Facebook regularly tops the list of most popular social media sites and sometimes, even topples Google from its perch as the web’s favorite online destination. Data monitoring firm Hitwise has recorded weeks where Facebook has logged more visitors than Google over a seven day period, making it the most visited website in the world. For these reasons and more, it makes sense to have a presence on Facebook, whether your business is large or small, new or old, local or international.
So, with so much traffic to wade through and masses of competition to out-do, how do you make sure your Facebook profile is pulling its weight and that your posts are effective?
1. Leave Sales Talk At The Door
Facebook is primarily a ‘fun’ site, with its corporate networking possibilities still largely undeveloped. That means that sales or marketing spiel has no place on your Facebook profile, even though your presence there is purely for business reasons. It’s important to understand how your users interact with content on Facebook and the reasons they have for reading your profile – to communicate with your Facebook fans effectively, embrace the spirit of the social network by inviting followers to events such as product launches or demonstration evenings, upload photos and keep posts light.
2. Offer Regular Incentives
While obvious promotion of your business is a turn off on Facebook, studies and polls of social network users have found that incentives such as exclusive discounts and pre-notification of impending sales are a big draw for followers. Some would even go as far as to say that the only reason they visit certain profiles is to have access to these rewards. Cash incentives such as an additional percentage off sales prices for Facebook friends work best.
To make the most of the Facebook users’ desire for a bargain, work these incentives into your profile posts at least once or twice a month. Savvy marketers will also consider their wider network at this point; consider giving an additional reward to friends who recommend other users not already in your network with a secondary prize for the friend purchasing or befriending you on Facebook for the first time. Tapping into the friend lists of other Facebook users gives you the benefit of ‘word of mouth’ marketing in a virtual environment.
3. Be an Agony Aunt / Uncle
Facebook is often used as a place to vent complaints, invite advice, or share problems. You can tap into this trend with your Facebook posts to make your profile a must-visit resource. To do so you’ll have to widen your circle of interests away from your own product line or company to encompass wider industry trends and issues. Post useful information, articles and even how to guides or problem solving features on your profile as and when they become relevant or available to you. This will encourage users to check back and even interact with your posts. Adding value to their Facebook experience is a sure fire way to curry favor with your followers.
4. Be Knowledgeable About Your Industry
Posting industry information and discussing key events will help to establish you as a knowledgeable and reliable information source. The chances are that your Facebook friends will be just as interested in other aspects of your industry as they are in your particular niche so broadening the scope of your posts will keep those Facebook friends interested. It will also show that as a company you do not operate in a bubble and are up to date and on trend in the things that matter. A wider choice of topic will also make it easier to implement points 1-3 above as you’ll have a wider pool of topics to choose from.