Are you taking the necessary steps required to raise your bottom line? Let’s face it the real reason majority of marketers are utilizing social media is the bottom line. Sales! If you are not taking advantage of the benefits of Facebook, the #5 tech company in the world your missing out! But here’s the catch. The quality of your social audience is more important than the quantity. The more engaged your audience is the more likely they are to convert! But does that happen overnight or is there a gestation phase?
Users are savvy, sure you have your impulse buyers but for the most part users are getting pickier. They are bombarded by sales pitches and buy it now promises all day long. Think about it. How many sales pitches do you skip over every day while tooling around Facebook or your favorite social media watering hole?
As Facebook and other social media platforms become more and more pay to play you have to focus on a variety of ways to grow your audience, your customer base. The importance of relationship building and engagement are more critical to business growth than ever before. People are engaging and following brands and companies that make them feel good and provide something they need! They are also relying on word of mouth recommendations from friends, family and their online communities more than ever. It’s quick and easy to pick up a smart phone or connect through a smart TV, click on the Facebook app and tell the world your washing machine just broke and sprung a leak all over the laundry room floor. In the same message you’ll ask. “Who do you recommend?” Within seconds your peers are replying back and forth with their advice and recommendations.
In the world of immediate gratification it’s not about how many “fans” or customers you have it’s about how much they like you as a brand and company. I’m not saying having a large audience is not important. Obviously the more people you can pitch to the more sales you are going to make. I’m saying you need real followers, not generated numbers or fans that could care less what your company is about. You don’t want someone liking your Facebook page in hopes of winning an iPad if they are not truly interested in what you offer. So what do you do?
You do need to diversify your company online but at the same time you don’t want to spread yourself to thin. Facebook is the priority place to be but be sure to consider other places such as Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. If you have a variety of products and merchandise Pinterest is an amazing opportunity for all the visual shoppers. Instagram is hugely popular with the younger audience and gaining speed with online retailers. I suspect since Facebook purchased Instagram there will be more of some kind of merging in the future with ads or apps. But for now we are going to focus on Facebook.
Here are tangible tools to increase engagement and begin growing your Facebook customer base now.
- Get active online! What’s the point of having a Facebook Business page if you are not going to do anything with it? It’s terrible when you are tooling around on a webpage and when you click on their Facebook link it either goes to their personal page which is a big no-no or it goes to their business page that hasn’t been updated in months. You start to wonder if anybody is really behind the scenes? Where’s their customer service? Keep in mind some people prefer to follow their favorite brands through Fb, Twitter, Pinterest, etc instead of having to opt-in to another email list.
- Post content regularly, daily! If not daily a minimum of five days per week. The old rules of twice a week are gone! Your page will never be seen with such limited activity. Two or more posts per day are recommended. Some of the top marketers in the world post several times per day. If you really want to see immediate growth post once an hour for 12 hours.
- Hire help. Take Facebook seriously. Hire a social media manager or a VA to help schedule content, keep an eye on your page for spam, activity that requires immediate attention. Having extra eyes on your page helps take stress off of you and can prevent a catastrophe in the making. Have your hired help schedule the basic stuff such as products, sales, business info, memes, etc. Then your job is to hop online and add in the fun stuff.
- Spread your updates out. The last thing you want to do is bombard the feed with your updates all back to back. Each update has a lifespan of around three hours. This is why it’s becoming more and more important to bump up your Facebook activity.
- Check your “insights” in your admin panel. This data will show you what posts are popular, who visits your page, what time they visit and more. Pay attention to this and adjust accordingly. Learn when your audience is online. This is when you want to spend your live time online. Is your audience parents who are on in the morning or in the late evening after the kids are settled into bed? Get to know your audience.
- Serious business owners know they must have an advertising budget. They’ve paid for radio ads, newspaper ads, banner ads, adwords ads but still many are not taking Facebook ads seriously. Begin by creating a FB ad for your page ASAP. The right ads directed towards your “desired” audience can immediately begin to get your business in front of new eyeballs. If you are unclear how to do this hire someone to help you. An ad budget as small as $10 a day will begin yielding results. Fast company reports Facebook is the #1 platform for social media sales.
- Build your fan-base, work on creating ongoing relationships then work on your sales pitch. One out of every seven posts can be sales related. The exception to the rule is if you are an online retail store. Your customers know you sale merchandise and they want to see it.
- Content – The quality of your content is vitally important to your online growth. If no one likes what you are sharing they won’t give you any love. No comment, no likes, no shares. Keep in mind, every time someone likes, comments or shares your content it’s bumped back into the newsfeed again giving it more exposure.
- It’s trial and error. Keep sharing a variety of posts. Facebook changes the rules so often you need to be diversified with your updates. One week a quote might gain activity, the next a meme.
- Use larger photos. Experiment using multiple photos when you can. If you sell a product take photos from different angles. On some of the pages I manage updates with 2-5 photos draw more attention. This could be because Facebook gives it more attention or it could be because photos grab the reader visually and it catches their attention easier.
- The companies who’s audience talks back receives more play. Ask questions to give your audience a chance to reply back to you.
- Share a variety of content. Pay attention to what your audience gravitates to. Are there certain products they like more? Do they respond to questions or fill in blank updates? Maybe they prefer visual stimuli and prefer photos or memes. The funny thing is people are wanting to see the more human side of the companies they follow. Find ways to show them this side of your business. They are making more conscious based decisions. Does your company support a specific charity? Give back locally? Share it! Do you really care if your product provides them value? Express it. Don’t fake it, they’ll know if you are authentic or not.
- Now here’s the most important tool to add to your social media toolbox. You have to talk back. You’re working hard running ads, posting regularly don’t let this opportunity slip through your fingers. You must engage. Build those relationships. It’s ok to schedule some of your updates but you must all participate live to get the best results.
Carol Lawrence is a social media marketing expert who teaches busy business owners how to become well-known and boost their brand online through the use of social media. She is the creator of Social Media Help 4 U and offers high end social media management services. If you are a company who has an advertising budget and you are ready to rock it in the social media world contact her today!