01 Aug 2010
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Tips for Facebook success

By Contributor

Let’s first discuss why you should have a Facebook Page:

Your customers are on Facebook.

There are 500 million users on Facebook today and Facebook pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans.

You want a presence on the internet. Only 44% of small businesses have a website, yet 63% of consumers turn to the internet first for information about local companies.

You can’t really tell who’s coming to your website. You can attract ‘fans’, or potential customers on a Facebook page, which allows you to update them all in one place and know who you’re interacting with. Facebook pages are free public profiles for your business that provide you with an easy and powerful way to connect with your customers regularly.

Facebook pages look and act like your personal Facebook profile page. When you share information about your business, whether it be upcoming sales or new store openings, these stories go directly to your fans’ News Feed where they spend a lot of time – an average of 5.75 hours a month. Your fans can comment and click ‘Like’, which sends their friends stories linking back to your Facebook page and creating a viral effect on Facebook.

So, how do you create and update a successful page on Facebook? Here are four simple tips:

1. Be open and authentic People relate to genuine messages. When posting, consider what your customers want to hear, and listen to their feedback. Make sure to include messages that aren’t purely commercial. For example, if you own a women’s retail store, you can share articles about fashion or women’s causes. Post content that sparks conversations and creates dialogue with your customers. This can be significantly more valuable than broadcasting oneway marketing messages.

2. Be active and update often – even quick updates can be interesting Your Facebook fans are interested in your business, so make sure to keep them informed about what you’re doing. Post pictures of new merchandise or extended store hours. Ask them for feedback on products, survey them to see what they love most about your business, or pose questions about your business or industry to start a conversation among your fans.

3. Listen and Adapt Learn from your customers and take their feedback into consideration; they can provide helpful insights about how to improve not just your Facebook page, but your business. Ask questions and adjust your strategy as you grow. Just like your business, your Facebook page should be dynamic, not static.

4. Use Facebook ads to drive more traffic to your page Facebook ads help you target your exact audience precisely with an image and a few lines of text. It’s one way to find people who might be interested in your businesses or service and point them back to your Facebook page or website. Facebook also offers ‘Facebook Ads for Pages’ which allow users to fan your Facebook page by clicking on ‘Become A Fan’ right in the ad. When a user does this, it automatically creates a story on the user’s profile page, generating free distribution for you. In line with last tip, it is important to recognise what makes an effective and engaging Facebook advertisement:

1. Target the right people Reach people who are already interested in your product or service by selecting the best keywords. Keywords are derived from user profiles and provide you with detailed information to be able to precisely target your audience. Also, let the user know what it is you want them to do in the ad copy. Be as clear and specific as possible.

2. Ask people to participate Take advantage of some of the unique features Facebook ads offer that encourage people to take action directly on your ad. Drive customer awareness to your Facebook page or website by highlighting a specific promotion or event right in the ad, or simply ask people to click on your ad. Facebook ads allow people to engage with ads, eg: potential customers can directly engage with your business by clicking on the ‘Become a Fan’ link or the ‘RSVP to this Event’ link. This action also automatically creates a story on the person’s profile page and possibly in their friends’ home page ‘Highlights’ – generating free distribution for you.

3. Keep it fresh Keep an eye on your ad and most importantly, keep it fresh. You can do this by using different images, trying different calls to action, and even changing up the text and the groups of people you are targeting. One of the best things about Facebook ads is that you can see what ads are working the best, and use that information to tweak and change your ads as you go.

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