Do You Need to Be on Facebook?
Maybe. The social media giant turned 10 last week and it seems that everyone is using Facebook. Statistics from Facebook like, “people spend more than 700 billion minutes monthly on the platform,” can initiate panic among business owners about what they’re missing. Don’t panic. Look at the profile of your best prospects and see if it’s a match.
The profile of the average Facebook user is changing. Facebook started as a place where teenagers socialized, but at the end of 2013 Forbes reported, “Facebook is Dead and Buried to Teens.” Teenagers are reportedly gravitating instead toward sites like Snapchat, Twitter, What’sApp and Instagram that are mobile-first apps and easier to use. Facebook is still a Web first platform. The reality is that as Facebook has aged, so has their user profile. It is no longer just a place where kids hang out and may include some adults in your target audience.
Social media can be compared to mingling at a cocktail party. It’s where you meet, mingle and touch base with people. If you do a good job of working the room, everyone will remember you. It’s never the entire marketing program, but one part of the overall process of developing a relationship with prospects.
At Gerard Marketing Group, we recommend developing a strategic marketing plan to determine which, if any, social media platforms will give your business added value. Genevieve Lachance of socialmediatoday.com gives us 10 general tips to add value to your Facebook Business Page for users:
Source: PEW Research Center.
1. Find the Answers
Why: Why should you be on Facebook?
Not every business should be on Facebook! Figure out where your target market is and focus on the platform(s) that will have the highest pay off for your business.
What: What are your goals or what are you trying to achieve?
Some of your Goals may be:
- Create brand and/or product awareness
- Build a community
- Show your expertise
- Increase your reach
- Generate traffic to your website
- Build new partnerships
- Provide Customer Service
- Increase sales, etc.
Who: Who is your target?
Have a clear idea of who you want to reach on Facebook. The more you know about them, the better you can target your message.
How: How are you going to get there? Figure out which best strategy will help you achieve each goal.
Source: PEW Research Center. Social Media in 2013 User Demographics. May 2013.
2. Use the Space Given Wisely
Facebook gives you space which can leave a lasting impression on your Page visitors. Make sure to pay close attention to your Cover image, Profile image and About section.
3. Your Cover Should Talk
Your Cover image is prime real estate on your Facebook Page and it’s the first thing your Page visitors will notice. Your Cover image should express who you are as a business and your Page visitors should understand what your business is about at a glance.
4. Post Regularly
Posting at random or not regularly enough can leave a negative impression on your page visitors and affect your reach. Also, posting too frequently can have an adverse effect on your Page engagement. Find your rhythm by testing your frequency and watching your numbers to optimize engagement. Creating a Content calendar can help you stay on track and makes the process easier to manage.
5. Understand the Platform
Did you know that not all your fans see your posts? Actually probably less than 16% of your fans see your Page posts! Edgerank determines what posts appear on a Facebook user’s newsfeed.
Page vs. Profile vs. Groups
Pages are for businesses and are entirely open to the public and search engines. Pages can also have applications and custom tabs to help engage with your audiences. You can have as many Pages as you want and there are no limits on the numbers of fans (likes) you can have.
Profiles are for your personal use and represent you as a person. On your profile you have “friends”. You can have up to 5000 friends and you’re allowed to “like” up to 500 pages. You’re only allowed to have one personal profile. You can control your visibility with the privacy settings.
Groups are for people who share a common interest. Group members can participate in chats, upload photos to shared albums, collaborate on group docs and invite members who are friends to group events. In Groups, there are 3 Privacy Options: Open, Closed or Secret.
Facebook Terms of Service (TOS)
Breaking Facebook rules may result in having your page shutdown without notice. Be familiar with the TOS. Visit Facebook to learn more https://www.facebook.com/policies.
By using the Page and Post Export option in your Facebook Page insights, you will have valuable data to help you understand how people use your Page and what works best for your business. Facebook insights can provide valuable data to help you measure your Page success. Keep track of your numbers and adjust accordingly.
Facebook Help section can provide valuable information and is often underused. Visit Facebook for more https://www.facebook.com/help/pages.
- Vanity URL
- Post Targeting
- Pinned Posts
- Highlighted Posts
- Featured Likes
- Custom Tabs
- Post scheduler
- Promoted Posts
7. Respond to All Comments
According to socialbakers.com, only around 30% of brands respond to comments. Respond to ALL comments and make sure your settings allow for people to post on your Page.
8. Cross promote
To increase your Page visibility, you will need to tell people about it. Don’t forget to link your personal Profile to your Page. Promote your Page on:
- Other social networks
- Your website
- Business Cards
- Marketing material
9. Invest in Your Page
It’s becoming clear that Facebook ads are no longer an option for businesses. Include Facebook ads to your marketing budget to help increase your Likes, engagement, visibility, promote events, market your products or services, etc.
- Promoted Posts
- Sponsored stories
- Facebook ads
10. Provide Value
The 80/20 rule. Try publishing around 80% original and curated content that provides value to your followers and no more than 20% promotional content. Promotional content includes selling your products or services, posting about how great your customer find your business (unless your clients post it directly on your wall), showing your work or portfolio, promotion of your accomplishments, etc.
Relevant Content. Provide a mix of content related to your products or services. All too often we see Pages that post about random topics that are totally unrelated to their business. Don’t stray too far off your topic!
What’s In It for Them? Whenever you post to your page, remember that your page visitors want to know “what’s in it for them”. Be mindful of the content you post on your page to make sure you provide value to your visitors and fans. Most Facebook users Like pages to:
- Receive discounts or promotions
- Stay informed
- Get entertained
- Interact and connect
- Get Educated
- Show support