You want leads and so do I. Facebook has more than 2 billion active users and over 50 million small business pages. There are a lot of leads out there, regardless of ether your business is selling B2C or B2B. Leads will come from building an audience.
The best evidence that you're building an audience on Facebook is by getting people to like your company page. When they like it, they'll see your content in feeds - and so will their friends. If you're providing good, educational, informative content then this will (hopefully) create more interest for your products and services and get people to engage with you, visit your business and (hopefully) buy.
So how do you get more likes for your Facebook page? There are good ways to do this organically. But this is not what I'll focus on here. I want to share with you seven great apps and technologies that will assist you in getting to your goals. My company will be focused on increasing our likes this year on our Facebook page (hey....please like us!). To do this, we're going to be using these tools. I've already put a budget aside to do this. My plan in a year from now is to report back to you how things worked out.
One other note - for each category there are many great applications. I chose these based on recommendations from my friends and clients plus a little research. But don't take my word as gospel. Do your research. I don't want to undermine any other solution that may do better for you.
Management and Analytics
AgoraPulse. I will need one application to be in the middle of my efforts and that'll be AgoraPulse. Content is key and I plan to deliver a lot of it across all my social media channels and not just Facebook. As I write new articles for my blog and other media I'll be sure to use AgoraPulse to distribute. There are lots of applications in this space but AgoraPulse has a strong focus on both Facebook and good reporting tools to measure engagement. I'll use this tool to schedule my posts and then analyze responses and interactions so that going forward I can better refine what type of content is best resonating.
This is a Facebook service - and it's essential. My social media manager will choose certain posts to promote (like this one) and we'll spend anywhere from $5 to $20 each time I publish. A promoted post will be seen higher up in my community's timelines and will hopefully be shared so that others in their communities can be drawn to my page and give me a like.
Post Planner. I do a lot of writing so I'm not too worried about providing content on my Facebook page. But there may be some down weeks when I feel like kicking back a bit and writing a little less. That's when I'll rely on Post Planner to publish content through my page based on a bunch of keywords and other search criteria I give it in advance. If you're not a big writer, but want to provide a continuous stream of relevant content then Post Planner is the next best thing and I have a few clients that swear by it.
Contests and Charities
Woobox. As I said earlier, I'm putting money aside for my Facebook marketing this year. My plan is to run a contest a month, giving away everything from gift cards to gadgets. I'm also going to run a few contests where I'll contribute money to a few of my favorite charities when people give me likes. Woobox will manage all this for me. I can use it to build custom forms for gathering data and then delivering questions, getting visitor data and, most importantly, encouraging people to like my page. Woobox also does coupons and giveaways too.
Perfect Audience. I'm only going to sell one product from my Facebook page (one of my books, In God We Trust, Everyone Else Pays Cash). I admit that Perfect Audience would be better if I was more heavily into e-commerce. But it's a worthwhile technology to get people to re-visit my page (or my website) after they've been there before by re-targeting ads at them. Perfect Audience will help me do this using Facebook ads to a specific audience that I determine based on multiple criteria.
Wise Stamp. I'm going to spring for the $3 a month fee and get this premium signature application for my email. Wise Stamp works with all major email services and you can also copy/paste the code into your own client email system, like Outlook, if you prefer. The custom signature will include buttons to all my social media pages and an extra button to like my Facebook page.
Likealyzer. This service is a freebie and very popular. I already used it just this morning for a quick analysis of my Facebook page and it came back to me with a bunch of recommendations for improving its design and my engagement, all based on the best practices of thousands of other Facebook pages. I'll revisit Likealyzer two to three times a year to make sure I'm following all of their advice.
One final word...
This all takes money. I'm investing in a part-time person with experience to do all this for me, because I'm running my business and don't have the time to be a social media expert. Also, I'm setting aside a budget for these campaigns. Facebook is free. Using it effectively as a business and marketing tool is definitely not.