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Facebook continues to be one of the most popular social networks with a user base of over one billion people. While that might be a staggering number, it also represents an incredible opportunity for marketers and entrepreneurs.
You can use Facebook to grow your mailing list, build your business, and sell your products or service in several different ways. It all depends on which methods are right for you and what type of community you want to build.
Facebook Pages Boost Your Brand’s Awareness
It’s becoming increasingly common for consumers to turn to social networks when they want to make a purchase. For example, when an expectant mother is looking for the best crib recommendation, she might ask for suggestions in a Facebook post.
Her friends can share their opinions. Savvy users may even tag their favorite brands in the comments section. The expectant mother could then go and see your Facebook page and may be more likely to select your crib model.
Of course, increased sales are just one potential benefit of having a Facebook page. Another reason to use Facebook pages is that it can lead to more reviews and testimonials. This leads to what researchers call “social proof”.
If your brand has dozens of glowing reviews from real Facebook users, potential customers are more willing to take a chance on your product. This is because they feel like there’s less risk involved than if they found your site through a simple Google search.
Some marketers and entrepreneurs think that since Facebook’s organic reach has decreased, there’s no point in keeping your Facebook page active. But since Facebook pages can influence your sales, you’ll want to update your page frequently.
You can use a third-party app to schedule your Facebook posts like HootSuite or Buffer. However, Facebook now has the option for you to schedule your posts directly from your page.
Although there’s nothing wrong with using a third-party app, you may see more traction and views if you use Facebook’s built-in scheduler. When scheduling content, try to use a variety of formats such as images, video, text, and polls.
When possible, try to use interactive content. This is content that encourages fans and followers to engage with your brand. A poll is a good example of interactive content.
However, be careful about creating low value content merely to get engagement. An example of low value content is a post that reads “Comment for YES” or “Comment I AGREE”. In Facebook’s algorithm, these posts are considered poor quality and may make the social media giant less likely to show your posts in users’ feeds.
Facebook Groups Help Build A Community
Another way to build your business using Facebook is to create a Facebook group. Groups are different from Facebook pages in that they can be private or closed. They’re not designed to be sales tools.
That doesn’t mean that Facebook groups should be ignored. You can build a community of passionate fans who eagerly buy your products or services by harnessing the power of online groups.
Some marketers start Facebook groups and excitedly post for a week or two before quietly letting it die. Then they say that Facebook groups are not effective and wonder what went wrong.
The truth is you must nurture your Facebook community if you want it to grow. That means regularly posting new content to the group. Often the best posts are in the form of open-ended questions. For example, if you run a Facebook group for puppy training, then you might want to ask members, “What’s the first command you’d like to teach your puppy?”
When building your Facebook group, do not add members without their consent. This is bad practice, even though Facebook allows it. When members see they’re in a group that they don’t remember joining, they may become irritated with you and the experience may leave a bad taste in their mouths.
Another thing you can do to make sure you get members who are interested in your topic to join your community, is to use Facebook’s new member form. When potential members go to join your group, they’ll be asked a series of questions that you created.
This can be a wonderful opportunity to do some market research. For example, with your puppy training group, you might ask potential members what their biggest struggle is with training their pup. Their answers may spark new content ideas and show you exactly what solutions your community needs.
Another great thing about using Facebook groups is you can design free training areas. So if you teach people how to do a task using content you can use Facebook Units within your group to organize your thoughts.
For example, if you give your members branding tips, you can organize your tips into units. So you might have a unit on fonts and another one on choosing your brand colors. This lets your members work through your content at their own pace and allows you to position yourself as an authority on your topic.
Facebook Stories Engage Your Audience
Stories are short social media videos that business brands and influencers can post to Facebook. Video content is becoming increasingly popular while text and images are less so. This means that smart brands will want to post stories more often.
Fortunately, Facebook makes it easy to do this. When you go to post content with an image, you can click the box to post the content to the newsfeed as well as to stories. This creates a short video or slideshow-style video that can be viewed in the stories menu.
Facebook is giving priority to stories over other types of content. That means that both the social media giant and users will be more likely to engage with and promote your updates if you use these videos.
If you’re curious about what topics to cover in your stories, try doing a behind-the-scenes look at your business or your product. This isn’t about selling anything. It’s about showing your community the personality behind the brand.
Another Facebook story you could do would be a brief set of tips that your audience might find useful. For example, if you’re in the parenting niche then six steps to swaddling your baby quickly would be appreciated by your community.