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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

#AwesomeEngagement - How to Engage Using Your Facebook Business Page

It’s no surprise that Facebook still holds the crown for most used social media app. The algorithm changes have made it challenging for businesses to gain any true organic reach on the platform. One of the ways to get more presence is to use the app as your business page, but this can be confusing for the average Facebook user. How do you develop #AwesomeEngagement with your readership and represent your business at the same time?

Who are you?
It starts with connection. They need to know who you are. Facebook tools are the best place to start. They make it easier than you think to connect.

Begin with the “about” section of your Facebook page. Your website link, hours of operation, etc. are imperative for business connections. If you have a brick and mortar shop and no hours of operation listed, a potential customer may keep scrolling by, and so does that potential sale. Fill out the short and long versions of the “about” section. Keep it to the point, but try to throw a little humor into the mix. Each social media platform is its own search engine, so capitalize on that by using keywords in this area.

Once you set up the “about” section, look to the link options. You have newsletters, sales, and several other sections you can fill out. This is the backbone of your Facebook generated leads. Before you start your awesome engagement, they need to have a way to follow up with a purchase or other call to action once they do reach your page.

Use your Facebook analytics to determine where your readers come from and when they are the most active on your page. Find the most active times, and make sure you’re there to connect.

Now, let’s move on to the content. Every social media app has their unique selling points geared towards their audience. Facebook gives you a chance to share, like (love, cry, or be angry, as well) posts, comment, and move on quickly to the next thing.

You want your content to be interesting. It needs to make them stop and pay attention. There are several ways to do that. There is no point in investing in an engagement strategy when you haven't given viewers something to engage with.

Using Facebook as Your Business Page
In May of 2016, Facebook changed the feature that allowed admins to swap easily and quickly between their personal and business pages. The Social Media Examiner goes into this change into more detail in this article. However, they didn't take the option away, merely changed the way it is used. Basically, you are now given drop down options so that you can like and comment on your pages as your company page instead of as yourself. This allows you to engage, and develop a public presence, as your company on the site. While you can engage with other people and pages as you... that doesn't always make an obvious connection with your work. Spending time regularly to connect with others as your company is a great a way to boost engagement for your Facebook page.

Sharing Content
Share what interests you and also what gets others interested. Facebook users will share things that make them feel good, angry, or that they can agree with on a humorous level. Whatever content you share, make sure it aligns with your brand in a way that won’t destroy a new potential client or customer’s trust in your company.

If you simply share links to articles without giving at least a one sentence summary of why you liked it, your audience will keep scrolling by. Your content needs to be engaging, eye-catching, and timely in order to gain audience participation.

The real key is to share the content of other Facebook pages that have a similar targeted audience as your own. Make sure to tag them as you share them. This is the foundation of influencer marketing. Putting your Facebook business page out there for people to see and check out takes an investment of time but is a free way to build your organic reach.

Talk to them!
You have comments on your Facebook page. While some may be spam, most of the engagement through comments belong to curious people and current (or past) customers and clients. If you find negative reviews here, don’t delete them! Engage with them. Don’t argue, or try to prove your point, as that will look like you are attacking them. Instead, thank them for their comment (if it was constructive), and then let them know how you can help. Do you want them to contact your customer service department? Or return the item? Or, better yet, can you help them right there? If so, that unhappy customer can turn into a raving fan of your company.

When a Facebook Page fan (a person who has liked your page) leaves a comment on one of your posts, their friends (and followers, whether it’s a personal or business account) will be more likely to see that post. Did you know that? Get your current fans engaged and you’ll build more connections.

Surveys and quizzes are great ways to get them to interact with you. You can set them up on the page or through a secondary service, but whatever you do, proofread everything before you release it.

Thank your audience often and with sincerity. People want to feel appreciated, and that’s hard in this high-paced mobile world. A simple thank you is enough to get people to slow down for just a minute. If you use images or video to do this, even better!

Create calls to action. Social Media Examiner had a wonderful roundup of the different types of calls to action:

CTA to encourage engagement—“Please take a moment to leave your comments or thoughts below.”
CTA to drive the reader to other content—“For an in-depth look, sign-up to download our white paper.”
CTA to increase signups or lead capture—“To get regular updates, sign up for our weekly newsletter.”
CTA to nurture leads—“Watch this video for a more in-depth look at how this product can help improve your business.”
CTA for sales—“To get immediate access to this training and all the bonuses, click here.”
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Catch their eye
It was mentioned earlier, but it bears repeating. Images, emoji use in your posts, and video creation are amazing tools that catch the viewer’s attention. Remember that most users won’t go to your Facebook page until something catches their eye (even if they’re your fans). You need to post regularly, at peak hours, and use engaging images, quality videos, and solid emoji usage in posts to slow them down enough to click on your Facebook page link and see more. Tag other people and pages that will help build your reach. Make sure your are doing all of this as your business page!

Engaging with your audience is easier than you think. Don’t pitch yourself in every post, and at the same time, don’t ignore your chance to gain sales either. It’s a balance that comes from some quick analysis and a steady schedule. Build that bridge of trust with your current clients and customers and you’ll find more connection than ever before. While you can do this with your personal profile, building your brand will require that you spend time engaging as your business as well.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

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