You may already be using Facebook to keep in touch with your friends and relatives, and wonder how Facebook could possibly be used for business. Let me show you.
I am going to use a tea shop as an example of how a bricks and mortar shop can utilise Facebook as another way to develop their brand awareness and engage with their clientele at the same time.
Firstly, you need to understand the difference between your regular ‘profile’ page and your ‘business’ page. The first is all about you personally and a way of keeping in touch with everyone with whom you want to share your thoughts, etc. A business page is something entirely different. Your friends will not see your business page updates unless they "like” your page; the old "fan”, and your "likes” will not be able to see into your personal stuff. That is usually the first question I get asked; the two pages do not talk to each other in that way. "Likes” are also still referred to as fans just to confuse you.
So how might a tea shop really use this extra way of promoting their business?
- Decide on the purpose of your page. Is it to spread awareness of teas from around the world and add value to the community, or is it a place to "gossip” like the old tea shops?
- Get a plan together of where your page content will come from. Do you have an online resource you can tap into, or will you write short articles yourself? Do you have readily available stories to tell?
- Tell everyone about your page by sharing it with your Facebook friends and asking them to do the same.
- Ask questions on your page. This can be as simple as "what is your favorite tea?” or "what are your childhood memories of tea with your family?”. The idea is simply to get your new community talking, so choose something any fan of your page could participate in, and quickly.
- Update your page at least three times a week. If you have articles and resources ready to use, it will only take a handful of minutes each day.
Don’t be afraid of people making negative comments or spamming your page. Simply deal with it as you would if that person was stood in front of you and you were both in front of an audience. Don’t be tempted to delete it, but feel free to remove any spam posts.
Next month we will look at how to make your Facebook page visually appealing and making the most of your tabs.