For a moment, imagine, amid this on-demand, data-driven rat race, a platform exists that is 100% free and has the ability to unleash an unlimited amount of new customers to patron your business. Well, you're in luck. This technology already exists, and you probably use it every day.
Unfornatually many businesses aren't using their business page correctly, if at all. If your business falls into this category, don't worry! You're not alone, and the Gazette is here to help.
This post will begin to show you the tools which are already at your disposal in your Facebook toolbox. Once you know they are there, and what they can do, you can begin to do the work that once seemed overwhelming into a piece of cake.
Show Your Personality
There are many reasons the customers who visit your business continue to return to your business. It's the personality of your establishment! From the staff on hand to the very building itself, this is one of your business's greatest assets. This should be overwhelmingly apparent through your social media postings. If a guest came into your restaurant, you wouldn't talk to them like you were a robot, so why would you do it when you're advertising your business online? Act like a real person and your customers will engage with you online like a real person. This translates into them visiting your establishment and spending their money with you. They are family now.
This is the crim de la crim when it comes to Facebook postings. Facebook absolutely loves original content. So live videos are a match made in heaven. Now is not the time to be camera shy. Show off your employees, take your audience for a tour of the kitchen, or give them a brief history lesson on an interesting fact about your building. WestSiders love this! Give your audience what they want, and they'll keep coming back for more. Have fun with it!
Probably the most overlooked essential thing when it comes to social media is the hashtag. Your hashtag is your American Express card; you should never post without it. I'll use a Gazette post as an example.
The hashtags we used for this post were #cheviotgazette #comics #chinaseeds #rickrolled now, if potential customers are searching these phrases there's a chance they will see your post. If they see your post, they know you exist, and if they know you exist they may walk through your door. A few local comedians and artists liked this post and contacted us. Now we have free comedy show tickets. This post, and hashtagging it properly, put us on their radar.
The Facebook Algorithm is one of the great mysteries of life. It is ever-changing. It is everywhere and nowhere at any given time. The fact of the matter is you can't really pin it down but there is a guide to follow. Facebook will prompt you on how to improve your business page. Do not ignore these tips! By doing so you're costing your page to be ranked lower which means fewer views.
Create A Group Page
One action Facebook will prompt you to do is to make a Business Group Page. You may be thinking, I just got the hang of this Business Page stuff and now I have to make a Group Page? Take a deep breath, it's not as complicated or time-consuming as it sounds. So, what are the benefits of having a Group Page to go alongside your business page? The biggest reason is the notifications.
Let's say you have 1k likes on your Business Page. Unless you post something and it takes off organically, (people reacting, sharing, etc) generally about 10% of the people following your page will see your post. I know, it sucks, but that's the hand we've been dealt.
So, if you can't beat the algorithm, join the algorithm. With a group page, unless the members who join adjust their settings, will alert them every time you post something to the group. Customers can also post in the group if you allow them to do so and ask any questions that might be preventing them from making a purchase.
Do Not Pay An Outside Company To Operate Your Social Media
A company that I managed in the past needed a lot of social media work. At the time we had nothing that I have stated above. The problem was the same problem I imagine many small businesses have, lack of employees. The employees I had I needed elsewhere. I couldn't do it because I had to be everywhere. So, I had a company do it for me and thought ok, that is one thing checked off my list. I could have never been more wrong. Yes, they will post regularly to your page so people know it's alive but it will feel like Michael Keaton's third clone in the movie 'Multiplicity'. It won't seem genuine and you'll end up pretty much where you are now while adding another unneeded expense.
Most people have no idea at the amount of data and demographics Facebook offers them for absolutely free. Go to your business page and click 'insights' if you scroll down to the bottom you will see something similar to this screenshot.
You can add your competitor's Facebook page here and monitor their activity. You can see what kinds of posts are doing well for them, and, well, rip it off. This is America! You don't need to reinvent the wheel here. Piggyback off what is working for similar businesses and make it your own.
Above the previous screenshot, you will see feedback on how your page is doing. It will default to a 7-day review but you can adjust to nearly any date ranges you desire. This will tell you how your page is performing week by week, where you need to make improvements, and where you are excelling.
Now before you go thumbing your chest, this is pretty much the basics. There are still lots of tricks to the trade. Some you will pick up on by watching other pages and others will just come naturally. If this post has helped you let us know and we can continue to venture down the social media rabbit hole together.