A friend of mine recently boasted to me about how many Facebook fans his local business has hundreds of fans.
“How many of those fans live in your area?” I asked.
“Uhh, about 20% of them,” he said.
“Are your fans targeted prospects or are they random people?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. Many business owners are focused on getting X amount of fans because it’s the “cool” thing to do and don’t care about getting fans that are real prospects. “Cool”, however, doesn’t translate into sales…
Your business has a Facebook page and based on the amount of fans, statuses, and comments you conclude that you are, in fact, a social media king (or queen). You are “doing” social media. However, have you ever thought about whether or not your efforts are resulting in anything meaningful (as in sales).
Your Facebook status updates are likely to get buried under your fans other posts. Furthermore, most Facebook “fans” of small businesses aren’t even local, according to Business Insider. Gathering local Facebook fans may, over time, result in fans that will convert to customers because you’ve built a relationship with them. Here’s how to make sure that that actually happens…
Build a Targeted Fan Base
The number of fans may give you an ego boost, but it means nothing if those fans don’t actually care about your business. To make targeted local fans like your Facebook page, offer something for free. For example, if you’re a contractor in Boston, give away free customized 3D renderings of home renovations to Bostonians who are looking to renovate. Advertise this free offer in local direct mail and Facebook campaigns.
Use HomeStyler to create the 3D renderings at no cost to you. You now have a fan base of people who are looking to remodel their homes in the Boston area. Of course, you can get untargeted fans, but keep in mind that 1 targeted fan is worth more than 1000 fans who have no interest in your product or service.
Don’t Be Overly Promotional
When people like something on Facebook, they expect that liked page to give them something of value in return. If you’re a celebrity or a corporation you can afford to talk as much about yourself as you want because you already have a ton of social proof.
As a small business, you don’t have that kind of luxury and should, instead, post infrequent updates that give your followers some value. For example, if you own an optometrist page, post links to articles about eye care. Occasionally, post promotional articles of your business so you won’t annoy followers who already have cluttered news feeds.
Engage in Other Forms of Marketing
Facebook may be the “cool” thing to do, but rather than being the main source of your marketing efforts, make it compliment whatever marketing you already do. Build targeted traffic to your website (through SEO or PPC) and ask those targeted visitors to like you on the social networking site.
If you run television advertisements, tell people to like you on Facebook so that they can receive a discount or freebie. Ask your employees to tell customers to like your business on Facebook and place signs in your storefront, advertising your Facebook presence.
Measure the Effectiveness of Your Facebook Efforts
Getting a fan base for your local business is likely to involve an investment in the form of discounts and giveaways, which come at a cost. You can measure the effectiveness of your Facebook campaign by having your customers fill out surveys, which ask them about their Facebook usage.
If, over time, you notice a relationship between paying customers and Facebook usage, you know your social media efforts are paying off. If there isn’t a correlation it’s most likely because you are not getting a targeted fan base.
|About Nickolay Lamm
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