Facebook is conducting roadshows across the country to show small business owners how to attract new customers and keep them engaged by using the popular social network. As a co-sponsor of the series, NFIB has attended all of these events and we’re sharing the best Facebook tips from a recent session held in Leesburg, Va.
One of our favorite quotes from the event was from a Facebook presenter who said, “The more you put into Facebook, the more you get out of it.” So let's get into it and jump right to the interesting questions that business owners asked during the seminar.
Q: How can a professional service company use Facebook effectively?
A: You are the subject matter expert for your field and Facebook is a place to demonstrate your knowledge. Showcase your expertise by offering content and tips that are valuable to others.
Q: How do I get fans?
A: Import your contacts directly into Facebook and notify them that you have a Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=212291088790957 Ask them to “like” your page. Also, remember to promote your page through the following.
- Make your Facebook link visible on your website.
- Add your Facebook URL to any printed material, including receipts, business cards, etc.
- Add your Facebook link to your email signature.
- Offer small prizes, such as for a Facebook fan of the week; or, when you reach certain milestones – perhaps every 500th like.
- Create Facebook ads. See How to Set Up Facebook Ads
Q: My company doesn’t want to have any employee photos on our Facebook page. What other photos can we post instead that will generate interest?
A: Try these suggestions:
- A: If you sell a product, take photos of that product. This works well for food, clothing, gadgets and many other items.
- If you are a hotel, take photos of the rooms and amenities
- Take photos of your business or storefront
- Show client photos and testimonials
Q: How expensive are Facebook ads? Can you geo-target them so they are shown only in a specific geographic area?
A: Facebook ads are priced based on an auction model, so it’s determined by how many others are bidding on the same targets you are
- Pricing is cost-per-click so you only pay on those that click on your ad
- If you set a daily budget, your ad will be shown until you reach that click maximum
- If you don’t reach your maximum clicks in a day, you are only charged for those that were actual clicks, not the daily allowance
- You can geo-target all the way down to the zip code-level (e.g., you can specify that you want to show ads only in certain zip codes)
- You can also target based by gender, age, year of graduation, interests, and many other categories. http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=203882222982239
Q: Help! My company doesn’t have a Facebook page yet, but when I search on Facebook I noticed several pages were already created for my company. How do I fix this?
- Without having created an official page, customers can still create a Facebook place to check in. Most likely, you had multiple people creating a new place since there wasn’t an official one set up.
- Claim one of these places and build your page. Report the others to have them removed.
Sweet Example of a Business Connecting with Consumers on Facebook: Sprinkles Cupcakes
During the overview portion of the session, we learned of one cupcake business that’s having measurable success with consumers on Facebook. Sprinkles Cupcakes uses “whisper codes,” a secret word-of-the-day distributed only through Facebook. Anyone who comes to a Sprinkles that day and whispers the code gets a free cupcake. This has led to at least 50 FB fans going into stores daily.
How to get started on Facebook:
The Facebook session in Leesburg, Va., also walked attendees through how to get their business on Facebook by following a three-step process.
Step 1: Connect People to Your Page
- Search for your business on Facebook.
- If your business name exists in the search results, claim your place. http://www.facebook.com/help/location/claim
- If it does not already exist, create a new page. Remember that creating a page allows you to connect your offline and online worlds.
- Create a vanity URL so that people can find your page and it’s easier to market. For example, to find NFIB on Facebook you can go right to www.facebook.com/nfib. You need 25 fans first before you can claim your vanity URL at www.facebook.com/username.
Once those fans are connected, keep them engaged:
- Keep your page fresh
- Ask questions
- Post at least once a week
- Create a page post ad
Step 2: Use Insights Tool to Learn What is Working
- Discover who is connecting: age, gender and location
- See who’s talking about your business in the past month
- Learn what content is interesting and engaging
Step 3: Reach Friends of Fans and Beyond
Reach new customers
- Connect with potential customers
- Create Facebook Ad for your page
- Create a Page Like sponsored story http://www.facebook.com/ads/stories
o You can expect two times increased engagement when users shown sponsored stories
o Your audience is 68% more likely to remember an ad when associated with a friend’s like
o Friends’ recommendations carry weight
Facebook Small Business Boost launched in January 2012.
During the session, Facebook described its Small Business Boost campaign that launched in January and features:
- Facebook $50 in free ad credits for small businesses
- If a page gets 50 new fans, they can get $50 additional credit
- Top entrants can be eligible for $10,000 in additional credits
- Learn more from Facebook at www.facebook.com/smallbusinessboost and from NFIB at www.nfib.com/facebook-business-guide
Watch the webinar: 5 Things Every Business Should Do on Facebook