All Things Facebook (Conclusion)

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(Photo: © iStockphoto/rouzes)

Bruce Beggs |

It’s ‘about getting people to want to hang out with you’

LAS VEGAS — Social media marketing has been a hot topic among small businesses for several years now. The most popular media used today is Facebook, a free social networking website through which registered users can create and update profiles, upload photos and videos, send messages, and otherwise keep in touch with family and friends.

Bonnie Hanson is vice president of marketing and business development for The Laundry Doctor, a St. Paul, Minn., laundry service—and a big-time Facebook fan for personal and professional use.

At the Las Vegas Convention Center, Clean Show attendees filled the “Exhibit Floor Classroom” on the event’s first afternoon to hear her presentation, All Things Facebook.

Hanson cautioned the audience that presenting “all things Facebook” in an hour is virtually impossible, and stated her goal was to acquaint the audience with Facebook and demonstrate how a laundry business could simply and cheaply market itself to customers and prospects.

“Even at the business level, (Facebook is) about getting people to want to hang out with you,” she says. “It’s about spending more time with you and, hopefully, more money with you.”

TOP 10 THINGS TO FOCUS ON

1. Complete your “About” text

“When you set up a profile, there’s text about (you),” Hanson says. “Finish it. Complete it. Not that big of a deal, but do it. It’s easy. … Takes maybe 15 minutes. The more information you put out there about yourself, the better Facebook likes it.”

Prepare a short business description, ensure your physical address is correct (for check-ins), type in a complete website address (be sure to test it), and add links (how-to’s, tips, blogs, products).

“Give whatever information you feel is going to help people understand who you are, what you do and why they should go to you,” Hanson says.

2. Get your local business page verified

Spend another 10 minutes to have Facebook verify your page. From general settings, click “Page Verification” and follow the instructions. Doing this aids your online credibility, makes your business more findable in searches, and is favored by Facebook, according to Hanson.

3. Invite your e-mail contacts

If you have an e-mail database of customers, you can invite as many as 5,000 contacts per day to “like” your page. “You can select individuals or the entire group. … There is a place in Ads Manager where you can upload your e-mail list,” Hanson says.

Related to this, review your content posts and notifications, then send invitations to “Likes” who are not yet following your business page.

4. Size your graphics correctly

Images need to create an emotional reaction. There are image size standards that can be easily found in a Google search, Hanson says. Ad images must contain 20% text.

If you struggle with this task, use PowerPoint, try out sites like Canva.com, use the Word Swag app, or hire a design intern.

5. Use video

Posting videos has better reach than any other content, Hanson says, and using Facebook Live video (recording live using Facebook on a mobile device) is even better. Preview any videos on desktop and mobile versions, and use captions.

Hint: Native Facebook videos will “autoplay” and even loop if they are under 30 seconds in length, she adds.

6. Write great copy

As you prepare your posts, avoid using trigger words (ex: “Free,” “Share” or “Buy”). Don’t publish “click bait,” articles that use sensationalism to draw click-throughs. And above all, keep your audience in mind and remember your brand and tone.

7. Use Facebook Page Insights

The networking site offers detailed analytics so that page managers can track popularity of their content and develop benchmarks upon which to base future posting strategies.

8. Boost key content

Use gender, location and interests to target boosting efforts, which was touched on earlier in how to promote your Facebook platform.

9. Know the Facebook algorithm

“A tiny portion of your posts actually reach the news feeds,” Hanson says in hushed tones. “More optimistic studies say a little more than 11% of your fans see your posts.”

How does Facebook choose what to show in a news feed? Hanson shared a simplified equation to explain: Creator (interest of the user in the creator) times Post (this post’s performance among other users) times Type (type of post [status, photo, link] user prefers) times Recency (newness of post) equals News Feed Visibility.

She points out that Facebook looks at roughly 100,000 personalized factors when determining what’s shown, and the algorithm is constantly changing.

“That’s why all those things are so important, that you use video, that you size things right, that you mix your media, that you engage and you don’t promote. Facebook only has so much inventory to put out there.”

10. Post regularly (and at the right time)

Consider your resources and understand what you have available to you before you set your posting goals and objectives. Review your page’s Insights and tailor your efforts to maximize return. Create a content calendar (Hanson suggests developing a calendar for the year, taking note of holidays, special events, seasonal issues, etc.) but stay flexible.

It can all seem rather daunting, Hanson says, who then scrolled to a slide with the acronym “ACT.”

“Analyze, create and test for Facebook love,” she says. “Start with a conversation. Just start somewhere. Take the first step. … This is such a great industry, and people are so collaborative. Use that.”

Miss Part 1? You can read it HERE.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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