Five different generations are now business owners in the United States. The way each generation runs their business is reflective of their generational uniqueness. This is very evident in the use of social media, specifically facebook.
Recently I spoke with two of our Chamber members from the Baby Boomer generation about social media and the importance of facebook. One member simply said he really didn’t know what to say about his business. The other member said he was too old to start a facebook page.
If you plan on running your business for the next several years, (versus selling it and retiring), you cannot afford to not use facebook to promote your business. Yes, face to face selling is still valuable, but things have changed with the engagement of the younger generations. So if you plan on sustaining your business and growing it, you need to start a facebook page because that is where the younger professionals are who are making purchasing decisions.
It can be daunting as it can be a big change for some business owners; however, it is critical in getting your business more exposure. Think of it as a dynamic website that tells your story several times a week. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Hire an intern or young college volunteer to help you get started. We have many colleges in the area that have students looking for internship opportunities to add to their resume. Contact the Career Planning & Placement Office at Lakeland Community College or your local college campus.
- You may have a high school/college age daughter or son at home who could help you get started for free! Several of our Chamber members have used the technology skills of their family to get started.
- Hire a young college student or college graduate part-time to get you started. It is worth the investment. This investment is not only a way to grow your business; it is also a great retention tool for customers.
- Start slow and build up your presence on facebook. It can be initially intimidating so start with committing to one post per week and then build up to several posts per week. Depending on your audience, you may want to increase to once per day. You can also create posts all at the same time for a week and schedule them to go out at different times.
- Tell your story! We have amazing chamber members that produce interesting products or provide an important service. You have a lot to share! Is your specialty customer service? Ask a customer to share a quote and get their picture to share on facebook with their quote.
- Are you a manufacturer? Tell about the importance of your ISO 9001 certification and take a picture holding your certification.
- Take a picture of your staff and share on facebook. If your customers talk to your staff on the phone but don’t see them, this is a great way to connect.
- Share information that would be of interest to your customers. Are you expanding your service, introducing a new product, changing a product, bringing on a new employee? Share, share, share!
- Don’t get too personal. Stay away from politics and religion—focus on sharing a story about your business. Before you create the post think about how that post is of value to your customer.
- If you are B 2 B, “like” your business customers as this is another great way to connect.
- Build your facebook page by adding “friends”. These friends of course are your customers so pull out all of those business cards from your drawer or excel spreadsheet of their e-mails and sit in front of the TV some night on your computer, inviting them to be your friend on facebook.
- What is your competition posting? Sometimes you can get ideas of what to post and what not to post by looking at your competitor’s facebook page.
- Google! Start with “effective facebook posts for businesses”. That should give you a good start too!
These are just a few ideas to get you started with facebook. Happy posting!