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Getting your 2012 Facebook strategy on track

With 2012 upon us, what better time to start moving on your social media strategy for Facebook. Although primarily a social platform, Facebook can be utilised effectively as a business tool. Connecting with customers or marketing products and services are just two ways to maximise Facebook for business opportunities.

However, it is not just a matter of setting up a page and hoping for the best. A few key foundations need to be in place to support the process otherwise measuring ROI is challenging. Here are 4 elements to include in a successful Facebook presence.

Select an Objective

Anyone who establishes a Facebook page for business purposes should have a primary objective for their page. Some examples include building community, raising brand awareness or enhancing customer service. Keep your purpose down to only one or two and as straightforward as possible.

By creating a clear objective, which incorporates your business mission, values and goals, you convey consistent communication. This can be used to assist in shaping online perceptions about your business.

Create a Publishing Schedule

Publishing content is time consuming and repetitive. Content needs to be published regularly to have any impact otherwise your business page will go unnoticed. However, posting too often also means that your Fans will become annoyed with excessive updates.

Creating a schedule that becomes your editorial guide allows you to track your activities and strike a balance in terms of content upload. It will include a plan for publishing updates that will incorporate a combination of text, links, videos and photos all supporting your Facebook business objective. This plan allows time to consider topics of interest, research and create content in a well thought-out approach.

Link your Facebook Profile

If you already have other social media profiles, then it is prudent to link these to your Facebook page. A blog, Twitter account or LinkedIn page should all be connected. These interrelated platforms are a great way to promote your business across platforms and establish a presence. As your connections increase you have greater opportunity to engage and start gaining traction with your community.

Create a Resource

Use your Facebook page to “add value” to your customers. Offer information, create contests, offer deals and provide solutions to customer issues. Offering deals, for example, is one way to measure your ROI. There are various ways of doing this. You can offer deals exclusively for Facebook Fans or you can cross promote across platforms. By measuring any redeemed codes you are able to assess your efforts.

Further use Facebook to start a conversation. Post questions on your ‘wall’ so that your Fans can respond and be interactive. Get them to share insights, opinions and reward them for their feedback. This may seem unnerving at first, to have comments out in the open, however, it shows that you have a degree of trust and respect for your Fans. What is now required is persistence and dedication. And remembering that your customers are the most important factor in the equation.

If your Facebook page is not designed with your customers in mind, your efforts will be wasted.

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Anna Cairo

Anna Cairo

Anna is a social media communications expert. She supports businesses to increase their online presence through social media. Additionally, she also educates businesses around the impacts social media creates in the workplace and how to minimise these risks. She is a writer, researcher and author writing for diverse audiences on a range of topics. Further, she conducts workshops, presentations and is regularly asked to speak to lawyers around social media risk. Anna was recently nominated for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2013. You can join Anna on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Cairo-Consulting/285887488090944">Facebook</a> or visit <a href="http://www.annacairo.com">www.annacairo.com</a>.

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