The emails from small business owners typically start out something like this:
Hi! So we took your advice and created a Facebook page for our business. Now that we have the page created, we’re not sure what to do with it. What’s next? What should we be using it for?
If you’ve ever stared at your Facebook Business page and wondered what, exactly, you were supposed to do next, you’re not alone. Obviously the best way to use your Facebook page will depend on what type of business you’re running and what you’re hoping to get out of your investment there. However, if you’ve been finding yourself at a total loss for how to use Facebook to connect with your audience, here are few ideas to help get you started.
1. Ask Questions: However you did it, you were able to get a group of people to take action and announce to the world that they “like” your brand. Now that you have this engaged focus group, use it to your advantage! Ask them questions related to your product or service to get a better understanding of how they’re using it and any problems they may have. Ask them about organizations they love or support for ideas about future partnerships or to learn about their other interests. Ask them how they wish they could use your product for ideas about additional product lines. Ask them about their biggest struggles for ideas about blog content or how to improve upon their experience. Facebook gives you direct access to your customers, so make sure you’re using it to learn as much about them as you can.
2. Respond to Them: If someone leaves a comment on your Facebook wall, whether it’s to ask a question, to tell you how much they love your product or even to make a demand, respond to them. This is another opportunity to get to know more about them and to create bridges you can use later. It not only shows that person that you’re there and you’re listening, but it shows everyone else watching as well, which will encourage more participation and more comments. If you want people to interact with your page, you need to interact with it back. No one wants to join a party that looks like it’s dead. Participate and show some signs of life.
3. Highlight Them: To spur engagement, Skittles asks its community to submit photos of themselves every week. Tons of users do and then one photo is picked and chosen as the Skittles “Rainbro of the Week” and used as the brand’s new Facebook profile pic for the next week.
Pretty cool promotion for one lucky Skittles fan.
Doing little things that highlight your audience gives them a reason for continued participation and shows your appreciation for them. If you want an example of a brand doing great things with its Facebook page, I’d recommend you take a look at what Skittles is doing. They have a really fun page with tons of engagement.
5. Highlight Yourself : Your fans gave you that “like” because they wanted to connect with your brand, to learn more about you and to become part of your community. So allow them to do that by giving them behind-the-scenes access to what you’re doing. Let them see pictures from this year’s company picnic, show off the new office space that you just moved into, highlight key members of your staff, let them know the story behind your brand’s name or how you got started. Customers love this kind of material because it helps them feel part of the brand, and it’s content they often can’t find anywhere else.
6. Highlight Others in Your Industry: Take some time to acknowledge the cool things that other people are doing in your industry. Whether it’s a great post from a popular blog, a controversial thread on a related forum or a cool video you stumbled across, share it with your Facebook community and start a conversation around it. By tagging the company behind the great content, you also help yourself get on their radar and increase your own brand karma.
7. Get Your Community to Create Content: Why put the whole burden on you? Ask your customers to share photos and videos of themselves using your product out in the wild. One thing I love about the Harvey Seatbeltbags Facebook community is that users are always posting photos of themselves with their favorite Harvey’s bag in the real world. Through their pictures I get to learn more about my fellow brand enthusiasts and it also introduces me to new Seatbeltbags I hadn’t seen yet.
If you’re not sure what to do once you land in the world of Facebook, the seven ideas listed above should help you get off the ground. What else are you doing to attract and wow your audience on Facebook?