Saturday, August 31, 2013

Attract New Business & Create Loyal Customers with Facebook

There are hundreds of millions of people using Facebook, and half of them check it every day. Your customers and prospects are on Facebook, you should be too. And what's even better…it's free!

Let's take a look at how you can use Facebook to create a loyal customer base that can lead to repeat sales and customer referrals.

Why Facebook?
  • First off, it's free -- there are millions of users -- take advantage of this.
  • Most of your customers are probably already using Facebook. Go where they are.
  • When people "like" your page, it shows up on their Facebook profile and gets shared with their friends. This gives your business "soft" referrals and potentially new customers.
  • Unlike a business website, which is focused on promoting products and services, Facebook helps you create a personal relationship with your "fans". People use it to share their thoughts, opinions and experiences.
  • Use Facebook to make meaningful connections and build trust. Building these relationships fosters loyal customers.
  • Facebook gives you instant feedback from your customers.

Tips for using Facebook
  1. Create a "Business" Facebook page: First, you need to set up the right type of Facebook page. There are two types of profiles on Facebook: individual (for personal friends) and business pages. Businesses cannot set up individual profiles.
  2. Brand Your Page: There are a few customizations you’ll want to make after you set up your page. You’ll need to add a “cover” to your business page which is the large banner image across the page. This is where pictures of your products and storefront come in handy. Your “profile picture” displays in the lower-left corner of your cover picture and is also the image that your customers see on their Facebook news feed. Most businesses use their company logo as their profile picture to help build brand recognition.
  3. Engage … Don't Hard-Sell: What should you post? Remember, this is about creating a relationship with your fans. Post pictures of you and your staff at work or a work-related event, share funny stories or ask fans their opinions. A great way to talk about your business in a social way is to highlight your customers. Find out how your customers are using your products and services, and share it with your fans. The key is to not hard-sell your fans. However, you should promote events, share special discounts and deals, and keep your customers current on the latest trends in your industry.

Quick Solution: Use a social media manager, like Express Email Marketing, to schedule your status updates. These applications let you manage your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts all in one place.

Tips to Increase Fan Engagement

Most effective call to actions: These are the five top ways Facebook fans like to interact. Post content that asked them to do these things:
  1. "Like" something
  2. "Caption" something
  3. Share this
  4. Yes or No
  5. Thumbs up
Best day to post: Although it does vary by industry, in general weekends have the highest rate of people interacting with posts, with Wednesday having the lowest.
Best times to post: Between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. – these are your fans' non-busy hours.
Keep it short: Shorter posts (80 characters or less) get 23% more interaction than longer posts.
Post pictures: Fans interact with post with pictures the most.
Ask questions: Questions generate the most comments.

An effective social media strategy is one that is active and up to date. When you share engaging, interesting content with your audience, you establish your brand as a leader and create loyal customers that help attract more business.