Facebook Etiquette For Small Practices
While it may seem trivial to many, there is little room to dispute that it has become a necessity for every business to create, maintain and grow a presence on social media in the digital era.
In no other way are you able to reach and connect with potential clients not just in your local area, but around the globe. And with more than 1.5 billion unique monthly visits, Facebook dominates the world of social networks.
If your practice does not already have a Facebook page, it is time create one. However, simply having a business page does not guarantee that you are utilizing it to its fullest potential.
Here are some easy tips to help you maximize your small practice’s Facebook page to reach more potential clients and boost your social media presence.
Be sure your profile is set up correctly
Since Facebook users will base their first impression of your practice off your profile, it is important to ensure that you have set up your profile correctly.
Facebook offers a number of categories when creating a business page and each will have different elements available. The majority of practices should use the “Local Business” option, as it allows you to highlight more features, such as a map to your location and reviews / ratings.
You should also be sure to fill out as much detailed information as possible regarding your practice in the business description and information sections. Someone coming to your Facebook page for the first time should not have to hunt around to determine what services you offer.
Next, be sure your profile and cover photos are clean, clear, cropped correctly and fit within the image size parameters. Your profile photo will most likely contain your firm’s icon whereas the cover photo can include a more creative image with additional company branding.
If you lack the programs or technical expertise to modify and create images, you can outsource the work for as little as $5 via services such as Fiverr.
Once you are happy with how you profile page represents your practice, it is time to start publishing content. You have the option to post simple text, links, images or videos, so try to mix it up to keep the content fresh.
A common mistake that many small businesses make is to use their Facebook page merely as a platform to advertise their services. While you can sprinkle those in occasionally, you are not going to gain a very large following through hundreds of posts about your tax preparation assistance.
Get creative. Offer tips, make special deals, share useful posts, link to your blog posts, share images and memes — it will take useful and engaging content to build a following.
There is a fairly common social marketing standard known as the 70 / 20 / 10 rule:
- 70 percent of your posts should be about building your brand’s reputation. This means offering creative information that your target audience will find useful, which improves your reputation. For example, a financial advising firm could offer daily budgeting tips to help save towards an end-of-the-year vacation.
- 20 percent of your posts should be sharing content by others. Social media is about creating networks, and there are likely other sources out there that have created valuable information that is worth sharing with your audience.
- 10 percent of your posts should be promotional. Here is where you get to advertise why your Facebook fans should consider you as their go-to source for the services your practice provides.
One final thing to remember is that you need to post daily and try to interact with your fans. While that may seem excessive and a waste of time, creating a page and leaving it barren of new posts for weeks is a good way to lose fans instead of gain them.
Fortunately, there are services out there that allow you to easily que content days or weeks in advance, so it is not as difficult or time-consuming as it sounds to have daily content ready to go.
Social media has changed the way businesses interact with their customers, and Facebook can be a valuable tool for small practices to reach their target audience. Just remember, you need to follow the common rules of social etiquette if you want your fan base to grow and reach new potential customers.