A few weeks back I did a post about why local businesses should be on Facebook (if you missed it, find it here). Now let’s look at how to be on Facebook. In other words, here’s a quick run-down of the do’s and don’ts for small, local businesses on posting. As always, we will have a more detailed look at Facebook features later in the week.
3 Do’s for Facebook
- Post consistently – Post daily or just a couple times a week. Maybe you only do “weekend update” posts. Whatever you choose, commit to it and show your FB fans that you are on there. Getting “traction” with Facebook requires commitment so start slow and build up over time.
- Connect with others – If someone comments, respond to them. It sounds simple, but so often businesses overlook this simple rule of engagement. Another tip – follow others. Find fellow businesses and professionals that you want to interact with and respond to their posts. Let your fans post on your wall and start conversations.
- Make it personal – No, I am not telling you to share your most intimate secrets on Facebook; but it is the hub of living room style banter. Snap pics of your staff, post favorite quotes, or include status updates about the community in general. Your fans want to know the more human aspects of you and how they can relate. This is where you build loyalty and not just transactions.
3 Don’ts for Facebook
- Overselling – One of the most common concerns I hear from small business owners is that they don’t think fans want their news feed crowded with posts. This is sort of true. What fans don’t want is you posting every hour with the enthusiasm of a sleazy salesman. Have a big sale? Great, let people know. Have a new product that came in? Sure, snap a pic and announce it. But you don’t have to SELL it so hard. Your fans are smart, savvy and going to scroll right past you if you oversell.
- Forgetting calls to action – Are you asking for feedback from fans? Asking questions or promoting This or That contests gives people a reason to take action. At the very least, ask fans to “check in” once they get to your store/shop/restaurant. You might be surprised at how many people want to do this – and it is a direct action that shows support of your business!
- Your page is boring – This is possibly the number one rule for Facebook. If you are interesting, people will follow you and will naturally want to interact. And yes, humor will almost guarantee response. But there are other options: perhaps you are motivating, encouraging, thoughtful, or just really good at casual observations. If this still feels like too much, have an employee you trust handle the duties, or outsource it.
Still not sure how to wade into the Facebook waters? Check out the examples in this article for some great ideas. Want some local examples? Be sure to check out Our Thrift Store and Philanthropy, both of whom are doing fantastic jobs with it.