Recently, 49digital took a small break in Oxfordshire, (one of our favourite areas of the UK!) enjoying visits to some gorgeous villages, very lovely shops and of course, pubs and restaurants – well, it would have been rude not to have tried the local fayre and beers!
Naturally, working in the industry we do, we’re always on the look-out for small busineses that have a Facebook Page so, if we have a great experience, we can ‘like’ it and share our experience with them and other customers.
Around 50% of the places we visited announced that they had a Facebook Page via a poster, a menu, or on business literature. So, with great anticipation, we went to find those pages on Facebook (the wonders of smartphones!) to leave our comments. Oh dear…
It was with great regret that we found a plethora of neglected and half-finished pages. It just seems crazy that one of the few forms of advertising with a mega world-wide audience and a no-cost entry level, should have been afforded so little attention since it’s creation. Basically, they’re dormant and of absolutely no use whatsoever either to the business or their customers.
Consider it like this – would you buy from a business that insisted that you make a purchasing decision with only a tenth of the information about a product? No. And why should you? We accept that there are other ways to advertise – website, brochures, radio and television advertising etc etc. – but this is FREE!
In this economic climate, using the appropriate online platforms for retaining present customers as well as promoting it to potential customers is a no-brainer. Setting up an account on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn is just the start and certainly isn’t going to have them queueing down the street within 24 hours. The page has to be current, be engaging and be colourful! We were amazed at the number of pages we visited that were devoid of a logo or even a nice photo of the business or products. Instead our eyes were drawn to the large ‘sorry, no image here yet’ question mark sitting in the corner, a rather empty looking Activity Feed and a ‘Joined Facebook’ date from before the dinosaurs. A dormant Facebook page is worse than no Facebook page. End of.
Basically, your page is screaming out to be dynamic! Use it to invite new customers, advertise a new promotion, let your customers know about a new employee or next week’s mega-sale. Regularly post photos of products, customers enjoying your products or local events that you may have been involved in. Invite customers to leave comments and, most importantly, reply to them in a timely manner. When customers visit your premises ask them to visit and ‘like’ your page for announcements and new products. Have your Facebook URL printed on your business literature to help drive people to your page.
However, we do understand that making time to keep on top of your Social Media accounts, particularly when you’re already working 24/7 actually running the main business, can be impossible. And, it’s probably for this reason that we encountered so many neglected looking pages. We would recommend putting some time aside each week to keep your Facebook page ‘alive’ and engaging. Or, if it just isn’t possible then consider hiring a Social Media Consultant to keep on top of it for you. As well as managing your page, they can recommend other suitable platforms on which to build an audience for you business or brand. Good luck!