In his book Tweet Naked, online marketing expert and Social Media Firm CEO Scott Levy provides the critical information entrepreneurs need to craft a social media strategy that will boost their brand and their business. In this edited excerpt, the author reveals 10 ways you can improve your marketing results on Facebook.
To get the most out of your time and money in social media, take it to the next level with these tips and tricks.
1. Trial run: Test engagement for different times of the day. A lot of companies post on Facebook only during traditional business hours. But what if your constituents are mostly abroad? How about those night owls? Tap into your inner scientist and experiment by posting on your Facebook feed during different times throughout the day (and night). Different studies will point to different conclusions, but the truth is, results will vary depending on the kind of users your brand attracts. The only way to ensure optimal engagement is through old-fashioned trial and error. While I would never suggest anyone automate their posting, if you feel like you have to, Facebook now offers a scheduling tool so you can deliver late-night posts without disturbing your own beauty sleep. But keep in mind that when a company makes a post, people assume there's someone there live. If you don't reply back or address the issue because it was a scheduled post and you aren't actually there, you look bad.
2. Let the people speak. Launching a new product? Deciding on a new design? Ask your fans for their input and actually act on their feedback. Whether you ask them to vote on a new logo or product color, use their input to reasonably guide the direction of your next business decision. Not only will it increase your audience's brand loyalty, it also helps you get a sense of what your fan base wants.
3. Take a picture--it'll last longer. More importantly, pictures are shared more. In fact, one study showed that picture posts receive twice as much engagement as posts with just text or links. Fans' news feeds are constantly cluttered with friends and business pages, so including a photo or graphic with your content helps your post stand out. And you don't need an expensive camera: Download Instagram to your smartphone to instantly snap and upload shots to your Facebook page.
4. Be your own biggest fan. In order to fully understand the latest trends and fads on Facebook, you have to actually use Facebook outside of your business page. So if you haven't already, it's time to join the rest of the world and create a personal Facebook account. This will allow you to see how fans are seeing your own business as well as what the competition is doing and how other users are innovating online.
5. Get your fans off Facebook ... and onto your email list. By giving fans an incentive to subscribe to your email list, you can expand your touch points. Keep your Facebook content upbeat and fun, while saving more targeted marketing and upselling for your email campaigns. The results will speak for themselves.
6. A call to action. Because you don't want your Facebook fans to visit once and then leave, place a "call to action" graphic on your page's tab. It can be something as simple as "Like Us!" with arrows pointing toward the like button. Make it easy for visitors to convert into fans by giving them every opportunity to add you to their feeds.
7. Hide and seek. Make people want what you have: Create content that's exclusive to fans only, which will encourage visitors to like your page. This could be special product information, interviews, menus--whatever fits in with your particular business.
There are a couple of ways to do it (and it keeps changing) via existing apps of custom FBML (Facebook Markup Language). Easiest method I've found is to do a Google search for "Static FBML app." Some of them have the built-in ability to provide exclusive content only to people who have liked your page.
Here's the coding.
8. But be easy to find. Create a vanity URL for your Facebook business page. This makes you more discoverable so that your fans can just go to www.facebook.com/yourbusinessname. Just go to www.facebook.com/ to update your business page name.
9. Post weekly pins. Not to be confused with a Pinterest pin, Facebook allows businesses to pick one post a week to be featured at the top of your page. So whatever information you're trying to push each week, be it a sale or promotion or event, be sure to anchor it to the top of your timeline. It's very simple: Just hover over the post you've selected to anchor, click the pencil icon, and select "Pin to Top." These pins expire every seven days, which makes it a great way to highlight your most up-to-date posts.
10. Show off your milestones. Facebook milestones don't just have to be about relationship updates or graduations. Highlight your company's accomplishments, whether it's an anniversary, meeting a fan growth goal or launching a new product. You can create a milestone in the status update box, then fill in information such as date and location. Be sure to add a picture with each one!
Scott Levy is the founder and CEO of Fuel Online, an online marketing agency that focuses on social media and SEO. He has been specializing in online marketing for more than 15 years and is a respected speaker, writer and consultant. Scott was nominated for a 2014 Shorty Award for "social media's best business influencer" as well as recognized as a 2014 Hubbies finalist for "Influencer of the Year". Scott is based in Nashville. Follow him on Twitter at @FuelOnline or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FuelInternetMarketing