How do you feel when you view your competitor’s Facebook fan page? Are you happy because you are doing better than he or she is? Or do you wonder what the person is doing that you are not? If it’s the latter, it’s time you started evaluating your Facebook goals.
Identifying Facebook marketing goals
Small and midsize businesses need to have a clear picture of what they want to achieve from Facebook. Almost 20% of company profiles here were made even before their official websites were launched, so their goal could be to provide customers with a means to contact and get to know their business. It could also be that a business’ use for Facebook is to interact with customers. In this case, it is important to make regular posts and reply to people’s comments on your wall. If your goal is to use Facebook as a marketing tool, follow the strategies listed below to get your posts more attention and “likes” from the social network.
How do you get Facebook love?
Because almost everybody has a Facebook account, businesses can easily reach out to loyal customers and connect with new prospects. Business owners may create and manage a fan page or account on their own; but, if they have hired an effective SEO company that’s well versed in social media optimization, they will have a better chance at making their Facebook marketing campaigns successful and keeping their social media presence palpable.
Post it right!
Now, about creating posts and status updates in Facebook. While it is understandable for small and midsize businesses to talk about products and services, it isn’t wise to limit your posts to them. According to an internal study conducted by Facebook, posts related to and not necessarily about a product/service/brand are often the most successful.
Let’s face it: People don’t have the time or inclination to keep on talking about your products and services all day. They would much rather talk about subjects that interest them. It’s your job to focus on their interest, while tying your posts with your niche in some manner.
For example, let’s say you run a local cafe. You might create a virtual one on your Facebook page by offering interesting gossip and news — the kind people would like to read about with their morning coffee. Start discussions and debates about the latest developments in your community, encourage women to share fashion advice, recommend deals, etc. — basically do everything that people would do over coffee in your cafe. Or, if you own a clothing line, you could create a post about New York Fashion Week, or Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek, post pictures of your favorite designs and encourage fans to share their views.
Be seen; get heard!
If you want to maintain a constant presence in Facebook communities and want your posts to be widely shared and liked, you need to make them as interesting as possible.
How? Facebook algorithm EdgeRank Checker is designed in a manner that tracks users’ behavior on Facebook and presents their feeds as per preferences they have displayed. So, if some of your fans have shown a preference for clicking on video links versus images and text, posts with video will get more priority in their news feed. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a good mix of these key elements in your posts.
- Plain-text posts
- Magazine or article links
The idea is to offer something for everyone, so that your updates don’t show up in the news feeds of only a certain section of your fans. It’s also important to monitor the time of your posts. The older your post gets, the farther south it goes in your fans’ news feeds. Track your feedback and make a note of the times when your posts are seen by the maximum number of people. This way, you can ensure that your updates appear among the top few stories when you fans log in.
Engage with fans
Often, people on Facebook respond to a post when they are encouraged to. So, make sure you add a call to action to all of your posts. These are some of the most recommended engagement strategies.
- Ask questions associated with your posts. For example, let’s say you run a travel portal and you want to spread awareness about a new location. You could post a still from a Hollywood movie shot in the location and ask your fans to guess the place.
- Start a debate by making a divisive statement, then ask for fan opinions. For instance, going back to the travel-portal example, you could make a statement such as, “Isn’t a beach holiday more fun than one in the mountains? What do you think?”
- Hold contests (with prizes, of course). Several companies offer applications to conduct contests on Facebook. This is a strategy that can work wonders for new businesses seeking to build a fan base on Facebook. If the prize is attractive enough, people will spread the word.
- Give away free prizes. Everyone loves freebies, and giveaways can bring a lot of word-of-mouth publicity your way. Make sure you spread the word about your free giveaway through other social forums and niche networks as well.
- Initiate a Facebook campaign for a good cause (the charity your business supports, if applicable). This will build your credibility, earn you some involved fans and get you quite a bit of free word-of mouth-publicity.
Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media, a top-rated SEO company in Vancouver, British Columbia, that provides services to businesses across North America. If you want to invite the author to guest-post on your blog, contact the company.