Guest Post by Joel Dearing
Facebook is perhaps the top social network ever created. It reaches 1/13 of the world’s population! Over half this number – 250 million users – log in every day. The engagement and repeat visiting pattern of this site make it the ideal site to communicate with people. Small businesses in particular benefit from this engaged and interested audience. In a study of 4,000 small businesses, fan pages with over 1,000 fans saw 22 times the traffic as those who had fan pages with fewer than 1,000 people. People want to listen to what you have to say, and they want to like you!
- Invite quick engagement
If people have to go to your page to see what’s new, they won’t bother. Posting status updates keeps you fresh in people’s minds, and as long as they are relevant and interesting, people won’t mind. Any major news in your industry is a good reason to post an update. Inspirational stories are also great – for example, if you are a weight loss coach, share the story of someone who successfully dropped twenty pounds in a month with your help (as long as you have their consent). Ask for tips, use “fill in the blank” statements, and ask questions about new products and services.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you want people to like your page, ask them to do it! If you want them to share your status update or comment on it, ask them. Calls to action are nothing new to the copywriter or sales letter writer, but a lot of small businesses are shy about it. There’s really no need – if people are there, they like you and they want to help you out, especially if you have that “small business” or underdog appeal.
- Set up your page fully
Facebook guides you through setting up a Facebook page. Don’t skip these instructions; fill out the profile information that they’re asking you for and you will benefit. Basic pieces of information like your company website, history, and profile picture are very important! Small businesses have no excuse for skimping on this. Using third-party applications is another fantastic step. The more effort you put in, the more readily people will respond to your presence.
- Study your competitors
If you’re new to Facebook, you might not follow other small business pages yet. This means you’re shooting blind when you try to set up an effective Facebook page. Instead of trying to figure out what people like on the fly, study successful competitors’ Facebook pages to see how they’re set up, what information they include, and how they respond to and engage with fans. Look at how often they post, how they post links, and what posts get the most responses. Also, look at how they respond to fans posting on their wall.
- Measure your results
Don’t be scared to look at some basic statistics. Facebook Insights is readily available to all page owners, and allows you to take a look at the posts that work best, what types of content people like, and all sorts of information! It’s easy to export this by clicking Export Data, then selecting a date range. Save it in .xls format and open it in Microsoft Excel, and you’ll be amazed at the data you can find. Try to actively use this data to improve your Facebook page engagement and response. An engaging, friendly, active Facebook page will level the playing field for you as a small business owner. Don’t be intimidated just because big businesses have millions of likes and fans on their pages; the amount of engagement and sincerity that you show is the most important factor, and it’s always better to have a few loyal fans who will share your content and help your page grow fast.
Joel Dearing contributed this guest post on behalf of Ephricon. Joel is a freelance technology writer. He has a penchant for social media’s effects on business and commerce.
Photo by: Codemastersnake