2 April 2013

Succcess With Facebook For Business

You will notice from my blog posts that I have until now shied away from Facebook related topics.  Sure I've been on Facebook for a number of years and find it effective for communicating with friends and colleagues.  But I've always struggled using Facebook effectively for business.  Until recently that is.   More importantly I have found that the type of business you are in determines your success with Facebook.
Previously I was always dealing with small start-ups with no customer or supplier networks.  Recently I was working behind the scenes with an event catering company which operates in multiple locations throughout Ireland.   The first hundred LIKEs seems to come out of nowhere.  Offline measures are being taken to support online success even.  This started with management buy-in with support for the project and the need to increased brand visibility on the ground.  Absolutely nothing to do with the technical aspects of Facebook.  Yet this unexpected and  time consuming aspect of the project is now seen as the first vital step for online B2C success.   Encouraging staff members along with supplier and customers to provide content for posting will also make the task of communicating via Facebook easier.  Everyone seems to want to be seen or heard on the fan page, it just removes that fear of being short on content.  Thirdly training of the company's social media manager in relation to generating maximum engagement is import.

Success with Facebook for your business requires
  1. Management buy-in
  2. On the ground brand visibility
  3. Encouraging your network to join in
  4. Training to create maximum engagement.

Many companies will tell you that it is becoming harder and harder to create interaction/engagement on Facebook.  Engagement is vital so that Facebook's Edgerank algorithm ensures that your posts are seen by as many as possible. There are however a number of things that can be done.  These include:
  1. Make sure you have a clear clickable link back to your website in your Facebook page's "About" section.
  2. Tagging of staff and customers in any photographs. This will ensure that your Facebook content arrives in their newsfeeds.
  3. Posting your news and photographs on your business network's fan pages, so that you can cross-promote one another.  And by all means, formally decide who you will partner with and co-promote.  Your suppliers and associates are an obviously first port of call here. 
  4. Remember social media isn't about products, services or brands but the people behind these.
  5. Brand the most important of your fan page photographs using your company name and logo with PicMonkey. 
  6. Encourage employees to put "Visit our fan page at xxxx" in their "Work and Education - Employers" section on their on Facebook page.  This drives traffic and creates more business.
  7. If you work at multiple locations, mention the specific location for clarity and be descriptive as this is all good for raking in Google. 
  8. Brand your emails using Wisestamp
  9. Create engagement using questions, comments and call-to-action.  Craft these so that a reply can be as short as possible. 
  10. Watch your posting times, afternoons and evening are best, this is proven.
  11. Try to post twice a day.  Some would recommend even four times a day.  But whatever you do be consistent.   Don't dump a whole pile of posts on one go and then maintain "radio silence" for a number of days.
  12. Use competitions to reward customer participation on your Facebook page.
  13. Failing all of the above you can always pay for advertising on Facebook.
I'm sure there's more.  If I have left out anything import or anything that you feel needs a mention please comment below.

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