Your Facebook page is a lot like a sports car. It’s got a lot of moving parts, requires some dedicated maintenance to stay in working condition, and can be unreliable depending on who made it.
But how do I do all of this? What maintenance do I have to perform? How do I know my page is in good hands?
Okay, clearly you have a lot of questions about this process. But social media, while sometimes complicated, is often misunderstood and made to appear more complicated than it truly is.
Let’s assume you’ve just started a Facebook page for your company. Whether this task was pushed onto your plate by your boss or you’re a small business owner who does it all, you’re likely wondering where you go from here, right?
The process is daunting, but here’s a guide to stepping into the driver’s seat and putting your Facebook page into drive so it can help bring in sales and assist in building a solid reputation for your business.
Your Page’s Design is the Paint Job
There are two kinds of paint jobs that catch the attention of other drivers: the beautiful, custom jobs that make us turn our heads in envy and the rusty, mistreated ones that make us shake our heads in disgust.
Now, unless you’ve got a business based around rusty, mistreated cars, you’re not likely to want one on the cover of your Facebook page. This means you’ll want a custom cover, designed exclusively with your business in mind in order to attract the attention of Facebook users and brand your page as quality and worthy of a like.
How do I get a custom design, though?
If you’re looking into hiring an automotive social media marketing company to help grow your Facebook page, the service should cover inital design elements, including your profile picture and cover photo. If you’re unable to secure those services, though, finding a graphic designer to create mockups is much easier than you might think.
99 Designs is a marketplace for graphic design, running on a unique platform that pits designers against each other in a battle for your business. They create mockups to your specification, and you only pay for the one you end up using on your Facebook page. This is great if you’re looking to separate yourself from competitors who have shown little creativity with their social media efforts.
Can I keep things simple and still look good?
Of course! Have you ever seen Nike’s Facebook cover? It’s easily the most simple, yet powerful covers they could possibly use. It represents what the brand stands for with just three words: Just Do It.
You may not have a phrase that is universally linked to your brand, so that might not have the same effect. The point, however, is that no matter what you choose for your cover, it should display the image you’re trying to present to your customers.
Other Great Examples
Facebook Ads Work Like an Engine
More than anything, your Facebook page needs visitors. You can use it as a placeholder just in case someone happens to be interested in looking up your business on the social network, or you can get proactive and work to get people liking and interacting with your page.
Facebook Ads are the most effective way to do this. You’re able to reach out to Facebook users with interests that help connect them to your business, gaining the initial exposure that’s crucial to a successful social media marketing strategy.
Much like an engine, Facebook Ads keep your business’s page running by delivering more and more unique, targeted users that will like your page and share your content.
How do I maximize the value of my Facebook Ads?
In order to get the most bang for your buck, you want to make sure you’re targeting the most appropriate demographic. For instance, if your business develops software that tracks employee productivity, it would be a complete waste to target 13-17 year olds on Facebook.
You should already have an idea of who your average customer is and use the tools Facebook provides to delve into local, interest-based targeting. Because if there’s one thing you don’t want to do, it’s run a random ad campaign. Might as well throw your money off of a bridge.
What should I do to start with Facebook Ads?
- Experiment — The best way to learn anything is by getting your hands dirty and learning what works and what doesn’t. Facebook Ads are no different, as what works for one business may not have the same positive effect on another. Take time to experiment with different campaigns and get to know the system.
- Have a Budget in Mind — You can easily test the waters with Facebook Ads and set a small budget to start with and build up more and more as the results come in. However, you should always have a budget you’d like to keep in order to avoid overspending.
- Set Daily Limits — Always make sure your campaigns keep users coming in each and every day. You don’t want to end up wasting your entire monthly budget all in one day, because that can easily happen on a site with over a billion users.
Quality Content is the Gas, Promoted Posts Work to Accelerate
Fueling your Facebook page with content is like giving it the gas it needs to assist the engine in keep the car running smoothly. But just like a sports car, your Facebook page can’t just take any old content, it needs the good stuff: premium, quality content.
What kind of content should I post on Facebook?
- Images — Facebook users love images. And while they may not be providing your website with direct traffic, they serve as a way for people to interact with and share your business’s page. Think about it this way: If 100 people share one of your posts on their News Feed, it could potentially reach 33,800 people. I got that number from the fact that the average Facebook user has 338 friends. Now, if only 2% of those people click through to your page, your business has been exposed to 676 new users.
- Blog Posts — Your business’s website needs a blog almost as much as it needs the basic information about your business. A blog serves as a way of creating additional pages that work to associate your site with your industry in the eyes of search engines like Google and Bing. The more content your site produces, the better you’ll rank, and the more customers will be able to find your business over a competitor.
- External Links — Sharing high quality links related to your business is a great way to add more variety to your Facebook posts, but can also work as a promotion method if applied correctly. For example, let’s say you run a small bakery that sells donuts, pastries, and other delicious breakfast items. You could post links to studies that prove breakfast is the most important meal of the day and make a suggestion from your shop.
- Questions — Sticking with the bakery idea, asking questions via your Facebook page is a great way to get users interacting with your business, as well as a great way to steer conversation toward your products or services. If the bakery were to ask “What’s your favorite breakfast food?” that could spark up conversations about the various items offered and potentially lure in a few customers.
- Promotions — After running through these various posts, our bakery is wondering if there’s anything more they can do to appeal directly to customers to draw in business. The best way to do this is to run promotions via Facebook, offering coupons to users. According to Jeff Bullas, the best way to approach coupons on Facebook is to offer a dollar amount, such as “$10 off.” Users aren’t likely to know your prices, and they especially don’t want to do the math, so keep things simple.
So, what are Promoted Posts?
Promoted Posts act as your foot on the accelerator, helping your posts reach more users and boosting your page past the competition. Unlike Facebook Ads, promoted posts put your content directly in the News Feed of the people you want to target, giving your business greater reach and another way to grow its following.
However, like Facebook Ads, they should be carefully experimented with, which will allow you to better understand what type of content works best with your target audience.
How do I determine what works for my page?
Once you’ve properly experimented by promoting the various types of posts mentioned above, take a look at your stats and posts for the following:
- Positive Comments — When a user takes the time to write out a positive comment about your post, take pride. The average Facebook user can be exposed to up to 1,500 different posts each day, so if they choose to interact with your content, look at what you did right and take note of it for future posts.
- High Number of Shares — Likes and comments are important, but shares are what you want more than anything. With shares, users are helping to promote your posts for you, which should tell you that they not only like it, but that their friends will like it as well.
- Page Like Increases — Let’s assume your business’s page is growing by an average of 5 new likes per day. If one day, your stats jump up to 25 likes, and then drop back down to 5 the next, go back and take a look at what was posted that day. Use that data to get a better idea of the type of content that’s helping your business’s page grow the most.
Customer Interaction is Your Regular Maintenance
In order for your sports car to perform optimally, you need to make sure it’s receiving regular maintenance. And in that respect, your Facebook page needs someone to look after it–someone who can interact with customers and give the page a personality beyond the actual content.
What good does customer interaction on Facebook do?
Let’s suppose someone called our example bakery outside normal hours and left a voicemail with a question about whether or not it produced a particular pastry. Now, even if our bakery doesn’t sell the pastry in question, we’re going to call them back, right? Of course! They should know that we appreciate the fact that they took the time to call and let them know what we do offer.
Now, let’s switch the phone call and voicemail with a Facebook comment on the bakery’s page containing the same question. Would you still feel a reply is necessary? If not, why? Social media is the new customer support. Not everyone wants to call up our bakery when they have a question; they want the convenience of asking a question at 9pm and seeing a reply notification by the time they check their account at lunch the next day!
But beyond serving as another customer service platform, your general interactions will pay off if you take them seriously. Here are a few tips to help get you started:
- Reply to Every Comment — In order to get the most out of the interactions on your page, make an effort to reply to every single comment on your posts. If you’re a small business, that’s not going to be a difficult task, as you won’t be receiving hundreds or thousands of comments each day. This small act makes people feel special, letting them know that their comments are valued.
- Ask Questions — Not every comment will open up opportunities for questions, but try to keep people talking as long as possible. This will not only increase the level of interaction on your page, it will allow you to make a personal connection with a potential customer.
- Control the Conversation — At times, there are opportunities to steer the conversation toward your products or services. Make sure you have this planned out from the start, keeping in mind that there’s a progression that needs to take place first. If someone is not showing interest, you don’t want to push a sale and lose the connection.
Each Part Plays an Equally Important Role
Each one of these parts work together to create a Facebook page that proves to be valuable to your business. Make sure you’re not ignoring one part by spending too much time on another.
Three Simple Rules to Follow
1. Your cover photo and profile picture must be visually appealing to users who click your ads or discover your page naturally.
2. Your content needs to great to get the most value from promoted posts and organic audience.
3. Your interactions have to be thought out to maximize the value of the user comments and messages.
Watch Wikimotive’s Erin and Amanda Ryan Discuss Facebook Page Success
This video is a part of Erin and Amanda’s social media-oriented segment on Auto Dealer Live called Get Your Social On. The show airs every Thursday at 3:30pm EST on UStream.TV. Subscribe to Wikimotive’s YouTube page to see a backlog of segments and to be notified of new ones.