If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world, right behind China and India. With a half billion users, this social media site is a network you just can’t escape, nor should you want to.
Simply put, if your business is not on Facebook yet, it should be.
First of all, this is a free service. It costs nothing to create a page for your company, and it allows you to reach your audience in a different way, outside of traditional advertising.
And second, the amount of time and effort required to have a vital presence on Facebook is minimal. However, if you don’t put forth what little effort it requires, you could be losing a big opportunity to connect with prospects and customers and bring in new business.
Your first step is to create an effective page for your company. First, upload an image, which should include your logo. Below that, you’ll enter your company’s information, including location, hours, your specialties and your website’s URL. Facebook pages are constantly being indexed by search engines, so using keywords in the description of your company on your page will help people find you more easily.
Next, you want people to “like” you. Get the word out to your customers that they can now find you on Facebook and invite them to “like” you. That will mean that your Facebook posts will show up in their news feed, they can leave comments on your page, view pictures and videos you upload—basically, engage with you on a nearly daily basis.
Once you have a following on Facebook, though, it’s imperative that you stay active. Don’t just create a page and let it sit idle—that will do you no good. Facebook allows you to position yourself as an expert in your field, so post useful information regularly that will benefit your users. You can post tips for print buyers or pictures of new products that you’re offering. Feature promotions on seasonal items, like Christmas cards or wedding invitations. Upload videos and pictures highlighting your specialties or your best sellers. Run informal surveys by asking questions and inviting your “friends” to post comments. There are a variety of ways that you can stay engaged with your audience. The key is to be active and consistent.
Once you have your Facebook page up and running, direct people to it through your day-to-day interactions. Promote your page by adding a link in your e-mail signature, as well as adding a Facebook link on your website, just like we did for LinkedIn. You can also add a “Find us on Facebook!” line to your direct mail pieces, or have an in-store sign that tells customers to “like” you next time they’re on the social media site.
Facebook is important, but it’s just one part of your social media presence. Using it along with Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn will only push your business in the right direction. Stay active, stay relevant, and stay on your customers’ minds.