Youve started a new business and you want the world to know about it. Naturally, you will set up a web page describing your services in detail.
But how do you draw potential customers to your web page?
If you have a Facebook account, you can create a Facebook profile page to promote your business, draw potential customers to your website and build a niche network of target customers.
While your official website works as your shop front, your Facebook page is an informal meeting place for loyal clients. Your fans can learn about special offers or upcoming events and they will tell their friends, who will investigate your services for themselves. As a result, you have a consistent, loyal customer base happily promoting your business on your behalf!
1. SET UP YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE
Your Facebook page should provide a snapshot of your business, rather than act as a copy of your website. Interested viewers can click on the link to your website if they require further information.
One of the advantages of the Facebook profile page is the classification tool that helps identify your business within certain categories. This classification helps potential customers find you more easily in the crowd.
Open a Facebook account: Before you can set up a profile page for your business, you need a Facebook account at www.facebook.com. Log into Facebook then you can create your profile page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
Create a page: Click on Ads and Pages in the left-hand menu. Then click on +Create Page in the top right-hand corner.
Describe your business: Click on Official Page in the right corner and then select from the six categories: Local business or place; Artist, band or public figure; Company, organization or institution; Entertainment; Brand or Product; Cause of community. When you choose the Local Business category, you can then select the closest match for your business from the drop-down options. Type your business name into Page Name.
Proof-read your details: Double-check that all your information is correct before clicking Create Official Page.
Add content: Your Facebook page should feature the business logo and a blurb about the business, as well as contact details and links to your website. If you have a blog on your website you can use Facebooks Networked Blogs application to automatically post your blogs onto your Facebook page.
How to set up a Facebook page for your business
Freedom. Flexibility. Options.www.silverchef.com.au
2. BUILD YOUR FAN BASE
The purpose of your Facebook page is to build a fan base of loyal customers who will promote your business on your behalf. Remember, this is a business page, not a popularity contest. Rather than gathering Likes from vague acquaintances, concentrate on connecting with people who you believe are sincerely interested in your services. A genuine fan base is a fantastic networking tool as loyal customers offer genuine support and guidance for your business. You can count on them for repeat business, and they will tell you when there is an issue with your services.
Add a Like box: You can add a Facebook Like icon box to your company website by clicking on Edit Page then select Resources/ Use Social Plugins. Fill in the required details and select Get Code. Copy this code to place a Like box on your company website.
Send invitations: Start building up your fan base by inviting selected contacts from your email list to become fans. You can send out an invitation through your email contact list. Only send the invitation once, as you dont want to irritate potential customers by bombarding them with nuisance emails.
Promote your page: Put up a few real-life banners or place a notice in your newsletter inviting people to Like us on Facebook. Let your customers know that Facebook fans receive special offers, previews and discounts.
Network with other businesses: Develop relationships with inter-related businesses, such as your own suppliers and service providers. These real-life connections are also trying to promote their own business, so you can support each other by sharing links and cross-promoting.
Link with your community: Its always good practice to support local community events. When you support a local fund-raising drive or a charity event, link with the event on your Facebook page. At the same time, add some photos of the event, and dont forget to mention how you also provided practical support!
3. MAKE OFFERS
Once you have at least 100 Likes on Facebook, you can start offering discounts and gift vouchers to your Facebook fans. If your fans can pick up a free dessert or a discount voucher from your Facebook page, they will visit the page and your business more regularly. They will also spread the word to other Facebook friends and real-life friends who will be drawn to your business.
Add an Offer: To create a virtual coupon on your Facebook page, click on the Status Update Box, then choose Offer. Select from In Store, Online or both. Then add an image and a brief description of the offer. If you choose the In Store option, add a bar code to be scanned when customers present the printed coupon. For an Online coupon, add a coupon code. Preview your offer before posting it onto your page, in case youve missed something important.
Make your offer profitable: Your offer should draw customers into your store, where they will happily spend money. You dont want customers dropping in to pick up their freebie and then walking straight out again. The offers should be discounts or extras, such as a Half-price dessert with every main meal or Bonus jar of home-made jam for purchases over $10.
Set limits: Specify that the offer is limited to one per customer, and set an expiry date. Otherwise you will have the same customers returning again and again to pick up their free jar of jam!
Special events: As an alternative to give-aways and discounts, you could invite your Facebook fans to special events, such as previews or a celebrity meet-and-greet.
Facebook Fans Only: You can make your Facebook fans to feel part of an exclusive network or extended family by offering them exclusive privileges.
Promote the promotion: To make the offer more prominent on your Facebook page, click on the Edit icon, then select Pin to Top. This will place the offer at the top of your page where nobody can miss it. You can also draw attention to the offer through other social media sites such as Twitter.
Social media is a double-edged sword. Not only do you have an easy way to communicate directly with your target market, your customers also have an open forum to give feedback about your business. The comments on your Facebook page are a great way to find out what your customers/ clients really think about your business.
Listen to your customers: If your customers are consistently posting comments like The food was great but the music was too loud you can see a way to improve your service.
Respond to serious complaints: Customers like to be listened to, and if you ignore them or delete their comments, they will go somewhere else to be heard. If someone posts about a bad experience with your business, acknowledge the problem and advise the customer to repeat the complaint directly to management so it can be dealt with properly.
Dont block negative comments: A few criticisms sprinkled amongst the positive feedback will add authenticity to your profile page. If all the comments are 100% positive, your profile will look unrealistic.
Keep posting: Stay loyal to your fans by updating your page regularly with notices of upcoming events and new offers.
Freedom. Flexibility. Options.www.silverchef.com.au