Since the main point of social media is to actually be social with the public, it’s a little strange that Facebook’s privacy settings make it extremely difficult for businesses to connect with consumers. Business pages can’t interact directly with personal profiles, making it hard to reach your audience. There are a few tricks of the trade for making the best of this wall that Facebook has built, though. These four tips are helpful when trying to target your audience on Facebook.
1. “Like” Competitors’ Pages
Why would you ever want to support other businesses that are in direct competition with yours? For one, their customers are your customers. Secondly, this is one of the only ways for a Facebook business page to interact directly with individuals instead of businesses. Let’s say you sell handmade jewelry and you “Like” another area business that sells similar jewelry. When the competitor posts on their Facebook page, you’ll see the post along with any comments people have left. You can then reply directly to the individuals. So, if someone says, “That’s such a beautiful bracelet!” you can write to them, “We agree! Sapphire is such a gorgeous stone.” Now you’ve directly interacted with a potential customer thanks to your competitor’s page. Just make sure to not obviously steal customers from under a competitor’s nose – you could get barred from leaving comments on other pages altogether.
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2. Search the “Public Post” Feed
The search bar at the top of your Facebook page lets you look for a lot of things – other business pages, places, events – and it also lets you search for public posts containing a certain keyword or phrase. This helps you find and reach out to certain individuals and businesses that are talking about something related to your business. If you’re a lawyer in New York City, search for “NYC” and find out what’s going on in Manhattan to stay connected to the community. If you’re promoting your entertainment blog, search for “Miley Cyrus” to get in on the conversation about the world’s most controversial pop star. When a business page’s post contains the keyword, you can comment on it; if an individual has a public post about the topic, you can share it to your own page.
3. Interact With Local Businesses and Brands
The beauty of the Internet is that businesses don’t only have to serve the community anymore. Now, a baker who starts selling Italian cookies out of her home kitchen can market nationally, not just locally. That doesn’t mean you should totally ignore the local sector, though. People love to buy local products and services. Even an Internet-only business that can sell worldwide should clarify where the business began and showcase that their roots are still in place. Talk about your town or city, support other local businesses on Facebook and get involved with various Facebook groups and pages that support the local economy.
4. Use Your Personal Profile
Most people who have a business page also have a personal profile. When appropriate, use your personal profile to reach out directly to your Facebook friends who will benefit from your business. Also, visit your Facebook business page and share statuses on your own profile to expand your reach. Not everyone who’s friends with you on your regular Facebook profile will be a fan of your page, so this is the best way to put your message in front of as many eyes as possible. Invite all of your Facebook friends to “Like” your page and don’t forget to do this as you connect to more and more people with your personal profile.