I thought it was time to give Facebook a bit of coverage and discuss what it can do for an NI business.
After all, it is the biggest social network on the planet.
Making a profile for your business on Facebook is absolutely free. When you consider how much it costs to advertise in newspapers and through Google Adwords it makes sense to utilise any freebies you can.
When making a profile for your business do not make a ‘Friend Page’ because this is a breach of Facebook’s Terms & Conditions and you risk getting your page banned.
Set up a free ‘Like’ page and to get started invite all your friends and family from your personal profile.
This is a simple way to get your first 50-100 likes and from there it’s all about interacting with followers and engaging with people to build up your online profile.
OK, well, maybe not everyone. But Facebook really does capture the imagination of people of all ages.
In the past social networks like Bebo and Myspace were mainly attracting the younger generation.
In today’s era though, Facebook is so simple to use that it is now boasting the silver surfers and many other age groups that were previously untapped.
Since a lot of people are on Facebook on their Tablet Devices, Smartphones, Laptops and Desktops, can you really afford to not be on Facebook?
It is generally a good idea when running a business ‘Like’ page to abide by the 90:10 rule.
That is, 90% of the time your status updates, comments and interaction should be nothing about your business or promotions.
The other 10% of the time is used for promoting your products and services.
Nobody wants a page they have ‘Liked’ to bombard their Facebook with the latest deals and information 24/7.
Therefore, if you do this, stop right now, because you will probably end up alienating potential customers who will ‘unlike’ and ‘unfollow’ your page.
90% of the time can involve sharing funny pictures and videos.
It can involve talking about hot topics of interest nationally or locally. You can interact with other businesses and potential customers.
You can share updates and information from other NI businesses.
The key is creating a fun place for people to visit.
Consider this, would you visit somewhere frequently that just posted pictures of products and deals all of the time?
Would you rather visit a page where you might see a funny video, a funny picture and useful local information?
Putting in the hours making a great Facebook profile and updating it frequently can pay huge dividends in the long term for NI businesses in any sector.
Think about this example. Two restaurants in Belfast.
Restaurant One has a Facebook Page with hundreds/thousands of followers.
Restaurant Two does not have a Facebook page.
Our Restaurant One shares pictures of its beautiful food regularly and involves itself in local discussions. It engages with the community.
It is going to be at the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to deciding where to go out for something to eat.
Restaurant Two has no Facebook page, well… it might risk losing out on potential business altogether.
So, I guess, the big question is: what are you waiting for?
Northern Ireland Copywriter Paul Malone writes amazing blog posts for businesses that don’t have the time to do it themselves.
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