Social media is changing the world as we know it. Every day, people around the world, are utilizing the advanced modern telecommunications infrastructure and the power of their smart phones, tablets and computers to create a new landscape of connection, insight and meaning. Today, social media doesn’t refer to a single platform, tool or app but instead refers to a vast global constellation of connected products, services and opportunities. In essence, social media is a new paradigm of experience which is bringing people closer to the things they love. This is great for all the citizens of the world and it might even be even better for all the global businesses seeking to reach them.
Social media is driving a revolution in the business world which is as useful for small startup endeavors as it is for the largest of enterprise level corporations. All around the world, companies are learning that by connecting with social media meaningfully, they are better able to meet, understand and influence the behaviors of their customers. By creating high quality content, brands are able to tell their stories and the people that enjoy it are able to learn more about the things that are meaningful to them.
In this way, social media is built on reciprocity. That is, it opens a channel between businesses and their target audiences. Both groups receive tangible and intangible benefits from interacting meaningfully with social media content. The absolute best data around this behavior illustrates a very conclusive point: social media marketing campaigns, when wielded effectively, can boost sales, engagement and reputation in clear and increasingly measurable ways which offer clear advantages over other traditional marketing and advertising approaches.Facebook is the largest and most dynamic social media platform in the world!
As of February 2017, Mark Zuckerberg Menlo Park, California based firm is reporting over 1.86 Billion monthly active users. This number represents a 17% increase over 2016. As many as 1.23 Billion of the people who use this platform, use it every single day, logging on with regularity to stay connected with the people and brands closest to their hearts. Globally, in 2017, as many 1.74 Billion people logged onto Facebook through their mobile devices, an increase of 21% when compared to the same time last year. It has been estimated that 5 new Facebook profiles are created every second. This means your potential audience is continuously growing at an exponential rate. The better you are able to develop your Facebook marketing strategies, the clearer your pathway to success!
Most companies in 2017 have some kind of Facebook strategy. For some, the focus is on creating a simple, locally focused page that allows customers close to their geographical location to find and learn more about their business. Others focus on rolling out a more globally focused digital marketing strategy which revolves around paid advertisements, interactive events and well-timed contests and giveaways.
Both approaches can be useful strategies for reaching target markets and converting “Curious Facebook Bowsers” into “Diligent Facebook Buyers”. One of the key areas, many businesses struggle to grasp at both ends of the spectrum however, is optimizing their page itself!
Optimize, Customize, Strategize!
For the purposes of this article, I am going to hone in on three distinct areas of your Facebook business page. Optimizing, strategizing and customizing these areas can help to increase the time your readers spend on your page, improve their engagement and increase the likelihood that they are influenced to act. Whether you are looking to direct customers to an online store, gather contact information or encourage a visit to your brick and mortar store, working on these three areas as the core of your Facebook business strategy will take your business to new heights in 2017!
These areas are your:
- Cover Photo
- Your About Page
- Your Sidebar Tabs
If you are interested in getting people excited about your brand and motivated about supporting your future success, it is essential that you create an eye-catching and informative Facebook business page. This page could very well be the first interaction a prospective customer has with your brand. Get it right and you are on your way to being shared and discussed; get it wrong and you may have lost a customer and all of their contacts for life. Your goal of course, should be to get everyone who visits your Facebook page excited and interested!
Selecting the Perfect Cover Photo
Your cover photo is one of the most iconic and singular elements of your Facebook business page’s design. It is likely to be the first thing people notice when they view your page. As a result, it makes sense to take the time to select the perfect photo which will give your viewers the impression you hope to convey.
Optimally, your cover photo should:
- Be visually appealing, eye catching and thought provoking (It should be optimized to look stunning and eye catching whether viewed on a laptop or mobile device)
- Promote a clear, easy to define message
- Appeal to your target market’s emotions, motivations and aspirations
- Link to your brand identity, products or services in a clear way
Regardless of what image you choose as your Facebook business page cover photo, it’s often a great choice to utilize elements of branding such as slogans, a mission statement or any other words or phrases which are connected to your brand identity for this photo. Remember, this is the first thing a prospective customer is likely to see about your brand.
The colors, look and feel of the graphic design of the picture and associated text should move in sync with each other. They should convey the sense of your brand that you are hoping for your target markets to gravitate towards. If possible, it might be useful to tell your readers who you are, what you are about and why you will appeal to them all within the context of this single cover photo and without requiring any additional reading or scrolling to get a fairly clear sense of these three areas.
If you have the graphic design prowess to design the perfect Facebook cover photo that is a tremendous asset and will no doubt pay off in many other areas of your business’s branding and marketing strategies. If however, graphic design is not an expertise of yours, do not be afraid to hire the talents of an expert. There are many online platforms available such as Freelancer or Upwork which can connect you with top talent who will be happy to create the image you need for a fair price. If working with people you know is more your style, a simple query in your personal Facebook feed is likely to yield impressive results and could lead to additional networking opportunities.
At the end of the day, it is essential to remember that your Facebook business page is perhaps the first thing a prospective customer will see about your brand. By focusing on design elements such as your cover photo, you are dramatically increasing the likelihood that people will warmly receive and be influenced by your brand.
Your cover photo, can and should change with the focus of your marketing strategy. It can feature call to actions, it could direct viewers towards a contest or promotion. It is smart to adapt your cover photo to the constantly evolving needs of your brand!
Create an Engaging “About” Page
Whether you are an individual or a brand, the difference between a successful “About” section page on Facebook is the difference between customers engaging meaningfully with you and their decision to close your page and spend their time and money elsewhere. If you don’t have relevant information in this section of your Facebook business page, you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to tell your story and engage the people who are already curious about your brand. The bottom line is that when someone is curious about your brand, your Facebook “About” section page is likely to be the first place they will turn.
A great “About” section will be comprised of:
- Business Info
- Contact Info
- Additional Info
The single most important element of these sections is your Business Info section. This is where you will describe who you are as a brand. You could include a mission statement here. You could also choose to tell the story of how you were founded or what motivated you into business here. This section will appeal to your readers when it considers why and how they are motivated as your target market. The more you are able to involve your customer in the way you describe your brand, the more engaged they will be. Additionally, the more they will begin to see themselves in your story. Regardless of the size of your business or the focus of your brand, it is essential to include some sort of descriptive narrative about the core functions, aspirations and motivations of your brand in respect to the people you hope to serve in the Business Info section of your Facebook business page.
The next section, where a prospective customer will find your Contact Info is often tremendously overlooked. You would be amazed how many businesses which have physical locations, forget to include their addresses in this section. Another frequent mistake is including a telephone number which is no longer in operation. Regardless of what information you choose to share here, it is important that you share ALL of the CORRECT information in this section. An email address, website links, social media links, physical address and contact telephone number would be great choices. If you want your customers to reach you, they need to know how. Including a clear and easy to find Contact Info section of your Facebook business page is one of the best ways to achieve this!
Finally, your Additional Info section of your Facebook business page, is often underutilized but could be employed to include lots of other additional information. This section could be updated to include more specific information about your products or services. It could be used to describe any current promotions you are offering. Another choice could be to include customer testimonials. At the the end of the day, this section is the most flexible in the “About” section but it should be optimized because it is very likely your prospective customers will at least stop here even if only momentarily.
Customize Your Sidebar Tabs
The normal Facebook business page sidebar tabs are: About, Photos, Reviews, Likes, Events & Posts. These are the standard operating options for any Facebook business page. With just a little work “under the hood” however, it is very possible to optimize your sidebar tabs to better serve the marketing interests of your brand.
You could, for instance, direct your viewers directly to an email sign up list, an ongoing contest or to a link to download a specific coupon or promotion of some kind. Any of these choices could lead to your readers feeling more engaged and connected with your page. Additionally, any of these options could be the kinds of things they might feel interested in sharing with their friends who might have a similar affection or interest in your brand.
The more you strategize about how to direct your prospective customers to do the actions you want from them, the more you will see that adding customized sidebar tabs to your Facebook business page is a clear pathway to success. You could directly link your website or online store, you could send interested viewers straight to your Instagram or other social media accounts. In this way, you have effectively made your customer’s lives that much easier. The absolute best Facebook business pages are optimized so that they guide viewers through a clear and logical process which results in engagement and conversion.
Oh yeah, if you didn’t know, you can absolutely add many of the apps your business already uses such as Mailchimp or Instagram directly onto the sidebar of your business page.
To modify the sidebar tabs on your page to include apps:
Click “Settings” at the top of your page.
Click on “Apps” in the left sidebar. You’ll see the Notes app in the right hand panel:
Click “Add App.”
Once you’re done, you can refresh the page and edit Notes by clicking “Go to App.”
Head back to your page and click “Manage Tabs” in the left hand sidebar.
On the next screen, scroll all the way down and click “Add a Tab.”
In the pop-up, you’ll see an option to add a Notes tab. Click “Add Tab” to do that.
Hit “Close” to exit the menu.
When you visit your page, you’ll see the newly added sidebar tab!
Sidebar tabs are a really simple but powerful addition which can really increase the time your viewers spend on your Facebook business page. This in and of itself can boost your rate of conversions. Remember, business in 2017 is not about working harder, it’s about working smarter!
Use these simple tips and tricks to boost the success of your Facebook marketing strategies!