As a business owner, I know there is a love-hate relationship we have with Facebook. We hate the time-suck that it is and that it seems no one is even listening or seeing anything we are doing there, and yet it is still the most heavily used social networking channel. We know we “should” have a presence there, just like having a website in 1999 was an important form of legitimacy.
There is no doubt that Facebook still attracts the attention of 7 out of every 10 people in the United States. (You know the other 3 people just lurk from their spouse’s account) and that many businesses have seen great success using Facebook, Instagram, and other social sites as tools in their marketing.
So how can you successfully use this mega platform to actually convince people to leave their homes, where they can simply push a button and Amazon or Grubhub will deliver whatever they want, to come into your local business and spend money? Let’s take a look at some tips you can implement before the year comes to a close.
5 ways to use Facebook for your local business to build brand awareness and increase sales:
1. Get involved in local community Facebook Groups
Or better yet, start your own Facebook group for your city, town, or community interest. Facebook is more than Personal Profiles and Business Pages. It also has plenty of groups focused around specific interests, especially in the local community and neighborhoods. Most neighborhoods today have their own Facebook Group to share events, crime warnings, wildlife sitings, items for sale, recommendations, and more.
You can engage with your local community and let them know you’re more than a faceless business that wants to sell them things. You also get an idea of the issues concerning your local community, events you might want to attend or sponsor, and networking opportunities with other retail business owners in the area. Use the group to ask questions and share “BEST OF” lists– Best dog parks, best place to get dessert after 10pm, best picnic spots, and more. Throw out the question and have people comment with their answers and then offer to curate the list into a .pdf and share it back with the group.
What if you share the little league scores or high school sports scores weekly for the group? Who doesn’t want to be a part of a local group like that? The beauty of Facebook Groups is the members see every message, unlike a business page that usually has to work harder to get attention or use advertising and promoted posts.
2. Create PHOTO-WORTHY spots in your local business.
So perhaps you can’t get a giant blue bear sculpture outside your place of business, but fortunately, people will snap shareable photos with a lot less. It could be a great welcome mat that says “Great Shoes” and people will want to stand, snap and share. It could be something painted on the wall of your restrooms and people will snap and share there as well. Get creative and think of areas of your business that are brandable! Be sure to train your staff to spot groups snapping photos and go over to offer to take one of the whole party. That is great digital service.
3. Use targeted ad options on Facebook.
Facebook’s ad platform is pretty impressive, especially when it comes to the targeting capabilities you have for the audience. If you want to focus on Facebook users who live in a specific area, or who frequent businesses that are near your retail location, you can fine-tune who sees your promoted messages. Ads or sponsored posts appear in the newsfeed and look like a typical post, except that it’s marked as an advertisement. Make sure you monitor your ads that are running to respond to any comments or questions left on the ad post.
4. Run special promotions and events for your Facebook and social media fans.
Give your customers and potential customers a reason to pay attention to your page, and reward them for doing so. You don’t have to keep the promotions solely digital, especially if you want to increase foot-traffic on slow days.
Consider having deep discounts and flash sales that are in-store only but promote them online to get customers to come in. You can offer an in-demand product or other items discounted for the first 25 or 100 customers who come in on certain days. This sense of urgency encourages speed and enforces scarcity.
A trend that many are capitalizing on today is in-store experiences! Use Facebook and other social channels to let your community know you have a band playing or offer a tasting, a demo, or a yoga class or some other event for your fans. Experiences will draw those digital shoppers out and Facebook is a great place to talk about it.
5. Engage with your customers and prospects on your social media posts.
Many local businesses are still afraid of allowing comments on their social channels, fearing negative comments or reviews. People love social proof and if you allow comments on your pages you have the control that allows you to respond. If they comment on their own profiles or other pages, you can’t do anything about it. Invite reviews where you can participate.
People want to see that others like your brand as much as they do, so when you get a compliment in your place of business, ask if they would be willing to share that on your Facebook page or Google Review. Make it easy for people who are already happy, to share their feelings with the world. Today, “Word of MOUSE” is the new “Word of Mouth” when it comes to recommendations.
If someone is talking about your store, products or services, online, be sure to acknowledge them. Don’t leave comments, testimonials or questions on your Business Page unanswered. Let people know you hear them and appreciate every single comment left. [read: RESPONDING TO SOCIAL REVIEWS]
If there is someone being social with your brand on a regular basis, why not reward them with a special coupon or offer. Let them know you appreciate them sharing or engaging with you. Reward the behavior you want to be repeated.
We hope these 5 tips will inspire you to begin looking at Facebook with a fresh perspective when it comes to marketing your business. With a little creativity, you will have fans talking about you and more importantly…coming in to spend money! If you have more questions or want more ideas, be sure to join our DIY.social Group on Facebook, where entrepreneurs share ideas, tools, and resources to build their businesses!
If you are just getting that Facebook page set up we have created a guide that walks you through the steps to SET IT UP CORRECTLY and START GETTING FANS TO JOIN YOU! Download this free resource today!
You’ve been asked by your manager to set up a Facebook Page for the business and most of what you read says you have to do this from your personal profile. You don’t want this business page attached to YOUR personal profile. After all, what happens when you leave (hey, it can happen!) Perhaps it’s YOUR business, but you still don’t want to link it to a personal profile that you use for family connections and REAL friends.
FEAR NOT! You CAN do this. It may feel like you’ve been asked to turn over your personal diary for the world to read on your business page, but I assure you, your secrets are safe. Even though you are linking them for access, you are not linking them for the world to view.
So let’s understand something up front. When I create a business page, it is like creating a website for a business. I will need access to the backend of the site to load or change content, but nowhere on the site does it have to give my name or contact information, unless I want it to. It is the same with Facebook. Your PERSONAL profile is your access point or portal into Facebook but from there you can create and manage as many business pages as you’d like. You don’t need a special login and password for each page, and you don’t have to share passwords with anyone. (If your mother didn’t tell you this a long time ago, you should NEVER give your passwords to anyone. Whether they are your manager or not. There is no need for anyone to use YOUR password.) You log in and go to the pages you have admin access to. Your manager, or other team members, can log into their own personal profile and have the same access point if they are made an admin for the page.
If, and I hear this all the time, your manager or co-worker does not have a Facebook account of their own, so they ask to log into your account to check the business page, tell them you would like their login information to their bank account to check on your payroll first! They need to create their own account–it’s FREE and they don’t have to ever use it or share their horrifying vacation pics. If they need to log into a site, including Facebook, they need their own login credentials. There are just some things, like a glass of milk, a toothbrush or social media passwords, that should never be shared with other people.
When you are logged in from your personal profile and then jump over to your business page (easy to switch between the two from the dropdown arrow in the upper right) people on the outside do not know you are associated with the page. They cannot see any of your personal information and they are NOT automatically made FRIENDS of yours if they LIKE the business page.
With that out of the way, let’s get started! To begin, log into your own personal Facebook profile and THEN go to Facebook.com/pages and click CREATE PAGE in the upper right. You will be asked to name your page and select the category (not-for-profit, local business, etc. And don’t worry too much about the categories since they can be changed at any time. Your name is not so easy to change so choose wisely!).
Fill out the basic info and you are well on your way!
In the SETTINGS for your new page, look to the left and find PAGE ROLES. This is where you add an additional admin to the page, such as a team member or your manager (who will need to have a Facebook account). You can select different ROLES for people such as EDITOR (someone who cannot add or remove others but can post and comment AS THE PAGE.) You can select MODERATOR, ANALYST, even JOBS MANAGER to give specific rights without allowing people to add or remove others. If you leave the organization, you simply make sure there is an ADMIN assigned to the page and then remove yourself in this same area.
Now that we’ve covered how to set up your page, let’s move onto the REAL WORK…. creating and posting content every day!
That’s where things get scary! Happy posting!
No, No, Not Content Creation
Gina Schreck is the founder of SocialKNX. Their teams help organizations connect to their world and convert LIKES into DOLLARS! Be sure to find more geeky goodness on our own Facebook Page!
Many of us woke up this week to find business owners and marketers running through the streets screaming and gnashing their teeth as the news of Facebook’s algorithm changing again came out. What will happen? Business pages will no longer be seen by anyone…ever!
Facebook calls its algorithm the “Audience Optimization Tool” and it is optimizing the newsfeed to correct its focus on paid news and more specifically, “Fake News” delivered in the past. It will be making a significant change to the way content will be shared in the newsfeed.
In a post on Facebook’s Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg said business and media posts are crowding out more personal moments. They want to encourage more “meaningful and personal connections and to do this they will increase content from friends, family, and groups in the news feed; and limit content from companies, brands, thought leaders, authors, journalists, celebrities and more. They want to “put the social back in social media.” Ask yourself right now, has your business been more social or more promotional? Are you talking to your audience or are you just posting content?
So what does this mean for your business? Are you doomed? Should you go out and buy that CLOSED sign to hang on the door this weekend? Here’s the simple math equation that will help you solve the algorithm problem:
If a post goes out at 8am and reaches 300 people and you multiply it by 2 shares and divide by 13 likes and 2 laugh responses you will get a score of …. Oh come on …do you really think we can EVER figure out Facebook’s algorithm? Instead of trying to outsmart the Facebook brain, let’s talk about 3 actions you should be taking:
Shift Your Thinking Back to Email
Let’s all remember that no matter how many people see your posts, and regardless of the number of fans you have acquired, you are on rented land. You don’t own the platform and therefore having a million fans that see your content should never be the endgame. Your focus should be to pull people into your email list and nurture the relationships there as well. (Nurture being the keyword. Do more than COLLECT email addresses.) Social media is the tool, or driver, to get new people to your property…your email list. (Read: What is a lead magnet and why do I need them in my marketing)
Create a Different Kind of Content
Keep in mind the reason the algorithm is needed: There’s just too much content out there. We all have more “friends”, more pages we have liked, and more ads calling to us.This algorithm change is just another filter to bring the best (or most popular) content to the top. Soooo… quality content is going to be CRITICAL. It has always been important, but perhaps now before you hit publish, you ask yourself questions like:
Is this unique information? Look around and see if others are posting the same stuff.
Does this elicit a response from people? Am I asking questions or making a provocative statement that will get people talking? There is an art to asking great questions. If you ask waste-of-time questions like, “Who wants to make more money?” “Who wants greater health?” you will get crickets (or you should). Instead, get personal. Talk one-on-one. Ask people to share what they think or what they will do with the information.
Am I providing content that people will find actionable and helpful? Does it give people something to ponder or do that will impact their lives or business?
Is this piece of content just unnecessary? You know the pretty quote overlays and the funny gifs we post to get likes? Well, those may not serve you well on Facebook any longer. Sure we may get people to chuckle and click LIKE, but unless a comment or conversation is started over it, Facebook will probably bury it 6 feet under.
Get back to basics.
In the old days, when we still had phones hanging on our walls and televisions sat on our living room floors, we used to get out and greet others on social media. We joined forums and groups where we asked questions, shared answers and formed a community. We got to know people who were not on our business pages and some of these relationships turned into friendships or business collaborations. I call it “walking about” (Read: 4 Tips for Better Social Media Management) and it will benefit you to go back in time and get social again. Build relationships on social media platforms. Don’t just post your content and sit back and wait for the analytics to show you how many people read it. It may seem like a tedious or slow process, but you will build solid relationships that will spread and who knows…you just might find your next customer or business partner.
So let’s agree that instead of wasting our energy crying over Facebook ruining our businesses, let’s get refocused and make some needed changes to our social media content and habits. I’d love it if you would share your ideas for greater connections here in the comments or of course you can jump over to our DIY Social Facebook Group and share then with us–you may just meet some other fabulous people while you’re there.
We also put together a “DO’s and DON’Ts for Facebook’s New Algorithm Changes” resource for you with actual questions and comments to use instead of the old “engagement baiting” LIKE THIS or SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS. You can download it here:
@GinaSchreck is the CEO at SocialKNX and loves connecting on any social platform to share and learn together. Just don’t send creepy private messages that just say “Hi.”
There is no doubt that Facebook is the power-tool that we need in today’s marketing toolbelt. With well over 2 BILLION users, you have almost half of the world at your fingertips.
What started as a college connection tool has evolved into a Quad-Faced, personal networking and professional business behemoth. Along with this evolution has come great confusion. How to separate personal from professional use? What is the difference between profiles, pages, and groups? Here is an overview of the four faces and how to use each.
The FACEBOOK PERSONAL PROFILE.
The mainstay of Facebook is the personal profile, and it can be used for both personal connections with family members and close friends or as a professional networking tool. The terms of agreement at Facebook state that you will have only one account. If used correctly, you do not need separate accounts for business and personal use. Using the “LIST” feature you can create a list for colleagues and lists for family members or friends and then set privacy settings for these lists that will help you keep your information and photos nicely separated. When you go to craft a post on Facebook, you can select who you want that information to be shared with–the PUBLIC, FRIENDS, FRIENDS of FRIENDS, or you can select one of your groups…family only, people who live in Littleton CO, etc.
The FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE.
The former FAN PAGE has matured into the Business Tool extraordinaire. PAGES can do just about anything a website can do including house videos, blogs, testimonials, and more. You can have as many PAGES as you’d like and they are created off of your personal PROFILE. When you log into your personal PROFILE you will find a section on the left column that reads, “EXPLORE” and then PAGES. From this link, you will choose “Create a PAGE”.
PAGES have no limit on the number of fans you may have (profiles cap at 5,000) and each post from a PAGE is fully indexed by Google and other search engines (profile posts depend upon your privacy settings). People who like your PAGE cannot see anything on your PROFILE (unless you are connected there) and your friends are not automatic fans of your PAGE. Facebook PAGES also offer wonderful analytic tools to help you track click-through rates, fan demographics and more.
[Read: 7 Reasons to use a BUSINESS Page over a PERSONAL PROFILE]
One word of caution when naming your page: You may want to put your business name or other benefit-revealing name on your page instead of your personal name. Your friends will know the value or type of information YOU will provide but if your goal is to grow your fan base beyond your friends, your page should give an idea of WHY I SHOULD allow your PAGE information to be added to my information stream. [See post: Unless You’re a Rock Start, Your Facebook Page Shouldn’t Have Your Name]
The FACEBOOK PLACES PAGE.
This is the somewhat old and random face on Facebook. This was to try and create a Yelp-like page for people to post reviews and photos of different locations. When a business came around to finally creating their “business page,” they would convert the PLACES page into a BUSINESS PAGE. The problem is, there are still PLACES pages being created by users who just can’t find the actual Facebook Page for the business, and then the businesses find several rogue places pages out there and have to merge them into the main page. It’s a pain and I hope these go away soon.
GROUPS are meant to foster discussion around a particular topic area and were initially great tools to use after a class or conference to keep the conversations flowing. Facebook GROUPS are similar to LinkedIn Groups. They do not have the same functionality as PAGES but have the benefit of being made private (members must be approved to join) or even secret (not even showing up in group searches). This makes them a great tool that you are able to monitor as an individual or business. Currently (2017) a business cannot start or run a group. They must be managed by an individual profile. So I manage our DIYsocial group as Gina Schreck. SocialKNX (our business page) can promote the group, but SocialKNX cannot post or comment. I have a feeling this will change soon as more businesses are finding creative ways to use groups. To create your own GROUP, you simply log into your Facebook PROFILE and like creating a PAGE, you look for the GROUP link on the left column and select “Create a GROUP.” After naming your GROUP and filling out some basic information you will be taken to the second page that allows you to make the group public, private or secret.
So whether you choose to take advantage of one or all four of Facebook’s Faces, it all starts with YOUR face. Take off that mask, create that profile and let’s connect!
I would love to know which face on Facebook do you spend the most time with or find the most helpful to your business?
If you haven’t joined our DIYsocial group–pop on over, there’s lots of helpful info and it’s a place to get your questions answered.
If you are just setting up your business page, be sure to download our free GUIDEBOOK for STARTING ON FACEBOOK
Have you been meaning to set up a Facebook Business Page for your business but have just not had the time to figure it all out? Have you been using your Facebook Personal Profile for your business and now even your mom and sister have blocked you?
You may feel that everyone is too far ahead on the social media marketing train and you have been left behind. Just know that it’s never too late to get started and you are not alone at this train station! Many people have set up their Facebook pages and profiles wrong or not at all, so let’s get you caught up and on the right track!
First a few basics:
Facebook Personal Profile:
You are allowed one personal profile per person.
According to Facebook’s terms of service, you are not supposed to use a personal profile for conducting business.
There are no analytics on the activity for a personal profile.
You cannot run ads with only a personal profile.
There are privacy settings on a personal profile you can adjust.
Facebook Business Page:
You can have as many business pages as you’d like.
You can set up a business page from your Personal Profile (recommended) or as a stand-alone page using a different login email (some limitations are placed on these accounts)
There are loads of analytics showing you everything from your fan demographics and individual post performance to the time of day most of your fans are online.
You can run ads targeting people on Facebook who do not have anything to do with your page and you can drive traffic to your website or any other place you’d like.
There are no privacy settings. Like a website, anyone can find and LIKE your page (unless you specifically block them, which you can do).
You can be a member of 6,000 groups whether you start them or just join them, so if you are a member of 2,000 groups (first you are insane) you can start 4,000 more groups (crazy insane).
Currently, you can only enter or manage a group from your personal profile. Your business page cannot be in or comment on group activities. I believe this will change soon, since just this week, Facebook allowed a business to link to a group to help drive FANS over to join a group. (I know this gets a bit confusing…hang on!)
You can run ads using your business page account to drive people to a group.
There are 3 “privacy” settings for a group: PUBLIC-Anyone can find the group in search, see the content and request to join so they can comment and participate. PRIVATE-The group can be found in search but the content is closed to you until you request to join and get accepted. SECRET- This group cannot be found in search and can only be joined when someone sends a private invitation to join.
Why should you create a business page and have it connected to a personal profile, or can you create a Business Facebook Page without connecting it to a Personal Profile? These are two very common questions. Many people are worried that if they create a Business Page, people there will be able to see their Personal Profile posts. This is not true. The only connection the profile and the page have is that there is a single login and you can easily manage the business page, bouncing back and forth.
Others are worried that if they connect a Business Page to their own Personal Profile, other people who work at that business can see their personal information, or they cannot transfer the management of the page to another person if they leave the organization. This is also not true. You can set up 100 Business Pages for other companies and then help manage them or transfer the management to another team member.
If you do not connect the Business Page to a Personal Profile, Facebook will limit the visibility of the page and it will not appear in some search results nor will that page be able to comment on other Business Pages. [SEE 4 Tips for Better Social Media Management]
When I create a Facebook Page for a client—let’s say Company X—I would be listed as an admin or manager on that page. I would also want to add someone from Company X to be a second admin and perhaps another person to be a content editor or advertiser. You can have multiple admins/editors/advertisers on a Business Page. If I wanted, I could remove myself and the others would remain on the page. We also do not share a password. We all log in using our own Facebook login and then go to the page we are managing when we want to post, edit, or manage content on that Business Page.
If you are a solopreneur, I would still recommend you add someone else as a second admin or editor to your page. If you were to ever get locked out of Facebook, or put in Facebook Jail [SEE Banned on Facebook: 6 Lessons Learned] you would have someone else who could login to post or comment on your page.
Once you have your Business Page created you will want to add some content with great images before you start welcoming people to your new page. Use posts that ask questions so new people will feel compelled to answer and get engaged with you.
Now it’s time to start driving people to your page. It’s not as easy as inviting people to connect, like you can on your personal profile. You must let people know about your page and ask them to come and join you. Be sure to tell them WHY they will want to come to the page. Are you sharing tips and resources? Let people know the benefit of coming to LIKE your page.
If you want to invite your current friends and family members that you’re connected with on your personal profile, you can post something about your new page and let them know why you think they will want to join you. Post the link to make it easy for people. Do this about once a week. Not everyone will see the initial post. You can change it up and let people know you have a great discussion question on your business page that you’d love their opinion on and leave the link for them to click and come over to chime in.
If you want to invite people that you are NOT connected with personally, you can run some targeted ads, use the walking about method mentioned earlier, and cross-pollinate from your other social media channels and your email list, letting people know you are now on Facebook and would love for them to join you for … (tips and tools …benefits of coming to your page).
Is your head exploding yet? I know it’s a lot to take in, but take one step at a time. Get on the slow train and enjoy the ride. Don’t look at how many fans someone else has on their Facebook Page. The key is to have a few great fans that will engage, give you feedback, share their experiences with your products and services, and grow slowly.
If you get stuck along the way, be sure to pop into our DIYsocial group where we are there to answer your marketing questions, cheer you on and enjoy the train ride together!
What Got Me Banned and How Can You Get the Ban Lifted on Facebook?
I have heard the stories–People sending too many event invitations or connection requests to people they do not know, but I have never worried about those. I am always on great “social behavior”…or so I thought! I was more than stunned to get that “BLOCKED FOR 24 HOURS” message last weekend. I was thrown in the Facebook Slammer! I did HARD Social Time! I was relegated to my Twitter corner on timeout! Okay, so it really wasn’t too bad, but I did learn a few valuable lessons, and like any tragic event in life, we go through them so that we have great stories to tell! Here is mine:
When Facebook says no NUDITY, VULGAR LANGUAGE, POSTS OF VIOLENCE, etc. You really don’t know what that means! Mothers who have photos of themselves breastfeeding a baby will be banned (if the nipple is showing, but MALE nipples are okay) and that has spawned a powerful uprising of “LACTIVISTS” who will no doubt use their influence to change some of those guidelines, but Facebook allows a photo of a crushed head. No photo of a person going to the bathroom is allowed BUT (pun intended) photos of people smoking marijuana are fine. The lesson is to be aware that the Facebook Police are scanning more aggressively to clean up the town.
When you are banned–DO NOT continue to try and log in or post, thinking it is surely a mistake and perhaps this 87th attempt will work! Multiple attempts during your sentence will extend the punishment. You could end up with 50 years to life if you don’t just log off and go for a walk…or better yet, log into Pinterest. Your time will be over before you know it!
If you SHARE an inappropriate photo or post that ends up being banned, you will most likely be serving your sentence right alongside your pal that shared it originally.
Do not waste your time trying to find a contact at Facebook to plead your case to. I figured it was a fully automated system and even got a message telling me that an autobot had removed the photo and placed the ban, but later learned that Facebook outsources the task to companies such as Odesk. These companies hire employees overseas making as little as $1 a day to comb through the site policing the over 850 million profiles looking for content that is deemed inappropriate. Bottom line–there is NOT a person to contact. You can click all you want on the help links, but you will only end up back at the Community Standards page.
If you are using a third-party social dashboard site to post content (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc ) your API that links that dashboard to Facebook will also be revoked so don’t try digging under that fence. You will have to Reauthorize your APIs once the ban is lifted.
The last thing I learned was that LIFE REALLY DOES EXIST BEYOND FACEBOOK!
There was a fireball in the sky I hadn’t seen in awhile, and my dogs showed me how to take them for a walk again. And if all else fails…there’s always TWITTER! 🙂
A Facebook spokesperson said: “In an effort to quickly and efficiently process the millions of reports we receive every day, we have found it helpful to contract third parties to provide precursory classification of a small proportion of reported content.” For the most up to date information please visit our Community Standards page.
PS- Here is the photo that got me thrown in the slammer!
Working Wherever We CAN
Let me know if we can help you get out of the Facebook slammer or just the social jungle out there! Be sure to join our DIYsocial Group for tips tools and “Get out of Facebook Jail” cards!