A blog entry by Alexandra Bylund, Web Manager at Solresor
- I don’t have time to hang out on Facebook!
- We have nothing to do on Facebook; our business is strictly profit-focused.
- We don’t have the staff to just sit there and hang out on Facebook all day.
- It’s only a matter of time before this Facebook thing dies out and something else becomes the next big thing.
There are many arguments against joining Facebook, each one sillier than the other.
Hi there, my name is Alexandra Bylund and I am the Web Manager at Solresor. As I’ve been given the chance to guest-blog on Mynewsdesk, I thought I’d take this opportunity to convince the last few stubborn naysayers that having a Facebook Page for your company is a good thing and can actually be quite fruitful. Just how fruitful is up to you!
First thing’s first. Simply put, Facebook will not go away or die out. Facebook is a network, a news site, and an address book. Facebook is business. Your customers and your friends are on Facebook, and as long as they exist there, so will your own Facebook account. It’s not a world of make-believe. It’ s a real link between you, your friends, partners and clients. It’s a platform, a meeting place where you can see everything that’s happening around you in the real world.
You don’t necessarily have to hang out on Facebook for hours on end per day. But it is a place where real-life events and happenings are shared with you and your immediate network. To reject Facebook is tantamount to rejecting the Internet!
So what exactly do you do on Facebook? What’s the purpose?
Your personal Facebook account is designed to create a network of your friends and acquaintances. Over 500 million people, or every 14th person in the world, has a Facebook account. That says a lot in itself.
As a company, Facebook provides a way to:
- Reach your customers. Don’t deny it – your customers are online. Even my grandmother is online and she is part of the fastest growing market for internet and social media usage: the elderly
- Create two-way communication with your clients simply and easily
- Show the human side of your company, creating loyalty that you wouldn’t be able to achieve with banner ads or the like.
- Understand your customers. Who are they? What do they think of you? Don’t worry about criticisms; they’ll always be there anyway. It’s your choice to deal with negative feedback concretely and constructively or to let them comment freely on other forums without your input.
- Let your customers engage and interact.
And of course, using all this, you should find clever ways to increase sales.
How to get started (some concrete advice):
In the following example, I’m highlighting a clothing store that has an online shop as well as a physical boutique.
- Create a Facebook Page and add all the relevant company information. Upload your company logo as the profile picture. Upload images of your employees, your products, and your services. Ask all your employees, acquaintances, partners, and friends to ”like” the page. I think you should have at least 200 ”likes” before you officially tell your customers that your Facebook page is live.
- In the physical store, put up posters or flyers promoting the Facebook Page, mentioning special offers, news, or invites to VIP events, etc.
- Start a competition that results in more ”likes”, but beware that this competition cannot be held on Facebook itself – they forbid that and can close your account because of it! So, host the competition on (and drive traffic from) your store, your website, or newsletters instead.
- Post questions, let people interact and take part in discussions.
- Update the page about 2-3 times per week, not more, unless you have something particularly important to announce.
- Write about things your customers want to read and take part in. Remember that the Facebook page is intended for them: they should enjoy being engaged. In other words, don’t post any blatant sales pitches on your Facebook wall! If you do, you’re practically spamming your own Facebook Page. If you want to sell on Facebook, create a separate, clearly marked tab. This will allow your audience to choose whether they want to see commercial messages or not.
- If you don’t have the technical know-how, get an external company to help with creating an application that allows people to receive a discount code for sharing your Page with their friends on Facebook. This usually results in increased “likes”.
There are tons of activities you can carry out to increase the number of “likes” as well as keep the ones you have engaged. Be curious and creative, and don’t be afraid to try different methods. There are endless possibilities, but stay within Facebook’s rules and regulations. After a while, you’ll come across an effective way to incorporate sales and commercial messages, either directly or indirectly, which suits your company and your customers.
And no, it doesn’t take that much time to maintain a Facebook Page. Personally, I am always logged on to Facebook and answer questions that drop in via the Page. Quick and easy. If there’s one thing that does take a lot of time, it’s my regular inbox…
We started to work with our Facebook page less than a year ago and have around 15000 “likes”. So, without further ado, visit our Facebook Page and like us!
See you on Facebook!