Every month, I teach a variety of marketing classes to students entering or advancing in the medical esthetics industry. During every class, I’m asked about social media’s role in growing a business. Inevitably, those questions center on Facebook. While Facebook now has some competition, with an estimated 1.79 billion monthly Facebook users, it’s easy to understand why it is the top medium for connecting people from all over the world. However, not everyone understands why it is an essential marketing platform for businesses.
From its inception, Facebook co-founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg understood that social media is a numbers game. While the median Facebook user has about 200 friends, those friends have 200 friends of their own, and so on. When a business posts an interesting comment, story, video, it has the potential to be seen by thousands and thousands of people. Also, did I mention it is free? No other marketing strategy can touch those statistics.
The Sweet Spot In Posting
At this stage, most Facebook users understand that consistent posting is good, too much posting is not so good and posting infrequently will lose audiences faster than a speeding bullet.
While business owners generally understand that posts must stand out to engage users, they sometimes make the mistake of playing it too safely. I’m not suggesting you post anything inappropriate or offensive, but provocative? Definitely. Think of Howard Stern, one of the original shock jocks, or our recently elected president. Whether you love or hate them, chances are you have a strong opinion about them. When others talk about them, you want to respond.
Posts should always have an end game, though each post may serve a different purpose. Some posts can simply pique others’ curiosity or provide entertainment, while others evoke emotions. A good example of an emotion-grabbing post is one that links to a story about a laser tattoo removal business owner offering free tattoo removal to ex-cons with gang-related tattoos because they’re starting their lives over. Or, maybe you post about a new mom who is getting a pampering facial for her first Mother’s Day. You’ll know it’s a potentially good post if it brings an “emoji feeling” to you (such as a heart, happy face or sad face) before you’ve even posted it.
Still other posts deliver information, or are designed to generate leads. Vary your posts among these types for content so that it is always fresh, never too sales-y, something to which audiences can look forward and hopefully, will share with others.
Posts That Generate Leads
One of the easiest ways to generate leads through Facebook is with trivia quizzes, contests for prizes (products and services) and interesting information about skin care, health and beauty as well as your business—all in exchange for an email address and/or phone number. Users typically understand that by providing their contact information, they’ll be added to a company’s “mailing list,” but they’re likelier to do so when they’re getting something they perceive to be of value in return. Just be sure your prize (or downloadable content) really is something of value to them, and offer an opt-out at any time. Nobody likes being hounded to buy something, nor do they like giving up a sought-after email address for a lame outcome.
How Often? And What If?
While the frequency of your posting really depends on your type of business and your audience, a general rule of thumb is about once a day. But posting is only half of the story. You’ll also want to check your Facebook page throughout the day for visitors’ responses and comments. In my experience, most of them will be positive assuming your content is also positive, but occasionally you’ll get a negative bite too. Negative comments can come from either someone who had a less-than-stellar experience with you or from a complete stranger who enjoys doing that sort of thing. You can always hide the negative comments, but respond to them first in a professional way and see if you can turn them around. Prospective clients do check a business’ Facebook page not only for general credibility, but also for customer reviews and response time to visitors’ feedback.
When it comes to free advertising with the potential to reach thousands of people, it is really tough to beat Facebook. Just be sure that your posts stand out and will be enjoyed, shared and ultimately profitable to your business’ bottom line.
Top Tips for Great PR
1. Boost. Consider boosting the types of posts that have historically performed well for you. Boosting allows you to choose your audience, budget and the length of time for which the boost occurs.
2. Be Visual. Always include a graphic or video with your posts. Images really are worth a thousand words.
3. Track metrics.Track your results and create a posting schedule for optimal results.