For those of you who follow my Facebook page, I apologise for the repetition, but I felt this was a good bit of information to post :) I see a lot of lovely pages run by people who are so tired of Facebook messing around with reach, or who aren't getting the results they want and their statuses reflect how they are feeling, which could be very off-putting to potential clients. I started my page, not expecting anything much, so I wasn't disappointed, on the contrary, when it started to do well, I was over the moon and excited! If you expect too much, and think you're page is going to shoot you to fame and fortune overnight, I promise you, unless you are literally a genius, you will fail almost immediately.
My best bit of advice to anyone with a Facebook page is to treat it like you would your own actual shop window. Have a read through the following, this is what I've learned during my time on my Facebook page:
*Keep it light, fresh and interesting - update it every day! Even if you haven't got anything new to share, share something old! If your potential likers/customers look through your "shop window" and see nothing but dust bunnies and tumbleweed, they won't open the door and come in! You have to keep your page up-to-date! If the last post was three months ago, don't be surprised if you don't get any new visitors. Try posting "leading questions" that invite your likers to like, comment or share your posts, this will increase your reach. If you can spare 5 minutes to pop up two or three statuses or photos via the schedule button, it will look after itself for the day, even the week or the month! Then all you have to do is pop back in your own time and answer any queries or comments.
* Don't get into arguments about trivialities on your own "shop" doorstep - it isn't professional! Never, ever get caught up in a slanging match with competition pages/customers/anyone on your business page. If you get something disturbing/annoying/downright rude posted on your page, please try to be polite, or block, ignore, and move on. The last thing your customers want to see is you acting unprofessionally.
* Don't ever be negative if you can help it - it isn't a personal page only seen by your friends and relatives, this is YOUR SHOP WINDOW to be seen by YOUR potential customers!
* Be seen! Try participating on pages with high traffic, such as "hike those likes", "send in the troops" or "networking angels", it's all about being seen and noticed!
* Observe Facebook business etiquette! Don't advertise yourself by posting on someone else's business page! Unless invited to share your page/photo's, it's of no use to put something inflammatory along the lines of "I can do better and cheaper than this over on my page!", it's just rude and uncaring, and doesn't deserve any attention whatsoever. It's fine to sign yourself off as your business page if necessary and if it's relevant, so that people know who/where you are.
* Equally, don't rant and rave on your page! If something is bugging you, don't post it all over your business page! I could be sat here in tears feeling like it's the end of the world, but all my customers will see is a bright happy status, because that's what I want them to see. If my potentials look through my "shop window" and see a happy atmosphere (even if it is a carefully cultivated front!) that will be much more enticing to them than a miserable, sullen atmosphere.
* Participate! If potential customers comment on a photo or status, comment back, make them feel welcome, start a conversation, have a chat! Encourage your likers to stop by and say hello!
* Be happy to help! If someone is "just" asking for your advice, take it as a compliment that people think you are good enough to advise them! I get a vast amount of pleasure when I can help someone, and they come back a couple of weeks later to say "thank you for your help, look what I achieved with it!" Within boundaries of course...if someone is just touting for your ideas to pass off as their own, you are within your rights to politely but firmly turn them down. Consider your reaction, before you post it for all to see.
* Don't give two hoots about FB's horrendous reach at the moment! Carry on regardless, if likers enjoy what you do, they'll come and look for you anyway Moaning that you haven't got many likers, or people aren't finding your page is probably quite off-putting to potential customers! Instead look at other ways of boosting your reach.
* Don't post personal stuff on your page. It's NOT your personal page! Your potential customers don't need to know that you've just had beans on toast and now have terrible wind, dog has fleas and the baby has just been sick on your shoulder
* Look at the advertising options on FB, they're not at all that bad, and you can tailor your requirements to just reach local people if that's what you want. You can reach thousands of people in your area for as little as a couple of ££ a day, and start it and stop it when you like, so long as you're sensible, it need only cost you what you can afford
* ENJOY your page!! It's like a record of what you can do and what you have achieved. Be happy, treat it as an adventure, not the be-all-and-end-all, it will shine through that you are enjoying what you are doing, and this will be really appealing!
Starting or running a business via an FB page can be arduous and painfully slow, but with the right attitude YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! I've proved that :)