Archive for Social Media

Jun
01

Help! I Need More Facebook Likes!

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facebook_like_iconThese days, it’s not only a good idea to launch and maintain a Facebook page for your business – it’s expected. Internet users tend to view a company without a Facebook page the same way they viewed a company without a website a decade ago. Without a Facebook page, it’s hard for potential customers to take you seriously. Besides, without a strong social media presence, you’re probably missing out on an opportunity to attract a wealth of customers to your business.

“Likes” in the Facebook world are a barometer of social proof. They lend credibility to your business and speak to the “herd mentality” of consumers. Think about the last time you visited a Facebook business page. If the page has only 20 or so “likes,” you’re less likely to take the business seriously than if it has 10,000 “likes.”

Naturally, then, your primary focus when you launch a Facebook page will be on amassing “likes.” You want to build credibility quickly, and the faster you build your number of “likes” to the 1,000+ range, the more quickly you can gain that credibility.

There are several ways you can do this:

1) Start with your existing network. If you have a personal Facebook page, ask your friends to “like” your business page. The same goes for your existing customer base. Tapping into your existing network can bump up your credibility by at least a few hundred “likes” in just a day or two.

2) Add a widget to your blog or website to create a “like” button at the end of each post or article. There are dozens of resources you can use for this, such as the WordPress Facebook Like Plugin. This can widen your audience because your reader’s friends will see the “likes” on your reader’s timeline, and will likely visit your Facebook page out of curiosity.

3) Launch a Facebook ad to promote your page or a specific post on your page. You can either choose to pay per 1,000 impressions or opt for a pay-per-click strategy. In either case, you can set a daily budget to control your advertising costs.

In an upcoming post, I will go into more detail about this strategy. When used correctly, Facebook ads can help you quickly amass “likes” to improve your company’s online reputation and credibility.

4) Offline advertising. Marketers often get so caught up in online marketing that they forget about the offline stuff… but circular ads, door hangers, and even flyers stuck under windshield wipers can help drive fans to your Facebook page. Of course, offering an incentive such as a discount or entry into a giveaway contest can work wonders for motivating people to visit and “like” your page.

A word about buying Facebook “likes”

Several business owners have asked me recently about purchasing Facebook “likes.” This strategy involves using a third party that promises to deliver a certain number of likes, usually within two or three days. While some of these third parties are probably legitimate, there are many that simply use hundreds or thousands of fake pages to generate “likes” for your Facebook page.

This gives you the numbers you’re looking for, but that’s about it. And the number of “likes” alone won’t turn your fans into buyers. They’ll undoubtedly see that, even though your page has thousands of “likes,” there’s no user activity on your page — no one is commenting on your posts or interacting with other fans. And that’s almost as bad as not having a Facebook page at all.

In the end, it’s important to remember that conversions are far more important than fans. A page with 1,000 active fans will be far more useful for your business than one with 10,000 “fans” who don’t care about your services or products. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers game, but if you aren’t attracting the right kinds of fans, you’re essentially wasting your time.

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Social Media Smartphone1.2

Like many entrepreneurs, I’m a huge fan of social media. The ability to connect with readers and clients through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media outlets has given me countless insights regarding what readers want to know… which has helped me craft content that visitors find engaging and useful.

In many ways, your social media pages are the “face” of your business… even more so than your website or blog. For many customers, it is their first impression of your company, kind of like the receptionist at a brick-and-mortar business.

It is for this reason that your social media pages must make a positive impression. A poorly constructed Facebook or Google+ page can be as damaging to your business as a receptionist who habitually shows up late, steps out for countless cigarette breaks, and wears inappropriate clothing.

How can you make sure your social media pages leave a positive impression on your potential clients and customers?

1) Keep the design simple. Many social media sites offer nearly endless customization options that allow you to create a unique look and feel. Over-customizing a social page, though, can make it look cluttered and thrown together. Maintaining a simple layout, on the other hand, allows visitors to easily navigate your social media pages, which means they can obtain more valuable information.

2) Make sure your posts are congruent. I see social media pages where owners post not only business information, but also pictures of their pets, descriptions of their latest vacations, and videos of their children. It’s one thing to let visitors get to know you through your posts and tweets; it’s quite another to use your business pages as a “catch all” for whatever is on your mind.

Make sure that the majority of your content is at least tangentially related to your business. Posts about your personal life should tie in to the mission of your company. For example, if you visit an industry event that happens to be in a desirable vacation spot, post images and videos from the conference itself and limit your “vacation” shots.

3) Answer questions and address comments that visitors leave on your social media pages. This shows that you care about your followers’ concerns, questions, and insights. This strategy makes new visitors more likely to stick around and “follow” your pages. Conversing with visitors can also make then more comfortable with buying your services or products, which can help increase your company’s profits.

4) Be careful when addressing negative comments. No matter how carefully you run your business, detractors will inevitably post negative content on your page. Be sure to address these entries in a professional manner. If appropriate, thank these commenters for their input and assure them that you will take their opinions into consideration.

5) Place an opt-in form on your Facebook page. This gives visitors who aren’t comfortable with making their comments public an opportunity to contact you privately. Because an opt-in form requires users to submit their email addresses, it also helps you build your email marketing list. Services like Constant Contact, iContact, and AWeber provide opt-in forms that you can integrate into your Facebook page.

6) Make sure your social media pages are mobile-friendly. Depending on your audience, more than half of your social media hits might come from iPhones, Android phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Enlist the help of a few friends or colleagues to make sure your content displays correctly on these devices to make sure you capture the largest number of loyal visitors possible.

Above all, don’t treat social media as an afterthought. They should receive at least as much attention as your website and other marketing tools. By recognizing the importance of your social media pages, you can use these tools to effectively attract loyal customers to your business.

 

Categories : Social Media
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