Gini Dietrich

Building a Facebook Presence

By: Gini Dietrich | October 20, 2010 | 

A couple of months ago, we talked about the huge presence Einstein Bagels has created on Facebook and what that presence has done for their same-store sales. Let’s face it – Facebook has more than 500 million users and they’re spending 700 billion minutes every day engaging with friends, family, and the businesses they frequent. It’s time to figure out how to use the tool to create brand loyalists.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter how your company makes its money, your customers are on Facebook. They may not be looking for you there yet, but they will be…soon. It’s time to get on the proverbial bandwagon.

Hey! I’m already on the bandwagon!

You’re already on the bandwagon? Great! This post likely isn’t for you, then. UNLESS you can’t figure out why no one is engaging with your Facebook page.  If that’s the case, help is here!

Develop a strategy.

Just like anything else in your business, having a strategy and measurable goals around your Facebook campaign are imperative. Decide why you want a Facebook page. Is it because everyone else has one? Is it because you feel like you have to in order to do business on the web? Is it because there are 500 million people using the tool? Or is it to understand the value in connecting with your customers and prospective customers online?

Once you figure out the way, write down five goals for your Facebook page. They could include:

  • Create awareness of our brand
  • Enhance our search engine optimization
  • Drive same-store sales with an increase of one percent by year’s end
  • Make Facebook one of the top three referrers of traffic to our website/blog
  • Get market research about a new product/service launch
  • Drive customer service to a different, and new, level
  • Create a way for customers and prospects to interact with one another

After you have your goals, write down the tasks associated with each and create responsibilities internally. If you don’t have a community manager (or someone full-time to work on your online presence), divide the responsibilities among several people, including your junior people.

Create a welcome tab.

Create a welcome tab that describes what people can expect from you once they “like” your page. The welcome tab can be anything you like, as long as you set expectations for what customers and prospective customers will get in return.

For instance:

  • A welcome 30 second video from the “face” of your business
  • A map for people looking for local stores
  • An offer for exclusive and free content
  • First offers to your Facebook community
  • Facebook-only coupons and discounts
  • Tips and tools
  • Networking with other community members

Give them a reason to “like” your page and you just launched easily over your first hurdle.

Decide what to post.

A lot of companies post on Facebook their news releases, new hires, and new customer wins and can’t understand why people aren’t engaging with them. People don’t care about how great you say you are; they care about what your company can do to help them. Using Facebook as a sales tool or a passive advertising medium will fail miserably.

Facebook is an engagement tool, not a sales tool. Please read that again. Facebook is an engagement tool, not a sales tool.

So what should you post?

I love the story of the restaurant in Minnesota that hired a community manager to work part-time to help build an online presence six months before opening. She used Facebook to connect with friends and family in Minneapolis and then asked them to introduce the coming restaurant to their friends and family. She soon had a nice little community of people who like to eat out in Minneapolis.

But what she did with that community is sheer brilliance. She began posting about the building of the restaurant and she’d ask for opinions. For instance, “We’re about to paint the walls of the restaurant and we’ve narrowed the colors down to these three. Which one do you like the best?” And she let the community vote. The color that received the most votes was the color they used for the walls. She did this for everything, including linens, flatware, menu items, and bathroom fixtures.

Guess what happened? When the restaurant opened, it was hugely successful. Why? Because people believed they owned a piece of the business.

It doesn’t matter how your business makes money, you can ask your community for help in designing something new.

For instance:

  • A new tagline
  • New packaging
  • Ideas around a certain topic
  • A new location
  • New services
  • New products
  • Location in a new city
  • Your logo (though don’t take tips from Gap on that)

The glory in asking people what they think is they will always answer you!  We love to give our opinions on anything and everything!

Try these tips for 90 days and record your results. Google analytics is a great place to start paying attention to the kinds of results you’re achieving, and to benchmark and set goals.

The floor is yours. What else would you add?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • DianeRayfield

    Excellent article Gini! Especially how specific the Facebook goals are so that they can be tied into metrics, e.g. “Make Facebook one of the top three referrers of traffic to our website/blog”. That makes it easier to measure success rather than saying your goal is lead generation. I’ve shared with my Facebook Page. Thanks!

    • GiniDietrich

      @DianeRayfield Thanks for sharing it, Diane! It’s so hard for people to quantify social media, but one blog post at a time, huh??

  • barryrsilver

    Great stuff, as usual. Good to restate the point: Not engaged in SM? Actually you already are: If you’re not posting content your competitors are. As for other things for FB page, holiday suggestions, contests, creative use of product, ask for favorites of product or service line. Remember your customers/clients FB time is by definition finite. The more engaged with you, the less time to engage or search your competitors.

    • GiniDietrich

      @barryrsilver SO TRUE! And I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you how little some companies are using social media. Drives me batty.

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  • JoyFull_deb

    Great post, Gini!! I’m going to email this to a few folks! And, since YOU mentioned Gap…I was wondering about your thoughts on the change back to the original logo??? I was thinking of you when I read that they had received a lot of flack and then, went back to the logo that everyone knows. The YMCA here in Baton Rouge, just recently changed or updated their logo, and it ROCKS!!

    • GiniDietrich

      @JoyFull_deb The issue I have with them changing back to their old logo is they claimed to listen to their customers about it and changed it back. But when their customers were surveyed, only 17% knew they had changed it. So they really listened to the overtly vocal blogosphere…many of whom are NOT their customers. I think it’s a great lesson in taking risk and trying new marketing techniques. It’s a great lesson in sticking with a decision because you have a business strategy around WHY you’re doing it. And it’s a great lesson in standing up to the blogosphere if they’re not your customers (or represent a very small percentage).

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  • barrykahan

    “Facebook is an engagement tool, not a sales tool.” This line really hit me. Seems so many business facebook pages forget this. I have not started a business facebook page yet. ( I know , I know). This might sound silly, but I was actually a bit nervous mentioning clients I work with and the things I did that were unique etc etc. Fear of having others seeing an opportunity and slinking in at rock bottom. I realize there are many angles to this issue but not getting into it here.

    My point is your post had the really deep intelletual response in my head of…… ” A DUH ” .
    Re-reading first line of my comment. Not about me..engage.

    Thanks Gini and Troy Claus for including your link in recent post.

  • ginidietrich

    @barrykahan Hi Barry! I won’t belabor the point because it sounds like you’re sold on creating a Facebook page (finally!). But you might take a look at what we do with the Arment Dietrich page. We never talk about our clients. We just talk to people who have become our friends. It helps with our brand awareness and credibility. Two things that are HUGE in business development.

  • barrykahan

    @ginidietrich Thanks Gini. I see your point. Even liked and emailed for ebook 🙂 (Yes , i have a personal page. How else will I keep tabs on what my kids are doing at college! ) .