In a given week, we are having more conversations about Facebook as a marketing medium than we ever thought possible. In fact, just in the last few months, we thought (for a moment) that Facebook might be on the downside of being such an important online marketing platform. Just when we thought this MIGHT happen, Facebook announced they are changing the way they let businesses post in 2015. This change makes it a bit harder for businesses to reach their prospective customers (you have to be a little more creative in your approach), but it makes the user experience more enjoyable.
We’ve put together some tips and tricks that have worked for us and for our customers. Make sure to try these out before throwing in the towel on your Facebook marketing strategy.
1. Claim your Business’ Vanity URL
A Vanity URL is a URL that is specific to your page and easy to remember. Often, Facebook will provide you with a URL that looks something like this: www.facebook.com/mnclsdklc??//jnc9908
That kind of URL wasn’t going to work for our business because we actually WANT people to find us, right? So we claimed the vanity URL, www.facebook.com/ictpmd. This makes life easier for us AND easier for our customers to find us. To claim your Vanity URL:
a. Go to www.facebook.com/username
c. Select the page you want to create the username for. If your page has the needed 25 fans it will bring up a box .
d. Enter your desired username and click on Check Availability.
e. If it’s available, you will be shown some final terms – if you are happy with your choice click Confirm or select Cancel to try another one.
2. Cover Photos
Change them often.
3. Use a Third-Party Platform
If you use social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) in addition to Facebook, invest a little extra time in using a third-party platform, such as Hootsuite, to organize and disseminate your content. Logging into multiple platforms and having to post to multiple platforms can become very time consuming depending on how often you do this. Using something like Hootsuite can make these processes go faster and it will also track your results all in one location.
4. Post Regularly
Some find this one really hard, but you have to post regularly for people to remember you exist. To make this easier, create reasons to have to post. Start a blog. Use a scheduled day of the week to provide some sort of tips to your audience. If you are a DJ, provide party planning tips and integrate ideas about best ways for using music at a variety of parties. If you are a plumber, provide house cleaning tips and try to integrate tips that have to do with maintaining your plumbing. People appreciate this kind of information. They find it valuable; therefore, they will find YOUR BUSINESS valuable.
5. Vary your Posts
We all tend to just push out information. While that can be helpful, it’s always nice to have a visual, right? Whether it’s an example of what you’re describing or a video with instructions, people like to have a visual to accompany the words. Try providing a variety of content (some just words, some pictures, some video, and some links). This will help you reach a diverse group.
TIPS TO THINK ABOUT
These tips might not come as easy as the ones above. You’ll have to think about the ideas here and find the best places to incorporate them into your business’ Facebook marketing plan.
1. Don’t Focus on the Sell
Seems counterintuitive. We understand. But this is what Facebook is directly changing so that users enjoy their NewsFeed more. Facebook wants their users to see valuable content…ideas, messages, comments, and any information that can educate or entertain them. Don’t focus on selling on Facebook…focus on providing valuable content that will help you engage with your audience. (See DJ and plumber references above.) The audiences for those two professions don’t want to see your ads and prices. They want your knowledge.
2. Use Hashtags in Creative Ways
If you sell multiple types of items or if you provide multiple services, this could be especially important for you to organize your content online. If you are a caterer and you cater for multiple events that range from weddings to children’s parties, you might use hashtags for each category of your offering. This helps customers to narrow down their selection by clicking on the hashtags that are most relevant to their needs. They’ll be able to find the information they need from you faster and they’ll appreciate the time saver. Even if you don’t sell multiple items, the more creative you can be with your hashtags, the more exciting your marketing campaigns.
3. Make Use of Your Employees
Employees are sometimes an untapped marketing platform. Depending on your industry and/or market, encourage them to engage with your Facebook fans. Let them answer questions and tag each other in photos. Humanizing your brand goes a long way in the world of social media. Customers like to know your business is more than just a name.
Get creative and have some fun with Facebook. It’s a great place to learn about your customers.