Facebook pages can be a huge asset for small businesses or a waste of time. When done right, a Facebook page is a low-cost way to connect with a potentially limitless network of customers. Facebook is the world’s most popular single “place” where people gather, and chances are there’s a place for your company on Facebook that translates into growth!
“The easy thing about starting a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page is that it takes almost no time, and anyone can do it,” Senior Director of Communications at New York University Jason Hollander told us. “The harder thing is figuring out your social media goals, finding your voice and style, and creating content that can help you achieve what you want.”
Increase awareness of your brand with status updates, product/behind-the-scenes, and social media campaigns. This keeps current fans of your company up-to-date on the work you’re doing, and each new like, share or comment is another opportunity to gain even more exposure and name-recognition.
Strengthen customer relationships by taking advantage of Facebook’s social aspect. It’s easy to communicate with people on Facebook, whether you’re answering a question in the comments of a photo, replying to a post someone else made on your page, or resolving an issue in private messages.
You can also share the content of other pages or people, which is basically an easy way to maintain your social media presence even when you don’t have enough material for an original post. A less-obvious facet to sharing is that it might lead to another account, a bigger account, noticing you. This could lead to something awesome.
However, if your Facebook page is handled poorly, you’re not getting something awesome out of Facebook. A page with poor content projects an unprofessional image, turning people off. What if someone checks you out on Facebook, sees that you haven’t been active in six months, and assumes that your business isn’t responsive and won’t fulfill her order on time? Even worse, what if she assumes your business is shut down?
“Social media doesn’t stop, and once you start you’ll need dozens of original tweets, photos, and posts to populate your accounts each week,” said Jason. “And just as people want reliability out of any brand, social media is no exception. Your followers will have expectations of your posts, so you really need to be prepared to produce good material and deliver it effectively.” When it comes to making sure you have an active brand, we recommend using a content calendar.
What about when a small business owner doesn’t see results quickly and gets discouraged? Because small businesses do not have the name recognition of organizations like NYU, their results will surely be on a much smaller scale. Jason has a great answer for that as well.
“One method for building an audience is attaching yourself to the big players whenever possible. Try to mention a large account, when appropriate, in the hopes of being retweeted or mentioned back,” he said. See that stuff up there about sharing and connecting with other pages? That’s exactly what it takes to give your page a boost.
“You’ll also want to engage your audience as much as possible so they’ll want to share your content or respond to it, which, in turn, gets you noticed by their followers.” This is what it means to go viral. The Ice Bucket Challenge raised millions for The ALS Association because it was an engaging social campaign. Traditional advertising budget? What advertising budget? There’s no need when your content is good enough because people will advertise for you.
Lastly,”give people a reason to go to your accounts. Promotions are the most obvious appeal for customers, but photos or necessary information also tend to attract attention. Without a built-in audience, you’ll always be fighting to be seen, but just keep putting out creative, original content and you’ll be amazed how folks can find you,” said Jason. This is trickier, but we think it comes down to one thing: personality. Running a social media account can be really fun! You’re constantly working with new info and interacting with different people. Your business’s personality is totally up to you. If you’d personally want to be friends with the personality of your company, we think you’re good.