Facebook and Twitter for Business

Today I am going to talk about two of the most well-known social networks that you should be using to benefit your business today. Facebook and Twitter.

So right off the bat I know you may be thinking people don’t really use social media for business right? I know there is a lot of skepticism when it comes to Facebook and Twitter being business tools. But times have changed. Think about advertising in your business. It used to be to reach hundreds of thousands of people you had to pay for a TV commercial, or a spot on the radio. Things like that cost a lot of money and if you’re a small business that might just not be in your budget. Social media gives you the opportunity to reach people with a new message, pictures or videos about you, your products, or your business.

Today social media has become part of mainstream business and businesses are leveraging it to reach hundreds of thousands of people each day for free!

Let’s start with Facebook

Facebook is probably the most well-known and popular social media network there is today. I have been on it for a long time and I would imagine you are using it also. I know I have personally struggled with if I should use it for business or not. I have friends on there from high school, from when I was in the Navy and in the Marines, from past employers, and more. I tend to post funny things and pictures of the kids or places I visit. How in the world does that work for business right?

Well many businesses are finding great success using social media by having a large audience following them, letting that audience get to know them, and engaging with that audience directly. On Facebook you already have a following with all the people you know and if you’re a member of any groups that means you know and can reach thousands of other people.

Now there is joining groups which is a basic way to connect with people who are interested in the same things as you and then there is creating a group which takes things to a whole new level. I used to join groups just to do things like share pictures with my military buddies of places that we had been. These days I find myself more and more joining Facebook groups to connect, learn, and share knowledge with my peers. At the end of 2015 I started podcasting with my boss and co-host Jenny. Now I am a member of several Facebook Podcasting groups, a couple marketing groups, and a mastermind group. Being in these groups gives you a chance to learn from the experience of others, contribute valuable information, and occasionally do some self-promotion where you tell them about your products or services.

So maybe now you’re thinking Facebook is not such a bad idea and you may be wondering what to do to get started.

First you can create a company page simply by logging into your Facebook and clicking on the down arrow located in the top right corner next to the pad lock. From there you can click create a page. You will choose the category your company falls into like product, company, or public figure. Then you follow the steps, fill out a few things, upload a photo and your company page is live. Once your page is created the first thing you will notice is a call to action feature where it will allow you to add a button requesting your followers do something like sign up, shop now, or watch video.

Across the top of your page will be tabs that only you can see to manage your page. Messages, Notifications, Insights, Publishing Tools, and Settings. These will allow you to control all the aspects of your page and see how you are doing and what followers like most that you post on your company page.

Now back to groups. We talked earlier about joining groups and how that is a benefit for you. Well creating a group for your business is an excellent way to create a community and interact with group members. There are around a billion active users daily on Facebook. Most of your group members are likely going to log in on a daily basis. This gives you a unique opportunity to engage and interact with them on a personal level every day.

You have to choose the type of group you want: Public, Closed, or Secret

If you want to allow anyone to find you for maximum exposure you can create a public group where anyone can see the group, its members, and their posts.

You can create a closed group where anyone can find the group and see who’s in it but only members can see posts.

Secret allows only members to find the group and see posts. A great example for this type of group would be for a mastermind group. If you have clients who have signed up with you for your personal training and expertise a secret mastermind group gives a private place to share information that is hidden from the public.

With groups you can share files with group members and tag members directly in discussions. You can create events, polls, or sell something. Groups can help you discover new customers, get direct feedback on what your customers need, and  create a deeper and longer lasting relationship with your customers. You want to foster a community of people that know, love, and trust you and your company.

Facebook Advertising is another excellent way to reach your customers. One of the best things is how easy Facebook makes it to create targeted ads allowing you to choose from location, age, gender, interest, and many more. A favorite feature I like is the Lookalike Audiences. You can create an ad based off of an existing group of customers from say your page or your group and have the ad target more people just like your existing customers.

They even have an Ads Manager where you have a dashboard that displays your ads, how much you’ve spent, how many people saw your ad, and how many people engaged with your ad.

There is also a more powerful Business Manager where you can manage ad accounts, pages, apps, and the people who work on them. This is really great if you have a team of people working different initiatives. It gives you the ability to assign permissions like role-based access to the ad accounts. You can see who is working on the ads, pages, and apps your business manages.

Here are some tips for posting to get more attention and more shares on your posts:

Use more images or videos in your company page or group posts. Statistics have proven more people will engage with you if have a great image or an interesting video.

Post in the afternoon between 1 and 5 to get more likes and shares.

Do your best to be quick to respond to comments from your customers on your posts. For example if you post about a big sale or opportunity be prepared to respond to comments or questions about it. You could also provide a link in you post to a web page or FAQ that will answer their questions or give them additional details.

I just want to mention videos one more time. Facebook is putting video communication in the forefront when it comes to interaction and posting. It’s all about that movement in the news feed that catches your customers eye and makes them click on videos more often. Facebook Live is currently the hottest thing when it comes to videos on Facebook. You could use this to personally connect with your customers by introducing a product, showing what is going on at an event, or talking about a big sale or release that is coming soon. You get a real-time chat from the viewers and you can respond live.

If you have been thinking about Periscope, Snapchat, Instagram, or one of the other apps that does live video well they are all are good for business if you want to find your customers in different places where they hang out. The benefit of using Facebook Live is you can broadcast to your existing customers on Facebook without having to start all over build an audience from scratch.

You can now have a Facebook profile video instead of a profile picture.

Also Facebook has started a whole new community revolving around Facebook 360 videos. You may or may not have a use for this in your business but it shows you where things are going. Facebook 360 allows you to use your VR gear for an all new experience.

If you’re interested in this check out https://facebook360.fb.com/ or join the Facebook group Facebook 360 Community.

Now let’s move on to Twitter.

What exactly is Twitter?

Well Twitter has been around since 2006 and it is basically a microblogging service that provides real-time conversations where you can go from one to many instantly. Twitter users exchange bite-size messages of up to 140 characters long called ‘tweets’. These tweets are public by default and visible to anyone following the tweeter.

Tweets can contain text, photos, videos, links, and more. Each tweet can also have replies called ‘retweets’ from other people creating real-time conversations. Tweet regularly and provide valuable information to gain followers for your business.

Since I like podcasting and listening to podcasts something I think is really cool is that Twitter originally started off as a podcast hosting company called Odeo. It was a startup trying to get off the ground until Apple started hosting podcasts with iTunes. At that point they redirected efforts into other ideas including the Twitter microblogging service we know today. So thanks to Apple we have Twitter!

You may be wondering how tweets, retweets, and following people are going to help you take your business to the next level? Well Twitter has over 310 million active users a month which to you means lots of potential customers. You can use Twitter to reach new potential customers by tweeting valuable tips or offers and directing followers to your company website.

Twitter has powerful analytics tools that help you understand how you can grow your business. The analytics page  allow you to view your monthly progress. On the home tab you can see number of tweets, profile visits, new followers, mentions, and impressions. You can see you top tweet, top follower, and top mention.

On the Tweets tab you can see the interactions for every one of your tweets, how many times they were clicked, liked, or retweeted.

The Audiences tab (or Audience Insights) tells you about the people who follow you on Twitter. Also you can get statistics based on all Twitter users like interests, income, location, and more. Additionally you can set filters like small businesses or  business decision-makers.

The events tab gives you insight on what type of people are online and tweeting during what type of event. This can let you know when you might want to strategically tweet about a special promotion for example.

The And more tab has Twitter Cards, App Manager, and Conversion Tracking. You can add Twitter Cards to your site that allow you to attach rich media experiences to tweets about your content like photos, videos, apps, and more.

All of this information helps you learn more about your followers so you can understand what your customers are interested in. This allows you to optimize your content, expand your reach, and gain new leads.

Twitter Ads is another thing Twitter offers to help you promote your business. You can create a targeted ad campaign based on clicks, followers, engagement, or app. There is a campaign dashboard that lets you know your engagement rate and cost per result.

They also have Quick Promote where you can pick a specific tweet and click on promote tweet. This is handy while you are on the go or at an event and need to promote something fast.

There are additionally a wide variety of tools to enhance your Twitter experience. These tools come from third parties and some have a cost attached. They do things like scheduling tweets, more analytics, bulk follow/unfollow features, and more. Some of my favorites are:

TweetDeck – http://tweetdeck.com
It shows you everything all on the same screen

Tweepi – http://tweepi.com
It helps you get more followers and can help you cleanup and unfollow as well

TweetReach – http://tweetreach.com
It is a deeper dive on your Twitter analytics

So if you’re not using Facebook and Twitter to move your company forward it is time to get started!

I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast and I hope you enjoy this series. It will be published every Friday at noon.