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Simple ways to get the most out of your Facebook business page

By Lauren McLean

Most successful dealers have an active dealership Facebook page – one that looks nice and neat, provides all necessary information and is updated regularly. Why is this? Because Facebook is by far the largest and most result-driven social media channel for businesses.

We’ll quickly mention the basics – things like contact information, dealership address and high-quality images used as your profile picture and page banner. These steps are crucial, but they are also included in the most basic setup instructions, which are fairly easy to follow.

Let’s dive into some less basic but still easy steps to take full advantage of your dealership’s Facebook business page.

Running ads is a great way to increase visibility for your company, and Facebook makes it easy for you. You can create goal-oriented posts that target specific actions, such as a “like” on your Facebook page vs. a click to your website. You can also set whatever budget you’d like, along with specific audience members who will be targeted with your ads (wakeboarding enthusiasts, for example) and other preferences. Facebook does an excellent job of utilizing those settings in the most effective ways – helping your business achieve its goals.

You’ll be prompted to invite Facebook users to follow your page. If you have the contact information available, invite current customers as well as those potentials who have submitted leads and shown interest in your store or a specific unit. The page manager can also invite his or her own Facebook friends – but do so only if those friends you’ve selected fit in your target audience. In other words, if someone is has no interest or connection to the boating industry, it would not be wise to invite them. Promoting your page (similar to running an ad) can help you reach Facebook users outside of your own circle as well.

Your page is a great place to share information and updates about your dealership (promotions, events, special hours for holidays, etc.) but you want to balance that out with content that is enjoyable for your followers as well. Photos of your store, inventory and customers are a good bet. Memes and videos are incredibly popular types of content that often go viral – if you find ones that align with your dealership culture, they can be worthy of sharing. Don’t be afraid to go out of the box a little and get creative!

With new Facebook algorithms in place, it has become less important to focus on specific times of the day for posting and more important to focus on posts that truly provide value to your followers. This is how you are going to increase engagement on your page and drive more traffic to not only your page but your website as well. However, there is still good reason to strategically post at certain times of the day. For example, if you notice more engagement with content that you post in the early evening hours, then by all means, schedule your posts for that time of the day.

A newer feature allows you to pin your most important and/or popular post in the top spot on your page. So that giveaway you posted about a week ago that’s drawing tons of “likes” and comments? You can place that post at the top of the page until the end of the month when the giveaway ends, but you can also continue to post your daily updates and pictures – these posts will appear just below your featured post.

Give your Facebook followers special treatment. Share exclusive information or offers that only they get to access. This could be something like a “this weekend only” discount or a free oil change with a specialty code shared on your page. Or you could run a promotion like “First ten Facebook followers to mention this post get a 10 percent discount on their next purchase.” Not only will this be exciting for your current followers, but word is likely to spread and entice more potential customers to follow your page.

For many of its uses Facebook is free, and for those uses that do come at an additional cost, you’ll find that it’s well worth the investment. Facebook makes it easy to reach customers – and effectively reach out to them. With some extra attention to your company page, you can leverage your resources for maximum results.

Lauren McLean is the public relations manager for Dealer Spike, a company that provides innovative websites as well as a suite of powerful online advertising solutions that help marine dealers help increase sales and service profitability. For more information, visit www.DealerSpikeMarine.com or call 800-288-5917.

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