I attended a FABULOUS Networking luncheon yesterday sponsored by Our Common Thread , where I am a proud member. We were not only inspired by our guest speaker, Arleen Scavone, the owner of Sweet Arleen’s (yes, the Cupcake Wars winner) but also by the amazing group of women who attended this event.
As I was schmoozing with everyone and explaining that I’m a Facebook Consultant, I realized that I kept using the term “engagement” and people were giving me blank stares. It’s my fault for forgetting that it’s a commonly used term for ultimate wedded bliss (or a really smokin engagement ring), but alas it really has two meanings. When I say “engage” I mean getting people involved, starting a conversation, having a 2-way dialogue.
So let’s talk a bit about “Engagement” on Facebook. I really think there’s this mystery surrounding Facebook, specifically for Business Pages. I get asked the following all the time: 1) How do I get people to “like” my Page and 2) How do you know what to post? Here are a few tips to hopefully shed some light.
How do I get people to “like” my Business Page? – There are many ways to achieve this.
Email Campaign – If you have an existing clientele, you can do an email campaign that is specifically for Facebook. You can send an email out to everyone asking them to “like” your new Facebook Page. You can offer up something special for liking your page (e.g. a discount or percentage off, a free voucher, etc). In your email, be sure to include what your clients can look forward to on your Facebook page. Maybe you’ll have a live chat session once a week to answer all of their questions, or maybe provide specific tips on certain days (e.g. gardening tips on Monday, recipes on Tuesday). Get them excited about being a fan.
Tell Your Friends – If you have a Facebook Business Page that means you already have a personal page. Tell all of your friends to come visit your Business Page and support you. Be sure that on your Personal Page the section where it says “works at” is filled in with your Business Page information so people can just click on that and they land on your business page. Use the network you have to start building your base.
Facebook Ads – These can be very effective for generating engagement on your Business Page. The beauty of Facebook Ads is that you can be so laser focused as to whom you want to target. When they click on your ad, they can land right on your Facebook Page OR they can land on one of your custom tabs (one of the many great features of the new Facebook Timeline format).
How do I get the conversation started? – Remember that Facebook is a “social” platform so people want to have fun. This doesn’t mean that what you post should always be light entertainment. You should do a combination of industry relevant posts and just plain ole fashion fun stuff. So how do I get industry relevant posts? Do you read? My guess is “yes.” Do you read trade publications, listen to NPR, read The Einstein Report (okay the last one I threw in to see if you were paying attention). Don’t you think your fans would like to know what’s happening with your business? For example, if you’re an interior designer, tell your fans what the latest in backsplash colors is? If you’re a mechanic, tell your fans the latest automotive news. Comment on articles that you’ve read and ask what your fans think. Make sure your content is fresh and that means change it up and post an article one day, a video another day and maybe a great photo the next. The most frequently opened Facebook Posts are video, photos, images and then text (yes, in that order). So start getting creative. Even if you hate how you look on video, suck it up and make one (on your smart phone….nothing fancy). My morning posts are always helpful tips and information to help small businesses and in the evening I always do something fun. People start to see a pattern and will rely on that.
Above all, I want everyone to remember that it takes time to cultivate engagement (the conversation). You can’t just walk up to someone and say “Hi, I’m Randi and I want you to be my customer.” I wish it worked that way. It takes time to build trust, to create brand recognition, to create a loyal following. But when it happens it is a beautiful thing.
I hope this was helpful. Please stop by my Facebook Business Page and look around. Click on the custom tabs and sign up for a Free Consultation or get a great Facebook Cheat Sheet. You can also visit my website, The Social Calling, and get to know me a little better.
And remember…If your customers aren’t talking about you, you should come talk to me.