500 Facebook fans is a great goal for your local business page, it’s attainable but not automatic. [bctt tweet=”500 Facebook fans is a great goal for your local business page. Here’s how you do it.”]Without specific instructions, it can seem overwhelming to try and build likes without bombarding your friends and family with invites. Attracting local, potential and actual customers to come to your page, like it and then continue to read your content is an extremely valuable digital marketing goal.
For most small and medium-sized businesses, the majority of your consumers are already on Facebook, here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can get them to come to your page, like it, stay and read your content and continue to book or buy your services over and over again.
Make sure you fill out EVERY section of your Facebook page settings.
Put your accurate address, business hours, phone number, email address, short description and long description filled with your services and products so it’s easy for new visitors to know exactly what you do.
Take time to “Brand” your page.
Carefully create your cover image and profile image with your logo and easily recognizable pictures so that your page clearly shows what you do (a high quality picture of your business location or a picture of you and your staff is great and is usually more effective than a perfect stock photo.) Make sure your profile image has either your face or your logo very prominent so it’s recognizable by all your posts and comments. This is great for when you comment on other posts or pages of your clients and complementary businesses.
Make your Facebook page and active and lively place!
Digital marketing is here to stay and it’s time for you to invest – it doesn’t need to take up a lot of your time, it just needs to be regular, fresh and suit the clients you’re service. Create a content posting schedule (1-2 posts/day is great for Facebook!) and then start practicing by posting images, relevant articles, client testimonials, “behind-the-scenes” pictures. Instead of trying to create polished and perfectly designed images, it’s more important to be yourself and show your company culture. Speak on your Facebook page as you would to your customer standing in your office. If you are looking for a way to schedule posts so you don’t have to go on all the time but can queue up posts in a batch (ie: a 10pm marketing blitz 1 time/week) you can use a posting service like Buffer or Hootsuite. Put a couple posts on your page before you start inviting your friends and clients.
Once you’ve got your page all set up and have some fresh content, it’s time to invite. Invite your clients and friends. Add trusted staff as page admin’s so that they can invite their friends as well. Remember that you’re seeking to build a local audience for your local page so seek to invite local friends and family that will truly find value in being a part of your business updates and promotions. If you have an email list – send a short email inviting your clients to Like your page with a direct link, add your facebook page link to your web page, instagram profile, twitter profile and even in your email signature!
Once you have your base of fans and you feel like you’ve asked every current contact, it’s time to use facebook’s very specific advertising methods. Most people think that Facebook should be all free marketing, but remember – this is your business, and just like any other advertising medium, you have to pay to play. The great thing with facebook advertising is that it’s far cheaper than most other marketing you’ll ever do, AND you can keep it extremely specific. Facebook even shows you how! Figure out how valuable 1 client/customer is to you, consider that into when you set up your first campaign to get page likes. Set a budget and a goal to get 200 likes. Create your first Facebook add with the goal for Page Likes (that’s what we’re going for here!). Make sure your promotion parameters on your ad post are location specific to your area, and demographic specific to your clients. Think about their interests and even other local businesses that they go to – build your advertising around where and who your customers are. Now make sure your ad shows an image of you and uses a phrase that will be incentive enough for them to like your page (eg: “Get exclusive access to discounts” or “First 500 fans get ___”.
Get Out and Like Your Virtual Community.
As your ad is running, it’s time to go out into your virtual facebook community. Making sure you’re using facebook as Your Page, and not you personally, go out and “Like” complementary local businesses and associations where your customers are. If there are relevant posts – like and comment on them. Use this as a networking tool. Every time to like or comment, your profile image is showing up. You can start conversations and support local businesses and become more of a “face” in your community. This will bring more traffic back to your page, although it’s harder to track – it’s worth building your brand and reputation this way.
Share more often then you Sell.
Just like walking into a store, most customers want to browse around, see what’s there, and decide what they like – when you post on your page, it’s really important to share more, sell less. Every once and a while share a promotion or sale but MORE often, share good and “life-enhancing” content. Just as in any conversation, share and connect more, pitch less. A good rule of thumb is 4-5 or more general posts for every promotion post. Your page will grow more organically and your customers will stay and read your content if it’s not just all self-promotion, but rather a “cool place to hang out!”. Your Facebook page is a community it’s not an additional storefront, your customers will come to your store because of the feeling they get from your facebook page and the value they receive there without obligation to purchase.
Keep repeating your facebook ads, tweaking them each time to make them intriguing and effective. Once you’ve built enough the number of page “Likes” you determined as significant, you can start boosting posts and using ads to direct your fans and new customers directly to your products or services right on your website.