Content is Currency

Developing Powerful Content
for Web and Mobile

by Jon Wuebben - Founder and CEO of Content Launch

Facing up to Facebook’s Business Potential

Facebook is, simply put, massive. A global phenomenon. It’s predicted that there will soon be one billion Facebook users worldwide: not bad for a website that’s just eight years old. This huge audience is not to be ignored and more and more businesses, from multi-nationals to sole traders, are realizing Facebook’s marketing potential. Facebook users often check in to newsfeeds and favorite pages several times a day. The question is, then, how can your business get involved in the global Facebook conversation? Here are five ways you can get started.

Paging all customers…

First thing’s first. Set up a Facebook business page. It’s no good trying to promote your services from your own personal page – that’s not what it’s intended for. The process is quick, free and easy to do.

Make your business page look good. It’s an extension of your brand, after all. Create a slick landing page to welcome your visitors (you can create an excellent landing page for free at www.lujure.com). Use this page to host videos, push special offers or sign people up to your mailing list. Once past the welcome page, the new Facebook timeline feature allows you plenty of creativity in uploading logos, choosing cover images, highlighting stories and promoting your products. Always check spellings before you post anything. Nothing worse than ‘typo turn-off.’

Liker loyalty

It’s all very well for people to stumble across your Facebook business page, but you need to make sure they stick around and start doing business with you. Make it easy for people to sign up. Have obvious subscription forms, contact details, exclusive offers for new ‘likers’ and links to external websites. Incentivize supporters to recommend your page to friends and colleagues. Track down similar pages and invite their supporters to ‘like’ you too.

Set up discussion forums, competitions or games with random prizes to encourage people to keep coming back for more. You could have a ‘Fan of the Week’ who gets 10% off their orders for the next seven days. Think about what would make you return to a Facebook page time and time again.

Have we got news for you…

There’s nothing more off-putting than a page that hasn’t been touched for four months. Keep tours frequent and fresh. That doesn’t mean spamming product shots every hour. Look at the world around you – what’s hot in the media right now? Could you post something about a topical issue to stimulate discussion? What issues are your customers interested in? Most importantly, how can your business link to those issues? Think outside the box. For example, a company selling luxury leather sofas might comment on current interior design trends.

The Holy Grail of a Facebook business page should be an engaged, active audience, posting regular ‘likes’, comments, questions and feedback. Ever notice how, at a party, you are drawn to the most vivacious groups who look like they’re having a great conversation? Make your business page the Facebook equivalent.

The personal touch

As important as it is to provide fresh content, always keep it professional and relevant to your target audiences. If you feel the need to tell the world what color underpants you’re wearing today, use your personal profile to divulge that fascinating piece of information. It’s perfectly fine to inject some individual personality into your business page – a really good idea in fact, when done properly. Keep at the front of your mind who your customers are and what they want to hear.

Make sure you reply promptly (certainly within 24 hours) to comments and questions posted by other people too, again keeping it consistently professional.
One good planning tool to help you with all this is an editorial calendar. Plot out, say, six months of pro-active activity for your page in advance and work out when you want to post updates and what you want to say. Fill in the gaps with a mixture of business news, offers and launches, reactions to industry-related issues and personal insights that show the lovable human face behind your business.

Money, money, money

Finally, don’t forget that your Facebook business page is primarily there to earn you money. As discussed earlier, your content should be geared to turning your likers into paying customers through providing effective information and engaging with your audience. Work out what people want and give it to them. Often.
But don’t overlook other cash-earning avenues. Once your Facebook business page starts to become popular, you could offer sponsored blog spots or advertising. Adding a You Tube channel to your page could also earn you income from people who click through to view your videos. Finally, Facebook has made it really easy for businesses to sell their products via a business page by setting up an online store. You can post pictures, write descriptions and manage payments through Paypal. The newly added private messaging function for business pages can also help you stay in even closer touch with your customers.

Good luck!

This post came courtesy of Imogen Reed, a full-time professional writer and researcher for over five years.

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