Facing Up To Facebook for Business: What You Really Need to Know

© mtkang - Fotolia.com
© mtkang – Fotolia.com

As a writer, I’ve recently turned my attention to Facebook as an alternative means of exposing myself (in the nicest possible way) to a wider audience for my work and of course lovely potential clients.  Using my website has been fine, but as a Perth website design guru agrees, we’re in the age of the “multi-channel”. Having enjoyed multiplying my channels via Twitter, my foray into Facebook for business has been a very steep learning curve of what to do and, just as importantly, what not to do in the face of balancing business needs with visitor desires.  So, what do you really need to know from what I’ve gleaned so far?

Strategy is the only strategy

Facebook is as fickle and varied as its 500 million active users per day (Facebook’s own stats), so the first thing to know is that you are never, ever going to appeal to everyone and if you flit around trying to re-design your page and your brand to fit the latest FB trend every time, you’re soon going to just sink into oblivion (and possibly exhaustion).

So, forget ‘fitting in’ to Facebook and organize yourself a strategy for making Facebook work for you.  This strategy should typically involve:

  • Creating a professional and polished profile: but also adding something of a personal touch.
  • Creating a business page which reflects your brand.
  • Identifying your audience (aka potential customer) and tweaking your business page to ensure that your content will not only entice visitors, but also engage them into clicking that ‘like’ button.
  • Creating an editorial calendar: know when you are going to post (as a minimum) and stick to it consistently.  Remember that this is a minimum which fits into your schedule but maximises the potential of your page to be effective.  However, don’t be a slave to it: if something wonderful (and relevant) happens that you want to share with your fans, don’t wait until posting day, just shout it out then and there to keep that personal touch alive!

Aim for Goals

Ok, it’s part of the strategy too, but I’ve really learned that this is worth highlighting: knowing what you want out of your Facebook business page is a must.  Having checked out your audience demographic, you’ll have an idea of what they’ll want from your pages, but also pare your investigations down to the bone of what you want for your business.

  • Create clearly identified goals so you know what you are aiming for with your page overall.
  • Refine your goals according to what you want to achieve in different areas: is it a following; increased sales; is Facebook going to be the ‘personal’ side of your business venture?  If necessary, refine your goals into what you want to achieve on a weekly, monthly, even yearly basis.
  • Starting with that overall picture and work backwards defining your goals as you go will offer you an immediate starting point (aka ‘to do list’), which focuses your Facebook foray, all of which is a preferable strategy than floundering, tweaking and ‘trying’ without knowing where it’s all going.  Note from the personal learning curve: if you don’t know what you want from your FB page, it’s going to be hard for you to create content which is relevant and appealing – in a nutshell, if you’re all over the place with it, it’ll show on your page!

Monitor and adjust

Twitter has a fabulous spontaneity: it’s very knee-jerk and in the moment so any minor marketing errors can be quickly lost in the stream.  Facebook, however, is long-term so your content needs to have a lasting appeal.  Keep your eye on:

  • what you’re offering
  • what’s trending
  • what your regular visitors ‘like’ about your page’s content:  seriously, qualify those likes and identify what content your visitors like the best, early on
  • those short and long-term goals of yours

Got all that?  With all of those things in mind, keep monitoring and adjusting both your content and your goals in a way that moves you gently along with the flow, not against it or away from it, so that your page stays relevant and useful to everyone (including your business) in the long term.

Promote

Finally, don’t forget to promote your page!  Use all of your current resources, contacts, followers and of course your website to promote your new marketing media!

 

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