During 2010 Facebook became the most visited website on the Internet in the United States, passing Google for the top spot. Facebook has become so much a part of our lives that Hollywood even made a movie about it!
Facebook is not only a place for family and friends to stay connected but an important place for businesses to connect with clients and potential customers. If you spend less than 20 minutes a week on Facebook you are missing out on one of the greatest marketing opportunities.
However if you spend more than 20 minutes a day on Facebook you have become addicted and are probably doing one or more of the following:
- Wasting time playing games.
- Convinced yourself that reading the latest gossip about your clients is important marketing and a good excuse for not doing more important things for your business.
- Have not yet learned how to properly use Facebook for your business.
Whether you avoid Facebook altogether or you spend too much time on Facebook because you don’t understand how to use it properly, I’ve compiled my Top 10 Tips for using Facebook in 2011 just for you. If you are just looking for that little tip to make your Facebook experience even better, there is something in here for you as well.
1. Join Facebook Using Your Personal Name.
For the few of you who have not yet joined, you just need to jump in and set-up your profile. For the many of you who have joined Facebook using your store name, NOW is the time to re-join using your personal name.
In addition, having your business name as your personal profile limits your marketing potential as people who don’t know about your business may not want to friend you. You will have a much easier time reaching a new audience for your business on Facebook when seen as a person rather than a store trying to sell something.
2. Upload Your Picture as Your Avatar
It’s called Facebook for a reason! Put Your Face on your profile. This is one of the best marketing tools you have at your disposal. As people get to know you and feel comfortable with you, when they finally come into your store for the first time they will feel like they are visiting an old friend.
Putting some cute little image as your avatar may be funny to you, but not everyone will see your humor and if they do, will they take you seriously as a business person? Plus you certainly don’t want to offend anyone with your humor.
Don’t put a picture of your jewelry or your store as your avatar. You will look like someone trying too hard to sell something. You DO want to upload lots of pictures of your jewelry in your profile pictures and on your Facebook Pages, Groups and Events. But don’t put a picture of jewelry as your avatar.
3. Visit Facebook Regularly
It is better to spend a few minutes each day or every few days, than to spend hours at one time and then not visit again for weeks. It is better to upload a few pictures at a time or add new information a little at a time, rather than all at once. This looks more natural to Google and they will therefore rank you higher.
In addition, each time you add new material the search engines will re-index your pages. By adding new pictures and other information gradually over time, you will get your pages indexed more often, giving them a better chance to rank higher.
4. Build Friends
It amazes me how many business people on Facebook turn down friend requests. That’s like opening a new store and then locking the door and not letting anyone in! Accept all friend request and work on building more friends. The more friends you have the more people you can tell about your business.
Don’t over do it. Build friends gradually. You should never invite more than 20 people to be your friend in one day. If you invite too many people at one time Facebook will consider you a spammer and may delete your account. You can accept all friend requests without any problems, but send out invites gradually over time.
Facebook still limits the number of friends you can have to 5,000. They have announced several times that they are going to remove this limit, but as yet they have not. However, most store owners and store employees have a long way to go before they reach this limit.
5. Join Local Groups
One of the greatest methods to reach out to people in your community who are not already your customers is through local groups. Do a search on Facebook for your city and then refine your search by clicking ‘Groups’ on the left side of the page. Check out the different groups and join several of them.
Most Facebook Groups have discussion forums, so jump in and contribute. Read through the group’s wall postings and discussion threads to get a feel for the type of content accepted by the group before posting information about your store.
Becoming accepted in a community group is much easier as an individual in the community rather than as a business. This is another important reason to have your personal profile set-up in your name rather than your business name.
Share advice to the group including information about your store when appropriate. In many groups you can post invites to become a fan of your business page. However, some groups don’t allow this and will remove your membership from the group. So check out the group first before posting this type of information.
Groups are a great way to make new friends in your community that could become new customers. As you become involved in the groups and share relevant information people will invite you to become friends, and you can ask others in the group to become your friend as well. Also you can go through the group’s member list and invite people from the group to become your friend. Remember to do this slowly and never invite more than 20 in one day.
6. Create Multiple Facebook Pages About Your Store.
Facebook Business Pages is the place to share information about your store. You need to set-up a page in Facebook for your store. If you already have one, set-up more! There is no limit to how many pages you can have. Every jewelry store should have one main page in their store’s name, and then additional Facebook Pages for each aspect of their business such as a page for engagement rings, diamonds, colored stones, buying gold, jewelry repairs, etc.
Facebook Pages have the advantage of getting listed in Google searches and on other search engines just like other website pages. The more Facebook Pages you have the better chance you have of getting listed. In addition, the closer your page’s subject matches the search term the better your chance of getting listed. For example, if someone searches for ‘Diamond Rings’ your Facebook page for Diamond Rings will have a better chance to be listed than a general page about your store.
Once you have set-up your page, invite all your Facebook friends to become a fan. You can invite your entire friend list without any repercussions from Facebook. The more friends you have the better (so get busy with Tips #4 and #5 above). Each time you set-up a new page you can send out new invitations to join the page, and later you can go back and invite all the new friends you have made since setting up the page. This is one of the greatest advantages for businesses on Facebook so start making friends in your community and invite them to all your Facebook Pages.
When you reach 25 Fans you can set-up a user name for your business page at: www.facebook.com/username . This way the URL of your page will be facebook.com/YourUserName rather than a long string of meaningless numbers and letters. This makes it much easier to send people to your business page.
Add new pictures and videos of your jewelry as well as new information about your store to your pages regularly. All your Fans will receive updates about your page and this will also help your Facebook Page get ranked in Google.
7. Build Links to Your Facebook Pages
Google LOVES links! The more links you have going to a webpage the better chance you have to get that page ranked in Google and the other search engines. Facebook Pages are no different. Create links to your Facebook Page from your website, your blog, your videos, social bookmarking websites, and anywhere else you build links to your main website. Links not only help you get ranked higher, they also help drive traffic to your pages.
Put a ‘Like Page’ Button on your website, blog and e-mail signatures. This is easy to do and in addition to the link, it helps build additional Fans to your pages.
8. Create a Facebook Group for Your Store.
Facebook Groups have the added advantage over Facebook Pages in that you can send a direct e-mail to all your group members. This is an easy way to build a list of people that are interested in your store.
Facebook Groups however, do not rank well on Google and the other search engines, so you need both. Post updates regularly to your Group’s wall, as well as start discussion threads and answer questions in your Group’s discussion forum. Send out regular e-mails to your group, but make certain that you include content of interest for your members and not just ads for your store.
9. Create Facebook Events for Your Store
Whenever you hold a special event at your store create a Facebook Event to let all your friends know about it. You can also link to the event from your Facebook Pages and Groups.
Once you create the Facebook Event you can invite all your Facebook Friends and all your employees can send invitations to your event to all their friends. This is a quick and easy way to let everyone know about your event, but you have to first build your friends list so re-read #4 and #5 above and get busy building your Friends List.
10. Advertise on Facebook
Facebook advertising is extremely targeted and presently very low cost. With Facebook you can target your audience as much as you like. For example you can set-up an ad for engagement rings and limit it to males in your area between the ages of 20 and 35 who are presently in a relationship.
Plus Facebook Ads have the built in advantage in that your ad generates automatic testimonials. When someone clicks on the ad and ‘Likes your Page’, Facebook will add their name and picture with a caption that they like your page.
Bonus Tip – Create a Facebook Place
Facebook launched this new feature last summer trying to capitalize on the popularity of Google Places. Facebook Places is more of a game, and personally I don’t see much of an advantage for retail jewelers. However, you can set-up your Facebook Place page with all the pertinent information about your store. You can link to all your websites and Facebook Pages, plus it is one more place on the Internet for people to find out about your store.
Brad Simon, along with his wife Debbie, are 30+ year veterans of the retail jewelry industry and have been involved in Internet marketing since 1999. For more information on marketing your jewelry store on the Internet, getting higher search engine rankings, or using the Internet to keep in touch with your existing customers visit www.Internet4Jewelers.com You can follow Brad on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BenchJeweler.