Not using Facebook to promote your business is like walking past a sign for “FREE PUPPIES” and not even stopping to at least cuddle the cute little buggers (and if you’re that person, we might not be able to be friends).
Whether or not you love or hate Facebook (but do love cute puppies) it’s here to stay and should be a cornerstone to your social media marketing strategy. I realize that Facebook might be one of a couple social media platforms you use, and the other ones you choose will be based on your specific audience. That said, I am of the mindset that, as a heart-based business smarty pants, you need an active Facebook presence.
Now that you know Facebook is not negotiable here’s how using Facebook to grow your business is like a sign for free puppies.
Like the puppies, Facebook is free.
You probably already know that it’s free to have a personal profile on Facebook. It’s also free (and super easy) to set up a business page. This means you can set up a business page for your business that is designed to promote and support your business growth without spending a dime on advertising.
Now, I’m not saying that by simply having a page it will promote itself and your business will grow its self without you having to do any work. What I am saying it that you can establish yourself as a professional with a professional online presence without costing you anything.
Research shows that before someone will buy from you they need to have a minimum of seven (7) interactions with you. Social media is a great way to make consistent connect with your tribe!
Here are three advantages of having a professional page vs a personal profile
- The number one reason – It’s against Facebook’s terms and conditions to use a personal profile to promote your business and they can shut you down if they think you are abusing that policy. #nuffsaid
- A business page gives you insights so you can learn more about your customers and how you can maximize your Facebook page to reach the perfect customer. In other words, it’s not just your mom and BFF’s that are using your page (although my Mom still posts on my professional page)
- Although not free, you can boost posts and pay to advertise your business page. However, I would strongly caution against paying for any Facebook boosts or ads without understanding how all that works. But, if you really want to try that, I would suggest doing a split test like this: Boost a post for $10 AND drive down the road and throw ten-one dollar bills out the window and see which one gets you more traffic to your Facebook page. (just kidding of course). But the message is Facebook advertising is more complicated than just hitting the boost button.
Like a free puppy Facebook isn’t already housebroken.
Can you smell what I’m stepping in? Your Facebook page isn’t going to train itself any more than your puppy isn’t going to poop in the house if you don’t train it.
Free doesn’t mean easy or that you won’t have to spend some time learning the basics of good social media engagement. Just like you would have to learn the basics of being a responsible dog owner, below are three quick tips on being a responsible user of social media
- Don’t let your Facebook page just ram its nose in everyone’s crotch. I love dogs, but one of my major gripes when dog owners just assume I automatically love their dog as much as they do. My major gripe with someone’s Facebook pages is when it’s all about self-promotion and selling. Unless you are clear on who your customer is and have worked hard to cultivate a relationship with that person – don’t stick your nose in their crotch! No one will buy from you if all you do is push your product in a way that feels invasive.
- Be consistent. Just like housebreaking your puppy you need to be consistent with your strategy. It’s ideal to post every day on your Facebook page, but more important is that you are showing up consistently and people see that you are invested in your business and sharing valuable information that connects you to your customer.
- Trial & Error. Depending on your what your business is and who your customer is (and you should very clear on who is this) you will need to do a little testing to figure out how your people like to interact with you. Do they respond best to photos’, video, live, stories, or questions you ask? Use your insights to get info on what works and adjust your posts accordingly.
3. Like A Free Puppy Your Facebook Page Will Grow Up.
Oh that new puppy smell with their cute, little round bellies, soft fur and gregarious personalities! Then before you know it you’ve got a full grown 125 pound dog that now longer fits in the back of your Suburu (ok, maybe that’s just me). Facebook grows and changes faster than it takes your puppy to chew through a couch cushion (ok, again, maybe that’s just my dog).
I know from experience that just when I think I have Facebook figured out they changes something. To be fair, it’s not just Facebook that’s changing. Social Media, as an industry, is still evolving and when things change on Facebook it usually reflects a bigger change in the undercurrents of social media. For example, last year Facebook was just beginning to roll out the ability to ‘go live’. Now, ‘going live’ is the hottest trend and best way to get traction on your page. Yes, this means you might need to go live… gulp…
But, if you’re just starting your business and social media strategy you need to worry more about raising your puppy than dealing with a 125 pound dog. Here are three simply strategies to avoid social media overwhelm and grow your business using a professional Facebook page.
- Create a social media strategy and be consistent for three months. Decide how often you’re going to post and what you’re going to share when and do that consistently. Social can be a slow build and if you don’t stick with a plan for a while you will never know what sticks. This isn’t to say you don’t have a variety of posts and types of engagement, but don’t just start something then drop it, it makes you look like you’re not committed to your business.
- Know who you’re target market is and stick to it! Share posts, pictures, quotes and questions that engage your perfect client. Think of your Facebook page as having an intimate conversation in your favorite coffee shop, not standing at the 50 yard line of a full football stadium yelling random shit at the top of your lungs. For example, if you and I were at a coffee shop I would probably use the word ‘shit’ at some point. I also write it in my copy and use it on social. I know that my ideal client will be ok with that. If they aren’t they aren’t my ideal client.
- Make it personal, don’t take it personal. Social media at its core is ‘social’ – by definition you are engaging in a social exchange with other human beings. Share your personality, your hobbies, and behind the scenes of your business.
On the other hand, you need to remember that you are dealing with a huge machine that uses analytics to their advantage and it’s not personal. Don’t pout and hang your head if your posts don’t get engagement – toughen up buttercup! If you’re self-worth is so fragile that a Facebook post can diminish your light then you probably should move back into your mother’s basement. Ok, just kidding, that was a little bit of tough love to train you up to be successful in the world of social media. But seriously, if you don’t get the engagement you want, it’s not personal you might need to tweak your strategy.
Obviously social media strategy is a passion of mine and it’s something I emphasis with my clients. I also love puppies and would encourage anyone to get one! Remember it takes at least seven interactions with you before someone trusts you enough to take it to the next level. Social media is the best way to start connecting with your perfect client.