LikeThere aren’t many business owners who haven’t heard of Facebook and many use it personally. But if you’re not using it as part of your marketing communications then you are missing a BIG opportunity. Because Facebook is not just about videos of kittens and photos of nights out that might be regretted in the future. Figures released last September revealed that they have 1.35 billion active monthly users. To put that in context, if Facebook wAS a country it would have the third biggest population globally, behind China and India.

So without a doubt your customers and prospects are on Facebook and an effective Facebook strategy will help you get more leads.

If that sounds a little daunting we’ve asked David Standing from mybizadvisor for his advice. To help you get the most out of the time and resource that you spend on Facebook he has written eight steps to help you get more exposure for your business, enquiries and, of course, sales.

  1. Create a Business Page

Setting up an effective Facebook Business Page is a must! You should not be promoting your business from your personal page. This is in direct breach of Facebook’s terms and conditions and you run the real risk of them shutting your page down. But also it doesn’t make sense. Business pages are designed specifically and come with numerous benefits. For example there is no limit on the number of fans whilst personal pages are limited by the number of friends you can have. And you want as many fans as possible so that your posts go to people who have expressed an interest in your business. Also the content on business page is indexed which helps with your Search Engine Optimisation – more on that later. Finally business pages come with great reporting tools which will give you valuable insights and help with your posting strategy going forward.

  1. Quality over Quantity

Now you have your Business page you need great content. The best guidance here is quality over quantity. Social media users love variety and no one wants to be sold to all the time.

Write a mix of posts which are entertaining, educational, promotional and display your brand. Also if you have other content such as blog posts or videos include those too. Images and photos will make your posts visually appealing too.

You can schedule these posts in services such as Hootsuite.com. Providing you don’t want the more complex levels of functionality, these services are often free. This means that you can write your posts and schedule them to appear at the most appropriate times. This is an excellent way to have a framework of posts in place which you can build upon with topical material as that arises. And if you do get side tracked with other business matters you are confident that your page will still look lively and be a place to visit.

  1. Facebook-only offers

To reward your fans for their loyalty consider periodically running Facebook only offers. This will further incentivise your fans to visit your page regularly. These offers don’t need to be expensive just relevant for your Facebook fans. For example free post and packaging for everyone who orders today with the keyword Facebook. Or give away a free sample of a new product. If you are a location based business incentive people to visit you.

  1. Use Facebook pages to get more leads

You can add your Facebook fans to your mailing list if you direct them to website or landing page with a relevant offer. To get the offer the visitor needs to give you their email address and voila you now have their details to keep in contact in the future. This list also has value if you want to add Facebook advertising to your marketing plan. More on that later.

  1. Facebook gives you a mobile web presence

Increasingly Facebook users are accessing the site via their Smartphones. Indeed some only access Facebook on their mobile! So Facebook ensures that their content is mobile friendly. This helps your business look current and is another compelling reason why it’s important for your business to have a presence on Facebook.

  1. Improved SEO

You want your business to appear when website browsers type relevant searches into search engines such as Google. Facebook Fan Pages are indexed; this means that some of your Facebook posts are indexed as well. Of course you really want to direct search traffic to your website or even better a landing page, but having a Facebook presence is also important.

  1. Conversations with consumers

Whilst having a framework of posts scheduled is important (Step 2) Facebook also offers the opportunity to have ‘conversations’ with your fans. By asking open questions and then responding to comments you will generate real engagement. Another benefit of a business page is that you can give other trusted people editorial or admin rights so you can spread the work load. Students are ideal for this task if you want weekends or evenings covered for example. Of course they will need guidance and training but they are likely to already be social media savvy.

  1. Facebook Ads

Lastly you can advertise promotions and offers using Facebook adverts. And if you think about all the information that Facebook knows about its users you will understand that these can be incredibly targeted. You can target on demographic information, geographical location, interests and behaviours. This is another massive topic but there is lots of online help with this.

Remember earlier we talked about collecting email addresses for your database? Facebook allows you to upload email addresses as part of creating an audience to target. They will match these addresses against those that people use to login to Facebook. And then even better allow you to create a look-a-like audience. In other words you can say to Facebook ‘show my advert to a larger audience which are similar to the list that I’ve uploaded’.

Want to learn more? Join our free webinar!

For more ideas on how to get more sales from Facebook we’d like to invite you to our FREE webinar. This interactive online discussion led by David Standing from mybizadvisor will let you gain more information and also give you the opportunity to ask David any questions you have.

* Please note change of date for the webinar. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

The webinar will take place on Monday 16th March 2015 at 11am. If you would like to take part, you can claim your free place by registering. Email jennifer@2apublishing.co.uk with your name, company, email address and telephone number to claim your FREE place today.