Facebook is BIG business and it is becoming increasingly competitive by the day. 4 years ago when we entered the realm, we had no clue what to do.
Everything we have achieved has been by look and feel. To be honest it’s the only way to go! We spent a lot of time observing successful pages, seeing what people responded to and then creating ways to apply it to our own business.
Firstly, you have to remember that it takes a long time to be an overnight success! Our pages have tens of thousands of hours invested in them.
As a result, our members are loyal and supportive. We have earned this through time, it is not something that can be bought.
Fortunately for us we have run a business in the physical for over a decade. We have had to manage cash flow, staff, hire and fire and promote our business to the best of our ability. We have also made radical changes. We have always been ahead of the curve but in sync with public sentiment. You don’t want to be so early to the party that there is no one to play with. We are not ‘early adaptors’ because simply our customers are not. Most small businesses are only now finding their facebook feet. Getting there first doesn’t mean you last!
In business you need to embrace change. We have always mixed things up because fresh is always best! We view some of our biggest disasters as our best successes. There is a positive in EVERY negative, you only need to be looking.
Remember, everything that happens to you is happening for a reason. If you are stuck in a rut and the same thing is recurring, it is not because you are having bad luck, it is because you are not learning your lesson!
You need to view your page the same way. If you post the same thing over and over and it didn’t get a response the first time, it won’t the 10th either! CHANGE what you are doing. We always say you don’t need 3 months to know what you do in 3 minutes! In other words you don’t need to give time to a losing formula.
If you are tuned in you should know from the get go!
Whilst we are in the land of like, not every post will be a runaway success. The good news is there are things you can do to enjoy consistent success!
As long as you are hitting the mark most of the time, your page will flourish. The best pages will do a few ‘social posts’ and then a business post. If your page is a continual ‘call to action’ you are likely to be a deserted wasteland with an embarrassingly low ‘talking about’ number.
Whilst you may have thousands of likers, only around 12% of them are even seeing your page in their feeds.
In the past you would keep a ‘facebook presence’ but now it is an absolute full time job. You need to integrate it into your daily operation and you need to have a strategy. It’s the field that needs continual ploughing! Facebook is not going anywhere. Don’t get distracted with every social media under the sun. Go where the biggest part of your target market is for best results. Our members are not Twitter focussed for example, so we don’t put our energy into that network. Don’t be afraid to go where your strength is.
It is vital you respond to your enquiries and be prepared to build relationships. We are also not a fan of leaving negative feedback on your wall. Simply delete and block if necessary and contact the person off wall. If someone grafitti’s our building we don’t leave it there for all to see, we clean it off. Don’t be afraid to protect your business and reputation. There are many that will advise you otherwise but before you take on their advice have a look at how their own page is performing. It has worked for us and the proof is in the pudding.
You need to understand that you may feel like you are giving more than you receive at times, but the more you put in, the more you will get out in time. It is important to not have unrealistic expectations. Facebook will enhance your business, not necessarily save it! The more pressure you put on your facebook page to perform, the more disappointed you are likely to be.
It has taken us many years to successfully monetize our own operation. Too many are taking a scatter gun approach. By doing this you will miss more than you will hit. There is also far too much emphasis on chasing likers.
At our recent ‘big day out’ we told our members that their pursuit of numbers is one that would never be over. It is far more fruitful to work with what you have and look after those existing customers. The most successful members of our network cultivate their client base and are always offering new products and services to their existing base.
Just remember they won’t keep buying the same pair of shoes!
In our opinion it should be quality over quantity. Of course numbers do talk, and lucky our members can benefit from the near 200,000 community that we have created.
So, how are you going to take your page to the next level? The best way to do this is forget about your likes. This should not be the focus of your existence. We are continually dismayed to hear members of our networking group getting upset over lost likes .. this is madness!
There is a huge amount of insecurity in facebook land. You cannot allow your success to be determined by your likes.
Whether it is a service or a product that you are selling, your true success will be reflected in your sales. Your days should be spent building and maintaining relationships and keeping a positive visible presence.
Do not become a pushy, desperate door to door salesman
The likes will come when you offer quality content and begin to truly interact with your community.
When you post you should work to the WIFM principle. Your page should have an experience that leaves your likers wanting more.
If all they ever hear is “we’re 4 likers off 200″ that may be exciting to YOU, but there is zero in it for them. They will soon hide your feeds and unlike your page.
Once you get to 200, you will want 250 and when you have that, you will be wanting 300! Do a great job and the likers and money will follow BUT you must be authentic.
A quality share on your page will result in new likes, so put in the effort.
Don’t post on the fly and don’t update for the sake of updating.
Allow yourself time to source a quality share and ALWAYS use photos unless it is a status update.
Take into consideration what your likers love, rather than what you do! Don’t grandstand.
Elevate others, rather than yourself!
A good example is a cake maker wanted us to post a kiddy cake on our pages. Whilst it was a cute cake, facebook was flooded with different versions of this one cake.
We had a discussion with our member and suggested she make a Jack Daniels Cake especially for our members.
We knew through posts that this was the drink of choice of our members. After she baked the cake and we shared it, her enquiries and likes went crazy but most importantly so did her sales!
This is just one of a million examples that we could bore you with. The bottom line is get to know your market, learn what they like and sell them what they love!
In short, don’t sell meat to vegetarians!
The other thing you must do is have a direction for your page. Work to a formula. Pop up posts and view them as a barometer.
Don’t get despondent if you don’t get lots of likes. Instead, use it as a guage.
Look at what works and find a way to duplicate that successful post.
If you lose likers, do not take it personally. It could be for any number of reasons. They may no longer be in your ‘page mode’ or they may no longer have a need for your service.
Be clear about the type of people you want to attract. You need to build a loyal and supportive following. We subscribe to the Walt Disney premise. He said “do it so well that they will come back time and again, and bring their friends”.
What better LIKER is there than a friend of a LOVER of you?
Of course you can spend your days doing a ‘like for a like’ on others pages, but since this is not genuine interaction, all this will result in is inflated numbers.
This makes you feel better and your page look more popular, but take that to the bank! By forgetting about your numbers and putting your full focus and effort into engaging with your existing members you will build REAL relationships.
You will turn them into lovers of you, and what you do.
By getting to know you, they will want to help you achieve success. They will recommend you, and that is the ultimate outcome.
Build your page on LIKE minded people. Look at ways to keep them engaged and remember that 7 in 10 posts should be social. You can not be direct selling and if you wouldn’t say it at a BBQ, for goodness sake, don’t say it on your business page.
Share funnies, share ideas, share other peoples pages and above all share your own knowledge.
When you give, you will receive. Do not focus on your competitors and don’t hang out with them. Sitting around all day trying to outdo each other will not increase your bank balance. Do not be afraid to try new things and ask your Likers for feedback and input.
Content truly is king. When you take that 5 or 10 minutes to search something that your likers enjoy, they get value from you! Facebook is about top of mind awareness. You should not be expecting that every post will have a cash result.
Facebook was created for social communication. Business has found a way to sneak in but understand that if you want your likers to eat their veggies, you have to be clever about the way you smuggle them-:)