There are many different kinds of social media that a business can use. Not all platforms are suited to each business as they all have their individual uses and strong points. For example, a business that purely focuses on formal text based information will not get much use from Instagram as it is purely photo based, but they may have more success using LinkedIn or Twitter for short pieces of information. Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate the differences between each social media platform and also know how to make the most of each to use it effectively for business. Any business can use Facebook as a good starting point, whether you communicate formally or casually, through text or imagery, Facebook can cater for your and your customers needs. But unless you purposefully make the most of it, any efforts are sometimes useless.
To be successful on Facebook your business first needs to build up a good profile page. This means having a page that conveys your company’s name, purpose and tone from the minute your audience click on to it. Start building this up by adding a good profile image, something that is recognisable and firmly represents your brand, your business logo is usually the best bet. Then take the time to upload a good cover photo, something that either provokes action or tells a little about your business incase it wasn’t already clear. Use a mix of clear and attractive imagery and text to let anyone visiting your page exactly who you are and what you can do for them. Once the visual side of your page is completed start looking at the text. Add in an about page that effectively describes what your company does for its clients. Make it as to the point as possible and use your companies voice throughout, let them know who you are and why they need you. Once they know who you are set your page up to provoke a little action, add custom page tabs in where appropriate for them to explore and include relevant call to action buttons throughout to get them interacting with your page. These buttons can have them visiting your website, signing up for services or even finding out more about packages and products you offer as long as it has them engaging with you.
Now your page looks great, it’s time to stop it from looking so empty. Whether you already have an active following or not it will take some work to put together a posting schedule that works effectively. If your goal is to gain likes, or even make sales a posting schedule that suits your audience is needed as posting when they aren’t on their phones is pointless because they are not going to see it. Even worse, the less your audience engage the less likely Facebook is to show your posts up on their timelines. Use dummy posts to figure out when your audience is most active and use this as a time frame of when is best to post. These times may vary depending on the day and whether it is a weekend so it is important to collect this data for each individual day and update it as regularly as possible. Set out a plan of when you should be posting to grab the attention of your active audience and when you should really be avoiding posting to not be met with a missing audience. Experiment and come up with optimum hours and days to post and even how often to post to get a good feel of what your audience want and respond well to. There’s no point in knowing the optimum time to post to your profile if you’re posting too much and irritating everybody. Eventually a solid plan will come together.
Make the most of any visual content you have available to you. Use relatable and purposeful imagery to add to existing content and make it more noticeable in a news feed. Even videos can be used where possible, pull items off your business You tube channel if there is an active on running, but don’t use ancient videos from when your company first launched that not longer hold any relevant within the brand. Images and videos used should not just be product shots, they need to be things your audience can be interested in and relate to, even making the image the point of the post if possible by using info graphics and good photography made by your company if your budget allows. Using good quality visual content can create posts that are a lot more eye catching than text only posts will, this is because colours and movement draw the eye a lot faster than text surrounded by text. If your website is informative then by all means still use text to give your posts some depth and credibility but the none existent word limit on Facebook does not mean that your followers will be happy to sit and read for extended periods of time, as that is simply not what the platform is for. For more verbal communication your business could even launch live videos, showing off new products or doing instructional videos and using the live interaction time to verbally reply to comments as they come through in real time and encourage more interaction from the people watching for more engagement.
Most importantly to run a successful Facebook page your business needs to be active. Make your brand name known by joining in with conversation and offering informative and helpful input. Alongside this offer good quality content and when you have no content of your own to post find interesting things that others are doing or saying, provoke conversation and try to become part of a community. Sharing from similar pages can be hugely beneficial for building relationships with other businesses that are entertaining a similar audience to you. Be sure to not share from competitors however, as this will just simply kill of your business. The importance of sharing others content also comes from not making your page all about your businesses personal interests instead making it more about what your audience actually wants to be seeing and reading, even if it’s not directly from your creative team. Putting followers first means that they are more likely to engage in content as it will appeal to them, whereas putting a brand’s interests first is likely to turn away customers and loose followers.
Engaging with your followers doesn’t stop at comment sections on posts and videos, it continues into your message box. Be sure to reply fast and make your customer service team as accessible as possible to show your customers that your service is always there ready and waiting to help. Doing so will not only give you a good reputation, but Facebook will also pick up on it rewarding you with a badge that brands you as a fast replying brand. Even if you don’t reply within a matter of minutes, as long as you are reasonably fast you will still be awarded with a badge stating how quickly you actually reply such as ‘usually replies within 1 hour’ which can give your followers a time frame to rely on and put their mind at rest if they start to wonder why they’ve had no reply within half an hour. This expectation puts a good light on your brand, as it means that customers message you already ready to wait the stated time for your response, and any quicker response will be happily noted. Utilise your chats to answer any questions followers or customers may have about your brand, product or services. Doing so saves ques on your customer service phone lines and acts as a quicker form of communication that can include visual aids so more help can be given by your brand’s representative if needed.
Finally, to utilise Facebook to its full potential make full use of its analytics and advertising. Use the responses to your posts to eliminate certain topics for content that your followers seem to like this so you can streamline your approach to content writing. Use Facebook adverts to target the right people to see your product in the right places. Their adverts save you money in comparison to conventional advertising as they allow you to filter your adverts to be put in front of people who meet a certain criteria, a criteria that you are completely free to choose and customise to suit your needs. Finding an audience in this way means you are more likely to convert them to customers as they are more likely to have some kind of internet in the products you are selling. For example, if you were a cosmetic company selling a new kind of makeup, conventional advertising would show your advert to everyone, men or women, adults or children regardless of their interests or whether the advert is appropriate for them. But Facebook allows you to select a more refined audience, so you could target your adverts to women over a certain age, a selection of people that are much more likely to pick up on your product advertising. Another thing you can do rather than advertising is boost your posts, spending a little bit of money to get your content seen by more people. This gains a quick reaction and promotes more engagement with your posts, getting your name further into the community. Doing this may not make as many sales as a direct advert, but it will give you more exposure and the extra engagement will make your organic posts more likely to be seen as time goes on without paying for it to happen.