In undergrad, I was one of the lucky few who had a Facebook account. The most authentic and carefree version of Facebook only required that you be a college student using your active university email address. No ads, No spam. Since 2005, numerous modifications have enhanced Facebook to what it is now, including those now beneficial ads. It has gone from being a one-dimensional social network to an internet culture engulfed with merchants, consumers, marketers, and content contributors. If you have an account, you too are a content contributor to the site (and probably didn’t even realize it.) Woo-hoo! Like Facebook’s evolution, your small business may be ready to enter the social marketing world. It’s not difficult to get started on social media. Be careful however, don’t let social media let you down. For a successful account, like your current brick and mortar, you will have maintenance work to do. Let’s go over a few early steps in using social media to create business through your followers.
What does your friend list look like?
So, your sugar scrub business just launched. You’re excited to finally unveil your rejuvenating product to all of your friends in hopes they will buy. However, have you checked out your friend’s list? 230 followers? You definitely want to sell more than 230 jars of sugar scrubs so let’s start with your consumer market. Create and grow a potential buyer’s market from the base of your personal friends list and then expand.
*SUGGESTION: Create a business page with a profile solely for your product/business. Appropriately separate your personal profile from the business page. Build off of your personal friends list and request them to like your business page. From there, keep updates of your product rolling on a regular basis and use your personal page to share those business page posts at a staggered, less consistent schedule than your business page. It keeps you and your business at a distance while staying connected. Giving captivating snippets and reposts can create an avenue for traffic to your business page.
Keeping too much of your business updates on your personal page may cause you to lose followers. Most likely, your friends want to see you succeed but they also want to sometimes just see how big your dog has gotten, see what country you’re visiting, and so on. They don’t always have an interest in your sugar scrubs.
How Popular Are Your Posts?
The better your posts, the more likes you get. Vivid photos, intense and funny videos, status updates from major news networks, down to the ‘Live’ feature that some use to report real-time happenings call for a vast audience. As a business with a profile, use those same posts and tools to gauge how interested your market is. If you notice a decline in likes, pay attention to your content. You should always track engagement to prevent doing less effective work.
Make Your Business Everyone’s Business.
We probably don’t have to tell you this, but, post your progression and achievements on Facebook. People like to see you doing well. Also, use content in your business posts that everyone can understand. Too much jargon can lose a viewer.
Make it as easy as possible for people to get directly to your business website from Facebook. Always tag the account when mentioning them in your posts. Use hyperlinks to your website and create traffic to your site from your social media posts.
Clean Up Your Friend List
While having an abundance of followers is great, not everyone will promote your business in the manner you'd like. Be sure to monitor how people re-share your posts and the copy they include. Keep your business in a positive light.
Those these topics are the Facebook beginner basics, they are important and essential to starting a clear platform for building your online business following, not just friend list. I have personally found the feedback from my own friend list to be beneficial in the curating of my business page friend list. Ultimately, your friends want to support you but they don’t want to be bombarded. Create the distance, maintain the awareness, and promote your product to every person who shows even the slightest interest. I've even started a project with a colleague that stemmed from an interest on Facebook myself! We hope these quick reminders help you start with a clear basis of building a stream of business from brick and mortar to using your online Facebook friends.