Facebook Marketing for the Real World Business

By: Jack Winston

Many location-based businesses are not taking full advantage of what Facebook can offer them.   A business’ website and Facebook page are complementary online assets; one definitely does not replace the other.  

Most location-based companies have established some kind of website – at the very least providing contact information and hours of operation.  Real world businesses should definitely add their website to Google’s map listing so customers searching for businesses in a specific area can directly surf to your site from their localized search.  Customers tend to visit your website only when they are considering visiting – making it critical to clearly explain how to visit and provide reasons why they should visit soon.

On one level, a business Facebook page plays the same marketing role as a website if it is only used as a virtual storefront explaining the basics of how and why of doing business with them.  But the real value of marketing on Facebook is when a business can create an ongoing communication channel to their customers and to their customers’ friends.   With 600-700M global Facebook users spending an increasing amount of their online time on the social networking site (check out this infographic), it is critical for businesses to consider how to leverage their Facebook page.  For those real world businesses looking to establish or take better advantage of their Facebook presence, we offer these 6 steps:

Step 1:  Build a page and establish your place in the world.  It is free and relatively easy.  Build your basic Facebook page, link it to your address, and start filling in the basics of who you are with a straightforward description embellished with pictures, video, and links to any other online content sources your may have (website, blog, twitter account, etc…)

Step 2:  Start developing Facebook oriented content.  Keep your site fresh and interesting – even in the beginning when you don’t have many customers following (i.e. “Liking” you).   The more interesting stuff you have on your Facebook page, the more likable you will be when customers first visit you.  Generating content that is both interesting and appropriate to your business can be challenging at first.  Fill your news feed with announcements on promotions, specials or events at your location.  Leverage the fact you are a real world business to post photos or videos of interesting activity at your stores.  Explore the zillions of Facebook business apps – from surveys to sweepstakes to interactive games -  to see what else may be appropriate for your business.

Step 3:  Get visitors to “Like” you from your Facebook page.   There is a lot of value in getting people to “Like” you.  You get advertised to their friends when they click your “Like” button and you can get back in touch with them later by posting content to their news feeds.   While there are services that claim to let you buy “Likes”, you should focus on being more likable by making sure any visitors to your page are greeted with interesting and valuable content or offers.  Generate visitors by promoting your Facebook presence on your website and promotional emails, and by promoting your page to mobile Facebook users visiting your location.  Don’t be afraid to ask visitors to “Like” you or even offer something in exchange for them to “Like” you.  Note that while you may have a Facebook “Like” button on your website (as opposed to the “Like” button on your Facebook page), customers clicking this button will post the event to their newsfeed, but you will not be able to post new content to their newsfeeds from your Facebook page.

Step 4: Get visitors to check-in.  In addition to “Likes”, you can ask visitors at your physical location to check-in using their mobile Facebook app on their smart phone.  Check-ins also get broadcast to the friends of each visitor (on average, each Facebook user has 120 friends).  In addition, monitoring check-ins give incredible data on customer traffic patterns and opens up a channel for running on-location promotions and loyalty rewards programs.  Just as with “Likes” you should consider asking your customers to check-in in return for something.

Step 5: Start the communication with your customers.  Make sure you retain the interest of people who have “Liked” your business by offering exclusive content or deals not available to everyone else.  Build relationships by soliciting feedback on your business and report back how you are acting on the advice you get.  There are many apps businesses can use to develop new channels of communication on their Facebook page including surveys, interactive calendars, reviews, and Facebook Deals.  The most important element of developing communication is to keep up a consistent flow of valuable and engaging content. 

While it takes some time and creativity, Facebook pages can add a new dimension to the real world business’ marketing program.

Increasing participation in on-location social media platforms like Facebook is a focus of Bozuko and we are really looking forward to telling you more about what we can do for your business.

To keep up to date on our progress, please subscribe to our blog, follow us on Twitter, or connect with us on Facebook.

  • http://blog.bozuko.com/2011/06/14/why-facebook-%e2%80%9clikes%e2%80%9c-and-other-social-endorsements-are-important-to-the-location-based-business/ Why Facebook “Likes“ and other social endorsements are important to the location based business

    [...] In our last post, we discussed the role of “Likes” in an overall Facebook marketing strategy.  The ability to establish a channel of communication to customers’ Facebook news feeds is of enormous value to a business trying to engage its customer base. [...]