Every day, we hear about new startups that are being established by entrepreneurs in the Arab world. As the number of Facebook users in the Middle East and North Africa continues to grow, exceeding 46 million at the end of 2012, more and more startups are using social media to promote themselves.
These days, companies can't afford to not be on Facebook; its use is obvious for those looking to reach potential customers, sponsors, partners, suppliers or even the best employees.
It's easy to find advice for creating a Facebook page, to fill out registration forms, upload pictures, and do everything you would need to to have a page with the same features as some of the world's biggest companies. However, the process of managing your page and driving traffic to it is less discussed; here are five tips for making your page successful. They may seem extremely simple, and yet, setting up the right structure from the beginning is critical for gathering that initial momentum.
- Above all, understand the way your fans use
It's important to formulate your marketing messages in line with the environment which is in this case the social networks. Be brief, fast and clear. Don't forget that users are in a hurry and don’t always have time to read long posts.
Having discussions and conversations is very important on social media, so adapt your marketing messages to the type of audience you are targeting. Keep it simple, and leverage your flexibility and responsiveness as a small company. One example, if you're an e-commerce site, could be engaging with something simple like, "Good morning. Did you check today’s offers on tablets? Which offer you like the most?"
- Choose your page management team
This is a very important step, because managing social networks requires the constant presence of supervisors. Here, the decision-maker or company manager should ensure that whoever runs the page is able to properly deal with fans and clearly distinguish between posting as a person and talking as a company.
The supervisor should also be fully aware of the corporate details. It may be useful to write a list of expected questions and answers and regularly show them to the page administrator.
- Set clear and realistic
This will help you talk to your targeted audience in an accurate way and plan the content of your messages accordingly.
Imagine, for example, that you are planning to establish a gym to teach ping pong to young people. One of your goals may be to gather 20 new trainees monthly through the page in the first three coming months. Setting this goal will help you:
- Choose your audience's age category and promote the page on other students’ pages and youth clubs that are near the club you are in.
- Choose the right content: For example, you will need videos that explain a certain game, to raise awareness about ping pong and how fun it is. You may also post some information, photos and open the door for discussions about the health benefits of the game. Finally, you should publish ads and special registration offers that will help turn your followers into real customers.
- Build and design the page content with a defined
It's important that you adopt one tone when addressing your audience so they can get used to it and expect it. For instance, a tone that reveals a young personality, if you are targeting young people, or fast and informative if your company deals with everyday topics.
Also, carefully choose, among the available options- text, photos, video or link- what best suits your product and services. Track what's trending in popularity on Facebook; recently, pictures have been the way to go; this May, pictures accounted for 93% of the most engaging interactions on Facebook globally, according to Socialbakers.
- Know your audience, and direct them to the
Set a clear timetable for publishing posts on your company page, but before that, ask yourself the following question: What are the times that suit my fans? If they are employees, is it appropriate to publish during their working hours? You may need to conduct some surveys to understand your audience's preferences.
Start with your friends and relatives and those around you, invite them to join your page, and provide them with beautiful content that motivates them to invite their friends. If your budget allows you to launch a marketing campaign, you can launch a targeted ad campaign based on age, demographic, language and interest.
And this goes without saying: don’t forget to put social network icons on your site and even in your correspondence, to direct your fans to the page. When you design your publications, reserve space for your Facebook page link. All of this will help you drive traffic to the site.
Most of these tips aren't exclusive to Facebook, but apply across all social networks. But perhaps the most important advice to keep in mind is that you shouldn't leave your community engagement in the virtual space. Tell your audience about important events, motivate them to participate in a contest or an entertainment activity, and show up in person to reinforce their relationship with your company, moving it from virtual to real.