These days it seems like everyone has a page on Facebook—and with good reason! The Next Web reports that Facebook sees almost 800 million users every day, with more than 1.2 billion users total. That’s a huge audience that your small business could be missing entirely if you don’t have a company Facebook page, or have one that isn’t maintained correctly.
Marketing specialists recommend that every business, large or small, have a public Facebook page for a few reasons, not the least of which is lead generation. There’s no doubt that with over a billion users on the site, your target audience is out there somewhere just waiting to come across one of your ads or see one of their friends share a post or promotion from your business. However, this definitely isn’t all there is to it. If you’re only using Facebook for sales, promotions and other lead generation methods, then you’re missing out on some of the best features Facebook has to offer when it comes to building up your business and making sure it succeeds.
Facebook is, above all else, a social network. It should be treated as such as often as possible, and that means focusing on socializing with your userbase.
To interact properly with your viewers, followers and customers, you should follow these guidelines:
- Post once per weekday at minimum (Social Media Examiner recommends posting more often, but this is the minimum)
- Respond to comments as often as possible
- Respond to posts in which your business is tagged
- Share relevant posts made by friends and followers on your company page
By interacting directly with your audience, you forge a healthy and friendly rapport that helps build up loyalty and offers the possibility for word of mouth advertising in the future. It’s important not to go into a conversation with the intent to get something back, however, particularly over social media. Instead, when a customer engages with your brand, your business should genuinely and sincerely engage right back in order to provide the kind of customer service for which you want to be known.
You can also use your social media account as a sort of informational hub for your employees and your customers at once. Make announcements about members of your working “family” where they’ll be seen, and help your people feel valued and welcome. If your front end clerk graduates high school or college, your assistant has a baby, or some other major life event happens, post about it! You should always show how much you appreciate your colleagues and employees, and being public with that appreciation can also lead to some great feedback from your most loyal customers.
You should note that, with proper maintenance and care, all of these other benefits that social media provides to small businesses all but inevitably lead to sales and conversions; instead of seeing this as the end goal, you should take advantage of the opportunity to engage with your customers, provide help and accept feedback as it rolls in.