Using Facebook for your business<br />All materials in this PowerPoint are copyrighted work product of Alexander and Associates and may not be used or reproduced without permission.<br />
Social media are replacing newspapers, radio and television as the main way people get information about everything. Social media have even become more popular than email as a way for people to communicate. <br />But what are social media?<br />
Three things about social media: <br /><ul><li>Users create the content. A traditional Web site is a business brochure. Social media are a public scrapbook, consisting comments, photos, videos and stories from you and your customers. Businesses can and should facilitate the conversations and participate.
Many lines of communication. In traditional media, you send a message or ad and customers receive it. In traditional word-of-mouth, customers talk among themselves. In social media, you talk to customers, customers talk to you, customers talk to each other about and with you, groups of customers talk to other groups or individuals about and with you. All of this is done openly and permanently saved.
People are their own gatekeepers. Mass media no longer control what’s available for the public to consider “newsworthy.” Each person does that for themselves.</li></li></ul><li>40 percent of people on Facebook are 35 and older<br />
I once heard someone say, “I went onto Facebook once and there was just a guy talking about the burrito he had for lunch. Who needs to know that?”<br /> Believe it or not, someone’s business really does depend on knowing that sort of thing. <br />
These businesses need to know what people in their town are saying about burritos.Everything is relevant to someone!<br />
The Facebook fan Page<br />The Fan Page is the heart of the business Facebook effort, where you converse with your customers and they discuss your business among themselves. You and your fans will post photos and videos related to your business and you should give discounts and incentives to your fans.<br />
More on the fan page<br />You should post photos, updates, contests, awards, rates, offers and promotions. It is much like a Web site, only less expensive and people can interact with it directly. You can use this to reach and reward your most devoted fans and the people who love your brand. <br />
How do fans hear about me? <br />Every person on Facebook has a timeline – the collected comments of all their friends, updated instantly. Whenever you update your page with a photo or post, it shows up in the timelines of your fans. <br />Most people use Facebook to keep up with friends and family, but a surprising amount of business networking goes on. Stick your face in your fan page at least once a day and respond to everyone who writes on your wall. <br />
Don’t just sit there!<br />Use Facebook to find charities, non-profits and local clubs that need prizes for drawings. They will thank you on your page, tell their friends and build goodwill for your brand. You may be doing these things already; social media just allow more people to know and talk about it.<br />
How to get more fans 1: <br />Give people reasons to talk about you<br />Offer a good product or service – do the core of your business well. That’s Job #1.<br />Form alliances with other local businesses and offer cross-promotions – buy a $10 gift card at a coffee shop, get a $10 gift card at a drive-in. Write about this on your wall.<br />Give a free pass to anyone who becomes a fan and writes on your wall.<br />Thank and respond to everyone who writes on your wall<br />Handle complaints professionally and promptly. <br />Put up interesting news on your wall that’s relevant to your business or industry.<br />Take photos of people having a good time at your business and tag them (you must personally be their friends first). This will get people to visit your business page. Their friends will tag photos of their friends on your business page. <br />
How to get more fans 2: <br />Get outside your page<br />On the right of the business page, you can choose to use Facebook as your business. You can’t see people profiles, but you can write on the walls of other businesses and get yourself in front of their fans – a good move if the other business has thousands of fans. Only do this if you have a relationship, tie-in or offer with the other business. <br />Think of other businesses that could use your services. Could a local business perhaps purchase passes from you for incentives, office parties, giveaways, promotions? <br />When you are cruising Facebook as your business, visit other businesses and “Like” them. This is a way that businesses can be “friends.” If these businesses patronize you, thank them. Everyone is a customer and everyone is a business.<br />“Tag” another business on your page update and the post will appear on that business’s wall also. You must be a fan of that business.<br />
How to get more fans 3: <br />Do good in the community<br />Via status updates, offer to donate free passes to local charities and clubs for door prizes, fundraisers and drawings. <br />Make sure donation recipients write a note of thanks on your Facebook page. Surprisingly, few people write a note of thanks unless asked, and it may take more than one reminder. <br />Set up Event Pages for your events. These are especially good because they allow you and your friends to invite their friends to your events. <br />Find local clubs and non-profits that you could partner with and write on their Facebook wall.<br />
Business page or group page? <br /> We generally advise businesses to set up a business page. Group pages are for clubs, associations and groups that do not primarily engage in business. Facebook is less stringent about this, though, and group pages have some advantages. A group page, for example, can message all its members, and members of a group can add their friends to a group. But be very careful in doing this or people will leave your group or report you for spam. <br /> Business pages are more open to search engines, while group pages aren’t. Also, business pages can get custom URLs, like facebook.com/mybusinessname. Business pages also come with engagement metrics, like how many fans visit, number of impressions posts make on people, etc.<br />
Search Facebook<br />This is the Facebook page of a burrito business. Below are local people and what they recently had to say about burritos in their status updates. Get a username so people can find your fan page, like<br />Facebook.com/burrito. The more local friends you have, the more you can search what they are saying about you and your competitors. <br />
Mistakes to avoid<br />DO NOT incorporate as a personal Facebook page, like “Joes Drivein.” Facebook requires all personal pages carry the real name of the person behind them. Many businesses set up as “people” so they can send “friend requests,” which is a form of spam. Facebook will shut down such pages without warning. The legit way for a business to use Facebook is with a business page. (Also, don’t accept friend requests from businesses, because you have no idea who will have access to the page and all your personal information).<br />Do not just churn out promotional messages. Show an interest in your community, put up links to relevant news stories, put up photos and profiles of your employees and customers, give a tour of your facilities and explain how you do things. <br />Don’t take down critical comments, unless they are rude, in poor taste or planted by your competitors. Use complaints as an opportunity to display to everyone how you care for your customers and address their needs. People are willing to forgive quite a bit if a business makes an honest effort to do the right thing. <br />
Advertising <br />on Facebook<br />Ads are only shown on the right-hand column and are non-interruptive. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad and the more you’re willing to pay per click (say, 50 cents), the higher your ad is placed. You set a budget of how much you’re willing to spend per day and the ads stop running when you reach it. You select keywords, ages and cities for the ad.<br />True story: I once wrote on a friend’s wall about a welding repair job I did for her. The next day, I started seeing ads for welding supply companies. Ads are also placed based on your stated political views, your gender, marital status, age, pages you visit and favorite books, movies, foods, etc. When a man turns 40, for example, he will start seeing many ads for Viagra and golf. <br />
What can I expect social media to do for my business? <br /><ul><li>As with traditional advertising in newspapers, radio and TV, it is about connecting with your customers, keeping them loyal and getting them to leave your competitors.
Your customers are already talking about you, or may want to talk about you in the right place. Do you have that place ready for them?
Social media are especially useful for customer service and assessing new products and services.
If your competition is doing it and you aren’t, you are at a disadvantage.
Increased sales and market share are possible. Cause-and-effect sales may be difficult to pinpoint, similar to traditional advertisement – except social media cost much less to use.</li></li></ul><li>How do I do this for my own business?<br />Many businesses do their own social media – some do it well and some not so well. It is not particularly difficult to learn, but it does take a consistent commitment of time and effort. If you want to outsource it, there are various public relations companies that will do it for you, or train you to do it correctly. Here is what you should look for:<br /><ul><li>Is the firm interested in your company and do they ask questions about it? Do they consider your other assets: Signage, history, visual appeal, vehicles, Web site, etc.?
How often will they update your Facebook page and Twitter feed? At least a few Tweets a day and a Facebook update a day are good.
Are they suggesting new approaches and things for you to try?
Are they linked in to the community, so they can think of partnerships and other ways of increasing your profile?
Do they get you in traditional newspapers and television, and leverage that in social media?</li></li></ul><li>VERY IMPORTANT POINTS!<br />Social media cannot change anything about your business.<br />They can only amplify what is already there and what people think about you already.<br />If you offer a good product or service, do good deeds and treat your customers well, social media will reflect that.<br />If you offer a product or service no one wants and people dislike you, then you should not be in business. <br />You should work for the IRS.<br />Using social media is a reflection of the faith you have in your brand.<br />
If your marketing people are not getting you into social media, they are behind the curve<br />