Time Investment: 5 Minutes
Suggested Product: BizRevamp®
Since the changes done in recent months on Facebook, becoming visible and staying relevant is key to a successful marketing strategy using the popular social network. Improving the number of quality interactions with your fans is the best way to stay on the RADAR of your clients. Studies have shown that Facebook business pages have improved sales for small businesses and help potential clients find their websites. Maximizing your visibility on Facebook will improve your perception as a photographer and help you to gain potential clients and keep those that you already have.
We will concentrate on ways you can increase traffic on your business page and stay relevant to your audience using this 100% free marketing tool.
Relevance of Posts
Facebook now determines what they think is important to each individual by only showing them what they think is most relevant to that person in their news feed. Simply having a person LIKE your page will not keep you at the top of that person's news feed anymore. You must engage your target audience to keep your posts on their feed regularly. This means that they have to not only be a fan and LIKE your page, but they also need to be commenting on your posts and liking your posts on a regular basis. So how do you attract these people to like or comment?
Post photographs. Facebook puts the highest value on photographs as far as priority in relevance. As a photographer, that is your bread and butter so posting a quality photograph should be a normal part of your posting plan. Posting sneak peeks and having your clients tag themselves so that they show up on their own personal pages will give you a larger audience because their friends will then be able to see your work. Encourage clients to do this when you post photos from their recent sessions. Ask clients who buy digital copies that if they post them on Facebook that you would like your business to be tagged so that their friends can find you.
Post links. Links are also a fairly significant priority to Facebook. Posting links to your blog with your recent photo shoot documented will also engage more users than a simple status update. Posting your current specials with a link to your website or scheduler and adding your email address so that there is an easy and visible way to contact you is another strategy. Connect your Twitter account to your fan page and utilize Networked Blogs to make sure your blog posts go automatically onto your page to be read by your fans.
Status Updates. Updating your status with something exciting that will catch your audience's eye can also be something that will engage others. Ask questions in poll fashion. Seek input on what types of sessions that they might be looking for. Ask for an opinion on a location for a photo shoot. Or simply ask for LIKES by asking them to check in with you. For example, click LIKE if you can see this post or click LIKE if you had a recent session with me, etc. If you like this photograph, please click the LIKE button. The possibilities are endless. The key is to always try to engage.
Quality vs Quantity. Remember that it is better to have 500 fans that interact with you vs 5000 fans that are silent. Having the most fans or followers will not increase your visibility the way that interacting with your true clients will.
Whenever you post something on your business page ask yourself if you are posting it in a manner that will have people interacting with you. Ask open-ended questions that are seeking a response. Respond in a timely manner to those that interact with you. Make your business page conversational.
As with anything, timing is also key in getting interactions. Think about when your target marketing genre is going to be online and checking Facebook. It is probably wasted effort to post something exciting at 3am. Your audience just isn't there. With the pace that Facebook moves, it's just going to be lost in the shuffle. Instead, think about when your typical client would be online. Is it a mommy who is getting some quality Facebook time in while her kid is napping or after they go to bed at night? Are you marketing to high school seniors? You probably would want to avoid posts geared toward them during school hours, because those posts are falling on deaf ears. Young professionals are working 9am-5pm. That's probably not a great time to post about your upcoming engagement sessions. Most of this is common sense, but it is definitely something to keep in mind as you type out your monthly special posts. You can even utilize a scheduling tool like Hootsuite to preschedule your posts during high traffic times. Most people are on Facebook early in the morning and in the evening a few hours before bedtime.
Utilize Your Avatar/Profile Photo
Make sure you are using your profile photo to make your page look appealing. Your profile photo is your first impression. If you have an eye catching photo as your profile picture, it will make people more likely to click on your page.
DO NOT OVER POST
Yes, I put that in all capital letters. There is nothing more annoying than clogging up a news feed with 20 posts in 15 minutes. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but posting frequently about the same thing in a short period of time can become a big turn off to people and will make them more likely to disconnect from you by unliking your page. It is important to post frequently enough to stay relevant, but not so often that people think you are shoving your business down their throats. Try to post something of relevance to your key audiences 3 to 4 times per day during the peak times that they would normally be on Facebook. (Try not to be too discouraged when someone does, unlike your page. Remember your ultimate goal is to engage potential clients and current clients that would be interested in utilizing your services.)
Always, always, always be professional. Do not complain about clients or mention anything that could be seen as negative about another business. Tearing others down or posting frustrations on a Facebook business page does not have a place in a marketing strategy. It is also important to remember that when commenting on another business page that you should not critique others openly unless they specifically ask for constructive criticism. Also, do not post links to your business page on another photographer's page. Treat others the way you hope to be treated. Be polite, cheerful, and informative.
I found that the top 10 small business pages on Facebook for 2011 have several things in common. Their business page descriptions were well written, they were very good at responding to the posts of their fans on their pages in a timely manner, they used quotes wisely, there was a call to engage their clients in some manner by asking for comments or likes frequently, and they posted a variety of different content/types of posts when they did post on Facebook. Use of vibrant colors and appealing photographs also played a big role in the perception of their company, and they made a splash with them as a good first impression.
There are so many ways to utilize Facebook for small businesses, and I just scratched the surface. Facebook is constantly evolving. We as business owners must be vigilant in staying in front of our present and future clients.
Guest Blog post by Carla's Candids