Facebook can be a powerful tool for small business, and our friend Shama Hyder of Click to Client (2013 update: Shama’s firm is now called Marketing Zen) shared some outstanding tips in her presentation at BlogWorld Expo.
Tip 1: Create a fan Page, not a personal Profile, for your business.
Fan pages are the best way for small businesses to interact with customer and potential customers on Facebook, Shama said. If you don’t have a Facebook account yet, create one in your own name. Then go create your Facebook Page.
Tip 2. Build your page with your purpose in mind.
Start with the little box that appears under your photo. Put something meaningful about your business in there, because that is the first place most people look on your fan Page, Shama said. Then fill in all the other basic information about your business, and put up a friendly welcome message.
Before we had fan pages, lots of businesses and associations created profiles of their business, just like their business was a person. Unfortunately, this is against Facebook’s terms of service, and it is enough cause to have your profile deleted. Now Facebook is cracking down on these profiles. So that leads us to…
Tip 3. If you have a Profile for an organization, start converting to a fan Page right now.
Slowly ramp down the activity on your old Profile, as you continue to direct people over to the new Page. Shama pointed out that you can use the Notes feature, and tag the people you want to notify about the new Page.
As you start collecting Fans of your Page, you want to convert them. Shama pointed out that there are two types of conversion:
- Convert them into consumers of your information.
- Convert them into clients who pay.
Facebook is better at making people consumers of your info. Then over time, they can become your clients. Since people are becoming consumers of our information, how do we know what type of information people will want to consume and share on Facebook? Ah! Now we’ve come to Shama’s killer secret about using Facebook for small business…
Tip 4. The number one reason people get on Facebook is to showcase their own identity.
If you want to reach people, then tap into this reason. What does your brand say about your customers? How does it look on their profile when they fan you or share your content? Do they like that connotation?
For example, if you live in Alva, Oklahoma, how does it look if you become a fan of Allen’s Liquor Store? How is that different that being a fan of the Candy Bouquet? It’s all in how your fans you want other people to see them, and how you play a part in that.
Tip 5. Facebook is the ultimate tool for sharing success stories. You were wondering how you were going to fill all that blank space on your Page, weren’t you? Well, talk with your customers about how you’ve helped them. Get permission to share their stories, and start posting them to help others.
Tip 6. Facebook Connect is the new superpower.
This is where you integrate your Facebook efforts with your regular website. It’s kind of like a badge or widget to put on your site to share your Facebook Page activity. But it also gives you statistics about your website visitors, and it adds social interaction to your site. Check out more details at Facebook Connect. It really is just what Shama called it: the new superpower.
Thanks to Shama Hyder of Click to Client (2013 update: Shama’s firm is now called Marketing Zen) for sharing such useful information in her presentation.
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Walt Goshert says
Agree about sharing success stories. Facebook is the ultimate place to showcase your FANS.
Hey it’s even called a “FAN” Page…
Make it about your FANS.
Champion your FANS, your clients, how you’ve helped them, what they like, who they are…
Show your FANS you care about them, and they’ll in turn care about you and helping to spread the word about your business.
Becky McCray says
Thanks, Walt. It’s all about telling stories. (People are going to get tired of hearing me say that.)
I totally agree that a Fan page needs to be about the fans. Showcase them, engage them, and above all respect them.
Mark Ijlal says
I am a small business owner. So are all of my friends. And Facebook Pages has literally transformed a large part of our online marketing in the last 14 months. Some things that helped us get more and better business out of our Facebook Pages.
1. Using pictures. Facebook is the largest photo sharing website in the world and for good reason. People love pictures. We get more responses / LIKES / Comments every time we add a picture the Fan Page Updates.
Video is good but requires some interaction with the user which sometime dampens the response. For example if somebody is at work, they can check a picture out and write a quick comment or LIKE it but probably wont be able to watch a 3 minute video without bothering their co-workers with the sound.
2. Running very targeted and local ads. FaceBook Ads are cheap and presents’ targeting that was simply not available before them. In the last 14 months we have seen Facebook Ads just being a ‘business discovery’ tool (“Hey look at us, we are right here in your neighborhood’) to actually generating good leads as people are becoming more and more comfortable in clicking the ads out of Facebook.
We are still using them for both: directing new folks to our Pages and to our landing pages outside Facebook.
3. Make a landing page. Facebook lets you create custom tabs that you can add to the top of your business page with a little HTML knowledge. You can make a Page in any HTML WYSIWIG editor and cut and paste the code.
4. Ask for business. Well embarrassingly enough… it took us sometime to figure this out that it is O.K. to ask for business right on the Fan Page and as long you don’t make the whole page about promotions ( I see restaurants just pushing coupons or real estate agents just putting links to their listings) you will do just fine.
Just adjust your expectations on the responses that you will be getting back. If you have 100 fans – you will not 100 emails instantly
Becky McCray says
Mark, thanks for another value-filled comment. I appreciate you adding your own experiences.