5 Tips for Getting Started with Facebook
Tip 1: Engage Your Target Audience
The popularity of a franchisee’s page—and on Facebook it’s all about popularity—will depend on whether or not those who have liked your page are compelled to interact with it.
The level of interaction, or as Facebook terms it, “engagement”, will determine a franchisee’s placement on the news feeds of those who have liked the page. Top placement on news feeds will ensure that your posts are being read, and not lost in the veritable sea of messages channeled through Facebook every day. Engagement is determined by the frequency, quantity, and quality of Facebook users doing things such as posting comments and liking your posts.
The first step in engaging your target audience is to figure out who they are! It seems like common sense, but this vital step is so often overlooked. The better a franchisee has identified the demographic of their audience, the more they will be able to write posts that appeal to that audience. Almost without exception, your target audience will be your most likely customers, since the goal of most Facebook company pages is to sell a product or service. Let those reading your posts get a sense that they know who you are—it will be part of what compels them to make a decision to buy. Entertain them while providing information that establishes you as an expert in your industry.
Tip 2: Covers, Covers, Covers!
Facebook has added a new main image layout which allows franchisees with Facebook pages to upload a picture which will be displayed in HUGE format at 850 x 315 pixels. Since your covers are the first thing that visitors will see and most likely the last thing they will forget when they come to a your page, it is crucial that your cover be carefully considered. If your franchise’s corporate office does not provide you with branded cover images for Facebook, it’s a good idea to hire a professional designer. Upload 5 or more covers to your Facebook page’s photo library. That way, users visiting your page can browse through a thematically related series and you can easily select a different cover to “freshen up” your franchise page on periodically, showing visitors something memorable on their next visit.
A franchisee’s cover should epitomize the spirit of the product or service that a franchise sells and use elements from the franchise’s brand manual. If your franchise does not provide a brand manual that simplifies the process of creating your own branded materials, it’s probably time to renegotiate your deal or find another franchise.
3. Install Apps that Add Value to Your Page
The thing which will bring your followers back to your page again and again is value. What’s in it for them? Can your franchise location provide information or functionality to users that they they can’t get elsewhere? This is what we mean when we talk about value as it concerns the web. It’s the “why” in “why visit?” Apps can supply the “why”.
It could very well be that an app developer has already created something that you can use for free which will allow you to represent some of the value that your franchise is known for providing to consumers. These are the best apps to install. To search available apps on Facebook, go to your home page by clicking your name in the upper right-hand corner of the site and you’ll see “Applications” on the left navigation. Any app which feeds new information on an ongoing basis relating to a franchise’s product or service is an excellent choice since it will “refresh” a franchisee’s page’s content automatically. Apps are displayed prominently on the page just below the cover.
4. Derive Strategy from Usage Statistics
Facebook provides statistics about interaction with your page that are essential for determining which parts of your page are generating interest and which parts are not. Dubbed “Insights”, they are a crucial feedback loop for franchisees. The activity on a web site often seems invisible to the site owner; unlike a brick and mortar store, you cannot meet and talk with the people who are visiting your establishment. Insights makes a franchisee’s customers real, showing their habits and interests, and counting them as they come and go.
In Insights, you can see the date of each post, its title, its reach, the number of engaged users, the number of people talking about it, and its virality. Virality is the percentage of people who have created a story from your post out of the total number of people who have seen it. Use this information to coax new content into the same areas as successful content. Experiment with novel content to find what works. There’s a chance you’ll find your most effective approach this way.
5. Make Your Product or Service Visual with Photos
“Seeing is believing.” “A picture is worth a thousand words.” These sayings capture our tendency to understand and appreciate through visualization. While many people want to read about something to understand it, a great number of people prefer to see it. Seeing a picture is much quicker and more likely to forge the emotional connection that stimulates sales. Therefore, make sure you have populated your page with a handful of photo sets. Facebook makes it simple to upload and arrange photos into thematically related “Albums”. There’s a good chance that your franchise support system will have already provided photos for franchisees to use, so take advantage of this opportunity.
High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.