Recent bad news about the social media behemoth aside, your business must have a strong presence on Facebook. Here are some ways to make your social selling there more effective.
May just wasn’t Facebook’s month. Between the announcement from GM that it would no longer advertise and the controversy swirling around Facebook’s IPO, you may be suffering from Facebook fatigue.
But Facebook still has hundreds of millions of users. And a lot of sales are born there (just not necessarily through ad clicks). Your presence there needs to be lively, varied and frequent, and your sales approach very low-key. Here are some suggestions for making the most of it:
See what works for rivals. Enter a name in the Search box on your Facebook page. It shouldn’t be difficult to gauge what’s effective – look for the elements that draw the most/best/positive responses.
Make a strong first impression. Facebook lets you create custom tabs. Many companies are using these to build splashy Welcome pages that encourage visitors to:
- Like them
- Explore a related current event
- Access highlighted content
- Engage with the business in some other way
You can develop a tab using an iFrame app — or hire someone to design it. Don’t be afraid to spend some time and money on this. We’re living in a short attention span world, and you need to be noticed fast – or be forgotten.
Start a Facebook Group. Facebook Groups are private, invitation-only sharing areas used for chats, photo exchanges, document collaboration, etc. Start one and see how it goes.
Select topics that are related to the product or service you sell but that don’t focus on your brand. If you sell HVAC equipment, you could start a Group that discusses energy-efficiency. Host seasonal chats to explore maintenance and equipment options. You’ll be fostering community as well as learning what peoples’ pain points are and what they need from an HVAC dealer – valuable information as you continue to hone your business strategy and explore possible leads.
Mix it up. Leave the hard sell at the virtual door when you enter Facebook. Yes, you’re trying to use your presence there to generate sales, but you’re doing so for the same reason you bring up last night’s football game when you meet someone at a party or convention or community meeting.
You’re searching for common ground, getting to know what your prospects like and what they care about. Don’t introduce a sales conversation more than about once a week, but post fun or engaging or timely content daily. Get people talking — about anything. Find out what they need, what they dislike, what would make their lives better.
Add social plugins to your website. Facebook offers several social plugins, pre-built and ready to go. Ever Like something on a website and see that reflected on your own Facebook page? That’s facilitated by a social plugin. You might offer an incentive for people to click on Like or other plugged-in buttons on your website, like Comments and Recommendations. The more times you show up in someone’s News Feed, the more curious they’ll get about your brand.
Most important, be yourself. Find out who people are, try to solve some of their problems and make them smile. In all of your Facebook interaction, maintaining a knowledgeable, helpful demeanor is not just a polite thing to do – it may prompt visitors to turn to you when it’s time to buy.