There was a time when Facebook was used as a personal social communication platform. Now, it is being used by businesses everywhere to build communities of brand advocates who do a lot of their marketing for them...and for free! When you build a community online and keep your followers happy and engaged, they will shout from the rooftops about their positive experiences with your business, share your posts, like your pages and posts and really help to boost your online reputation.
Have you ever visited a Facebook business page only to find the owner hasn’t updated the page in months, or even years? Is the business still in operation? Is anybody visiting the page? Do they care about their business or their customers? This is a common problem on Facebook and one that could be losing those businesses valuable customers. By posting engaging, relevant and preferably, sharable content, you can keep your business in front of your Facebook audience and have a good chance of reaching out to new followers too. Think about the posts your followers might like to see. Advice on how to do something, competitions, interesting news, discount codes and special offers are just some of the posts you might like to include on your Facebook page. Always think about sharability and whether your audience would be likely to share your posts with other people.
When setting up or updating your Facebook page, try to view it as an extension of your website, if you have one. Many people forget to complete their Facebook profile properly and leave out important information like the services or products they offer, where they are based or their website address. You can include many of these details in the ‘About’ section, and Facebook also allows you to create your own additional pages. There is even the facility to create a storefront where you can showcase your products and services. Take a look at some of the big brand Facebook pages for inspiration and to see how they attract more business to their pages.
Written content is great, but images and video will really bring that content to life. Whether you are linking to a post on your blog, asking for customer feedback, announcing a special offer or promoting a product, images and video will really grab the viewer’s attention. Research has shown that including images in a Facebook post can generate as many as 52% more likes than a post that consists of text. This is great news for your brand exposure as those likes will appear on every liker’s timeline. You might even want to consider hiring a video production or design team to create some branded images and video for you. This is an investment that could go on generating revenue for you for many years.
Want to know what your followers really think about your business? Want to know what they had for breakfast this morning, or what car they drive? Polls are a great way to obtain feedback from your followers - feedback that could help you tailor your services to suit their needs or release offers they would be interested in receiving. Polls get people thinking and talking, and the best thing is that they only need to click a button in order to give their opinion - that’s convenient for them and a quick win for you. Facebook makes polls very easy to set up and they could be just the thing your business needs to meet your customers’ expectations.
Everybody loves a competition, especially if there is a prize to be won or the promise of their name up in lights if they win. Caption competitions on Facebook are very popular and for good reason. These really get people talking and interacting and they could work wonders for your brand.
Here are some other ways you can interact with your followers:
You can also read our article on how to promote your business through Twitter.
Twitter is a great way to promote your business and it's amazing how effective a tweet can be for exposing your brand and attracting more followers. You might only have 140 characters to work with, but this shouldn't limit your creativity or marketing ideas. Here are some ways you can really make Twitter work for you in 2015 and beyond.
When you tweet regularly, you show that your business is active and healthy. A stagnant Twitter account is one that will go unnoticed and which won't do your online reputation any favours. The thing to remember about Twitter is that it is fast moving and you only have a short time frame in which to engage with your target audience before they are distracted by the next tweet in their feed.
Here are some interesting figures: The average lifespan of a blog post is 2-3 years, the average lifespan of a Facebook post is 3 hours and the average lifespan for a tweet is around 2 hours, but it's probably closer to a few minutes depending on how many people your followers are following.
With this in mind, keep tweets to the point, relevant and keep them regularly updated. Link back to your website, link back to other relevant sites that you think your audience may be interested in or simply post photos and videos. Twitter is also a great place to announce special offers as these can usually be showcased in 140 characters or less.
You can often reuse the same tweet as not all your followers will see it the first time. Using a service like Hootsuite is a great way to schedule your posts for the coming week and it can also be used to manage all your social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Your Twitter account might be the first contact people have with your business, so make that first impression count. Keep your Twitter bio updated with your company details, your contact information, relevant information about your brand, products and services, and any other information you feel might be relevant. You can also update your profile description with interesting info about your business and really give your company some personality and identity. Another great way to add personality and make your account stand out is to brand your Twitter account as much as possible. Use your branding colours, logos and taglines where possible to make it clear to followers and potential followers who you are.
Can't think of anything to tweet today? Like what you see on another Twitter feed? Retweet it! If it's relevant to your brand, products or services, retweeting an engaging comment or photo is a great way to keep your Twitter feed fresh and also to build relationships and kudos with other like minded people within your industry. You should also aim to encourage others to retweet your content. This is a great way of extending your reach beyond your own Twitter community and attracting more business. If anybody retweets your posts, and especially potential customers or existing customers, make a point to thank them personally. By posting your own tweets and retweeting good quality tweets from others, you will start to become an expert in your industry and one that is more likely to attract more attention from potential leads.
Hashtags are a great way to decipher what is hot right now, and also what is not. There are many websites that can show you which hashtags are the most popular and which might be relevant to your brand. By posting relevant posts to hashtags, you can reach out to those who are interested in that particular trend right now, or who might be more receptive to hearing from you. Just keep in mind that hashtag popularity can change like the wind and that it is a good idea to keep checking hashtag trending websites for the latest news. If you can't find any relevant hashtags, why not start your own? Every hashtag starts somewhere, and you might just create the next big trend!
Okay, so you only have 140 characters to play with. Sometimes, this can be a challenge. Why not use video or images instead or in combination with text? This type of media is a great way to add colour and interest to your Twitter feed and could work wonders where exposure is concerned. A funny pic of the day, a caption competition or an instructional video are all great ways to get noticed, and encourage those all important retweets. Research has also shown that photos and video could encourage three to four more clicks on your Twitter account than a text-based tweet.
You can also read our article on how to promote your business through Facebook.