As I’m playing with my social media all day I sometimes forget that not everyone does. Indeed if you are one of the many small business owners in Yorkshire who feel lost with social media then fear not – you are not alone.
Firstly, do you need to use social media? The answer is yes, in most cases. If your customers are aged between 25-65 years old then 8 in 10 of them are using some form of social media. Bearing in mind that most people use social media multiple times daily can you afford not the Be Seen? 5, 10 and more years ago print advertising was all the rage and a great way to Be Seen but a lot has changed. The fact is, no matter whether we understand it or not, online and social media has taken over from newspapers, magazines and print advertising. What’s more it’s so much cheaper than old fashioned print!
It is highly likely that your competition are doing something on social media so if you’re not then you are basically giving them the edge. That means without it your business is being left behind.
So how can you start on social media?
Bearing in mind that the number 1 social media platform is Facebook this is a great start. Facebook has 74% market share in the UK so is the biggest social media site to get your teeth stuck into.
Starting out on Facebook
To promote your business you need a Business Page. But how do you create a Facebook Page? Well luckily this guide will run you through it. First off you need to create, or use, your own personal account to control and create this Page. Don’t worry as you can tweak your settings so that your personal profile is private (in fact Facebook initially sets it up this way).
Create a Facebook account
To create a Facebook account click here: Facebook Profile Setup
- Enter your name
- Enter your mobile phone number or email
- Enter your date of birth
- Select your gender (female or male)
- Choose a password and tap Sign Up
- To finish creating your account Facebook will email you or text you to confirm your email or mobile phone number.
What’s the business Page?
Facebook Pages are for us businesses looking to share our stories and connect with people (or customers). You want to make your profile as complete as possible and then ensure you are posting regularly to attract your followers and keep them interested. People who “like” your Page then become your audience of followers and will get updates in their endlessly updating and rotating News Feed. Facebook Pages are open spaces so can be viewed by anyone. Basically think of them as a street notice board. Anyone who wonders by them can see what’s written on them. However your “followers” are like locals who live near that notice board and drive past it on a daily basis. If what you’ve posted on that notice board doesn’t catch their eye they will simply over look it.
Create your Facebook Page
To create a Page search on your side options in Facebook or CLICK HERE
Then quite simply follow the on-screen instructions. Facebook is very helpful in guiding you through the set up.
But in brief this is the process:
Choose your basic business info
For most of us local businesses in Yorkshire the only options you need to think about are the first 2 of the 6 squares:
- Local business or place – choose this is want people to visit you at your premise and allow the “check-in” function. This basically lets people show on Facebook that they have visited you. This type of set up also shows your address and a map.
- Company, organization, or institution – choose this either if you don’t want customers turning up at your address and “checking-in” OR if you provide services to customers at their own address. You can also partially hide your address (if you work from home etc).
Following the category selection, the next setup screen will ask for a descriptive sentence or two about your page, a URL, a Facebook page URL, and a profile picture. If you’ve selected a local business you’ll also be able to select category tags to further define what you sell.
2. About your page – you get 155 characters to give people an overview of what you do. Make this count! It needs to be concise but thoroughly describe who you are and what you do in a snapshot. This shows at the top of your profile and in search results so is THE most viewed description of YOUR business/Page.
3. Website Link (URL) – simply add your website. Or if you don’t have a website maybe link this to a website you are listed on OR the link to one of your other social media profiles, like Twitter or LinkedIn.
4. Facebook URL / username – edit this if you wish to choose your own Facebook link for your page, i.e. facebook.com/yourbrandname.
5. Profile picture – upload a main profile picture for your page – ideally your company brand logo. This is the main image that will appear as your identity every time you comment or publish in other people’s news feed. On your Page it appears on the left. Remember this image is square dimensions so you may need to play about with the image a bit. Although don’t worry too much as Facebook will automatically crop your image to the right square size.
5. Cover picture – this is the large long image that appears across the top of your page. Its best to use an eye catching image here. This could show your team, who your are, where you are, what you do or an offer. You can change this as much as you need. As this is your BIG image make sure it looks good and is relevant to what you do. Remember a picture says 1,000 words so make it appealing to your target customer/follower! If you want help creating something AMAZING click here and use this FREE image tool which creates the perfect Facebook cover photo for you!
Official or Verified Pages:
Do note that anyone can create a Page. To make it official you or the business owner must verify the page on Facebook in your settings, or by clicking HERE. Once its “verified” you get a grey tick like this:
Now publish your Page so it goes live
Once your page is PUBLISHED then the fun begins! Start posting FIRST – write 2-4 posts with some images so that you have some interesting content on your page for your audience to see. Noone wants to “like” a page with nothing interesting to say.
Get “likes” for your page
Now start getting people to “Like” or “Follow” your page. Invite your friends and family. Promote your Facebook page on your website. Create a flyer or poster in your premises, or somewhere your target customers will see, asking them to “follow” or “like” you on Facebook. (Don’t forget to print the name of your Facebook with this so they can search for you!) A top way to encourage new “likes” is to run a competition or give-away. Shortstack is a great FREE tool for creating proper competitions on Facebook which comply with all of Facebook’s terms and legislation – simples!
TOP TIP: If you want to really keep your audience interested then you need to posted EVERY DAY. You need to keep your public interested so that you can Be Seen and Be Found. Also if they like what they see they will then share your posts, which is basically mass word of mouth online. This will then Be Seen by their friends, and their friends and attract more NEW people to “like” your page and become further potential future customers.
Good Luck Folks!