Being successful online involves more than just having a great website for your business—it also involves taking advantage of all the possibilities that social media provides. No social media channel is more important than Facebook when it comes to reaching both your existing and potential customers. Creating and maintaining a great Facebook fan page is a great first step for integrating social media with your existing marketing strategy. Fan pages are completely free for businesses, but you can also target specific demographics with paid advertisements after you’ve got the basics down.
Facebook has over 802 million active daily users and over 150 million of those are in the US. It’s likely that a lot of your existing customers use Facebook, along with millions of other people who may be interested in your company. Your Facebook fan page is an excellent way to address comments and questions from both existing users and new prospects. How can you make your business stand out among the 25 million active businesses operating pages on the platform?
Follow these four easy steps to create a great Facebook fan page.
1. Select a great cover image
Chances are that you already have a lot of fantastic assets that you gathered while creating your website. Keep all of your brand communications in harmony by remaining consistent with colors, logos, and wording. Someone reaching your Facebook fan page from your website, an advertisement, or a business card should feel that they are dealing with the same organization.
Use a properly formatted and prepared version of your logo for your profile image, but don’t neglect your cover image. The large dramatic image that stretches across the top of the page is not only your visitors’ first impression of you, but it is also a great opportunity to make an emotional impact or even promote a timely special or event. There are lots of fantastic examples of creative ways to use your cover photo that you can use for inspiration.
2. Vary the types of updates
Your Facebook fan page is a great place to tell your story and to share behind the scenes photos with your customers. Make sure mix up the types of posts you place on your timeline. Contrary to common belief, not every post needs a photo. Try to slip in text-only posts, share hyperlinks to articles that you think would interest your audience, and even test posting original video or audio clips to engage your customers.
Depending on your audience, different types of posts will give you different results. Some types updates will get you tons of likes and shares while others fall flat. If you are having trouble thinking of ideas for types of posts, KISSmetrics did a fantastic write up about what types of posts get shared most often on Facebook.
Facebook Insights is a great analytics engine included free with all fan pages. You can use it to easily identify trends and patterns such as what time of day you have the most success or what types of posts are getting seen, clicked, or liked the most.
3. Make regular updates
Placing different types of posts on your timeline is very important, but if you only post a few times a year, you will not enjoy any of the benefits of your fan page. For best results you need to update your timeline regularly. According to Buffer, a company that provides one of the leading solutions for managing your social media channels, you want to “strike the balance between informative and annoying.” They recommend that small businesses post to Facebook twice a day, including on weekends.
Create an ongoing series to help lighten the content creation burden. Perhaps you can prepare a number of inspirational image quotes and then post them once a week. Or perhaps there are natural opportunities for content built into your business like when new movies and music are released every Tuesday, or if farm-fresh flowers arrive at your storefront every Friday. Be creative. And don’t forget to share content from others as well—this will make it easier for you to regularly update your page and help you build relationships on Facebook.
4. Answer questions quickly
Never forget that your Facebook fan page is a direct channel of communication between you and your audience. Customers will often post support or presales questions directly to your timeline or in the comments on your status updates. Answering questions quickly can help you strengthen relationships with your existing customers.
Furthermore, when new potential customers visit your fan page, they’ll see that you answer public questions, which builds a sense of trust and increases the chance that they will do business with you.
Obviously not all of the comments posted on your page will be positive, but please resist the urge to delete negative comments. Instead, be diplomatic and give the comment some attention to try to win over the author. Demonstrate to the world that you care about what your customers think about you.
Marketing in today’s world is complicated, but some things are relatively simple. Facebook is a monster opportunity for a small business. Your friends, your neighbors, and, most importantly, your customers are using Facebook nearly every day. If you can place a little time and energy into implementing the suggestions from this post, you will be well on your way to using your Facebook fan page to strengthen your relationship with your existing customers and to begin to connect with new ones.
He currently serves as the Multi-talento in Jimdo's San Francisco office, solving problems, educating users, and helping to grow awareness about Jimdo, the easiest website builder on the web.