Figuring out how to generate business from social networks is not easy. Not only do you need to build an audience, but you have to figure out how to convert this traffic into leads. Not to mention, you need to decide which social network(s) to focus your energy on in the first place.
How To Choose The Right Social Network For Your Business
If you have a small business that caters to individual consumers, then you are going to see the most bang for your time and money on Facebook. 67% of internet users are on Facebook.
Facebook also has tons of data on those users, which allows you to specifically target people by age, location, education level, interests, relationship status, other Facebook pages they have liked, and more.
If you have a small business that caters to other businesses, or business professionals, then LinkedIn is the best social network for you. Most white collar business people are on LinkedIn, and they are there to network, talk, and learn about business topics.
I give a full overview of the top 5 social networks, and why you should start with either Facebook or LinkedIn here.
Why I am Using Facebook
Over the last several weeks I have been outlining the process I am using to rebuild and market my father’s small business website. (You can see the full series here). For this lesson I’ll continue using his business as a live example of how all this works:
My father sells and rents waterfront homes on Lake Gaston in North Carolina. His client base is made up of two distinct groups:
Business professionals with young families who are buying/renting summer vacation homes.
Older couples who are buying retirement homes.
Since he caters to business professionals, I could make the argument that he should focus on LinkedIn. However, he is not selling a business related product or service. Most retirees also do not use LinkedIn. This makes the choice clear:
Facebook is definitely the right network for my father’s business.
If Facebook is the right choice for your business then read on. If LinkedIn is the right choice for you (for example, if you work in commercial real estate) then read my guide on how to get business from LinkedIn.
(If you still don’t know which network is right for you, leave a comment in the comments section describing your business, and I will give you my advice.)
Setting Up A Real Estate Facebook Page For My Father
Individuals connect with other individuals on Facebook, via their personal Facebook profile. Businesses connect with their potential clients, by setting up a Facebook page. Before I setup a Facebook page for my father’s business, I want to think about three things:
1. What are my goals for the page?
The first goal is to keep my father and his business top of mind with his former clients.
In the real estate business, word of mouth and referrals from previous clients drive a lot of business. Previous clients often become repeat clients, when those who have bought houses through you, want to sell. People who rent Lake Gaston homes from my father, often do so every summer.
The second goal is to gain exposure with people who own homes on Lake Gaston, but have not already worked with my father. This way, when they want to sell or rent out their home, my father will be top of mind. They will also think of him when someone asks them about buying, selling, or renting a home on Lake Gaston.
The third goal is to reach people who are thinking about buying a home on Lake Gaston, or may consider doing so in the future.
Lastly, I want to get in front of people who don’t know anything about Lake Gaston, but would like it if they did.
2. Why would my target audience want to follow my page?
To get people to like my father’s Facebook page, and keep them interested once they do, I need to post interesting content. Not just interesting content though, but content that is interesting to the groups of people I just outlined that we are trying to attract.
People that already own homes on Lake Gaston, or are thinking about buying homes on Lake Gaston, all share one thing in Common:
They are interested in Lake Gaston.
This makes things easy for me. As long as we are posting things that people who like Lake Gaston will find interesting, educational, or entertaining, we can’t go wrong. Here are the types of things we will be posting on my father’s page:
News stories about what is happening around lake gaston.
Pictures people are taking around Lake Gaston (by sharing images people are posting on Facebook to his page, and those that I find on places like instagram, pinterest, and Google Images)
Information about events that are happening around Lake Gaston.
I also want to show that my father is a Lake Gaston real estate thought leader. So in addition to the above we are going to post:
My father’s blog posts that he makes about the local real estate market.
Pictures of homes for sale with their price (even people who are not looking to buy like to compare)
Lastly I want to sprinkle in a few directly promotional posts. This will be:
Homes that my father has recently sold or added to his rental portfolio.
Posts specifically pushing buying/selling and renting Lake Gaston Real Estate through my father.
When talking about your business on social media, it’s best to follow the 80/20 rule. For every 2 pieces of promotional content, post 8 pieces that your audience will find interesting, entertaining, or educational.
What About People Who Don’t Already Know About Lake Gaston?
None of the things I just outlined, directly target people who don’t know about Lake Gaston. They do however target them indirectly.
If I am sharing content that is interesting to the first 3 groups (professionals looking for summer homes, retirees and existing residents), they will like and share that content. When they do, the post that I have made will be shared in the newsfeeds of their connections. Many of their connections may not already know about Lake Gaston.
Once I start getting traffic from Facebook, it’s time to start getting traffic from Google and online business directories like Yellowpages.com, Yelp.ca etc.