Top Tips for Local Business Outreach using Facebook

Just like using Twitter to promote your local business, Facebook is a vital source of advertisement for your business. Channelling followers to your website is the main goal.

Please read the previous post specifically written for Twitter outreach for further information on voice, interaction and private messaging. The key benefit here, and what you should keep at the back of your mind when reading these tips, is the additional benefit of more visual branding available on Facebook.

  1. Design is extremely important – ensure you have a captivating cover image and that your profile image gives adequate representation of your company’s work. Just like a shop window, its the make or break for many passing customers, and online people very hastily judge books by their covers!
  2. There is more room to share photos and videos on Facebook – images catch your users’ attention – so make them engaging! Pictures that are relevant to your industry will be welcomed, especially if you show a few ‘behind the scenes’ shots and videos! If you’re a restaurant or cafe, post the days’ specials or seasonal dishes and produce. Photos that encourage customers to comment will help you build more personal relationships with your community – caption competitions for example are a great way to get people to interact with you.
  3. Make sure your other posts are originally worded and creative – there is no word limit here, so tell stories, ask questions, enjoy the space to interact that you don’t get on Twitter. If you strike someone’s attention, they have the option to share your status, so you want to look your best if you’re linking to the website. Remember this is free branding and advertising, but even your most passionate followers will grow tired of frequent, low value posts – so use it wisely!
  4. Responding to ALL feedback, positive or negative, is a far more crucial here than on Twitter. Comments are not filtered out of your feed but sit boldly on the page. Passing customers have access to read through all the feedback received so far.
  5. Welcome, greet, thank, and Like positive comments, and always reply to queries. People are less likely to follow you or welcome your business if you are seen to ignore customer service. Updating your status is not enough, yes people want news, but they welcome a chance to comment, discuss and feel included in your work
  6. Make it clear in your about me section what you do – really, many local business pages don’t adequately explain this. Make use of creating your own tabs – don’t just have an about me section, but sections to explain your products and services too. Ensure your contact details and website are clearly posted and accurate.
  7. Use Facebook services, like ‘insights’ which will appear at the top of your feed. Keep an eye on which posts are getting the most engagement, do they have links, are they more personal? Keep note of this and adapt your posts on an ongoing basis accordingly, for increased feedback, followers, and in turn “reach”.
  8. Similarly, make use of the ‘Facebook Nearby’ service, the local business search engine. Obviously if you don’t have a Facebook page, you won’t show up in these local results. This is how crucial social media sites have now become for local businesses. Encourage people to ‘check in’ at your site and improve your local ranking.  As for other local businesses, connect with them, share their updates in hope that they will return the favour.
  9. Competitions: these are now an established part of Facebook business pages – but recently the rules have changed, so take note! Whilst competitions are encouraged (prize draws, contests), Facebook doesn’t want you using it’s tools – this means competitions that encourage you to tag it to win it, leave a comment or like things are a no-no. ALSO! You must, must, must get in contact with the winner through a source other than Facebook – take their email address! Just remember in general – Facebook does not want to be associated with the competition.
  10. Finally, take advantage of getting personal on Facebook – don’t ignore your page, you wouldn’t ignore a customer on the phone or in person would you? Log in frequently to engage with clients, get creative, and get your business on the social media map!

Find out more about our social media marketing services here.

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