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August 1, 2012

Do You Know How To Use Facebook For Your Business?

using facebook for your businessSo you have setup a Facebook fan page for your wellness business and have asked all your friends and family to “like” your page.  Maybe you have a couple of hundred fans on your page but you really aren’t seeing any results.  Nobody is liking your posts or leaving contents.  You are beginning to wonder if all the time you are spending on Facebook is just a waste of your time.  Do you know how to use Facebook for your business?

This is the story I hear again and again from wellness professionals.  They are committed to helping others and want to reach a broader audience with their message.  Facebook makes it really easy to setup a fan page and most people can do it and get to this point with very little effort or time.  The rubber hits the road when it comes to getting your message out beyond the people you already know.

In this article I will share 3 key strategies for growing your Facebook “tribe”.

1.  Share Content Your Fans Are Passionate About

You are already sharing your blog posts on your fan page and an occasional article that is related to your niche.  While this is an important part of a comprehensive Facebook strategy it should not be the main focus.  Even if people click on the link to your blog posts, the chances are that they will not go back to Facebook and like or comment on your posts.  This is one of the keys to successfully marketing on Facebook, getting people to like, share and comment on your posts.

The most popular thing to share on Facebook is images.  If you haven’t already done it, go look at the Facebook app on a smartphone or tablet.  It seems that on mobile, Facebook is favoring images over text posts.

What sort of images will your target audience be likely to share?  If your “tribe” is into healthy cooking, maybe an image of your latest delicious recipe.  Inspirational quotes are perennial favorites, I’ve had lots of engagement with “health quotes” where I make an attractive image with a quote embedded in it.  Make sure to credit who the quote is from and don’t use any images that you don’t have the rights to use.

All you need is a few pictures to go viral and you will see your like count start to go up rapidly.

Before I started using images as a regular part of my facebook strategy, these are the results I was seeing with Facebook Insights.

I hope this doesn’t look to familiar to you, but I imagine it might.

Here is an after shot.

2.  Don’t Be Afraid To Be A Little Controversial

Most people that start putting themselves out there online want to make everybody happy.  They are careful not to offend anyone and steer clear of controversial topics.  While I agree that it is good not to go out of your way to offend anyone, if there is a topic you are passionate about, pick a side and stick to your guns.  Sure, some people might tune you out, but controversy does get the conversation started.

This is different than preaching to or making people feel wrong.  People want to share their opinions and if the post you are discussing is something people are passionate about they will do just that.  This one is not for everyone, since the more controversial the topic, the more polarized the discussion becomes.

3.  Join The Conversation

Who else in your field is talking about the same things you are.  Did you know that you can comment on other posts “as your page”?  Simply go up to the upper right hand corner of your Facebook screen and click on the arrow, select “use Facebook as” your page.

Search for people, pages and groups that are already having a conversation and join in.  Make sure to post some constructive comments.  Nothing turns people off on Facebook quicker than posting “come like my page”.  This is good advice when doing anything in social media.  People come to Facebook to connect with friends and family, look at pictures, play games, maybe watch a video and share some stuff with their friends.

Be Seen As The Expert

They are not coming to Facebook looking for your services.  Use Facebook as a place to start the conversation.  Once they like your page, then you get some of these people onto your email list where you share more great content with them.  Once they grow to know, like and trust you, then when you put an offer in front of them they will be much more likely to take advantage of your offer.

Your goal should be for your fans to see you as the go to expert in your niche.  I know this is repeating myself, but if you focus more on becoming the “expert” and building relationships and a “tribe”, you will be much more successful in the long run.  Knowing how to use facebook for your business requires consistent sharing of content your tribe wants and learning how to get them to engage with your fan page.  If your plan is just to post once in a while or just your blog posts, you are better off sticking with a personal profile and not wasting your time with a fan page.

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