Why do I keep writing about Facebook, I am not a Facebook expert. Yet I use Facebook daily for business as part of my marketing strategy. I do believe that small businesses can generate interest and find new clients via social media and for some of you Facebook is where your target audience hangs out so you need to be there and be active.
The problem is that as a small business owner you may be wasting time on Facebook because what you are doing is ineffective and more damaging than good at times. For example, using a personal profile page to put up a page for your business is not only against the policies of Facebook but it is not an effective way to promote your business. Not to be rude but the first clue is you have to state whether you business is “male or female.” It’s obvious this page is to be used for a person not a business. Facebook realizes that you want to promote your business so they created Business or “Fan” pages for this purpose. There is a choice for every type of business.
So why then would you use a personal profile instead of the appropriate type of business page?
Maybe you have one of these reasons.
Reason number 1: I couldn’t figure out how to make a business page.
Go to any business page and in the upper right hand corner there is a button that says, “Create a Page” or Google, “How to make a Facebook business page” and the link comes right up.
Reason number 2: I didn’t know the difference.
You are not ready to use Facebook as part of your marketing plan.
Reason number 3: I don’t want to be on Facebook, I just want to use it to promote my business.
Sorry, but that is not how it works. People buy from people they know, like and trust. How will they know you and like you, let alone trust you if you are not available to them? Facebook was built on the basis of personal relationships. If you are not willing to be on Facebook personally, then it is not the right place for you to promote your business, use a different avenue.
Reason number 4: It’s easier to get fans.
If it’s a profile, they are not fans, they’re friends. Many of us won’t accept a friend request from a business. Also, you are limited to the number of friends you can have. On a business page you can have an unlimited number of fans.
Reason number 5: I can’t get anyone to “Like” my business page.
Have you given them a reason to “Like” your page? See #9 below.
Here is how I suggest you use Facebook to get the best results.
- Put up your personal profile. Use a current photo that looks like you.
- Connect with friends, family, coworkers, clients. If you are connecting with people you don’t know very well or who you recently met, be sure to send a short, personal note explaining how you know them and why you want to connect.
- Post things that help people get to know you. You don’t have to be too personal but you want people to get to know you so they can like you and trust you, because we know that people buy from people they know, like and trust.
- Interact with your connections. Click like on their posts or comments. Comment on their posts occasionally. All of this needs to be done genuinely. Don’t just comment to comment; comment on things you are genuinely interested in. Yes, this takes time, so does meeting with people in person. Schedule time on your calendar and check in for 15 min. daily and then once a week make a longer visit to Facebook.
- Don’t post too much business stuff on your personal page.
- Put up a business fan page.
- Start inviting your connections from your personal page to your business page.
- Provide interesting and engaging information on your business page.
- Get more people on your business page by:
- putting a link from your website to your business page.
- putting a link on your email signature.
- putting it on you business card.
- running a contest.
10. Consider using ShortStack to build a customer business page – it’s easy.
If you’d like help with your sales and marketing strategy and deciding whether or not to use Facebook as part of it, we would love to help. You can email or call us at 775-852-5020
P.S. Here is a great resource from Hubspot: How to Use Facebook for Business: An Introductory Guide for 2011