Facebook Business Page Fans: How To Lose Yours In 5 Ways
By Bob Phibbs
Creating a Facebook business page for your small business and then growing your fan base has become a focus for many businesses and has the potential to be a vital component to your small business marketing.
It’s no secret that the viral component of social media that comes from your business page fans who “like,” “share,” and “comment” can expose your business to many new customers, if done correctly.
And there’s the caveat, correctly.
If done incorrectly you can lose fans - customers - rather than attract them. With a poorly administered Facebook page, your brand’s reputation can be damaged through those same viral elements that promoted it. Disgruntled users unlike and then spread their dissatisfaction across the web. That’s why knowing how to retain your Facebook following is as important as obtaining them.
Here are Five Facebook business page mistakes that can lose you fans:
1. Expect the number of people talking about you doesn't matter
Engagement level is what matters, not “Likes.” Though “Likes” are a factor, they can be clicked on in a whim and unliked just as quickly. There have been plenty of businesses luring fans to their sites by offering a discount coupon to the reader if first they “Like” them. The reader “Likes,” gets their discount, and if not impressed or no more coupons are available, then unlikes. That’s why “Likes” don’t give a true understanding of what your fan base is thinking nor does it provide useful information for your business.
Just like the customers who shop in your store, it is important for any business to know its customer base and cater to their needs.
Facebook business pages are no different.
Growing your Facebook page is accomplished by engaging fans to interact and communicate. Even if you simply ask questions, you discover what your fans want and what they feel about your product or service. It does take time to find the right questions to ask so be patient and check your Insights tab to see which really engage your fans.
Engaging fans in other ways also keeps them interested in you. Providing great content, question and answers or great graphics or video on your Facebook page also increases the likelihood of your fans remaining. “Caption this” is a very popular post.
Sometimes fans want to comment but don’t know what to say or how to get started. On your Facebook page ask them a question at the end of an article you post, or offer them a poll to take.
2. Believe they will only comment about what you post
They comment about customer service, products, usage, hours open. I have one client who had a fan comment that they should cut their lawn more often.
Surprising? A bit but fans comment on what’s important to them, which may not be what’s important to you nor have anything to do with your Facebook business page post.
If they experienced bad service, they’re apt to post and let everyone know. Fantastic service? Hopefully they’ll post that too.
Facebook page comments are often emotional based so keep in mind that a satisfied customer or fan can affect many people with one comment. To stimulate positive responses, write a post that initiates a positive emotional reaction for the reader, which will produce a favorable engagement.
Facebook page posts also cover practical matters that concern fans. Questions about a product or the store's hours are examples so don’t wait for them to ask if you’ll be open, start telling them a few days in advance of holidays.
3. Suppose they will wait for an answer
Many businesses only check their Facebook page once a day or every couple days for comments on something they posted. That can be a big mistake.
While you may not first see a fan’s comments to you in your stream, it has to be the number one place to look. Regularly.
Fans may post questions or suggestions and expect answers within minutes. Keeping them waiting beyond a reasonable time produces a poor user experience for that potential customer.
Get a reputation for answering comments quickly by establishing a department or individual dedicated to overseeing your Facebook page. While you can use Facebook alerts for mobile or Facebook comments alerts to help keep on top of posts, get your admin an iPhone, the Pages app, and have them monitor your site continuously.
4. Pretend it isn't important to your marketing efforts
Your brand and your reputation are vitally important if your business is to grow and increase in profits. You wouldn't have someone who didn't know you sell on your floor, so why outsource one of the most personal expressions of your brand?
For businesses, a Facebook page requires thought and planning to attract and maintain fans, therefore consider the best way your company can promote itself and stimulate its fan base for greater success as part of a wider effort.
Making it easy for customers to join you on Facebook should be on every ad, webpage, receipt, bag, order form, the works that you can.
Why? Because you are building an engaged following who can talk to their friends about you. In many ways, its just another list like a mailing list or email list. It’s different in that it is two-way communication which is much more immediate and actionable.
5. Figure they’ll call you if they have a problem
Customers just want to get their pressing questions answered. Customer complaints, questions about orders, your hours, etc are all fair game and may be posted with the expectation of an immediate reply. Many people don’t want to speak to someone directly, when they can post a comment instead. This is why it’s so important to constantly monitor your Facebook page for comments. See #3.
Finally remember Facebook updates should be short. Really short. A Tweet of 140 characters is way too long for most.
Expand your business profile and increase profits through your Facebook business page by monitoring it carefully and not participating in these 5 common mistakes. You could also join me on Facebook to see if I do indeed follow these points consistently.
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