Facebook is a real marketing tool for a small business. But sometimes businesses just don’t use it right. Are you? Let’s take a look at three key issues.
It’s a Business Page: So Get Some Business
Decide what you want from your Facebook page. Do you really want to create a Facebook page simply so you can post endless status updates? Engagement is nice, but profits are better. Yes, you can use your Facebook page for customer service, and engaging your fans is a must, but it’s a must to a means. Your Facebook page should be a source of business, not a source of time consumption.
Therefore, you should find ways to convert your passive Facebook fans into active customers:
- Highlight your products with a short blurb and link to your product page on your website.
- Make special offers and give special invitations to your fans
- Occasionally ask for them to purchase something
- Ask for their email addresses so you can send them offers and invitations
For more on how to use social media to get business, listen to this podcast on The Social Media Marketing Formula.
Get Some Clickage
There are two settings in your fans’ Facebook news feed: Top News and Most Recent. The Most Recent setting shows the content published by Facebook friends in chronological order. The most recent status updates appear at the top. Top News filters content based on what Facebook determines is most interesting to that Facebook user. This is very important for you to know: Top News is Facebook’s default setting. It’s quite possible that only a small portion of your status updates are actually being seen by your fans.
How does Facebook determine which content is most interesting; the content that appears in Top News? This is the explanation from Facebook:
The News Feed algorithm bases this on a few factors: how many friends are commenting on a certain piece of content, who posted the content, and what type of content it is (e.g. photo, video, or status update).
What that means to you, is that the more physical interaction you get with your Facebook status updates, the more your status updates will be seen by your fans and their friends. You must provide status updates that motivate fans to click, like, comment or share.
Publish content that encourages discussion or clicks. Ways to do this are: Asking (interesting) questions, trivia contests, caption contests, posting links to interesting / helpful articles, posting videos (requires a click to play), posting photos that fans want to click to see the larger version, asking fans questions they cannot refuse like, “what’s your favorite…”. Also, don’t be afraid to occasionally ask your fans to click that “share” link on each post.
But what about Most Recent?
The Facebook news feed displays the most recent 10-15 status updates from friends and business pages. For my personal stream, that’s about 15 minutes worth of status updates. I have double the number of friends as the average Facebook user, so let’s say it’s 30 minutes worth of status updates for the average user. Do you see the opportunity here? If you’re not appearing in Top News, you can still make an impact in Most Recent, but you have to frequently post status updates.
Most businesses are under-posting on Facebook. You are probably not posting frequently enough. You should at least be posting daily, and probably multiple times per day. But how much is too much? You can’t post every 30 minutes or you will start annoying your fans. I recommend you post between 2-5 times per day, every day. Yes, even on Sunday. In fact, I conducted a study of Facebook interaction and found that Sunday was actually the best day for businesses to post on Facebook.
To determine when you should post your status updates, see my article: When is the best time to post on Facebook? It includes a free tool to help you determine when is the best time to post those 2-5 status updates per day.
Custom Tabs are Overrated
Don’t spend too much time or money on tabs. Interaction with your fans happens in the stream. Your fans are likely to visit your actual page only one time, when they first like your page. Other than that, they may never return to your page again and from that point forward, only see your status updates.
Spend your time figuring out ways to engage your fans through your status updates. Ask questions, share interesting links. Post personal video messages.
Landing Tab: This is the one place you want to invest in a tab for your page. Remember, this may be the only time a fan ever visits your page. Invest some time and money here. Check out Coach’s Facebook page for inspiration.
Are you using Facebook right?