Social Media has given small business an amazing tool to reach customers. It is more dynamic than your website and it can be a great way to bring prospects and customers back to your website for more information or to make a purchase. Your social media pages allow you to interact with customers in a way that your website doesn’t. And because it's two way, you can use your pages to build relationships with people that follow you.
But posting is not enough.
If you are using a Facebook business page, the first thing you need to do is grow your audience. And here’s why: If you can count your social media fans and followers on the fingers of one hand, your amazing posts, updates and offers are not going to make much impact for your business.
So how do you grow your reach and capture the attention of your target audience? There are a few easy things you can do right now to help boost your Facebook presence.
1. Start by building your following through the people you already know
Facebook is by far the largest social media platform with around 2,320 million users. So almost everyone you know has a facebook account. So … start with those people you know and ask them to support you. Simply reach out to your own personal network by sharing your Facebook business page on your own personal Facebook page timeline. In your post, ask friends to like your page. You can also ask them to share it with their friends, who may be interested in your business.
To share your page, click on the Share button below your cover photo.
Bringing your family and friends on board gives you opportunities to connect with their networks when they share, like or comment on a post you have made.
2. Invite your Facebook friends – Click on Community in the left-hand column and then find your friends by typing in their name or selecting ‘invite’ beside their names.
3. Share with the team – ask your co-workers to follow your page. Make others admin too if they are happy to post and share news from the business. In general, posts that show your personality will help build the relationships you hold with customers. You may want to set some general guidelines for posting if there are a number of contributors.
4. Engage with other Facebook pages (as your page) – Use your page profile to comment on other people’s or businesses’ posts. You’ll see a drop-down option in the comment box to choose to post a comment from your business page rather than your personal account.
5. Join a group – from your business page News Feed click Groups in the left menu. Search for relevant groups and request to join. Most groups are all about sharing knowledge and experience so you’ll have the chance to share your expertise here. Before you start just read the group rules on what you can post.
6. Engage with a variety of other content – broaden your reach by engaging with a wide variety of pages that share a similar audience to yours.
7. Share your facebook address across all your channels – add the details of your new Facebook page on your personal website footer and in the signature of your emails too.
8. Be responsive – Facebook’s algorithm favours posts that have high engagement and will amplify them to a wider audience. If your post receives a comment, be ready to respond with an answer, or more information or simply with a ‘like’. Being responsive shows that you care, you are listening, and are ready to answer questions or solve problems. When you respond to a comment, use the person’s name which makes the whole interaction more friendly.
9. Prompt engagement by asking questions – pose a question to encourage comments.
10. Use compelling visuals – photos, images, and video always perform better than text alone.
11. Add reviews to your page – ask satisfied customers to post a review on your Facebook business page – it gives their business exposure too! Make the process easy by providing your customer or client with a direct link e.g. https://www.facebook.com/acme/reviews/ (you can choose to have reviews on or off in the settings of your page – so you can decide if you are ready to implement this).
12. Social media is social – not every post needs a call to action or a sales pitch. Make sure you include some posts that simply add value by being entertaining, informative or useful.
13. Hashtags – hashtags are basically like miniature search engines that group conversations and give you an opportunity to jump onto a trending topic. By using the hashtag, you can help people that are searching for that topic. Keep them punctuation-free and relevant to the post. For more on hashtags, read our guide.
14. Use Video – with a video camera on your phone it’s easier than ever to post a video and show the human side of your company. If you post directly to Facebook (rather than sharing from YouTube) it will play automatically play for your followers. Plan to capture your viewer's attention in the first 3 seconds and keep it short. Because many people will view with their sound off, include captions using Facebook’s editing tools – simply select ‘generate automatically’ and edit any typos.
15. Start posting – Finally, Keep people actively engaged with your pages by posting regularly. It can be hard to cut through the noise but useful, funny, compelling and regular posts will help increase the chance of growing and keeping your audience.
Your organic social media activity, (sharing blog posts, images, comments, news, events, videos etc) is what gives you the long term presence. When you need to reach a wider audience, it's worth spending some of your marketing budget. Facebook advertising builds your reach by expanding it to a targeted audience and can grow your online presence more quickly. You can read more on Facebook ads here.
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