Stop Focusing on your Facebook PAGE

Facebook Page Focus

This is a dangerous topic and I’m heading down a steep slope on this one as people may misunderstand, but it’s important to get it out anyway. Your Facebook page is important to you business, but it should only account for a small portion of your social media marketing day.

Period.

Most businesses that we work with have a strong leaning towards Facebook, just as they should. Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, even Google+ have a role in the social media strategy for most businesses, but Facebook covers most of the needs simply because it’s where most of the people spend most of their social media time. The challenge is no longer with convincing business to use Facebook. It’s in getting them to stop thinking that their Facebook page is their Facebook presence.

There is so much more to Facebook than putting up landing tabs and status updates.

Facebook is a communication tool that allows businesses to reach out to their customers and prospective customers while allowing these same people to reach the business. Everyone has seen example of how a properly-handled objection or complaint on Facebook has been turned into a positive. This is a good thing. Now, it’s time to take it to the next level. Here are some things that businesses should be doing on Facebook to make their real presence known and effective.

Post on Other Pages

Use Facebook as SoshableWhen Facebook opened up the ability for pages to post on other pages just as if they were people, it brought in new strategies that surprisingly-few employ. While navigating around Facebook as a page, you can like and post to other Facebook pages. It’s been around for months but it still surprises me how few people know about this.

This is something that should not be abused. Knowing this, you may now be thinking about redirecting traffic from competitors by posting on their walls all the time (it’s a natural thought – don’t be ashamed if it crossed your mind) but this is, of course, futile and potentially dangerous. Instead, this feature should be used to advance conversations, to join the right ones, and to expose your brand on relevant pages without succumbing to spamming.

Soshable Posting on TK Carsites Facebook

In the example above, I stayed relevant with the page (they were mentioned in the article, so I’m not hijacking their conversation) and offered a resource that visitors to their page may find useful.

For local businesses, they may post to the local newspaper page, the chamber of commerce, other local businesses (this is a good one which I’ll detail shortly) or charities. The goal is to get exposure for your page and your brand to a wider audience. Think of Facebook pages like ponds. Every pond has a certain number of fish. When you post to other pages, your dropping your line in another pond. It’s not something that you should abuse; page owners will notice if you’re constantly spamming their page. Instead, be diverse and post occasionally so as to not make anyone mad or accusing of you being a spammer.

The easiest way to not be accused of being a spammer is to not spam.

I heard Jeff Cryder over at Lebanon Ford talk about social media engagement like it was double-dutch. You don’t just jump in as soon as the ropes start spinning. You watch, wait, plan out your timing, and then jump in at the right moment. Patience is key – don’t jump prematurely. Look for your opportunity and then enter the conversation when you’re ready to bring value to it.

Local businesses are able to get involved with other local businesses this way by being both complimentary and advancing their cause simultaneously. For example, a car dealer who is having a big sale next week might post this:

“We are so pumped about having Stan’s Barbecue serving the best ribs in town at our sale next weekend.”

Posting something like that on Stan’s Facebook page does two things – you’re giving them a compliment while exposing their Facebook page likers to your sale. Your fishing in their pond, but doing so in a way that they won’t mind.

Drive People to your Facebook Page from other Sources

Seattle Nissan Facebook

We all get lazy sometimes. It’s easy to say, “I have my Facebook widget on my blog and my website. I’m doing what I need to do to get people to my Facebook page.”

No. You’re not. You’re doing what everyone else does, which means that you’re doing something that will be ignored by most. When we see something over and over again, we no longer see it. That’s the case with Facebook buttons and widgets. Unless we want to find the Facebook page of a particular business, we’re not seeing the buttons from these pages because we see them everywhere already.

To truly move the needle and get people to your Facebook page from other sources, we have to get creative. We have to offer a reason or incentive to do so. Every business-type is different in what they can offer, but here are some ideas that should spark thinking on how to do it in your niche or market:

  • Event Registration – there are plenty of these available, but when you use a Facebook tab as your “Event Headquarters” you have the opportunity to double-dip. You’re getting them to sign up for your event and you have the ability to get them to like your page.
  • Inventory Landing Pages from Craigslist – many businesses who have an inventory of items for sale have tried to get people to view their inventory on Facebook with limited results. People don’t think, “I want to buy a car today. I’ll go to Facebook to look for them!” Instead, they go to dealer websites, Autotrader, or Craigslist (amongst others). If you have inventory on your Facebook page, you can link your listings from anywhere other than your website (if they’re already on your website, you don’t want them to go anywhere else) to your Facebook listing to have the same double-dipping possibility from above. List the car on Craigslist, link it to your Facebook page listing for more details, and you have the opportunity to collect a lead while also potentially getting a new Facebook like.
  • Charity Information – there is no better place to post information about a charity that your business supports than Facebook. People may not be in buying-mode when they’re on Facebook, but they are in sharing and caring mode (most people, at least). Widgets and buttons may no longer get peoples’ attention, but ads and banners about a charity will. Create a tab on your page that focuses only on the charity and your involvement, then blast the link out through your websites, blogs, other social media sites, press releases, and everything else.

Notice that I didn’t include giveaways. They have become so commonplace that the effectiveness of “Win an iPad” has simply diminished. The numbers are down on like-building contests and the messages sent by having them are now considered negative. You don’t want people coaxed into liking your page. You want them to like it because they truly like it or find value in it. Contests are silly.

Also absent is the gaming aspect. While social gaming is a huge and growing phenomenon and can be an extremely effective way of bulking up numbers of likes, they’re empty likes. Don’t forget, Facebook is a numbers game and one of those numbers is percentages of involvement. Having 100k Facebook likes but only having a few dozen actually engaging with you on your wall can do more damage than good.

Create Other Pages

Facebook Dealer Social

I’m always hesitant to recommend this because I’m always fearful of orphaned or abandoned pages floating around. Businesses should have a central Facebook page that they use for the majority of their interaction, but if they have enough time and if they’re committed to using Facebook as a true marketing strategy, there are distinct advantages to having focused pages that deal with particularly niches or elements within their business.

Ford has a very robust presence with their primary Facebook page approaching 5 million likes. They also have more focused pages specific to vehicles and departments that are growing as well, such as Ford Trucks, which has over a quarter million likes.

It requires more work and the risk of abandonment is high, but a business that really wants to succeed can do amazing things with focused pages. It isn’t just for the big brands. Even local businesses can take advantage of this technique. For example, a restaurant might have their regular Facebook presence, but they might have an “All You Can Eat Tuesday Lunch Page” where people who like it get a free drink when they come buy.

I can imagine the page itself being entertaining by “frowning” on every day other than Tuesday. For example, the page could have a post on Friday saying, “Everybody like to thank God about today, but they they should we believe in TGIT around here.” On Monday, they could post, “The only good thing about Monday is that it’s the closest day to All You Can Eat Tuesday. See you all tomorrow!”

On their primary Facebook presence, they would want to direct people to the new page every other Sunday and/or Monday, and definitely post about it (at least once) on Tuesday itself.

So Many Possibilities

The key here is understanding that your Facebook page is important, but there is so much more out there in Facebook marketing. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a robust and engaging page. Just don’t forget that there’s more to your Facebook presence than the single marketing hub. Use Facebook the right way and you will find that it’s better for getting your brand out there than you even imagined.

About JD Rucker

+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Comments

  1. Goodwizz is a free social network to find friends, play social games, chat and email. Then go beyond first contact: use matchmaking to find new contacts, play personality games and meet

  2. Very insightful article with plenty of things to reconsider. Thanks

  3. Paul Brinkman says:

    You need not tread lightly with all of us and there’s new data to back this up. We actually bypassed Facebook in favor of (in chronological order) our web site, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Blogger. As we roll out our new fiber network, we plan to backfill with Facebook. No disrespect, we acknowledge Facebook’s value and success. We simply saw other channels as more of a fit and, in our opinion, more compelling.

  4. Great article JD. Lots of great points but one I thought I would address would be your “Contests are silly” remark. I agree that in some cases they are pointless and not needed but I think your social media goals and growth stage need to come into the equation. For start up Facebook pages I think contests are a great way to boost fans. Of course you wouldn’t always want to choose a prize such as an Apple iPad as your prize should depend on your business model. If you business focuses to a localized market maybe tickets to local sporting event or event happening in the community would be a better choice to prevent “empty likes” from joining your Facebook page. The key being to choose a prize that is relevant for your target group. If your Facebook page is fairly new and in the introduction stage which most of know its extremely hard to get a decent fan base to start socializing with a contest might be the right way to boost your numbers to get you started.

    We just started a new Facebook Page for one of our newer dealerships we acquired with a few goals in mind. We wanted to announce to the world we existed, collect focused relevant email addresses, create top of mind awareness, and create an online following. In less than two months of launching our Facebook page we jumped from 83 fans to over 4000 with only around 575,000 people from our Province on Facebook. Our audience is extremely targeted to our market in terms of demographics and location. Out of the 4000 fans 2800 of them are directly within our target market with the majority of rest being slightly outside of our marketing zone but still in the realm of possibility. Along with that out of the 4000 fans we have we have captured over 75% of their emails and city they live in for future marketing efforts.

    Of course once you hit reach your goals and if you post fun social content you will attract more influencing fans to engage and interact with you on your Facebook wall. If used right I feel contests can be extremely effective in achieving your goals.

  5. Agree with your points especially on the part where is no longer important to have many “likes” Too many social media companies have been paid to get people to like their clients’ pages but at the end of the day those are not genuine relationships that are forged. You want a fan/customer to like your page because they genuinely like your product not because they someone else asked them to.

  6. Nice post JD,

    I have tried to get on with Facebook pages but I just seem to get better results from interacting with people through my profile. Having said that I have started to use my page a lot more and I did know about using Facebook as a page which is a greta idea.

    I think really it has a lot to do with your type of business, if you are a one man show like myself the profile works well but if you are a big company like the ones you have mentioned then the page is going to work better.

    Thanks for sharing your advice, much appriciated.

    Tristram Lodge

  7. Beyond the page, if you really want to grow your business (and this works best for small businesses, not the large multi-thousand-fan pages), you should consider expanding your profile’s reach and send friend requests to those who like your page.

    If your fans are anything like mine, they’re older and not savvy enough to engage with the page but have no problem liking and commenting on your profile updates.

    Mix the streams.

  8. It is definitely a cross functional initiative when integrating social networks in outreach campaigns. It is very important to know your target as well …

  9. Great article, given me lots to think about!

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