According to Facebook’s latest data, 728 million people are active on the popular social media platform each and every day. As an independent professional or a small business owner, this means you can reach new customers through Facebook even if you’re catering for a very niche market or a local community.
Having said this, one of the major challenges to increasing your sales through Facebook is that people use it for fun and for staying in touch with their friends and family. Typically, people will be looking for photos of cats or their grandchildren and not for your products or services. So how do you grab their attention?
Here are three ways to connect to people on Facebook and generate more sales.
Give people what they want
If people want to be entertained on Facebook, simply entertain them. This doesn’t mean that you must tell jokes or post photos of yourself doing silly things. It does mean that you should think of your content as leisure reading rather than as professional updates.
Since every business is different, there is no fixed formula for what is the right type of content to post on Facebook. Photos of beautiful work or yummy food can be both pleasing to the eye and a great promotion. Curious facts, quick tips and inspirational quotes also make for effective marketing on Facebook.
Give People a Reason to Share your Posts
When people share your posts you get free advertising to all their friends on Facebook. This can be a great way to reach people who are like your fans and customers but may not know your business. Perhaps they are looking exactly for a business like yours and will be happy to work with someone endorsed by one of their friends.
But what makes posts shareable? Again, there’s no secret formula that always works, but according to a research of 31,000 posts from 67 fan pages, this is what you can do to get your posts shared:
- Offer discounts, deals and contests that a lot of people can enjoy.
- Give advice and tips on subjects that many people care about. It could be an astrology forecast or common pitfalls in house selling contracts, so long as many people find it useful.
- Warn people against dangers and mistakes.
- Post something that will make people laugh. Be careful not offend anybody, so everybody can laugh with you and feel comfortable to share.
- Inspire people with great quotes, your personal experience, or the stories of your customers.
- Share outstanding or amazing images and information.
- Post statements or images that people will want to identify with as a way to declare that they are part of a group or a cause.
Get Out of Facebook
Interacting with people on Facebook can be fun, but for most small businesses sales happen in the real world, so it’s crucial to make the connection with your business outside of Facebook.
Even if your fan page is hugely successful, you still need a site that will present your company in a professional way. In fact, with new tools like page2site you can easily create websites directly from your Facebook page.
In addition, try to add a real-world element to your Facebook deals and promotions. For example, coupons that can be redeemed only in the store, or asking people to take photographs of themselves with your product and send to a competition. And conversely, bring your real business into Facebook by sharing behind-the-scene photos and videos, or creating videos of happy customers who recommend your business.
Einat Adar is a marketing professional who got her first job at an internet company in 1999. She is currently the proud owner of a small business and the Marketing Strategist at www.page2site.com a web service that turns Facebook fan pages into professional websites.
Image courtesy Jay Cameron