In an era of growing Facebook and social media use from both regular folks and big businesses, trying to find a place for your business online can be a challenge. Business owners must figure out how to make the most of all that Facebook has to offer.
1. Start a Facebook Page and Use It to Find Customers: All you need to sign up for a Facebook account is an email address and a desire to network. Then, you can create a Facebook page in a few easy steps. You need to set up an account specifically to use in marketing your practice or firm. The fact that people list their physical location on Facebook means you can easily see if someone commenting on a page is a potential customer. Facebook does allow you to send geo-targeted status updates and inbox updates – inbox updates appear in a secondary tab in the Facebook message inbox.
2. Provide Useful Information to Potential Customers: You can share as little or as much information as you want on your Facebook Page. Depending on where you want to target online traffic or what field of practice you are in. Your information should include the basics like physical addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, or a profile of you and/or your fellow Owners. But before you start sharing status updates, photos, and other media on the internet, make sure you figure out what your marketing strategy is going to be. You must think systematically about what you post, this information is what appears to users in their news feeds and generates the most conversation. Are you going to ask questions of your customers? Are you going to provide tips? Are you going to send out promotions?
3. Engage Your Customers: Businesses with the largest number of fans update their statuses on a regular basis, post videos and ask questions, and then respond back via posts or comments. A good practice uses status updates daily — sometimes several times daily — with news, tips, holiday wishes and sales pitches and responding to fan comments. These conversations are important and if you don’t attempt to sustain those conversations fans will stop paying attention to you. Facebook requires active participation on your page; you will be rewarded with more online traffic, and eventually more clients. Remember, while Facebook marketing is powerful, it costs time (and money if you use Facebook advertising to promote your page). It is more cost effective to hire an agency familiar with your industry to post all RSS feeds that will also place on your Facebook, Google+ and other social media sites.
You need to include Facebook into your marketing plan. It needs to be part of a marketing strategy that incorporates all media elements that make social marketing successful.
4. Measure Your Results Based on Your Goals: Facebook allows you to have an opportunity to get to know potential and current clients in a very personal way. You can even survey your clients and discover how they use your Facebook page. Remember the viral nature of Facebook — what starts out as a simple post can end up with hundreds of comments. If you post stories on Facebook that link to your web site, does it drive good traffic? Is your phone ringing with new business?
5. Optimize Your SEO Traffic: Just because you have a web site doesn’t necessarily mean a potential customer can find it, or that it is easy to use or have information they are looking for. Facebook is an excellent tool to increase online traffic and I can help point out a few key ways in which your page design can affect your search engine optimization. For instance using the “About” text box, which is the highest place in the page to add custom content, keyword-dense content will contribute to your online traffic. The “Info” area is also a great place to add this type of content, especially as overview, mission and other web sites relevant to your site. There are many additional ways to make your Facebook page pop during search engine queries, these are the basics.
6. Consider Buying Facebook Advertising: Another way to drive potential customers to your Facebook Page is to buy advertising (the equivalent to Googles PPC) on Facebook. You can very specifically target ads to a variety of demographics, including, country, state and city, gender, age, workplace, and much more. Using your industries statistics or a vertical or niche you have decided to target is easy with Facebook advertising. Experiment with different targeting campaigns, and different styles of ads, will give you that magic combination, which will make your phone ring with new customer.
7. Plan Events for Your Fans: Use your page to let clients know about events going on at your practice or firm, such as clinics, workshops, court dates or other public events. Fans or friends of your Facebook page can then see the events and RSVP, allowing you to get a better idea of how many people are going to show up. These can be free or paid events, think of the possibilities!
What About You?
Do you have a Facebook page? Why is Facebook Blue? Are you still waiting for your friends to join so that you have someone to talk to?