We all know that Facebook is the most popular online social networking service in the world. According to http://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/, the network logged over 1.55 billion monthly active users in the third quarter of 2015. According to Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-africa-idUSKCN0RA17L20150910), the statistics published by Facebook in September, 2015, Nigeria had about 15 million monthly active users of the service. And that number is still growing! Many businesses like yours use Facebook to reach out to and engage their target audience. Contrary to what many here in Nigeria think about the social media site, it is not all about adding other users as friends, sending those “friends” messages, updating profiles and receiving updates. You can do a lot more!
What to do:
You cannot use the functionality of Facebook, if you’re not a registered member. Simply register via the website, www.facebook.com, or the app, which is freely available on Google Play Store, iTunes, Blackberry World, etc.
Update contact information and biography: Under the “About” tab of your profile, add some details about you that somehow reflect your business. Add the URL of your company’s website. The link would help to drive traffic to your website, as time goes on.
Find friends: Use the “Find Friends” function located at the top horizontal navigation bar to search for people you already know either in real life or on the Internet. Request them to be your friends via the “Add Friend” feature. Even people you don’t know can become your Facebook friends, if they approve your friendship request. You can even use its point-and-click tool to import contacts from email clients, to make multiple friendship requests at once.
Create a Facebook Page for your business: This is where the fun starts! Go ahead and create a Page for your business via https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/. Add your brand’s profile and background pictures. Start making interesting and enticing posts about your products and/or services. And don’t forget to include the URL of what you offer and whenever possible add visually-appealing photos and videos. Once you’ve made a couple of interesting posts, it’s time to let friends know about your Page and of course, your website.
Subtly market your offerings to your friends: Encourage your friends to like your Page. When they visit the page, they would surely see your posts, like and share them, and some would even get curious and read your company’s information via the “About” tab. Take advantage of Facebook’s intuitive features for businesses to share your posts, including press releases, blog posts, videos, photos, etc, with your friends and interest groups. You will find success like many others, if you use soft-selling techniques that explain to your target audience, prospective customers and current ones the benefits of what you offer.
Join groups of common interest: Find and become a member of groups related to your business. The aim of doing this is to give you leverage to softly market your offerings and reach out to your target audience. Invite some of the groups’ members to become your friends.
Create your own group: Create a brand new group that forms around your products and/or services. Find and encourage the type of people you’re targeting to join the group and be exchanging views with them. Bear in mind that even though you’re the admin of the group, you don’t have the license to commercialize it. Sharing information that is beneficial to others would definitely attract more members and strengthen your brand awareness.
Build a Facebook app: The social networking site allows its users to develop their own apps, add them to their profiles and company Pages. If you don’t have programming skills, you can hire a freelancer on oDesk or Freelancer.com, to get the app developed for your business. Having an app that highlights your business would enable other members to develop genuine interest in your offerings. Do not build an app that is not related to your business, as doing so would not help you in any way.
If you follow our social media optimization recommendations carefully, before you know it, traffic will start to pour in from Facebook to your website. Moreover, your company’s Facebook Page would almost always rank high on search engine results pages, whenever someone searches for you on the web. It is a win-win for you and your business!