Promote Your Business on Facebook – 8 Actionable Ideas

Source: http://cjgdigitalmarketing.com/

Author: Jomer Gregorio

With over a billion active users, Facebook is by far the largest social networking channel in the world. Hence, business owners, whether they own a small enterprise or a large corporation, can’t afford not to use Facebook for brand promotion.

A good presence on Facebook can help companies engage their fans and grow their business. But with plenty of ways to do so, and with the social media giant steadily rolling out numerous updates and new features, it is difficult to know where to begin.

If you want to know you can use Facebook to grow your brand, here are 8 creative and actionable ways to promote your business in the social media platform.

Create and Optimize Your Page

Facebook notes that a business page is what makes a brand discoverable, connected, timely, and insightful. Think of your Facebook page as your social media home base — or as an extension of your business.

Your Page is an extension of your business. It’s an easy way to share updates and more with the people who matter most. It’s ready to help you engage your customers on desktop and on mobile. (source)

It is basically like a personal Facebook profile, only it is for brands and businesses. To be able to interact with Facebook users aka prospective customers, you will need a page that reflects your brand. Use your brand logo as the page’s primary photo, select a cover photo that showcases your product or service, and type a couple of snappy and interesting sentences describing your business and the things you do.

petflow FB page

Once a comprehensive business page has been set up, request a personalized orvanity URL. Typically, it appears in the following format:

petflow vanity url

Images Source: Petflow Page

Don’t Buy Fake Likes, Go With Quality Likers

Sure, you have tons of page likes. But how many of those likers have actually interacted with your posts?

Fake Facebook likes — or the likes a page or post gets from fake accounts or people without genuine intent of ever interacting with the business or purchasing their goods — are probably the worst thing that can happen to your business, particularly if those likes were bought.

Remember: buying likes gives fake results. In an article, Facebook site integrity engineer Matt Jones stresses that what people and businesses in the social network want are real connections and genuine results, which is why their service has a “strong incentive to aggressively go after the bad actors behind fake likes.”

He further points out that those who buy fake likes will not earn authentic results and “could end up doing less business on Facebook if the people they’re connected to aren’t real.” Facebook is focusing their efforts on ridding its platform of fake likes and financially motivated companies that turn to this fraudulent operation, so steer clear of it.

Install Facebook Buttons on Your Website

Facebook “like” and “share” buttons makes sharing your posts easier for your customers, hence it is an essential part of social media brand promotion.

cocacola social

Images Source: Coca-Cola

Entrepreneur.com notes that “you don’t need to be a coding wiz to embed a button on your website.” You can easily install the buttons on your main site, your blog, and wherever possible. Doing so improves your chances of earning a fuss-free fan and the likelihood of turning traffic into sales.

Check out this page for the complete list of social media plugins for Facebook:https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/

Engage Potential Customers via Facebook Groups

Don’t just create a Facebook group, get tons of people to join, and then simply flood them with links to your site. Like content creation, it is important to offer your audience value and engagement. Keep in mind that Facebook groups should not be about the business. Rather, it should be about its members. Once you learn how to provide value to your community, engagement ensues.

In a blog post,AARON LEE of Post Planner suggests communicating with your brand’s biggest fans. “The strong relationships you have with your top advocates & brand ambassadors are invaluable. And a group like this lets your advocates connect with each other,” Lee further states.

Don’t Spam Your Products or Services, Share Interesting Stuff!

Modern content marketing methods no longer call for a business to ‘hard sell’ their services and goods. If anything, bombarding your followers with content that solely revolves around your products and services can turn them away.

Shake it up a bit. Instead of the boring, in-your-face marketing approach, publish interesting, informative, and visually rich content that your audience would want to like, comment on, and share to their friends.

the north face fb pageThe North Face publishes and shares tons of interesting posts on Facebook.

Share Your Useful Blog Posts

Today’s consumers are looking for educational and informative content — the ones that solve their concerns or widen their knowledge base. According to Entrepreneur.com, creating factual and engaging content “will position your brand as a source of information, securing a following.”

Instead of viewing your page as a mere sales and marketing platform, treat it as a vehicle for providing exemplary customer service.

Interact with Related Pages

Do not confine your business page to only the stuff you publish; share, like and comment on useful content from other industry influencers as well. Similarly, don’t hesitate to like pages of other brands related to your business, as what Tide does.

tide related pages

On top of leveraging your marketing efforts, acknowledging or sharing other’s work may encourage them to return the favor and like your page and share your content with their followers, too. In short, interacting with pages related to yours can earn your business better visibility on Facebook.

Use the Advertising Platform

Advertising on Facebook has received mixed feedback. Some advertisers on Facebook complain about the bouts of non-genuine likes they get from their Facebook ads while others find success in the same path. The key to ensuring your ads receive the clicks they deserve is by creating an engaging copy with eye-catching images, knowing the exact demographic to target and providing the most suitable offer for maximum conversions.

Web Marketing Today also recommends using the Facebook Carousel Ads creatively.

fb carousel

Image source: WebMarketingToday.com

Unlike standard Facebook ads, carousel link ads allow multiple links and images to be displayed in a single ad which results in a decrease in cost per acquisition and cost per click, making it a powerful tool for promoting your brand on Facebook.

Have you been using Facebook for your business to its fullest potential? What other actionable ideas would you recommend? Comment below!

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9 Ways to Become a Better Facebook Community Manager

9 Ways to Become a Better Facebook Community Manager

Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com

By 

Would you like to have a thriving Facebook community?

Are you looking for tips to improve your community?

In this article I’ll share 9 tips to improve your Facebook community.

#1: Know Your Voice

Branding is important on social media. Your company should have a “voice” that matches your brand and your company philosophy.

Are you more serious or do you add a little bit of snark in your posts? Do you stick mostly to business or can you be off the wall? Do you like to stir things up or do you remain neutral?

If you are a one-person operation, these decisions may be easy. But if you have multiple employees and possibly multiple people posting to the Facebook Page, you want to have the “voice of the company” communicated clearly to the people who will be managing your Facebook Page.

The voice of the company is important in how comments and community feedback are handled, as well as the day-to-day posting. Consistency in your voice will help your community know what to expect.

know your voiceModCloth has an offbeat, humorous voice that engages their audience.

#2: Have Access to Visuals

Visual marketing is becoming a vital part of Facebook and all social platforms. The more you can incorporate photos, screenshots and graphics, the richer your Facebook Page will be.

Even if your business isn’t visual, make a plan for how you will add images to your posts. You can use things like:

  • A screenshot of something you’re demonstrating
  • An interesting photo with a quote about your niche
  • An infographic with statistics about your niche
  • Behind-the-scenes photos from your company events

I like using tools like SnagitiPiccy or PicMonkey to create or modify images to make them interesting. You can even use PowerPoint to create a slide that you can then export as an image.

use imagesOrange County Animal Services uses creative images.

#3: Know the Rules

As a community manager, make sure you know Facebook’s policies. Pages can be shut down without warning for violating these policies. Usually it’s very difficult to get your Page restored and you don’t want all that hard work to go down the drain for violating Facebook’s contest terms, for example. Make sure you keep up with the updates to the terms as they do change frequently (see #7).

facebook contest violationThis Page is violating Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines and could be shut down.

#4: Know the Industry

If you are managing a Page for someone else, you need to know the industry so you can speak the lingo. It won’t reflect well on the company if you aren’t using the terminology or common acronyms correctly in your posts and follow-up comments.

know the industrySome industries have terms that you will need to know if you are managing a community for someone.

#5: Recognize Members

A community manager needs to recognize contributors and members and get to know them. If you have a physical location, you can take pictures of your community members and recognize them on your Facebook Page.

community membersRecognize your community members who come to your physical location.

Or you can find other ways to recognize your community by featuring them in a post or promoting their business somehow.

community members feature on pagePromote your community members by featuring them on your Page.

#6: Answer Questions Quickly

Promptly respond to posts or questions on your Page to create strong bonds with your community. Even if you don’t know the answer, let them know that you will get back to them. Or point them to a useful resource is another good option.

answer questions quicklyAnswer questions quickly if possible.

The good news is you have more options to get notifications when something happens on your Page. If your Page is large, these can get overwhelming, so you may need toset a schedule to check in. To access your notifications, go to Edit Page > Manage Notifications.

notificationsAdjust your notifications so you can keep on top of your posts.

#7: Stay on Top of Changes

Facebook changes a lot! There are changes to their official policies and in how things are working at any given moment. Make sure you keep track of Facebook’s official changes by following the Newsroom and the Facebook Marketing Page.

facebook news roomFollow the Newsroom on Facebook to see announcements.

For “unofficial” quirks and issues, you can always come to our Facebook Page and ask questions. Another great place to see if others are experiencing the same thing is to come to our Facebook Networking Club.

facebook clubFind out what others are seeing and get your questions answered in our Facebook Networking Club.

Some other great Facebook Pages to help you stay on top of the news are Mari Smith,Social Identities and Jon Loomer Digital.

#8: Respond Calmly to Negative Posts

If you get some angry posts for whatever reason on your Page, think before you fire off an angry response. Respond quickly (even if it’s to say we’ll get back to you), but don’t respond in the heat of the moment when you might feel like “telling them off.”

If you have some upset Facebook fans, there could be a good reason. By dealing calmly with the situation, you can hopefully salvage the relationship.

respond calmlyCampbell’s Condensed Soup acknowledges the customer’s concerns on their Page.

#9: Have Fun

Find some ways to have fun with your communityHave a Facebook “live Q&A chat” timedo a Livestream or even (gasp) go over to a Google+ Hangout.

have funHave fun with your community.

When you are having fun and sharing with your community, you are all getting to know each other better and everyone wins.

have fun encourage sharingEncourage sharing to have fun and get to know each other.

Always be thinking about how you can be a good resource for your communityand create a great experience for your fans. Your Facebook Page will grow and so will your business.

Why I Don’t Like Your Brand on Facebook

Source: http://www.briansolis.com/2011/05/please-like-us-on-facebook/

Guest post by Andrew Blakeley. Follow him on Twitter (for exclusive deals and offers!)

I recently undertook a simple Facebook experiment, inspired by a brief Monday morning rant from my boss: “This morning my yoghurt told me to find it on Facebook. It didn’t tell me why, it just told me to find it. Why on Earth would I want to find a yoghurt on Facebook? It’s a yoghurt!”

He was right, of course. As social networks slowly become the default online presence for brands to drive their consumers to, adverts, marketing and packaging has started telling us where to go. However, it hasn’t yet started telling us why to go there.

For my experiment – “Find Us On Facebook” – I vowed to Like every brand that asked me to for one week. I would then blog and analyse the various offerings of each brand, in particular how they were attempting to drive people from the offline world to the online, social, world. Here are the results:

As a marketer, I found the results very disappointing. For an industry the focuses endlessly on providing consumers with “benefits” and “reasons to believe” here was a lot of marketing asking people to take an action, without telling them what they stood to gain from it. In 2011 it’s more or less a given that your brand can be found on Facebook, and consumers know that. What they don’t know is why they should bother.

What consumers want from brands in social media is a topic that has been widely written about already, and is fairly well understood by marketers. Research from advertising agency DDB Paris found that amongst the top reasons for Liking a brand were: “to take advantage of promotional benefits”,” to be informed of new products offered by the brand”,” to access exclusive information” and “to give my opinion about the brand”. Four very clear reasons to bother, which could easily be affixed or suffixed onto any “Find us on Facebook” message for greater impact.

Another key finding was the number of brand Liking requests coming from email marketing. These are brands that I had chosen to receive email marketing from directly into my inbox, and here they were asking to appear in my Facebook newsfeed too. They weren’t, however, telling me why I should open myself up to them in another channel.

Only 1 of the 16 brands provided an incentive to make the leap from email to social media. I literally had no reason to bother with the other brands, as I was already receiving their deals and offers, and they weren’t giving me another reason. Some brands have found interesting ways to incentivise people to make the jump:

• Dingo, a dog food brand from Ohio, included a promotion that would only kick-in when the Facebook page reached 5,000 fans (from a base of 300). They had an unprecedented take-up, with fans forwarding on the email to their friends and encouraging sign-ups to get the offer. They hit the 5,000 mark in just 3 days.

• Bag retailer Timbuk2 included an opportunity to win a bike, helmet and messenger bag in an email to its 100,000 newsletter subscribers. It received 6,500 clickthroughs vs. just 9 from its generic social call to action.

Consumers need these incentives, because they know that otherwise all they’re doing is agreeing to be bombarded with more marketing unrewarded.

The sad thing is that some brands are actually building really fun, engaging content in these spaces, but not making people aware of them. The Fosters beer page, for instance, is full of great exclusive Alan Partridge content, starring Steve Coogan and written by Armando Iannucci. Their TV ad, however, had nothing more than a Facebook URL. Had they said “for exclusive Alan Partridge episodes” they would’ve opened their brand Facebook page up to a whole wealth of people, who felt genuinely motivated to click Like.

My week as a social consumer left me tired and confused. It left my Facebook newsfeed so crammed with nonsense to the point that I could scroll entire pages without seeing my friends. It left me a bit sad for the digital marketers and agencies who were building great content that wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. So, if you’re reading this and you work in advertising or are a brand manager – next time you think about telling your consumers to find you on Facebook, consider telling them why.