I say secret, even though I'm sharing this with all of you. Why? Because I know organic growth is an extremely time consuming process that many small business owners don't want to tackle. I mean, why do so many people order pizza when there is a perfectly good pizza recipe online? Let's face it, if you're busy handling pay roll, making sure the shelves are stocked, and bills are paid, you probably don't have time to be scrolling through your business's Facebook newsfeed commenting on other pages' photos and statuses.
Each Facebook page requires tweaking to the recipe, but all follow a similar structure. Your main ingredients are:
Time: A Little Bit in the A.M. and a Little Bit in the P.M.
This all depends on how much engagement you have in a given day. I have all my notifications come to my phone so I can ensure I get to answer any questions right away, but I also sit down at my computer and really dedicate time to it. In the morning, check all your notifications, reply to comments and messages (trust me, people love when you comment back. Imagine that?) and go through the pages newsfeed and like and comment on a few other pages' things. (More on that below) I come back in the afternoon and do it all over again. Sometimes it's just 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night, and others it's an hour; it all depends.
Engagement: Ask Questions, Don't Be Faceless
I get the most engagement on photos with captions asking a question. Let's say it was New Years Eve and your bar was throwing a super fun and festive event. Post a picture the next day and say "Who came out and had a good time last night?" You’ll end up getting more comments and far more engagement. Better yet, if you have the loyal following, add the additional "Share your photos with us in the comments below!" People love to feel that they have something to say (I know I do). To top it all off, reply to those comments! Be real, but don't be unprofessional.
Networking: Say Hi to That Other Small Business Owner!
You're not all alone out there. I'm not saying be best friends with your direct competition, but if you have a boutique on "Main Street", reach out to that adorable diner down the road. Your customers may stay longer if there is a convenient place to eat and it’ll draw business to the diner. It’s a win/win!
Quality Content: Make it Look Good
Snapped a picture of your new display case and want to quickly post it on your page over your phone? Just hold on one second! Look at that picture one more time. How is the lighting? Will it make customers want to come in and check it out or is the photo a little lack luster? Built in cameras on your phone these days are a wonderful thing. Really take that extra step and stage your photo, focus the camera, and edit it. The “enhance” featured on my iPhone does miracles!
Be Genuine: Don’t Be Pushy
When is the last time you heard someone say, "I really enjoyed how pushy that salesmen was!” Never. Ever. So don't be that way online. You might not even have these people through the doors yet, so don't scare them off. Make them want to see your business for everything it has to offer!
Be Consistent: Post Regularly, Maintain Your Brand Identity
Making sure that you are posting enough, but not too much is very important. What has worked best for me is posting once a day. It doesn’t matter if it is a picture, video, article, or a share from another page, as long as I post once a day, the engagement is pretty consistent. Additionally, make sure all of your posts fit with your brand. For a gym’s Facebook page, you probably wouldn’t be posting a link to a delicious donut recipe. Really take the time to sit down and map out what your brand identity is and what themes fit within your identity.
Social media opens new doors for businesses like we’ve never seen before. It’s a platform where we can talk directly to the customer and be on the same level as them. Knowing how to utilize social media has been a growing topic in the professional world. The sooner you learn, the sooner you can be top of everything and be prepared for the constant updates in the ever-developing field.