Did you use Facebook for business this year? Are you planning to start this new year? Perhaps you have a business page but it hasn’t gotten any traction so far. Maybe you are scared by how things change constantly and you are not sure if you are able to keep up with all the changes. Today is your lucky day, I will walk you through what you need to do in order to have a successful Facebook business page in 2015.
You don’t have to hire anyone or remained changed to your virtual desk, either. All you have to do is to make sure that you know what you need to know about Facebook and without having to know every single thing about Facebook. This is the difference between total overwhelm leading to analysis paralysis and taking small, consistent actions that will move you closer to your business goals.
Let’s get started!
Make a killer first impression
#1 Get yourself a great looking cover photo.
When you set up your Facebook page make sure to get yourself a decent cover photo, and by decent I mean professional looking. Imagine someone clicking through to find your Facebook page for the first time. What do you want them to know? If you are a solopreneur, what is your title? Give the most relevant information right there.
#2 Complete your about section.
Just under your cover photo, you will see links to your about page. When people click on this they see all sorts of information about your business – so, fill it out. You can leave a link to your opt-in offer next to it.
Notice the about section just under your profile photo on the left? Your visitors can see this info instantly without having to click anything. People often forget to take advantage of this. Make sure you do too and add a link to your website with an additional link to your opt-in offer. There is no harm offering your opt-in in many different places.
Create a killer content strategy
#3 Create posts that educate, entertain or empower.
People are spending time on Facebook socializing, catching up on news, finding opportunities to entertain themselves, and also looking for ways to solve their problems. When you cater to their needs you prove yourself to be of high value, and in the long run people welcome you in their newsfeeds.
#4 Learn to write effective headlines.
People are busy and your updates must cut through the noise and clutter to get people’s attention. Spend some time honing your headline writing skills and it will reward you with a big ROI. Write headlines that promise a big benefit or arouse curiosity. Mediocre headlines will move into oblivion faster than you can say Facebook.
#5 Publish posts for maximum engagement.
Think about the kind of posts you find interesting. Now switch gears and think about your ideal audience. What will get their thumbs up? Generally images do really well because they stand out in the news feed, and so does video. Combine these two formats to give a lift to your text-only updates.
Ask your audience questions but don’t make them think too hard. Questions that require a one word or a one sentence answer tends to elicit lots of reader engagement. Share quotes, humorous updates, and tips and tricks. Link to your blog posts with a teaser so people are more likely to click.
Don’t forget to hold contests and publish purely promotional updates but keep these updates to a minimum.
#6 Aim to maximize reach.
Post updates when most of your audience is online. Schedule your posts in advance and repeat your posts as not all of your audience is online at the time you post. Facebook posts have a fairly short life (75% of Facebook engagement occurs within 5 hours of posting) so you have got to post regularly.
Use high quality images
Anyone who is using Facebook for business and is not using the power of images in their social media strategy is leaving money on the table. The reason is simple: we humans are highly visual creatures and are wired to pay attention when an image pops up at us in a sea of text updates. We cannot ignore an image, it is right in front of us but we only consciously pay attention or take action when it is done well.
#7 Tell your business story.
You can use photographs to tell your marketing story. You can either use a photo with a single focus or a series of photographs to tell a compelling story. Make sure your images elicit an emotional response.
#8 Inspire via images.
Ask fans to share their favourite moments. Use user generated images on your page.
#9 Teach people.
Show people how to do something. Take images to solve a problem.
#10 Don’t just use images.
Use images in conjunction with quotes, humorous sayings and tips. This will make a bigger impact.
#11 Keep it simple.
Don’t add too much text or elements competing for attention. If the image is too busy, people will move on.
Learn to run Facebook ads
#12 Master targeting.
You might be tempted to hit the promote button and boost a Facebook status update. Don’t. The best thing about running Facebook ads is that it allows for laser tight targeting resulting in a great cost per click but when you boost a post, the targeting options are limited.
You can start with your competitor’s pages (use the graph search feature to find these pages) and target them. These should be enough to keep you busy for a while. If you have a decent sized email list you can upload it to Facebook and create lookalike audiences. Finally, you can create custom audiences based on the criteria you specify.
#13 Work up to power editor.
I highly recommend hiring a Facebook ads expert for an hour or two to help you understand Facebook ads, how to run a page post ad from your regular dashboard for starters and then start using power editor, the chrome plugin for making your ads even more deadly. It’s not that hard and you definitely shouldn’t spend hundreds of dollars on courses that teach Facebook ads. Get one-on-one help, especially when you are short on time so you don’t make any costly mistakes, and perfect your fundamentals.
#14 Split test your ads.
Once you start running ads, start split testing them. Stop any ads that are not performing well and let only those ones run that are getting you a great cost per click. A really easy way to do this is to let the ad run until you get 50 website clicks and then look at what it is costing you to run it.
#15 Use remarketing.
You can use Facebook ads to target those people who visited your website without signing up or making any purchase. These people have shown their interest in what you have to offer and once you are feeling confident with advertising, you can create custom ads to target these people.
Create Facebook groups
Facebook groups are great for creating strong relationships with your readers, prospects and past customers.
#16 Create a private Facebook group for paid members only.
Offer this exclusive access to you as part of a program, course or product upgrade. People must buy and request to join. People will purchase or pay a higher price for a chance to work more closely with you and also connect with other like-minded people in the similar position. This is a small group of people with an intimate feel to it.
#17 Create a public Facebook group for subscribers.
People need to sign up to your email list or newsletter to get access to this Facebook group. You want to promote this group as much as possible as it is great for attracting new people. You engage with the members and remain active but not to the level of your paid Facebook group. People in this group will see your work first hand and are considered higher quality leads than those who are just on your email list.
#18 Join other groups for networking.
You can also join groups for connecting with peers, potential partners and clients/customers.
Stand out on Facebook
People spend a lot of time on Facebook but don’t overlook the fact that they are spending most of this time interacting with their friends and family and not necessarily with brands or businesses. That being said there are steps you can take to make sure your updates don’t get drowned in the clutter.
#19 Be a real person.
Interact like a human and have conversations with people. Pay attention to what they are saying, taking account of their feedback and acknowledging praise as well as criticism. Don’t be a faceless corporate entity. People relate with other people, not with brands.
#20 Show off your personality.
Make your posts interesting. Show what you are interested in yourself. Share personal tidbits.
#21 Use great imagery.
As I said before, photographs and images stand out in the newsfeed but take this even further. Only use high class imagery and differentiate from your competitors by portraying yourself in an ultra professional manner. Give shout outs to others. Make your readers, commenters, clients, and customers the star of your show.
#22 Be civil.
Unless your brand allows it, be polite. Never say anything you won’t say to someone’s face.
#23 Be consistent.
The easiest way to make an everlasting impression on your followers? Do what you say you will. Keep doing it consistently and pretty soon you will start seeing results.
Keep an eye on the competition
Facebook has some great features to know what is working for your competitors.
#24 Use Facebook pages to watch feature.
You can watch your competition and keep an eye on which of their posts are getting really good engagement. You can add up to 100 pages at one time.
You can find answers to questions like how many posts they are publishing and at what time. Which types of posts are getting more engagement, is it images, quotes, or questions? You can also see the type of content that doesn’t resonate with you.
#25 Keep your competition on an interest list.
Facebook has a great feature where you can add pages to your interest list. For this you have to like their page and then you add them to your interest list. It can also be done if you want to spy on them without letting them know. In that case you don’t like the page but locate their page on the Interests Lists area.
Look at the insights
People feel overwhelmed by Facebook insights because they don’t know which metrics are the ones they need to be paying attention to. They feel like they are drowning in data because they are looking at too many numbers.
#26 Look at the right metrics.
Don’t get frustrated on Facebook when you think you are not getting enough reach. In reality there are more important metrics you should be tracking. For starters, instead of looking at the reach, look at the engagement rate and the number of people who are taking action.
#27 Download the data and look at the big picture.
You can sort the data and look at which of your posts are doing really well. Instead of agonizing over every single detail, try to spot trends by exporting longer period data for a particular quarter.
Use Facebook to build your email list
This might seem counter intuitive but the success of a Facebook business page is not necessarily determined by the number of likes it has. Sure page likes (your fan base) and engagement (post likes, shares, and comments) are important as they are great for social proof and organic growth, but don’t lose sight of your main goal: generating leads from Facebook.
#28 Create the right freebie offer.
Create a very specific opt-in offer to generate leads. Something that can be consumed in 5 minutes or less works really well. Link to this offer on your about page so it remains visible at all times.
#29 Run ads for list building purposes.
You can promote important updates and posts but you will get the most bang for your buck when you drive people to a landing page with the sole purpose of capturing their email address (squeeze page). You can create a page on your website or use a standalone page for this purpose.
#30 Follow up with an autoresponder series.
Don’t forget to warm up your newly acquired leads and make an initial offer using your email service provider’s automation service. Use this pre-created series of emails to build rapport and trust, tell your marketing story, build credibility and pitch an introductory level product or service in the end.
Go get them!
In a nutshell, if you want 2015 to be the year you master Facebook for business, you need to learn how it really works, go deeper than just using it on a superficial level, and make the most of the essential features. With this post, you get a big picture overview of what you need to be paying attention to and also the things you can safely ignore.
Now go and take action. Make it your year and be a Facebook rock star and let us know in the comments below which tips you found as most helpful!