Local Online Marketing–How to Use Facebook to Interact with Your Customers

Local online marketing is very powerful when used correctly. Facebook is growing at a phenomenal rate by the minute. The statistics as for its growth at the time of this blog post are: 500 million users, adding 33,000 users an hour, and 100 million are on mobile devices.

If you’re wondering whether or not you should have a Facebook Business page, the answer is probably. Whether or not your business will benefit financially from being on Facebook depends on what you can provide of value to your customers, how engaged they are in your product, and how frequently you interact with them.

Let’s use restaurants as an example of how to use Facebook Business pages to create community and grow your customer base. People love to talk about restaurants that they like and want to share a really good restaurant with their friends and family. This is perfect for Facebook. People love to share their opinions and want to be heard and that is what Facebook is all about.

How the process works:

  • Create a Facebook Business page. You can learn how to do this on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.
    Click the image to view a larger version in a new window.
    Image of Facebook business page
    Facebook Business Page Instructions

     

  • Promote the page to existing customers. One mistake that is often made is building a Facebook Business page and ‘hope’ people will come. It’s no different than any other type of marketing. You must promote the Business page and give your customers a reason to join. What are the benefits for becoming a fan?
  • Engage your customers in dialog, contests, special promotions, and events. There are a number of ways to involve your customers in dialog. It’s a really great way to learn about what your customers want and need. You can use polls, ask for comments, hold contests, give coupons, or gift certificates only to fans. You can answer questions posted by customers.
  • Interact with your customers on a regular basis. Ask questions about your products, answer questions about your product. Find out which product is the favorite, ask how you can improve your product, and ask fans to contribute photos of how they use your product. The list is endless.

The key is to create and implement an engagement plan, check your Business Page daily, and interact with your customers. Give them a reason to engage and return to your Business Page frequently.

You want your customers to appreciate your interaction and make it worth their while for being a fan. When a customer comments, or says they like something on your Business Page, their friends will see the comment, become curious and check out your Business Page. Often times, your fans become your best marketing partners. Your customer base can grow at an exponential rate when you manage your Business Page appropriately.

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