As a local business, enticing nearby residents into visiting your establishment is a primary goal of your marketing campaign, and nothing helps foster interaction with potential customers better than social media sites like Facebook. By leveraging your Facebook page to attract and build a following of loyal local customers, you can ensure a regular source of revenue for your business and establish a solid reputation as a subject matter expert in your field.
So what should you put on your Facebook page, and how does it differ from your local business website? Because Facebook is, by definition, social media, it is a place for much more personal interaction with your customers, and a considerably more dynamic site that requires regular attention and much more frequent updating than your website.
Basic Features of Every Local Business Facebook Page
First of all, there are some basic components to every local business Facebook page. These are the easy ones. Obviously, you want to post your location and hours of operation. Be sure to include helpful clues for locating your establishment, such as “upstairs on the second floor” or “behind the gas station,” especially if it’s difficult to find.
Include your website URL and any contact information, such as phone number and email address. All of this will be placed on the About page, along with your basic business description, background, historical information and anything else you want your customers to know about your business. You should try to include as much information as possible to help inform your customers’ decision to check out your establishment without getting boring or repetitious.
What Sort of Posts to Include on a Local Business Timeline
If the About page is the skeleton of the local business Facebook page, the Timeline is the meat, muscle and organs. This is where you will personalize the experience and provide informative posts, helpful tips and links to further reading, as well as announce new products and services, sales and promotions and anything else that’s new and improved about your business.
A good way to get started is to visit your competitors’ Facebook pages and see what kind of posts they’re publishing on their own sites. You need not limit your research to your competitors, however. Check out a variety of different sites until you find one or more that reflects the look, feel and overall quality that you would like to emulate for your own page. Most of all, put yourself in the place of your customers. What would you like to see on your site if you were a customer?
Keep the Content Fresh and Post Regularly
The thing to remember about Facebook is that it is dynamic. People use Facebook to keep up with friends and family on a daily basis, and are looking for fresh content. As a minimum, you should endeavor to post something every day, even if it’s just a link to an informative article somewhere else on the Internet.
Nearly every business has backlogs of content that can be repurposed for Facebook posts, from newsletters, articles and research reports to brochures, catalogs and more. Don’t be afraid to put a fresh twist on an old idea and reuse it for your Facebook page. If you are constantly offering useful advice and information, customers will check back regularly and in so doing, also pick up on the latest offers and promotions.
Coupons, Sales and Special Deals
Savvy customers often check out a local business’ Facebook page before visiting the establishment to see if there are any special deals or coupons available. This is a great way to get customers to like and even follow your page, in which case your posts will appear on their timelines. You might even consider featuring a statement such as “Follow us to get the best deals and discounts” on your About page or even as text on your profile photo or banner.
You can also post a link to a landing page, where you then offer a free service or discount in exchange for the customer’s email address and permission to send special offers, newsletters, etc. This is an excellent way to expand your customer email list.
Personal Interaction is the Key to a Successful Local Business Facebook Page
First and foremost, social media is all about social interaction. People are quicker to connect with people than they are with a brand name. Posting a photo is a personal choice, but will significantly increase engagement. Customers want to see the person behind the business, and to know that they’re supporting a local entrepreneur rather than a faceless corporation.
Photos and short videos will also visually enhance your local business Facebook page. Don’t hesitate to post photos of your latest product, short informational videos, or even short videos of a more personal nature.
Along with a call to action, such as “Try our new Acai Berry Frozen Yogurt,” consider challenging customers to report back and let you know what they thought. If they report a positive experience it will generate more business; and if they don’t like it, at least you’ll get feedback and be able to make changes in a timely manner.
Try to keep your Facebook page a fun, interesting, informative and entertaining place for your customers to visit, and they’ll come back often, to your page and to your business.