike the right balance.
Important notice: Facebook will soon move all of their business pages over to the new timeline format, similar to what you’ve been seeing on personal profiles. Stay tuned for another pbSmartTM Essentials blog post that will explore the implications of these changes and give you tips on how to engage your community within the new format.
What about you? Are you using Facebook to grow your business? If so, what techniques are working for you? If not, what are your biggest concerns? Feel free to share your comments and questions below.
Be sure to check out “Small Business Facebook Fan Pages” for a video that explains the elements of a great Facebook fan page.