social media citizen

Your business can’t afford not to have a Facebook presence. You want your business to have the ability to reach the Facebook audience – which is over half a billion potential customers. So how do local businesses utilize their Facebook pages to reach the right audience and turn them into customers? You can create a Facebook page for your company, or for a specific brand or product offered by your business. Your Facebook page should be a place for you to connect with current customers, to find new fans and to drive return on investment for your products or services.

Social media don’t create relationships out of thin air; instead, they give businesses a platform to nourish and grow relationships that have been created elsewhere. When I have liked, and then gotten to know, a person or business through Facebook, there was always a meeting or an event outside of Facebook that was the catalyst for the Facebook activity. This might be a visit to the store, coming into contact with advertising, or discovering your product or service through a friend’s referral.

One of the primary advantages of a Facebook page is that you can interact with Facebook members based on 1) the commonalities of their interests and 2) how your business ties in to those interests.

Make sure that you are utilizing the social-media widgets available for Facebook. These can be placed on your company website, in a newsletter or an e-mail database, or on a blog that promotes the existence of your Facebook page. Many potential customers will do some online research upon learning about your business, and these social-media widgets will drive them to your Facebook page to like your brand and content.

Once you have connected on Facebook with customers, you must then engage them with relevant local content that they will interact with and benefit from. There is no point in growing your Facebook audience if you are not going to provide them with relevant content. People will share pages and events that they are passionate about and have an interest in. You have to – repeatedly – give your audience a compelling reason to visit the page and see what’s new.

Keep your page fresh, and encourage interaction from your customers. You can post news or stories related to your business, as well as provide unique commentary or insight as an expert in your particular brand or field. You can also use the Facebook page to provide tips, tricks or information content.

Give your fans an incentive to visit your business by providing them with a recent, active “walk-in” promotion or coupon. Also, allow Facebook users to recognize that you are connected with their geographic location by providing details and offers specific to where they are. Even if you have only one location, geo-target your posts for an intimate local feel on your page.

If you foster a sense of community with your Facebook customers – one they feel comfortable sharing and referring to their friends and family – you will successfully utilize the power of Facebook to create new ideal customers for your enterprise.

written by: Courtney Ricks