Almost everyone is on Facebook these days. The social networking site famously attracted its 1 billionth user in late 2012 and has added millions more since. By December 2013, a reported 1.19 billion people checked Facebook every day. With numbers like that, chances are good that your customers are also on the site.
So how should you, as a small business owner, manage your company’s Facebook page? Jason McDonald, director of JM Internet Group, a social media and SEO consulting company in Fremont, Calif., offers a few key pieces of advice.
Make it fun
First, don’t treat your Facebook page like your Twitter page. Twitter is a perfect medium to send out a dozen messages a day, many of them advertising your company via coupon codes, etc. Facebook is much different.
“Facebook is friends, family, fun. If you can connect to that persona, great,” says McDonald. This means posting status updates with photos, lighthearted comments about current events and engaging with customers. It also means avoiding self-promotional posts as much as possible. According to McDonald, companies should only highlight promotional messages (i.e. discounts) every 10th or 20th post.
It can be easy to make your Facebook page fun if you own a pizza restaurant (McDonald recommends posting pictures of kids at a little league party or the scene at your restaurant during Friday happy hour), but what your business isn’t so lively? What if you are the head of an engineering practice or CPA firm?
“You can still make boring topics fun,” says McDonald. “If you own an engineering company, put up a funny picture once a week and have a caption contest to engage your followers. The caption with the most likes gets a gift card or industry book.
“Or post blogs and news from other places that have to do with your industry. Or post something everyone can relate to like how Mondays can be a bit of a drag. You will get tons of comments from people commiserating.”
Most importantly, think from the perspective of your customer. Ask yourself why your customer is logging onto Facebook in the first place, McDonald recommends. Many of them are coming to be entertained; make your page fun and your number of followers will increase.
Make sure you control your page
While you may assign the task of Facebook posting to a lower level member of your team, make sure that you still know your account’s user name and password to avoid a potential disaster. “If you assign control of the page to someone else and that person quits, he or she may take the page with them,” says McDonald. “As a business owner, it is a security issue. Take inventory of what you control.”
Set up a corporate page, not a personal page
Facebook is pretty serious about verifying whom you are when creating a new account. “They will kill your page if you set up a personal profile instead of a business profile by mistake,” he says. “Personal profiles and business pages are different things. Make sure you are setting up the right one.”