I’m a creature of habit. Each day, I realize more and more how my days mirror one another. The time I wake up seems to get earlier to capture “quiet” time and organize my day. Then, I’m off and running:
Exercise, kids on the bus, work (at which the hours seem to disappear into minutes), back home to make dinner, activities, homework, errands…until I collapse on the couch. Routine. Fun, busy, exhausting craziness. Woven into these minutes? Texts, email, and of course, Facebook.
Admittedly, Facebook is one of the first sites I open in the morning, and one of the last ones to close. It has become my primary source of news, coupons, updates. All because I “liked” a page.
Melissa Harrison recently gave a Facebook workshop for small businesses where she provided great ideas and examples of how to utilize Facebook Timeline to grow your business. Timeline’s template reserves space for eye-popping graphics and pictures, personalized icons, and milestone markers to share your organization’s hurdles and triumphs. You can inform, remind, solicit, entice, update, promote in short spurts throughout the day.
Here’s how Facebook can work for your brand:
1. Announce who you are!
Graphics, photos, apps and company history – all is possible on Facebook’s new timeline. This really is your online storefront, a first impression. Organizations now have a template for Facebook that includes a graphical banner option, logo icon, app links and your story. The new timeline features gives you plenty of options to showcase the birth and progression of your small business. Helpful tools, such as this iFrameApp infographic, can get you started.
Cover photo – make it bold! Use pictures from events. Capture emotion. Your organization’s purpose and objective is upfront and center. Need ideas? Check out 1-800-Flowers, Athleta and Caribou. Note there are guidelines on what can and cannot be featured on the cover. Another key piece: change it up now and then, based on season, event, or message. Keep your fans interested in coming back.
About section – be specific and brief. It’s a perfect place to put your organization’s mission, tagline, purpose. Nike uses this spot to inspire and support their target consumer.
2. Converse with your followers – Go beyond being “liked”
Milestones – share them. Where did the idea of your organization begin? What hurdles did you overcome? Successes, funny stories, new team members…create a familiarity, a persona. A cool example: Coca Cola. Share what you’ve discovered along the way. You can learn a lot about your audience through comments and remarks.
Featured Apps – create energy! Icons draw the eye to this space. Topics encourage the click. Pictures, blogs, promotions, new ideas, membership sign-up, or even your online store. Livestrong and KDWB Radio use apps to call action: share a story, listen live, vote, view photos. Because, let’s face it: we all feel closer to someone after looking through their photo album.
Stars, Pins, Highlights – put it at the top. Just like the post-it notes I put on articles, documents, or maybe even a candy bar that I’m giving to someone saying “Check it out” or “Way to go”, it’s your way of telling viewers “Hey, listen up! Big news!” Starring or highlighting posts draws special attention to a topic, expanding it across the top of the entire timeline. Pinning puts a topic at the top for seven days. These features are perfect for special offers, new photos, and links to recent PR articles.
Posts – do them regularly. Know when your audience is online. Keep them short, specific, and pertinent. Being ‘liked’ on Facebook builds your stage for your message. Sort of like a music concert: audiences stick around when the act is entertaining and beyond expectation. Use caution: just because you have a stage doesn’t mean every performance will be stellar. Make your posts informative and interactive. Posts can be hidden from newsfeeds, so make them worth revisiting.
3. Know your reach – what are my consumer’s habits?
Here’s one of the bonuses of Facebook: not only can your audience track you, but you can watch them. Facebook is enhancing analytics. New enhancements include tracking ‘likes’, comments, and offers. The goal is to create that two-way engagement that results in on-going interaction. By analyzing the interaction and sharing of posts, links, and followers, you will understand your audience’s interests and habits.
Facebook is the perfect medium to share your brand’s story visually and literally. Share links to your website, promote events, create online contests.
Does your Facebook strategy meet your brand objectives? How will your organization reach consumers like me every morning and every night?