Monday, December 3

Facebook for small businesses

This is meant to be helpful to those just starting out using facebook for their small business, but equally may be useful as a reminder to some.  Not saying this is an exhaustive list, just some helpful things we picked up along the way!

Is is a page or a person?
This might seem like a daft question, but what we've found is that some don't set up a page for their business which means they can't be 'tagged' in posts and we can't direct traffic to them.

How to set up a page:
while logged into your personal account enter this in the search bar:

go through the various choices depending on what you want to set up and there's your page done!
make sure you add some pictures, your contact details, about you etc etc BEFORE you start going after likers - give them a reason to like your page.
once you do start advertising your page you need 30 likes from people not pages in order to secure the URL which means the name then becomes yours - once this name is set it can't be changed, so make sure you search through beforehand that the name is avaiable.  And where possible try to make it short to avoid folk typing in the wrong name when searching for you.
Does your page look pretty?
Pretty obvious question yes?  Well in some cases no.  If you're asking folk to come along and 'like' so make it personal, show people what you want them to see.  If you want to say you're the best hairdresser out there show some of your best work, or your salon with happy customers.  It's sometimes hard to think from the other side so often it's better to ask a friend if they would find it interesting.  It's easy to miss something obvious or simple because you do it all day, every day so always ask for outside opinions.

you're got your page - how do I get the likes?
This is tricky - you require patience now!  There are various sites out there offering '1,000 likes in 10 minutes' however from personal experience I would avoid them.  Why? Because visitors aren't that daft, if you set up 2 weeks ago and suddenly have 500 likes if can look a little odd, better to let it grow slowly and steadily and be able to know that all those likes are there because they are genuine and you get the chance to interact and be seen to interact with them.  If you're in any doubt have a look at our facebook page, full of pics and happy banter. 

However, one sure fire way to get people coming over to you is to share.  Might seem a really simple thing, but if you are the one saying 'wow look what I found when I visited @fredscats' people don't think you only care about yourself.  There are hundreds of pages out there all competing with you, stand out by being lovely!

How to tag posts:
This is one that a lot don't realise but it's dead simple!  Firstly, if you want to tag another page on one of your posts you have to 'like' them so make sure you've done that bit first.  So, using @fredscats as an example pop over to their page, like it and say hello to them so they know where the like came from.  Because in order to raise likes they have to come from a person, Fred's Cats won't know that 'Abi Smith' is 'Hair is Lovely' so what you say is:

Hello from @hairislovely, thanks for the gift today it was really kind of you, see you soon Abi' or similar depending on how you met them.

notice the @ sign?  This is the magic symbol for tagging!  If you want to include a page you must put the @ sign in front of their name, if you have already liked them it will immediately start to find them from your list of likes.  If it doesn't find them, it means you haven't liked them so go back, like them and tag them again.

Also when you share pictures make sure you add a comment to the effect of: 'We just had to share @fredscats pic, it's so cute!' that way you not only share the picture but you tell folk who you are, where the picture came from and you also tell the other person you shared it because it will now pop up on their timeline.  This is what you're trying to achieve, pop up on as many timelines as possible.  Those statistics that mean not a lot?  The reach is about how many people saw your post, and if you are new you won't get it on your own but by sharing and cross promoting you increase their audience and yours.  If you are asking people to trust you as a brand, a business or an enterprise they want to know you will share and help because that adds trust, it proves you're human and not just about yourself.

Hope that helps, but if not please add bits!  Hippo xx