Seven out of ten computer users have an Facebook account. The average person is on Facebook for 20 minutes a day. Hence there is massive potential for friends and acquaintances to have a huge influence in terms of what their friends buy and who from. Therefore every business that makes sales to the public should be easy to find on Facebook and positioned as a willing participant in the Facebook community.
Therefore, especially as this can be done for free, if your business is consumer facing it should feature on Facebook. Make your business easy for social users to find, share and to interact with.
Business pages on Facebook must reflect the goals of your business. For you their sole purpose is to drive potential customers to your website. Executed intelligently this offers your business another route to market for free.
Consider these points when drafting your page:
- Does it engage your ideal customer?
- Does the content help your target audience?
- If you have been mentioned by third parties e.g. in the local press ensure this is referenced, ideally with a link to the article.
- Exploit anything topical.
- ALWAYS ask for likes for anything you publish.
- Content – think like a journalist, associate your offering with the look and feel of the page. Always ensure its about telling a compelling story that will resonate with your target customers.
- Responses – you must reply promptly and with integrity.
- Ensure good photographs are used – stock photography essential – make them as compelling as possible to start a conversation.
- Simplify – assume your audience have Attention Deficit Disorder.
- Brand everything with your logo (but don’t over logo).
- Ask family and friends to like your company to start things off.
- Always try to issue content people will share (but not too many cat videos) ideally ‘the voice of the community’ will sell your products or service.
- Blogs engage. They do not overtly sell, if you just say ‘buy my stuff’ people switch off. However ensure you write two key messages about your products every month.
- Ideally post pictures of ‘fans’ daily (use their thumbnails from FB)
Plan for the month then do it. Every Facebook post carries links to your website where the same content is covered (e.g ‘Find out more’) or potentially just a link to your contact form.
Half of all people who have a computer use have a Google+ account (though it is hard to avoid if you use Google or have Chrome as your browser). But only one in five are active users (Q2 2013) 80% of them log in at least once a week. 60% log in every day. Users tend to be higher earners and techies. Male dominated (60 to 65 percent).
It is ideal to target people who can be motivated to spend money to solve a pressing problem and who have no issue identifying their problem in public.
- Add people and competitor organisations to your circles then review it every week to see what they are doing.
- Add people who are your best customers or people in your niche and see what they are looking for/talking about.
- Share Circles – you can share a circle with someone else, many people will simply circle you back so you can see who is in their circles. You can add new circles every day. You can search Google for circles who may contain suitable customers for your business.
- Look for shared circles that are already curated this will make it much easier to drip feed in something to your benefit without the hassle of caring for the circle yourself.
- Google+ Communities – 63,000 have identified themselves. Sort members by curators (gold star next to their name). Tactic; contact a moderator and offer to do a Google Hang Out for their group – your presentation would add value to them and not necessarily salesy. You conclude with ‘If you want to find out more why not check out my website or circle me to see my regular postings on this subject’.
- Content – 99%of Google + content will be recycled from your website and blog. You can also use other peoples YouTube content. Google actively encourages sharing. Promote yourself using other peoples content – re-share it after putting your own spin/comments/link on it
- Google Help Outs – consider (if appropriate) offering some advice (for free or for a small charge) answering peoples questions using hang outs.
- ‘Google Authority’ – ensure your content is claimed as yours and has your thumbnail picture next to it. Even if anyone copies it, your content will always stay top.
- Google+ Events – enables you to add an invitation to a webinar for example into someone’s diary and this helps to keep you ‘top of mind’. You can also look at past events to see who was on them and you circle them to invite to your hang out. Send people an event page and there is a good chance they will show up.
- Google+ Direct – investigate how to use this feature to get your Google+ details showing in search results on the top right had side of natural links
Useful if you have something meaningful to communicate regularly. Otherwise consider creating a Twitter account to claim your name and then insert a placeholder page to direct people to your website or blog.
Become a recognised authority – templates available – this can be a powerful means to build new business in a crowded/mature market.
Essential to set up a personal page should you not have already done so. Note however you are only allowed one business to be linked to your personal ID – decide which business and have a company page on Linked In which links to your website. See the ‘Interests’ tab, click on this then click at the top left of the screen ‘add company’
Please note you must have a company email address to proceed and not a personal email address e.g. Gmail.
Essential to have your own YouTube channel and video content. You can make your own videos or commission a third party to produce these for you.
Useful to be everywhere on the web. Pintrest has a much stronger following with women (the reverse of Google+). Note for example images can contain your mobile number for people to text their interest. Helpful for SEO and becoming ubiquitous across the web. For example, it is useful to publicise your business with dramatic pictures of insurance claims.
About this heads up
This is a very brief overview, for more detail and an explanation how social media could work for your business please contact Dennis Haggerty.
Update 2014 – having advised a business to focus on social media and Facebook in particular, I am pleased to report this has become their main source of leads that convert to customers. It is the perfect media for their customer demographic.
- Ask people to ‘share’ they will
- Mention it would be nice to see ‘likes’ – they really do make a difference
- Targetted advertising on FB is much cheaper than Google Adwords
You will be surprised how important FB can be to a local business and a self generating source of customers. Please get in touch to find out more.
Update 2015 – I have spoken to many people in business who have set up their social media, but after some initial enthusiasm, support has fallen off and they don’t see how it can offer value. Universally the problem relates to their Social Media strategy because it is considered separate from their marketing strategy – this article contains 10 things you need to do to make social media to boost sales, service and revenue.
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