After following the steps in my last article, I hope you’re up and running with your new Facebook page (or a revamped one). You’re already leaps and bounds beyond many of your competitors. But the fun has just begun.
Some printers believe that if you build a social media presence, the business will come to you. That, unfortunately, couldn’t be further from the truth. The social media sphere is expanding every day and that means you need to keep up to get attention. Facebook visitors have lots of options when they log on regarding who to interact with and those they delete from view—so what are you going to do to make your page the one they choose?
Sound daunting? It’s not as difficult as you might think. There are lots and lots of companies on Facebook, but a relatively small number are “doing it right.” By following basic best practices, you’ll be well on your way to getting noticed. Here are the top tips for our trade.
Find Your Champions
There are likely people in your shop on Facebook at this very moment. Even if you don’t see those familiar news feeds on a computer screen, someone is likely scanning a mobile device loaded with some form of Facebook.
Rather than discouraging your hyper-connected employees, make great use of their talents by recruiting them to be your Facebook champions. Not only will they feel important by doing something great for your company that they already love to do, they’ll also be the best fit to keep the conversation alive and ongoing. They will also be more familiar with what works and what doesn’t when it comes to posting information.
Speaking of posts, there are way too many printers out there posting entirely too much sales-related content on their Facebook pages. There’s been debate about it on other social media sites such as LinkedIn. In fact there’s a group on LinkedIn I encourage you to join called Market Your Printing Company, they’ve had a lively discussion on this very topic. The verdict? Not so great.
So how can you avoid being put on the “how not to” list of Facebook companies? Remember one simple rule: social media is a sacred space. This is where friends and family engage, where long lost friends become found. Stay in that mind frame with every post and you’ll find a greater following than you might have imagined. Simply put, provide value with every post—it can be educational, complimentary, inquisitive, entertaining, or worthwhile. Let’s take a quick look at each.
Educational. If you run across a great marketing article, information on how to do direct mail, or a blog post on hot design tips, post it to your Facebook page.
Complimentary. Show your customers love as much as you can. Celebrate business in your community; congratulate your customers whenever you hear they did something great. Post pictures of their accomplishments along with congrats and your viewership will climb even higher.
Inquisitive. Ask a question to get your customers to respond. “What’s the best marketing book you’ve read this year?” might spark some great conversation.
Entertaining. Pictures and videos catch eyes. Keep them light and entertaining—photos of the company picnic sack races, a video of the employees having a little (clean) fun. People love to see the human side of the businesses.
Worthwhile. Here’s where you can add in a soft, soft sale. Post about an offer or promotion you’re running, but be sure that anyone reading your page would find great value in what you’re announcing.
A few other posting tips: Don’t post more than once per day. For every eight posts, only one can be promotional. And respond, respond, respond. There is nothing that will affect your Facebook following quicker than if you ignore customer comments and requests. Pay attention to them as much as you would like them to pay attention to you.
Be sure that your website has links to your Facebook page as well as any other social media sites you might be using. And don’t stop there. Any other marketing you use should make people aware of your Facebook presence.
Once people have found you on Facebook, you can drive traffic the other way as well. Be sure your Facebook page includes a working link your website address, email marketing sign up screen, and every way possible to contact you. Your Facebook page is where you’ll keep your customers engaged and happy with your business, but your website, email, etc. is where you’ll make sales. Each one must feed the other to find true success.
Following the best practices will take you a long way when it comes to Facebook success. But if you want to rocket past your competitors, consider having a Facebook landing page that welcomes visitors to your page. When someone visits your business page, instead of coming straight to your wall full of posts, they can be directed to a page that’s all about saying hello the right way.
Take a look at Dell’s page for a good example of how the B2B world can use landing pages. This is a place to put a call to action, and a much more appropriate place for offers and promotions. Start by rewarding visitors for “liking” the page. For example, your landing page could be an offer for a free personalized notebook if the visitor “likes” your page. Once that visitor “likes” your page, not only will your posts begin showing up in their newsfeed, a note on their wall will tell all their friends that they “like” your business. You can’t get a much better referral than that.
Play a Little Tag
Stretch the viral mention of your company name even further by remembering to tag every photo you post to your business page. A tag means that you identify the person or company in your photo. In turn, that photo gets posted on the “tagged” person’s wall and all their friends and friends of friends get to see the photo. If they click on it, they’ll be redirected to your company’s page. Now factor in a landing page with your offer or promotion encouraging them to “like” your page, and we’re really beginning to understand the massive potential of Facebook as a marketing tool.
The potential for this type of exposure is hard to find elsewhere so take full advantage. Post pictures of your customers as much as you can, post pictures of community events, ribbon cuttings, maybe even a job delivery now and again. Imagine how thrilled your customers will be to see their smiling faces acknowledged on your site, and if they’re one of the handful that may not like this type of publicity, they can easily “untag” themselves from any photo—no long term damage done.
Facebook is more than a phenomena, it is the way in which a large majority of the world is choosing to interact these days. It’s not going anywhere—not any time soon anyway. So it’s time to embrace this monstrous, powerful marketing tool by following some very simple steps. You’ll be glad you did. And your customers will “like” you even better than they did before.
Contributing columnist Tawnya Starr is a former successful print shop owner who is now president of FireSpring’s PrinterPresence. Contact her at Tawnya.Starr@Firespring.com.