Facebook is becoming increasingly popular as a platform for marketing businesses, events and more. Running a Facebook page is a good way to reach your customers, collect feedback, and offer a point of contact for your customers without cluttering up your personal account.
Another benefit of Facebook pages is that they can have more than one manager. This is useful because it means that you can give rights to the page to your employees, without giving them the password for your Facebook account. So if an employee leaves the company or switches departments, you can revoke their permissions quite easily.
Starting a Page
Launching a Facebook page is easy. When you are logged in to your Facebook account, simply select Create Page from the drop-down menu in the top right hand corner of the screen (assuming you are using a desktop web browser). Note that you should create a Page, not a Group. Groups are useful for discussions, but have limited functionality for promotion compared to pages.
You can give the Page a name and set options for it – is it a page for a person, a place, an event, or a company? You can also select a header picture and a profile picture. Choose something that clearly represents your brand.
Filling Out The Page Details
After doing this, the next step is to fill out the page details. Depending on the type of page, you will be asked things like opening hours, contact details, location and pricing. The more information you can provide, the better.
You will then want to make some posts. In most niches, it has been found that posting to Facebook two or three times a day provides the best results. Less often, and you miss out on engagement opportunities. More often, and you risk annoying your users.
Make posts that include images or videos. These will usually provide better results than text posts, and will attract more likes and shares.
Growing Your Page
Before you start promoting your page to the wider world, it is a good idea to have a few likes. Invite your friends to “like” the page (Facebook offers a convenient interface for this) and then send out an email to all of your subscribers (assuming you have a mailing list) telling them about the page. Try Tweeting about it too.
Add the Facebook page to your website (WordPress themes usually have an option for you to add social media icons to the sidebar or Footer), and let some “likes” come in.
After doing all this, you should have a decent base of “likes” and activity, and you can look at promoting the page in other ways.
Check Your Notifications Regularly
Note that Facebook now has an icon which shows how responsive page owners are. This icon will tell people whether the page owner responds to messages very quickly (within five minutes), quite quickly (within an hour), or within a few hours.
If you are unresponsive to messages, then the icon will not show at all. The quicker you respond to messages, the more likely it is that people will message you with their queries, and the more likely it is that you will have a chance to engage those users and turn them into customers.
Once you have some activity on your page you can start looking at doing promoted posts. This is a good way to build up an audience. Facebook makes it easy to promote posts to “people who like your page and their friends” and you can also promote posts to people with similar interests, who live in a specific area, own a particular mobile device, or are of a specific age or gender.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money. A few dollars or so per day will give you better reach and will attract attention for your brand. Be consistent in your promotion efforts, and you will find that the page grows by itself. The more people who like and share your posts, the bigger your organic reach and the better results you will get when you post content to the page each day.
Patience is Key
Patience is the most important thing when it comes to growing your audience. You will not get a hugely successful page overnight. However, if you take some time to post on a regular basis, you will see results eventually. Treat each post as a chance to add value to your page. Share things that you know your audience will appreciate.
If you want to sell something, remember that a good rule of thumb is to post 12 “value” posts or engagement posts per self-promotional post. Answer people’s questions, ask questions of your fans, and share content created by others. The more you do this, the more receptive people will be to seeing your promotional content.
Social media is, at its core, social – and you cannot afford to forget that. Facebook pages are a platform for two way engagement, not for you to preach at your audience. If you annoy your users they will mute your page, or unlike you, and you will have no-one to engage with.
Take your users seriously, and answer them when they send you messages, so that you build goodwill and can grow your social media audience in a sustainable and steady fashion.