In this mini-series, I'll be talking specifically about how you can use Facebook to grow your business. Tools on Facebook allow you to connect more easily with colleagues, collaborators, and your followers. You can finally have an excuse for logging into this social media site if you're using it for business, right? So stop guilting yourself and put Facebook to work for you!
An easy but surprisingly beneficial thing you can do for your business is using Facebook for advertising. I didn’t like using Facebook advertising before I started my business, the page boosters nor promoting in groups, and only Twitter was on my social media agenda because I’d heard all the horror stories on Facebook and it's scary algorithm. I was told by many business advisors and coaches that you basically had to spend $30 a week on ads to get your content even seen. Well, I’m here to tell you that the horror of Facebook’s algorithm is a very real thing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should remove the platform from your social media plan. Facebook groups are very important for business.
If you’re in the stage before you’ve launched your business and you’re just setting up your website and thinking about your content, Facebook groups are your best friend. They are the perfect places to gain inspiration, ask for help without judgment, and gather advice from other business owners, in preparation for your launch. I think groups are also the best place to find eCourse recommendations from other business people (there're lots of wonderful, free eCourses out there).
If you’re past that stage, and you’ve written your content, your services, your products, then you need some promotion, right? Facebook groups will help you grow your traffic. Other members will be interested in what you have to offer and check out your content. If you do it often enough and play it well, you can get a lot of readers from a Facebook group and market yourself effectively, just by participating in discussion threads.
Engage with others!
Offer your help and advice on as many posts with business queries as you can. If you offer your services at discounted prices, or just help someone out within your area of expertise, your name will be remembered as someone to mention when they see someone else in need. Helping people is sort of what you need to do in exchange for getting your own help. My experience with Facebook groups is that they are very loyal, and no one likes a self-promo nut who drops their link occasionally and then disappears. If you know the answer to someone’s issue, tell them. They’ll remember you as a source of information (they might even ask for your blog link for future reference).
Doing this will help your business. If you notice that someone is asking advice about your specific expertise, i.e. bettering your business, reply to the poster letting them know what you think of how they're currently monitoring their business and how they could improve it, then offer your further services with something like, “If anyone would like further advice on SEO, please visit my contact page at www.[insertyourbloglink].com”. The emails should drop in if you word yourself well. Then, you can offer further paid services after your email exchange.
Tip: Make sure you’re dropping your blog links and offering your services strategically. Don’t comment on a post about logo design with your writing services. It’s irrelevant and if you do this one too many times, other group members will start to get annoyed. A great way to help you promote yourself strategically is to look through your tags. Hopefully, you’ll have tagged your blog posts specifically. If you see someone asking about creating business plans, and you know you have that information on your blog, click on your ‘Business Plan’ tag or type it into your blog search bar to bring up the right article. This is a great way to answer someone’s query quickly and gain those extra pageviews.
Another thing you can do is create a spreadsheet in excel with these and separate all your posts into; Title of Post, Tags, and Link. This will help you to distinguish between all of your blog posts and get quick access to the specifics of the post and the correct link, ready to go to the rescue! Of course, you’ll need to set a day or two (depending on the amount of blog posts you have) and organize them.
Participate in Promotion Threads!
Promotion threads are great – they give you an opportunity to support other business owners while promoting your own work and gaining extra traffic. They can get a little busy with many people posting all at once (and the notifications will drive you crazy) until you realize just how brilliant they are. I’ve submitted my ‘Work With Me’ page on a promotion thread before and, within an hour, received two emails inquiring about my work. If you find it’s too busy and you’re finding your work is drowning in a sea of comments, try commenting outside of peak times!
Tip: What you write along with your link is important. Spend some time making sure your words speak to your target audience. If you just throw the link on the thread, all your potential readers only have your title to decide why they should click on it. Provide a small summary on what the link contains. What is the post about? What’s in it for them? These are the questions you need to answer to persuade people to read your content. Capture their attention. If you’re selling a service, I’d write something along the lines of “I’m a business coach for entrepreneurs on a budget. My prices are ___, ____, and ____. Email me at ___ to receive a quote.”
Some people don’t like having to click on your website to find your prices, so answer their question before they ask it.
Make Your Promo Pretty
Utilize all the options you have. You have the means to upload a great photo that goes with your branding, so why not do so? It will help your comment stand out amongst all the others. Your photo will take up more space and make your comment larger, and will catch people’s attention too. Overall, joining Facebook groups makes for a much less lonely business journey. You’ll find plenty of people to connect with this way, and if you’re using Facebook correctly (joining in on promotion threads, helping people out, and keeping your profile consistent with your business), then chances are – people will get curious and check out what’s going on in your corner of the internet!
Leave a comment and tell me which Facebook Group is your favorite!