Making the connection

On Monday, a few classmates and I held a Facebook workshop for small business owners in Dillsboro, N.C. Most of the business owners already had a Facebook account, but they didn’t understand how to really utilize it to draw significant traffic to their page. The more I research, the more I find this to be the case for several small business owners. Having social media accounts is way more than just having a page; especially for businesses. It’s about the connection.

Social media is about just that: being social. If you want to drive more traffic to your social media pages, you have to interact. There are several ways you can do this through your Facebook account. Here’s a few!

1. Update regularly

If the information or status’ about your business is not up-to-date, your audience will get bored and lose interest. You should be creating new status updates at least every other day, if not daily. Let your audience know what your business is up to, or what new products you have in. Even just saying it’s a  beautiful day, or quoting something inspirational is better than being completely inactive for long time periods. As a business owner, there are a ton of topics you can talk about, so keep your audience informed! If you keep them informed they will remain interested in your business, and will likely share with others.

2. Like incentives

This is a fun way to get more traffic to your page. Tell your audience if they go to your Facebook page and like it by a certain date, they will automatically be entered into a drawing to win something cool from your business. Whether it be some sort of store discount or a free item, people love free stuff; especially if they don’t have to work hard to earn it. Not only does this get people to your Facebook page, but it gets them to your business when they pick up their prize.

3. Photo contests

Similar to like incentives, photo contests can also be a fun way to get your customers to share their experiences with other interested audiences. Have people post a photo of them shopping or doing something in your business. Then have people vote on their favorite photo. The winner can also receive some type store discount or freebie. This is a great way for others who have never been to your business to see what it’s all about. According to socialnomics.net, 90 percent of customers trust peer recommendations, while only 14 percent trust advertisements. When people can see other people shopping and having fun, they are more likely to get involved online by casting their vote, and will ultimately check out your business.

4. Link with other businesses

While businesses are often in competition with each other, linking Facebook pages can be beneficial for both. An example of this would be posting each others events on your pages. This helps each business promote their events and increases the likelihood of more traffic. Not only should you share events, but you can post comments on each other’s wall; like posts, status’ and photos; as well as write a few ‘shout-outs’ for one another.

5. Respond

One of the absolute most important keys to driving more online traffic to your Facebook account, is responding to your audience. When they write on your wall, respond. When they comment on a photo, respond. When they like your page, thank them. Not only do you want to respond, but you want to ask them questions: where are they from, how did they enjoy their experience while visiting your business, etc. Engaging in conversation will make your customers feel like you actually care. You can also engage by asking for their feedback. Feedback is the key to improving your Facebook page and your business as a whole.

I hope this will help when you feel stuck or overwhelmed with how to use Facebook to attract online audiences. I can’t stress enough, the importance of having a strong online presence as a business. We have been given a great opportunity to connect with people around the world on a deeper level via social media. We no longer have to trust in ads that, at times, can be hard to appeal to the core of a person’s interests because now we can know for sure.

Check out this video by Socialnomics. I have watched it a million times, but it never gets old!


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