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?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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