Although not everyone is using it, most people have heard of Facebook. Today, Facebook has more than 900 million active users, more than 50 percent of its users log on at least once each day, and more than half of them using Facebook on a mobile device.
Facebook pages with a multitude of fans face the challenge of keeping those fans happy. You don’t want them to just join your fan page or your group and then disappear. So let’s talk about Facebook marketing strategies and netiquette.
Keeping Your Fans Engaged
There are many ways to attract friends and followers. Are you still uncomfortable with having fans? If you are, let me put this as gently as I can: It’s time to get over it!
When you go to watch a baseball game, you are a fan because you admire what the team stands for or maybe you admire the ability of a special player. You might not know them personally, but you are a fan. On a worldwide platform like Facebook, you are now center stage, even if it is only your profile page. You can attract and maintain fans that will be loyal to you, support you, and tell others about you and your business.
Here are some tips to keep your loyal fans happily engaged with you:
- Listen to your fans. What are they hungry for? What are they responding to? Run a poll. See if some of your posts get more responses than others.
- Create a great customer experience online. For instance, follow up, be energetic, and keep the customer in mind with everything you post.
- It’s okay to grow slowly. It’s not a race to get the most followers. Think quality over quantity.
- Post relevant links using the Links application.
- Include people on your journey. Changing your office? Share the journey. Writing a book? Share the journey. Heading to a great conference? Share the journey. Reality shows are a big hit because people want to see the “real you.”
- Create events using Facebook and choose settings to keep the event open. This allows friends to share the event with their own networks.
- Invite followers to get your newsletters or tell a bit about themselves on your Fan page. Give them reasons to come back.
- When people write on your wall or when you add them as a friend, treat them like a VIP guest to your business.
- Engage people—this is your outlet to millions of people!
- Get creative. Think of new and unique ways you can inspire your followers to participate in online conversations with your business. Invite them to send in videos, offer free webinars, or invite them to post on your blog. Use Facebook to drive them to your other marketing outlets.
- Post photos, but keep those in the photos in mind. Don’t post embarrassing or goofy photos because people might not appreciate it. Ask for permission first.
- Regularly congratulate people or feature your clients and prospects on your page by commenting on their success or on their status updates. Remember, everyone wants to be recognized. Feature a fan of the week.
- Everything you write can be picked up on the search engines tomorrow. Remember my advice about conscious social media marketing? Keep that in mind when posting on the Internet.
- If you don’t like what someone is posting on your site and you are getting a bad feeling, block them. Go to Settings, then Privacy Settings, then to BlockList. They will not be notified when you block them.
What Not to Do
People who are successful in social media marketing respect and follow the unwritten rules of what works and what doesn’t on social media platforms. Netiquette describes not only what’s proper, but also what’s improper on the Internet. So in the tradition of television’s What Not to Wear, let’s cover what not to do on social media platforms:
- Refrain from politics and religious rants. Let’s expand that a bit: Refrain from all rants.
- Do not write private messages to people on their walls. Send them via private e-mail or their Facebook inbox.
- Do not begin selling your products or services as soon as someone adds you as a friend. It’s a big turnoff on Facebook when people post their products or services on your wall as soon as you meet them.
- Don’t write when you are angry or have had too much to drink.
- Do not use the Notes feature to “tag” people who are supposedly referred to in the note when they really aren’t mentioned at all. Many people do this thinking it will get their notes read when in fact it turns people off.
- Don’t post photos from the crazy New Year’s Eve party that you wouldn’t want posted in front of prospective clients. Trust me. They will see it.
- Just as in e-mail, if you write in all caps, it appears as if you are yelling.
- Don’t write negatively about the competition or about others in general. People surf around online; you never know who may come across your page or profile.
Video Ideas for Facebook
The great thing about putting videos on Facebook is that they give you the ability to:
- Post them on your profile and/or fan page;
- Share with others; and
- Embed them on your website or blog.
Facebook makes it easy to share your video and make it viral. Here are some ideas for you to try:
- Are you an expert in your industry? If so, give a 30-second tip each week.
- Having an open house or a holiday celebration with clients? Have the video camera ready and ask people about their thoughts regarding your business.
- Speaking at an event? Get some audience testimonials after your speech.
- Record some of your top clients talking about why they enjoy what they do.
- Take a group of your top clients/prospects to dinner. Ask them to share what they are looking for in their business. Help promote them in your video.
- Are you a realtor? When you hand clients the keys to their new home, ask them to record their thoughts on video and then share it on your profile page.
- Are you a recruiter? Share interview tips each week. Keep it short and succinct.
- Are you a writer? Share the top takeaways in an article you’ve published. Include a link where friends can read it online. If it’s not online, tell them where they can find it in print.
- Have a new product? Give people a sneak peek when it arrives at your business. Smile as you take it out of the box. Remember, people want to see real situations.
- Are you a motivational coach? Share your tips of wisdom once a week with a motivational/inspirational message. This allows people to get a feel for who you are.
- Are you a florist/baker/artist? Share some of your dream creations on video each week or month. Bring the wow factor to your page. People love to “oooh” and “aaah” over great images.
- Are you an account rep/professional organizer/interior decorator? Share a tip or have a client give a testimonial and then show before and after images.
The list can go on and on. The good news is that, again, it doesn’t need to be a slick Hollywood production. The more real and relevant the material is to your prospects, the better. Experiment and don’t be afraid to show it on Facebook.
The Marketplace Application on Facebook
The Marketplace application is a little gem of a find. It’s not necessarily for everyone, but it’s good for you to know what it can do in case you see a need for it in your marketing efforts.
The Marketplace application is what many are calling the “Craigslist” of Facebook. To find it, go to Applications and search for Marketplace. Then open the application and add it to your profile. Here’s an example of what you’ll see.
As of this writing, there are nearly 1.3 million active monthly users of the Marketplace application. If you are a realtor, the marketplace application is a great place to post a listing of a home or townhouse for sale or rent. If you are an auto dealer, you can list your cars for sale here. Do you sell or make children’s clothes or furniture? Put it on the Marketplace. It’s another avenue for you that is free and could potentially reach just the right buyer.
It’s also useful if you need to hire someone or find a job. Looking to hire an intern? Put your listing in the Facebook jobs on Marketplace. This is a good application particularly for realtors or retail merchants who can sell individual products or solutions. You also might find something you need to buy here. Hint: It’s a good place to find furniture for your office.
This is not a Facebook application that is found on the Application menu, but it integrates directly with the Facebook platform, so it is worth mentioning.
Savor Chat enables you to create and host your own chat room. You can make your chat room public or private, send direct messages to individuals or group members, and invite your Facebook friends. It is perfect for networking and for meetings with Facebook friends who are currently online as well as those you want to join together in a separate forum for additional discussion. It also enables you to have live discussions about projects or upcoming events. You can create your own branded virtual chat room and host your own meetings and discussions.
You can sign in using Facebook or Twitter and then create your own room.
You can name your room, list the times your room is open, place it in a category, and save the room. You can also browse rooms that are currently set up and join in if they are open.
Get creative with your business on Savor Chat. Perhaps you can host an online monthly meet up, a business break, or a literary luncheon. What would your prospects or customers be interested in discussing? This is another online tool that merges your Facebook friends with a live text chat tool for engagement and interaction.
Facebook Marketing Checklist
You’ve learned a lot, haven’t you? I don’t want you to get overwhelmed, so let’s take a breather and make up your official Facebook marketing checklist:
- Your dynamic headshot. Use one that reflects the best of you and your brand.
- Your amazing profile with your website, phone number(s), and a description about what your business can do for people. Make it uniquely your own and say what you need and want to say. This is an advertisement for your business.
- Text below your photo. Use this space to drive people to your blog or website, or just have a warm welcome message. Change it up every month or quarter.
- A duty status update (What’s on your mind?) entry. This is a key so that you will maintain energy around your page, you will appear in your friends’ news feeds, and you are keeping top-of-mind awareness. Think of it as generating publicity for your brand every time you post. Status update ideas include listing or sharing a tip, letting friends know what you are working on, congratulating a client, announcing a new client partnership, posting a job or open house (if you are a recruiter or realtor), letting people know about an upcoming event, announcing a new product, sharing news about your business or giving a general business tip, recommending someone to connect with on Facebook, and inviting people to join your group or Fan page.
- Add friends and include a personal message. Then put them on one of your lists.
- Think about creating a group on Facebook that would further bring together your clients and prospects.
- Log on daily for 20 minutes, add friends, and post a greeting on a friend’s wall.
- Check your inbox daily for messages. Respond with a note along with your name and website, name and business title, or phrase about what you can do for people. Example:
Thank you for the note. I look forward to your postings on Facebook. If I can do anything to assist you, please do not hesitate to call.
America’s Sales Stylist to Business Professionals,
- Go to the Home page and look at upcoming birthdays. Send out a birthday greeting by clicking the name, and it will take you to their Profile page. Write a greeting on the Wall and sign with your name and website.
- Invest in an Internet video camera or flip camera. Create a video marketing strategy on Facebook.
- Add the appropriate applications that will help your business.
- Use Events as a way to virally grow your brand, whether you host your own event or RSVP to others. Come up with a catchy name for your event. Click the Share button and post it to your profile with a quick message. When you RSVP to someone else’s event—whether it’s a yes, no, or maybe—write on the wall with your name and website address with a short note. You never know who is going to stumble upon it and visit your site. Get creative and post a video on your Event page.
- Post a video RSVP to someone else’s events. Go to Applications, search for events, and find events that you want to RSVP for, open the page, look for the video section, and click Upload Video. It’s that easy.
- Keep a positive mindset. You never know where your social media marketing is going to take your business. Stay in it for the long haul.
So now you’re practically a Facebook expert. The only thing left is to customize your settings and get everything just the way you want it.
Tips to Remember
- Treat your Facebook friends and followers as if they are the top VIPs in your business.
- Always follow the unwritten Netiquette rules when interacting online.
- The video revolution has begun, so incorporate it into your social media marketing.
- Try different strategies, such as the Marketplace or Savor Chat, to engage your friends and fans.