Facebook is still holding its place as the top social network, with people using it in many different ways. One such use is that it has become a search engine for local businesses, offering a quick way for people to find a business, learn about it, and get in touch all in one place. However, like any local social media marketing technique, just having a page up on Facebook isn’t enough. There are five things that a successful page will include.
1. The right category
When setting up a business page, Facebook gives you the opportunity to set a category for what you do. By choosing the “Local Business” option, you will show up in more searches that are performed by the people nearby. That is, you’ll get seen by the people who are actually likely to become your customers. With Facebook’s Graph Search (https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch), it is even more important that you stand out as a local business in search results.
Having the right subcategory can also be important in getting good results. If you are a restaurant, but listed as a middle school, you aren’t going to get many people in the door because of your page. There are plenty of categories to choose from, so it’s worth seeing what your main competitors are using for their page, too.
2. Contact details
As a local business, you want to let people know where you are. This means fully filling out the address details on your Facebook page. Social media marketing for local businesses only works if potential customers know you are local. They want to find you online and be able to walk in your front door. To do this, they’ll need your address, phone number, website address, and email address.
Customers rarely complain that they have too many ways to get in touch with a local business. However, if they can’t find the one contact detail they need, they’ll be sure to make their displeasure known.
Facebook also allows you to set your business hours on your page. This can be a great tool, letting your customers know when you are open and, if you’re closed, when you’ll next be open.
3. Regular updates
Setting up a page is an important step, but you have to remain engaged. Regular updates are crucial to social media marketing, whether you’re a local business or a huge corporation. This type of engagement lets your customers know that your page is worth liking, and that you’re an active part of the online community.
Another benefit of regular updates is that you can provide on the spot customer service. Your customers can ask questions through your Facebook page and you can answer them right then and there. This reinforces your position as a reliable, helpful local business.
4. Loyalty offers
If you’re faced with the choice of a local business page that posts interesting tidbits about what they do and a second local business page that posts interesting tidbits and a special offer for the page’s fans, which business will you choose? Your customers are the same — if you are offering them something extra for being a fan of your page (http://oursocialtimes.com/top-8-ways-to-encourage-facebook-fan-loyalty/), they’ll be more likely to choose you over your competition.
These loyalty offers don’t have to be anything huge. Simply offering a discount for Facebook fans, a little extra when they make a purchase, or even giving them exclusive details of upcoming offers in store can be enough to make them regular visitors to your page and your business.
5. Real images
One thing that separates ineffective local business Facebook pages from the huge successes is the photos they use. If you’re using stock photography, your page will look generic and won’t convey the idea that you’re just around the corner.
Your photos don’t all need to be amazing. Choose a great shot for your profile and cover photos. For regular posts, do the best you can. Having your own photos — whether they’re of products, happy customers, contest winners, or a beautiful sunset in your neighborhood — will help customers feel connected to you.
A Facebook page can be a great tool in your social media marketing as a local business, but don’t let your business get overlooked. There are a lot of pages, but having the right category, all of your contact information, regular updates, special offers, and real photos can make you really stand out from the crowd.