It’s no secret that many small-business owners have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. As the Big Daddy of social media with a huge number of users, tapping into that resource for your business could bring in more customers and boost your cash flow.
But over the 10 years Facebook has been in business, it’s become increasingly tougher to actually reach that audience. These days, paying for an ad is often the best way to get seen. That should come as no surprise, though: Facebook is a business, too. And just like any other business, it needs cash flow to keep the doors open.
So what can you do to liven up your Facebook page and get people excited about interacting with your content?
1. Be You
We spend so much time behind a keyboard or phone these days that it’s easy to forget the key objective with social media is to connect with people. Those likes on your page aren’t just stats—each one of them is a living, breathing human being. And people do business with people, not companies.
That means you need to make sure and interject a bit of “you” in the posts on your Facebook page. This can be done in the form of posting appropriate photos or quotes or sharing things that are happening in your life. You also want to make sure to ask questions that will encourage your fans to share a bit of their life with you.
2. Be Consistent
One thing to remember about Facebook is that your fans will rarely return to your actual page after their initial connection. People spend time on the site viewing their news feed and interacting with the posts that appear there. That means your posts need to show up on a regular basis if you’re going to have any opportunity for interaction.
Your best bet is to make sure you’ve developed a Facebook marketing plan as a part of your company's overall marketing strategy. This plan should include what you're going to post and when that will happen. To determine when you should be posting, take a look at your Facebook page metrics. You can find them by looking at your page insights. These statistics will tell you the typical times your fans interact and help you in your planning efforts.
3. Be Engaging
Social media isn’t a one-way communication method. To get your fans to engage with you, you need to make sure you’re present on your page and responding to fan comments and posts. It amazes me how many pages I visit that have fan comments with no response from the page owner. That’s a quick path to a dead page.
Now I know we’re all busy and I’m not implying you should spend your day on your Facebook page, but you do need to make sure you check in two or three times a day—for just a few minutes—to respond to any activity that needs your attention. Put it on your calendar, or set a reminder. Do whatever you need to do to check in and be present. And if you’re worried about ending up spending too much time there (which is so easy to do), set a timer for yourself so you know when to stop.
If you have the opposite problem—no comments, no likes—don’t despair. People are busy, and the news feed can roll by really fast on Facebook. You may be engaging people and not even know it. To check that out, regularly monitor your analytics to see where your website traffic is coming from. You might be surprised at how many people visit from Facebook. And that means they like what you’re sharing.
Social media, and particularly Facebook, isn’t going away anytime soon, and that’s a good thing for small-business owners—these platforms help us get more exposure for our business. But the bottom line is, you don’t really “own” your presence on Facebook. Fans can decide to do anything they want at any time, and you have no control over that.
Knowing that, it’s important you do whatever you can to move your Facebook fans from your Facebook page to your in-house mailing list. An easy way to do that is to make sure you post an update or image at least once a week that entices your fans to click through to your email list landing page so they can get the “special stuff” you only share with the people on your list. Then, once they're on your mailing list, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to connect and ultimately turn those fans into customers.
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