How Can My Business Utilise Facebook?

If your business now has a Facebook page you might be wondering how best to use it?

  • How do I use a Facebook Page for my Business?
  • How do I get people to 'Like' my Facebook Page?
  • Is a Facebook Page worth while for my Business?
  • I don't have the time to be on Facebook!

These are common questions asked by those new to Facebook pages. In this article I will explain the primary ways to use a Facebook page for your Business.

There are four mains ways to use a facebook fan page for your business.

  1. Customer Retention

  2. Brand Awareness

  3. Customer / Fan Involvement

  4. Understanding your Target Audience

Customer Retention

Think of your facebook page as a customer retention program. A place where you can look after existing customers who in turn may use your products or services again but perhaps as a bonus recommend you to their friends. A friends recommendation is a powerful marketing tool.

For example lets say you own a Bed and Breakfast or Self Catering Cottage, you use your Facebook page as a guest retention platform with the bonus of attracting new guests.

Regardless of your business trade you can use your Facebook page to look after existing customers and attract new ones through the relationships you establish online with your existing customers.

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Brand Awareness

An obvious advantage of having a Facebook page is brand awareness. The more exposure we gain the more brand awareness we can generate.

But with Facebook you need to understand why your there. Through current trends social networks have become a major part of everyday life. Facebook is often seen as a youth thing, a place where the techie folks chat to one another and poke each other.

"If your the wolf and the sheep go into the next field,
what do you do?"

The truth is Facebook is used by a wide range of people who may be our target audience. To have a Facebook page simply means we're following them into the social media realms where they love to socially engage and spend time. Our presence within these realms strengthens our brand awareness just like any other practice. We're almost 'expected' to have a Facebook presence.

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Customer / Fan Involvement

Hopefully you beginning to understand the advantages of having a Facebook fan page for your business. But how can you use it, to perhaps look after your existing customers or raise brand awareness? Here's some ideas for you to start with;

  1. Customer Service
    Whether you plan to or not someone one day will ask a question on your wall and you'll suddenly find your using your page like a customer service page. But don't worry, this can be a good thing, just remember everyone can see your replies.
  2. Generate Word of Mouth
    Word of mouth marketing is extremely powerful, Facebook provides a perfect platform to facilitate this. If you've built good relationships with your fans don't be afraid to ask them to 'share' your page or posts with others. A friends recommendation is gold.
  3. Encourage Engagement
    Encourage fans to respond to your recent posts by perhaps asking open ended questions like "What's your motivation to get through Mondays (B2B)" or "Can anyone suggest a good movie for this weekend?"
  4. Write Notes
    Use the Notes application on your fan page to write useful snippets of information or blogs that your fans might find interesting. Perhaps short instructions on using one of your products or tips on keeping your car interior smelling new if you run a car valeting service.
  5. Contests
    Run contests through your page to encourage user engagement and perhaps build up more followers. Competitions can be as simple or complicated as you like.
    eg: "Name our new baby lamb" - "First 3 people to answer this question correctly win a prize" - "Best picture of yourself holding our product wins a prize".
  6. Get Recommendations posted to your page
    Facebook fan pages offer your fans the ability to post recommendations. Encourage fans to post feedback of their experience with your company. It all helps build your credibility and relationships with your fans.
  7. Post Questions with votes
    Use the Questions application on your fan page to ask polled questions where users can vote for their favourite answer. Everyone loves having their own say and this is a great way to encourage user engagement.
  8. Post Videos
    Post videos to your wall for your fans to see of things like product demo's, top tips, related industry news or information, light entertainment etc. I'd say avoid posting videos that might offend people or portray your business in the wrong light, try and remain professional.
  9. Post Links to your website content
    Occasionally post links to your own website, perhaps to a product or service information page. Don't go over the top though and come across all 'saley'. Keep your own promotions to a minimum.
  10. Post Photos that people can engage with
    Why not bring some colour to your page by posting related photos. Perhaps pictures of new products, interior shots of your restaurant / bed and breakfast / cottage, local attractions near your business, your staff working hard, competition photos where users add their own captions. The ideas are endless, but try to find something your fans will engage and comment on.
  11. Add Milestones
    Your fan page features a Milestone app that allows you to post milestone events on your page. This could be events such as opening a new room at your B&B or hotel, achieving a new award, reaching your 1st year in business, opening a new shop, selling your 1000th product, making a profit, the ideas are endless. When you first use the app you can set a start date, such as when the business started or was launched. You can add photos to your milestone events to bring a little more presence to it.

"Make your page compelling and engaging"

Overall your aim is to create a fan page that visitors / fans find compelling and engaging. You want to encourage user involvement as much as possible and steer away from the typical 'salesy' posts that continually throw products or services in peoples faces. It gets annoying and because this is a social network you can be sure peoples tolerance with adverts and sales pitches are very low.

Remember to build relationships with your fans, be real, be you and don't hide behind a corporate identity and logo. ('Bill at Microsoft said' is more socially acceptable than 'Microsoft said').

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Understanding your Target Audience

It may come as no surprise but anyone who follows your Facebook fan page is probably already interested in what you do or sell, so the hard part of finding your target audience is already done. High numbers of page followers don't count here, you should always aim to attract quality followers, people who are genuinely interested in the products or services you provide.

"I'd choose 40 'Likes' from genuinely interested people
than 400 'Likes' from anyone on Facebook"

If your page has over 30 'Likes' or fans you'll be entitled to insights. Insights are analytic data about the way users use and engage with your page and posts. Such statistical data includes age ranges, male or female, residing country / city, language, how many users are talking about your fan or posts, how many people your posts reached, plus even how many people 'Check-in' to your business premises and in turn their age, sex, location etc.

So there's much to be learnt about your target audience through the insights Facebook provides. You may find your target audience is a little different to how you imagined, perhaps older, younger, mainly male or female. Either way Facebook fan page insights provide you with in-depth data about your genuinely interested target audience, valuable information for any business.

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Author - Jamie KingAuthor: Jamie King
Dated: March 16th 2012

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