Why Your Small Business Needs to Build a Community on Facebook
In view of the fact that the organic (free) reach of Facebook posts has dropped dramatically – below 10 percent in some cases – many small business marketers are questioning the wisdom of continuing to devote time and resources to promote their business on Facebook and getting so little in return.
If this notion sounds even vaguely familiar, you might want to pause for a brief reality check. Like many social media networks, Facebook marketing is a long-term proposition. It’s not the sort of marketing channel where you get $2 back tomorrow for every $1 you invest today. If whatever you’re currently spending on Facebook is cramping your personal or business style, you need to seriously think about dropping Facebook and trying something else.
On the other hand, if you can afford to maintain a consistent Facebook presence, the community you build now will undoubtedly pay off handsomely down the road. How soon? No one can tell. The return on relationships takes time.
- The real value of Facebook marketing is that it provides a forum to develop relationships and grow a community of followers.
- Out of that community comes trust and loyalty. The more people trust you, the more loyalty they’re likely to feel towards you.
- Loyal customers typically have a higher average order size, tend to purchase more frequently, and have an above-average lifetime customer value.
10 Tried and Tested Ways to Build Your Facebook Community
1. Create a custom welcome page to introduce your page and brand, and to jump-start engagement. Encourage users to like your page, visit your website, and share your page with friends and family.
2. Use plenty of high-quality photos and videos wherever you can – images significantly increase both engagement and shares among Facebook users. In addition to spotlighting your company’s products and services, include headshots of yourself as well as your staff to help boost the connection with your fans.
3. Ask questions. Entertaining fill-in-the-blanks and true or false questions are a great way to gets fans to engage with your site.
4. Add an RSS feed through Networked Blogs or RSS Graffiti to import blog posts automatically as soon as you publish new content on your company blog.
5. Organize or sponsor a fun event that can be promoted through the Facebook Events feature.
6. Write a post about your Facebook page on your company blog. Be sure to provide a list of the benefits of joining your community. Offer an incentive, such as a free download or a discount on a future purchase, for people to like your page.
7. Reward your loyal fans by periodically promoting special offers only available through your Facebook page.
8. Follow the 80/20 rule. At least 80 percent of your content should be focused on useful tips and ideas related to your niche or about interesting news and entertainment tidbits that your audience can relate to. No more than 20 percent of your posts should be used to promote your company’s products and services. Take care to keep the social in your social media marketing.
9. Experiment with different posting days and times to create a posting schedule that drives the most engagement and shares from your audience. Once you determine the best times to post, keep your updates flowing on a regular and consistent basis. For most small businesses, posting 2 or 3 times each week will generally suffice.
10. Monitor your Facebook page on a regular basis. Be sure to respond to questions and comments from your audience on a timely basis. Delete any spammy content as soon as possible.