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8 Tips for Businesses on Facebook
Posted on July 7th 2013
As a business in the modern age, maintaining a Facebook Page isn’t an option unless you want to become irrelevant quickly. To prove the point before moving on, consider the Millennial age group (20s to early 30s), which now outnumbers the Baby Boomer generation, and their habits when it comes to eating at restaurants.
According to an organization called the Youth and Young Adult (YAYA) Connection, based in Columbia, Missouri, Millennials rely on word of mouth suggestions in their home area and review site like Yelp when they are traveling to decide where to eat. Around 65% of them consider discussions on social media about restaurants before deciding where to go. 32% check the menus from their smartphones ahead of time. This is a social media and mobile-based crowd, and they are the single largest group of purchasers.
If that’s not enough to convince you, you’re already in trouble. Facebook is the most visited website on the planet, let alone the largest social media site. To make sure that you are taking full advantage of the opportunity in front of you, here are 8 tips for businesses on Facebook.
1. Know Why You’re There
Although some may say that every business doesn’t belong on Facebook, I beg to differ. Unless or until something radically alters the trajectory of things, the site is becoming the hub of all things business as well as social. At this point in history, you need a page.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t understand what your purpose is in being there, however. Just as with a brick and mortar store, understanding the needs and wants of your customers and potential customers is a vital part of business strategy. In a nutshell, you’re not there to share cat pictures.
2. Respond to Every Comment
According to Socialbaker.com, only around 30% of all brands respond to comments on their page. Call me crazy, but this is pathetic. What if you only acknowledged 30% of the people that walked through your doors? Your doors wouldn’t stay open very long.
Although social media is no longer the new kid on the block, it’s also not fully ingrained yet (but it’s getting there quickly). For you, this is an opportunity to jump ahead of the crowd while there is still time. Make sure your page is set to allow comments and private messages, and don’t let a single one slip by without a reply.
3. Provide Value
Posts should be a mix of curated content from around the web (a hotel chain might share posts and articles about interesting travel destinations or things to see before you die) and original posts (the same type of interesting information, just not something already written by someone else).
You can also offer monthly discounts or coupons to people who “Like” your page or other incentives. Make sure that you keep them informed and entertained, and they’ll come back for more.
4. Cross Promote
Your Facebook Page isn’t an island. It should be linked to your website and/or blog, it should be printed on your business cards, and it should be mentioned in every piece of promotional material you distribute. You should also have a presence on other social media sites, and each one should link to the other for maximum optimization.
5. Use the tools at your disposal
Facebook has a ton of tools built into the site to help you, like Edgerank and Insights. There are also numerous third party tools that you can use to do everything from deciding the best type of content to post, to what the best times of the day or days of the week are to post them.
Facebook also offers promoted posts, vanity URLs, featured likes, events, and a number of other tools you can use to make the most of your experience, and more importantly your fans’ experience, on your page.
6. Make it mobile-ready
You need to understand how your page looks on a mobile device and optimize it for that view. More people are viewing Facebook from their smartphones and tablets everyday over their computers. It’s a mobile world, and you need to adapt to that. Making sure that you can be found through mobile searches is a must as well, since 91% of people who perform local searches say that they use Facebook to find local businesses online.
7. Get them to check in
Foursquare started the whole check-in craze, but these days you can check in through almost any social service. Encouraging people to check-in to your business. It will help you in local search results and encourage people to visit you through “word of mouth” advertising. Don’t forget the example at the beginning of this article about millennials and how they make some decisions.
8. Hire a social media manager
The truth is, social media is a full-time proposition, which means you need someone handling it full-time. One option is to hire a new position to handle things, but that comes with headaches of its own: interviews, training, benefits, payroll, etc.
The better option at this point is hiring a social media manager or team that is already in place doing these very things for other clients. Outsourcing this work can be a huge time-saver and money saver.