Facebook is the King of Social Networking at this time. Their reign, while not guaranteed long term, is undisputed for now. A new contender is unlikely to achieve the gains they have made easily or quickly. For this reason almost all businesses can benefit from having an active presence on this social network. In fact, to not do so could very likely have a negative impact on your business. In particular, if competitors in your area of expertise have an active presence on Facebook and you don’t!
The first key to having an active presence on Facebook is: Create A Plan, Work The Plan
Without a plan chances are you will be spinning your wheels. Your plan doesn’t need to be complicated. It does need to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Consider the following questions at the outset and review them periodically to keep you focused and on track.
Who are your customers and potential customers? What are they interested in hearing about and knowing?
How can you share information, tips, insights that add value to their social networking experience?
When is the best time to share posts on your Page? (If your business is B2B this may be different than it is for one that is B2C.)
How will you reach these people so that they ‘like’ your Facebook Page, to build your fan base?
What are the results you are looking for? How will you know you are on the right track?
How and when will you measure/track your social media results/effectiveness and determine if plan adjustments are needed?
How much time will you invest daily in developing and growing your social media presence?
Who will be responsible for posting content and measuring impact?
Initially, measuring your success may be more around how many people ‘like’ your Page and engage with the content you are posting by ‘liking’, ‘commenting’ or ‘sharing’ with others than it is about revenue from sales. Over time the latter is important, early on it may be unrealistic to measure your effectiveness in this way.
It will also take you time to figure out the rhythm of posting and content that works best for your fans and you. Each business is different and ‘social’ media is not about spitting out advertisements and promotional materials non-stop. It is about finding ways to engage with your fans in ways that appeal to them.
People become fans for what is in it for them, for what they might learn, discover, enjoy, and not for the sake of your business. Meet their expectations, and do this well, and some of your fans will become ambassadors and customers for your business over time.
There are other keys to Facebook’s long-term impact on your business. Having a plan is an important starting point.