Not every social media platform will be the right form of communication for your business and your customers. Knowing which platforms are most appropriate for your business will give you the best opportunity to succeed on social media. Over the next few weeks, Kitch & Schreiber will be covering popular forms of social media, their benefits and shortcomings, along with best and worst practices, let’s begin with Facebook for Businesses.
Facebook was founded in 2004, and changed the way many of us socially interact in our personal lives, and has also significantly changed the way businesses and consumers are able to communicate. Facebook has differentiated itself from other social media, in that it provides a sense of community, allows for casual conversation between businesses and consumers, and is very photo/graphic/video friendly.
Facebook for Businesses – Best Practices:
- Be sure to keep the “About” section on your Facebook page as current as possible. More and more consumers are looking to this section to find out about hours, location, pricing, etc. Being able to provide your customers the information they are looking for, where they are looking for it, makes their decision of using your products/services that much easier!
- Post regularly and post relevant content to your audience. If you finish developing post content before you want to make the actual post, Facebook allows you to set a future date and time for the post to publish. Scheduling the post as soon as it’s finished assures you won’t forget to post it later.
- Make sure your page is a safe, comfortable place for your customers to engage in conversation. Remember, it is YOUR page and you are able to remove any content that is offensive or inappropriate. However, it is recommended to private message the person explaining why the content was removed in a friendly manner to prevent “hard feelings.” Below, we have posted an example disclaimer to post at the bottom of your “About” section regarding content removal. Feel free to copy and paste!
- All content and posts on this page are bound by Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities at http://facebook.com/terms.php. We reserve the right to remove posts that violate Facebook guidelines, including abusive, offensive or threatening language; offensive or derogatory comments that target specific individuals or groups; discriminatory comments based on race, color, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, or disability; libelous or slanderous language; and comments advocating illegal activity. Posts with links that are determined to be spam or advertising will be removed. Exceptions may be made for an ad from a local business, an alumnus advertising a job opening, or other content relevant to building our community.
- Even if your company is a business-to-consumer retailer, try to keep business promotions to a minimum. Save promotions for paid Facebook advertising. Use this form of communication to build credibility by blogging about your company’s vast knowledge of your industry, build brand loyalty, or post tips on how to best use or maintenance your products. Always reply to comments, questions, and direct messages to assure your customers that you are listening to them.
- Graphics are important on Facebook! Anytime someone likes your page, the newsfeed will display both your profile picture and cover photo to others. That being said, it’s very important to have high-quality photos and graphics in place. Photo albums, pictures, and videos receive between 100% and 180% more engagement. (Source: www.facebook.com)
Facebook for Businesses – Worst Practices:
- Not having a social media plan can be the number one reason you do not succeed on Facebook. Without planning content and scheduling posts, it’s more likely that days, weeks, or months, will pass with no posting at all. Your customers, who made the effort of “liking” your page, have now forgotten about your business. Set social media goals and center your posts on achieving those goals. Depending on what your Facebook activity has been, a goal might be reaching 200 likes, consistently providing helpful information to your customers, or even to carry out components of a branding campaign.
- Posting only about sales and promotions can be a quick way to drive your “likes,” or your loyal fan base away. Look at Facebook as a two-way, conversational street between your business and your customers. Post content that they would be interested in reading. If you’re not sure what they want to read, ask a customer the next time you’re ringing them up or providing the service.
- Again, Facebook should be used as a conversation tool, so try not to ignore your customer’s comments or messages (intentionally or unintentionally).
Pros of Using Facebook:
- Easy to Use – Facebook has done a very good job of making profile setup and daily use very easy to understand. But, if you’re confused by any Facebook functions, the Help Center is very…well…helpful!
- Great Relationship Builder – Not only can utilizing Facebook correctly help you build relationships with your customers, but it can give you the opportunity to provide more assistance and customer service to those who rely on you and expect prompt responses.
- Reach – Facebook has the highest number of users, and lends the greatest opportunity for reaching the most people.
Cons of Using Facebook:
- Time Consuming – Managing your page and level of engagement can take up a pretty good chunk of time, but it’s necessary to do it anyway. Scheduling time on your calendar or hiring a social media intern can help solve this issue.
- Audience – If your target market happens to been teens, you’ll probably want to invest most of your social media time into Twitter. Teens have officially deemed Twitter their social media of choice. Also, not everyone uses Facebook, or any social media for that matter. Don’t view your Facebook page as a replacement of your other marketing efforts, especially your website.
- 874 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products as of September 30, 2013.
- 727 million daily active users on average in September 2013.
- 1.19 billion monthly active users as of September 30, 2013. (Source: www.newsroom.fb.com)
- More than 1 million websites are integrated to Facebook (Source: www.youthedesigner.com)