This month, we're looking at all-things small business – how to know if you should start one, how to get a business up and running, and how to reach more customers.
Social media is becoming an increasingly large part of most business’s outreach and customer retention strategies. With over 1.7 billion active users, Facebook is by far the largest social media platform. And with 30% of recent survey responders stating that they might not buy from a company without a social media presence, it’s well worth establishing a Facebook profile.
Consumers use Facebook to research brands, read product reviews posted by others and interact with companies to provide feedback about a customer service experience or ask questions.
Let’s take a look at how your business can best start using this social media tool.
Start slow and stay consistent.
As with any print or digital medium, once words are out there, they stay out there; be careful and thoughtful with what you post. Don’t create a profile just to have a profile, make sure you’ve got a plan.
Start with an objective – what do you want to gain from having a Facebook profile? Are you hoping to reach a specific audience with your brand’s name? Or do you want to direct Facebook users to your website so that they can order products directly? Once you’ve got one or two clearly defined objectives, then it’s time to dig deeper.
- Create a calendar. Start with your overarching goal, and then consider when it makes sense to post about specific topics. Pencil in any sales or events that your business may be holding. Choose one or two topics for content per month, and then make sure you’re posting about those topics once or twice a week so that Facebook users know you’re active and open for business.
- Appoint select employees. We can’t stress this one enough. If you wouldn’t ask an employee to answer a reporter’s questions about your business or distribute a press release, then do not give them the ability to post to Facebook. Although social media is considered more “casual” than other communication mediums, your Facebook profile is still the official voice of your company. And to keep things simple and your brand’s voice consistent, just choose one or two designated employees to write and post updates.
- Monitor customer feedback and engagement. Generally speaking, designated Facebook employees should be checking and responding to Facebook at minimum every couple hours during working hours and at least a few times on weekends. According to the 2016 Small Business Technology Impact Study, conducted by Time Warner Cable Business Class, one in five respondents will avoid small businesses that are unresponsive to critical comments about the business.
With a little planning and strategy, a Facebook profile can go a long way. For more tips and tricks about using Facebook for your small business, check out Entrepreneur.com’s 11 Foolproof Ways to Grow Your Small-Business Facebook Following or MoneyCrasher.com’s How to Effectively Use a Facebook Page for Business Marketing.