Ok! Social media – where do we begin? You’ve got Facebook, twitter, Linked In, Google +, Stumble Upon, Digg, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram … oh my god it’s a list that never ends. And right there is why people never getting going using social media for business, it because they don’t know where to start.
If I tried to cover off all of the above this article will never start either so that’s why today I am going to talk Facebook only today. Why Facebook? Because in Australia there are more than 10 million active users, 6.6 million of which log on every day. In short, if you’re looking to create a following, facebook is where most organisation are most likely to find their true fans.
What’s the point of fans?
I consider a ‘fan’ to be someone who likes what you do or what you have to say. They may not necessarily be an actual customer or even a genuine prospect for you, but they can certainly be an advocate for your business. This is the power of facebook (and social networking in general). It helps you find these advocates and then empower them to tell other people about you.
For example, I follow a lot of handmade businesses on facebook because I love handmade stuff and I love pretty things. I don’t BUY a lot of this stuff because I tend not to buy things unless I really need them. I am however a huge advocate of all these beautiful products so when someone asks me ‘have you got any ideas for a unique and cute gift for a 10 year old girl’ I will immediately say ‘go check out this site or this site, you will be sure to find something there.’
What about driving traffic to a website though (because that’s what this series is all about right?) Well let’s have a look at the referral stats from four of my websites and see what is the top referrer for all four sites.
Interesting hey? Also interesting is that for every site above (bar the Swish Design site which gets most of its total site traffic via search engines) the main source of site traffic is referral traffic.
And the main source of that referral traffic is Facebook.
The beautiful thing about Facebook is that people visit the site in their leisure time. That means if they see an interesting link they are more likely to click through and read it. They are also more likely to share it with their friends … and Facebook makes it super easy these days to share interesting things with your friends.
So now that you’re convinced you need to be on Facebook, how do you go about finding these wonderful fans. Well first you need to set up a page of course and then you need to get people to like your page.
Here are eight ways to get people to like your Facebook business page:
- Tell all your friends and existing clients (via email or by posting on your own facebook wall) that you have a page for your business and ask them to like it
- You can also use the ‘suggest to friends’ feature in your facebook page admin area. This is a slightly more ‘aggressive’ approach than #1 above so use it sparingly. I would only ‘suggest’ your page to the friends you genuinely think would be interested.
- Put a Like button or Find us on Facebook button on your website.
- Put a Find us on Facebook button in your email footer
- Put a link to your Facebook page in your email newsletters
- Run a competition using apps like Wildfire or Offerpop. Note, you need to be very careful when running promotions of any kind on Facebook. The easiest way to be careful is to use apps like Shortstack, Wildfire and Offerpop to ensure you are operating within Facebook’s very strict rules for running competitions – especially competitions that require someone to like your page. Forget about what you see ‘everybody else’ out there doing, just make sure you stick within the rules yourself.
- Get a QR code for your facebook page and put it on your printed material
- Be awesome and interact actively with your current followers
Quick note here – building an engaged and active fan base on facebook takes time. There are a few things you can do to build a fan base quicker but I have purposely not listed them above as I firmly believe you are better off having 500 fans who are truly interested in your message than 5000 fans, many of whom have hidden you from their feed.
Ok now you’ve got yourself some fans, how do you use your Facebook page to drive traffic to your website? Well this is a three-step process and involves:
- Having a blog (we talked about this in the last post right?!)
- Creating amazing and useful content on that blog
- Sharing your blog posts on your Facebook page
Having a Facebook page allows you to demonstrate your expertise and share information with both your friends AND people who have an interest in what you do. If what you share is interesting/relevant enough, they will then share it with their friends.
So to re-summarise why Facebook is brilliant for driving traffic to your site:
- People browse Facebook in their leisure time which means they are more likely to follow interesting links
- When people like your business page on Facebook they are inviting you to interact with them regularly, in their leisure time
- If you remember the golden rule of social media, that being ‘it’s not about you’ then you are well on your way to creating a great relationship with your followers and turning them into advocates for your business.