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The majority of business, including home-based businesses now have a Facebook page, and for good reason. Most people have a personal Facebook page, and whether they post their own updates or not, it’s often where they get their news and information, and stay connected with the companies and brands they like. In fact, checking Facebook is one of the first things many people do in the mornings.
What many people don’t understand, and makes them initially uncomfortable with the idea of creating a Facebook page for their business, is that your personal Facebook page and your Business Facebook page are separate. Yes, you need to create personal Facebook account to create your business account, but you do not need to post to your personal account, or even need to add friends to it. No information on your Business page will ;link to your personal account and so you don’t need to worry about customers seeing your pictures of your recent trip to Cancun or of your pet poodle.
Think of your Facebook Business page as free advertising. There are options to do paid ads, but other than a little bit of your time each week to consistently post something, there doesn’t have to be any cost involved. But we do want to highlight that part of the key to your Facebook success is consistency. Simply creating the page is not enough, you must be posting on a regular basis, and replying to messages if they get sent through. This helps customers get to know you, as well as to let them know you’re an active business (i.e. not closed down).
Before you can set up your business Facebook page, you’ll need to create a personal account if you haven’t already. If you’re just going to use Facebook for your business, you can create this account using your business email address. Whether you’re creating a new account or using an existing one, you’ll want to set your personal page to Private. What you don’t want is customers coming to your personal page and viewing that information and content. Even if you’re not posting a lot or at all, there is still a bit of information about you, and you do want to keep those two pages separate.
Filling in all the details about your business is hugely important. Especially if this is your website. All that information helps customers find you and contact you. Whether it’s including a physical address if you have a storefront, or a phone number customers can call you on. But also including your website if you have one, business hours, etc.
You’ll also be asked to complete a short and long description. Take some quality time to define this. What you input into these descriptions will determine how and if customers find you. What are the keywords that you expect your customers to input in the search bar to find what you do? If you are in a niche market, make sure you include that in your descriptions. For example if you create bling t-shirts for dance and cheer. Make sure “bling” “dance” and “cheer” are part of your description. A great exercise is to write a list of all the keywords that you think define your business, and then include a minimum 5 in your description.
Before publishing your descriptions and page, take a few extra moments to go over all the spelling and grammar on your page. While to many spelling and grammar seem inconsequential, it can actually hurt your credibility if you have errors in the copy. If you’re not confident with your writing, ask someone else to do a pass and make corrections.
What do you want people to do? Direct people to the action you want them to take after visiting your page. Do you have a website that they can order directly from? Do you want them to give you a call? Send you a message? You can add buttons to your website that will direct customers to the actions you want them to take.
Part of completing your Facebook page is to input some quality images. This gives potential customers real examples of what you can do. There are a few places to input images. First you have a profile image. Typically you’ll want to put a company logo here, but if you don’t have one, you can use an image of yourself – if that’s part of your brand. If your brand is more professional you may want to consider spending a little money to get a designer to create you a logo.
You also have the image at the top of the page. This image is a little bit bigger and allows you to create an image showcasing multiple products. Do some research on how to take quality photos. Depending on your cell phone, it may produce reasonably good photos, but find out how to improve them. Find out what lighting works best, etc.
You want to think of your Facebook page as a digital marketing tool and as a communication tool. If someone sends you a message through Facebook, make sure you reply within a timely manner. Facebook does display response times on your page, the faster the response time, the better customers will feel about doing business with you. This doesn’t mean you need to be glued to your computer, but set aside two times a day where you check Facebook, perhaps when you’re also responding to emails. The same thing with comments on your posts – whether it’s a question or a comment, respond back.
You may come across a few complaints or negative comments on your Facebook page. These are actually really good opportunities to turn a negative customer into an advocate. If you made a mistake, apologize, and then ask the customer to call or email you so that you can resolve the issue right away. When responding, we prefer the “I” approach, as opposed to the “we” – “I’m sorry” as opposed to “We apologize”. The “I” approach means you’re owning the issue, it’s more personal.
If you handle complaints in a positive manner, it can have a positive impact on both the customer who made the complaint and potential and existing customers.
Ask any Social Media manager and they’ll suggest you post at least 2-3 times per week. You don’t want to overwhelm your followers, but you also don’t want them to forget about you. Plus keeping it down to 2-3 ensures that you’re not stressing about what to post and that you’re posting your best content.
You don’t have to follow a strict schedule of posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, for example, but you may find setting a schedule helps keep you organized.
Facebook also lets you schedule posts. So if you’re planning a promotion to start next Monday, you could create the post now, schedule it to go out on Monday at 9am, and then not have to worry about it over the weekend.
Once your Facebook page is all set up, you need to get people to start liking and following your page. A quick way to get your friends and family to like and follow is through a direct Facebook invite. Facebook makes this easy for you, or you can also send them a personal message, especially if they’re not aware that it’s your business.
You’ll also want to start getting your customers to your page. You can send out an email, letting them know you have a Facebook page and you’d appreciate it if they followed you. You can also include that information at the bottom of your emails, so that going forward, all communication with leads, potential customers, and customers all include that information. If you have a storefront shop you can ask people as they come in “Don’t forget to like us on Facebook” or ask them to “check-in” when they’re at your store. It increases your visibility to that customer’s Facebook followers.
If you do post your customer’s’ orders send them a link to the post “Hey I just posted a photo of the completed jackets. Here’s a link to check them out.”
If you have a website, make sure there’s a link to your Facebook page on your website. Your website may have a lot of static content, so you want to direct customers to your Facebook page so they can see new content.
Join other Facebook groups. Whether you’re in a niche market or there’s a small business group for your local area, join the group. You don’t have to be excessively active, but what it allows you to do is introduce yourself to the group: “Hey my name is Mark, and I own a small custom apparel business. We do X, Y, and Z. If you need anything for your business please let me know.” Other times people will post to these groups asking if anyone does the service they need, whether it’s window washing or custom tees. This gives you an opportunity to respond, and ask them to give you a call.
Boosting a post is your paid marketing. You can create a post, such as a promotion, and opt in to boost that post. It’ll put it at the top of your followers Facebook feeds, and it will treat it like an advertisement so that the tags you select (such as your niche market, custom apparel, etc.) if another user is interested in those things, they may see that post show up in their feed as “sponsored”. This means that your post could reach potential customers as well as your followers. Be selective in what you choose to post, we highly recommend only doing promotions or announcements about events. The things that will generate you profit and/or new customers. You can select how much you want to spend on the ad, but ensure that you’re considering this as part of your marketing budget.
Think of your Facebook page as part of your Customer Experience. It’s another opportunity for you to engage with your customers and to build a relationship with them. By making it a part of your marketing strategy you have the opportunity to showcase the work you do and the potential to reach more customers.
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