Almost 70% of the U.S. adult population has a Facebook account. This is a huge number and an opportunity provided you know how to use it to your advantage.
Why do People Use Facebook… Perhaps the most important think to learn about Facebook is that people use it quite differently than they use Google or Amazon services. There is a great degree of trust placed in Facebook and users tend to be more open and much more focused on non-commercial tasks such as sharing personal/family events, having a conversation about anything, sharing an article of interest, “secretly” watching what others are doing (I know it sounds weird but its true), seeking attention, and sometimes out of boredom. All of these things mentioned are items that have little to no commercial interest, and this is very important to keep in mind. Users come to Facebook to escape the daily routine and also to minimize the noise that advertising and promotions tend to make. They are not on Facebook to look and shop for items. Yet with all of these things mentioned, there is a way to promote your services and products, subtly and effectively.
Posting Strategy – One of the great things Facebook allows you to do is segmentate and control what demographic and psychographic types of users see your info. If you show up on feeds that are not related to your audience, you will be made fun of, often right on your comments. Keep that in mind and target yourself accordingly.
Consumer Engagement – Facebook is a very interactive ecosystem. This means you will want to create more engaging types of ads that are opened for discussions “what do you think about this?”, “how would you improve that?”, and those types of questions . The more you can engage and get the user involved, the better your ad or post will do. Facebook ads that simply offer something tend to track poorly and will fall down in the overall Facebook metrics while those that stimulate a conversation or feedback tend to stay high on users pages. In other words try to lower your advertising angle and engage the user. Also be ready for honest feedback, at times unrelated. You may get some negative feedback, but thats part of Facebook and most comment readers have learned by now not to take the comments too seriously.
Reveal on Facebook First – If you are planning on launching a new product or idea, use Facebook as a potential teaser platform and give that audience an exclusive peak behind the curtain. Encourage users to share your post or just like it if they enjoy what you are offering. Its also important to create unique pages on your site that pull users out of the Facebook medium and into your site.
Local Community Participation – Since Facebook is a “social” platform, you should share your community engagement activities on it that don’t really have anything to do with your products or services. You may be a small business that actively participates in improving your community. its completely fine to share that on your Facebook page. Go ahead and tell people what you participated in, why you believe in it, and perhaps encourage others to join. Try NOT to promote your business in these posts but simply post about community engagements using your business Facebook profile.
Sponsor and Support Others – If you know of people who have done outstanding things, share their story on your own Facebook wall. If their actions and beliefs are aligned with your organizations then share it. Don’t spin it into an ad for yourself but simply endorse and promote great things.
Be Active – You need to participate frequently. If a post is launched and then left alone, it will sink. You need to monitor it to a degree, get ready to answer questions or provide additional feedback on it. There will be dialogue if you are running it right, so be available to talk with your audience. If you can’t do this, hire someone who can be your face.
Keep in mind that users like their Facebook posts to be as commercial free as possible. Don’t make it feel like a loud car inventory liquidation sale. You always want to inform and ask for feedback. Good luck!