By Dori Easterson
Do not underestimate the power of Facebook to help grow your business.
That was the message from business consultant Jason Everett, owner of Business Refuel, who led a seminar on the subject at last spring’s Summit in Nashville.
As Everett explained, Facebook is a place where people can build a relationship with you as a brand, while allowing you to build those relationships at a mass scale. But to be effective, “Your Facebook page must be educational and entertaining,” the business coach said. “If not, you are already failing.”
By way of example, Everett showed an image of himself and his family at the Summit, acting silly before the camera. “Why would I share something like this?” he asked. “It humanizes your business, that’s why. You are not a business; you are a person that can relate to your customers and they can relate to you. It makes them say ‘I want to do business with Bob’s Appliance because they are like my family.’”
Indeed, in the world of social media the reality is that babies’ faces and cute animals get more attention than a washer or a mattress. So, if you want consumers to remember you and add your business to their news feeds, it helps to post entertaining images, he advised.
Dealers can also spread the word about their stores by sharing other businesses on their Facebook pages, in order to get their businesses shared in turn. This strategy is especially effective for BrandSource members, who often work with builders, general contractors, interior designers and other trade partners. To kick it up a notch, the shared businesses can work together to hold contests or conduct video interviews inside your store.
Speaking of video, five minutes of video viewed 500 times can equal a 40-hour work week – the equivalent of a full-time employee. You can create, edit and post that 5-minute video in an hour while your competitors work 40 hours to do what you just did, Everett said, which underscores the power of digital media.
Besides shooting interviews, record something your customers have never seen before or would never try on their own. YouTube hacks are a great resource, he suggested. Try recreating a popular clip, such as the wine-on-the-mattress demo, in which somebody jumps on a mattress and the wine doesn’t move. This is something consumers would never do themselves but would certainly want to watch, he said.
Perhaps most important is getting your customers engaged. Conduct a poll, choosing subjects that spark participation like “Pepsi vs. Coke.” Or ask clients to send in photos of themselves in front of their new oven, on their new sofa, or by their new washer. Further incentivize them by holding a contest in which a random winner, drawn from all the photo submissions, receives a $25 gift, he said.
Everett also recommends borrowing ideas from other businesses’ Facebook pages, making sure they’re outside your market and not competitors.
Regardless of what you post, keep in mind that it takes 3 seconds to make an impression and that you only have 2 minutes to hold a visitor’s attention, he noted. And no politics, religion or sex! The ultimate goal is to have a post go viral, meaning it sparks more shares than comments. The viral ratio, he explained, is 10 shares to five comments.
How often should you post on your Facebook page? As a general rule, post as often as you have good content, Everett said. Begin with two to three times a week and aim for once a day if you’re posting already. Ideally dealers should spend 1-2 hours a month planning out their Facebook posts. “Set it and forget it,” he said.
Everett also advised members to start thinking differently about Facebook likes. “People think that getting likes is people liking you, when in fact it’s about you getting to know your audience,” he said.
Everett ended the seminar by reminding members of social media’s greater cost efficiency, and all of the assets at their disposal through AVB Marketing. “Everyone has spent some level of money on marketing and didn’t get it back,” he said. “Advertising can be expensive if done wrong… [and] curating content is expensive and time-consuming.”
In contrast, Facebook ads have a 5-10 times return on investment (ROI), he explained, and an AVB Marketing rep can provide a list of what’s needed to create good videos for $400 or less.
YSN is published by BrandSource parent company AVB Inc.