Facebook is the don of the current social networking sites and currently has more than 2 billion active users around the world! I thought about what would be the 10 most important points to keep in mind when creating your local business Facebook page and in this article we will cover the first five.
Optimize the whole account to the maximum potential.
You can do this by adding a good profile image, having a compelling and informative description of your business, segmenting your content using the tabs feature, having links to your website, incorporating photos and videos and so on.
Create a strong network of followers.
Make sure that you target your marketing efforts on Facebook to get followers who are genuinely interested and passionate about your local business niche. The key issue is focusing on your niche because as a small business, you obviously lack the size to be known beyond your local area. However when you focus your page on a niche or a subject, you will gain a more targeted and involved fan base.
Add content that is valuable and important to your fans.
Ask yourself what are the most important and entertaining things they would really love to read about on your fanpage and give it to them. Better yet, you can create a survey on your page and ask them for their direct feedback.
Don’t engage in hard selling-
Facebook is a social platform and people find cold selling not only a nuisance but akin to spamming. Even if you want to increase your business sales through your fan page, you need to be subtle about it. A good method is to offer a lot of free value like coupons, which will lead to sales on the back end. For example a restaurant can offer free drink coupons with every pizza. In this way they won’t be hard selling the pizza but will obviously record more sales because to get the free drink, customers will need to order a pizza.
Position yourself as a solution provider-
As a local business owner, you obviously have a lot of specialized skill and knowledge in your niche, so turn those competencies into an asset. Become the go-to person for fans interested in your niche. For example, a jewelry shop owner can use his fanpage to help readers who need advice on the types of watches to buy or how to tell if a jewel is real or fake.
Be Consistent with your participation.
This means that you ought to post regular status updates and to post ones that are relevant. Although you can set up automated status updates, it’s best to combine this with real time updates that go with the current tempo of your fan’s discussions. If your posts are far and few between, why would anyone visit your fan page? By posting at least once a day, your updates will appear in your fan’s news feeds and then they will be interested to link to your fan page and join other fans in their discussions. This will create a lively, interactive fan page.
Create competitions and debates.
This is one of the best ways to liven up your fan page and keep your fans engaged. As you bring out the competitive nature of your fans, you will notice a spike in your comments as fans engage in friendly contests. It also makes your site memorable, because winners of the contests will receive prizes or distinctions that will build a favorable brand image among all your fans.
Understand your crowd.
If you have done your research, you will have a fan base with very specific demographics and personality traits. It is in your best interest to thoroughly understand what appeals to your fans and to be able to speak their language. For example, if your local business is a gaming arcade frequented by a youthful crowd then your choice of words, contests or events and the general theme of your page will differ greatly compared that of a local business that serve seniors.
You must always develop your brand image as being a local business that people can trust. Your products and services should always be of high standard and you should always maintain ethical business practices. Any indiscretion by your local business will dent your image extremely fast due to the viral nature of Facebook. For example, if you run a pet clinic but also engage in animal cruelty or use banned drugs, you will immediately lose the trust of your fans.
Engage and respond –
If you expect your fan page to grow and thrive, you need to keep your fans at the center of all you do by caring about their opinion. You must participate not just through status updates but also by replying to posts and addressing people by their name. You should also be able to handle negative comments or criticism as diplomatically as you can and this will make your fans respect you more.
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