According to recent research from G/O Digital, 73 percent of consumers believe that Facebook is the most important social platform where they expect to see a local business. So, to answer the question for you, your business should probably be Facebook.
Finding fresh, relevant things to post on the most popular social network is a full-time job. We’ve put together some unique and proven Facebook tactics to make scheduling a breeze for you.
It’s no secret that the best way to start an intriguing conversation is to ask questions of the person with whom you’re speaking. So why not implement the same practice on social media? You need to start viewing social media as a way to ask questions and start conversations with your business’ audience as opposed to just talking at them (those conversations are usually pretty boring).
We recommend asking questions that have more than simple “yes” or “no” answers. If you can’t find a better way to phrase the question to build a larger answer, make sure to follow up to each person’s reply and ask them why they answered that way. When starting out, a good practice is to ask follower’s to share their own experiences or opinions. For example, if you’re a local beauty supply store, you can ask “What is your all-time favorite beauty product?” or a landscaping company could ask “Which do you prefer: Flowers or greenery?” Both questions are easy for your followers to answer because they’re just answering questions about their own preferences. The bonus here is that you can glean more information about your customers’ preferences in the process and use that to shape the way you market your business.
Keeping up with social platforms that emphasize live videos (looking at you, Periscope), Facebook recently introduced its Facebook Live feature for verified pages. The Live feature allows business pages to conduct livestreams directly on their page. You can do this from anywhere, as long as you have a webcam and audio on your computer. While a local business with a verified Facebook presence can do this, it is geared more towards larger brands such as franchises.
To set up a Facebook Live chat, pick a designated time and start spreading the word via updates and possibly creating an event on Facebook. At the appointed time, hop online and start talking directly to your fans — live! Topics can be anything from a behind-the-scenes tour of your business to a how-to session or “Ask The Expert” Q&A with your team. During the session, you can see how many people are following along, and there is a live comment stream with the video.
You don’t need to throw a weekly extravaganza, but something small can easily be done on a weekly basis. As a restaurant, you can have a surprise discounted menu item every Monday then promote that item on Facebook and other social media channels using the hashtag. If you’re a service provider, you could offer a discounted price for anyone who books between certain times on a specific day. These micro events are easy to handle and provide endless social media fodder, and the hashtag invites your customers to share their story about how they found the deal and what they thought of it.
Another great way to engage followers is to appeal to their intellectual side by sharing new knowledge. Start by finding relevant statistics or interesting facts about your industry then schedule them on social media over a period of time to create regularity of posts — you can even develop a unifying hashtag for this, as well. These posts are great to start with a “Did you know?” phrase or something similar because it immediately catches the reader’s attention.
You can also write the posts as fill-in-the-blank answers, or pose them as questions and reveal the answer at a later time. These posts add value to your followers’ news feeds and give them an opportunity to Like their favorite stats or try to guess the right answer. At G/O Digital, we use this tactic quite often on our own Facebook page.
Facebook has so many options for the intrepid business owner, and the platform is continually rolling out new ones, offering unique ways to stay engaged with your audience. Take advantage of these features to start seeing your social engagement increase!