Social Media as a Whole
As of March 2016, there are over 2.3 billion active social media users on the planet. These users have an average of 5.5 social media accounts each. One million new users are added every day, that’s 12 per second.
If there are this many people on social media, why aren’t you using it to market your business?
This post is the beginning of a series on how to use different types of social media properly in order to market your business. And not just how to use them, but if you should.
Some businesses and some social media sites will not work well together. It depends on how you run your business and what kind of clients you wish to attract. If your social media isn’t garnering any return for you, you are wasting valuable time trying to build it up.
Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. - Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook is one of the most popular forms of social media and as such, needs to be used carefully.
The first and most important thing to consider is what is the point? What do you want your Facebook page to do? You can either use it to garner a ‘fan base’ and gather likes or use it to click through to your website. Now, this seems like a no brainer, but in reality it’s quite complex.
Gathering likes is what you do if you want to interact with users. You’re bringing your followers into a relationship of sorts with the company, which will likely bring them to you when they need your services. Instead of sending users directly to your website, you’re fostering interest in your company before it’s needed, putting your name on the users’ radar.
Make sure you fill out all of the about information and do so correctly. Facebook has tools that will show your content to those people who will be most interested, whether it be people who already like the page or potential users.
Next you must consider what you are going to post. Blog articles that pertain to your company? Pictures or infographics providing information? Alerts such as emergency closures?
You have to be careful with content. The top reason someone unlikes a brand is because they post uninteresting content. The second reason is that they post too often. So your content is the most important part of your branding on Facebook.
Post videos. The statistics at the beginning of this article showed that videos bring in the most engagement on Facebook, despite being only 3% of the content. If your company can create videos of any sort, they’re likely to get engagement.
Don’t make every single thing about your product. As long as your page is branded, they will associate your content with you. A good rule is the 70/20/10 rule. 70% of your posts are community related (business tips, survey questions/other interaction, local news, recent events, etc.). 20% is content from other businesses (sharing other businesses posts, promoting their businesses or sales, tagging them in a post, etc.). 10% specifically promotes your business (discounts/sales, new products, etc.).
Pin important posts. Running a sale? Pin the post about your sale to the top of the page and keep posting relevant content.
Schedule posts. Most people are on sites like Facebook during the early morning, lunchtime, and in the evening. They’re not at work, and most likely you aren’t either. Scheduling posts during these prime times means that your users are more likely to see it.
Make sure the posts are spaced out. If you’re scrolling through Facebook and you see a bunch of posts by the same person, you’re likely to get bored with them. If people are interested enough, they will go look at past posts or other information.
Keep it short.
Interact with your users. When users know that you will interact with them, they will be more likely to engage with you, give you useful feedback, and create a trusted person-to-person style relationship with your brand.
Moderate spam and negative comments. No one wants to start looking at the comments and see ads, spam, or negative behavior. This will make the experience smoother for you and your clients both.
So who is Facebook going to help the most?
Primarily small businesses. Your small business is likely location specific, which limits the initial audience. Word of mouth will spread your page initially and you can build from there.
Also, niche markets. If your market audience is on Facebook, you can find people directly and build the relationships that people want to see on social media.
Just remember: Facebook is about building relationships with not just current clients, but potential ones. Most of what you do on Facebook should focus on building those relationships rather than using every post to sell something.