facebook_page_likes_promotion_ideasBuilding customer loyalty and retention strategies for local small businesses through Facebook page promotions

Facebook has become more relevant for businesses by providing “pages” or “groups” that allow social connections with customers and prospects. This free page capability is a must-have marketing tool for businesses of any size looking to build customer loyalty and retention. But it is especially useful for small, local businesses looking to create a network of local customer advocates and creating local promotion strategies.

Here are some ideas and tactics for promoting a Facebook Page for local small businesses.

Customizing a Business Page on Facebook

Before you get started utilizing a Facebook page for marketing promotions – make sure you set up a business Facebook page, and not just a regular Facebook page. You won’t be able to customize the page and use Facebook to its full potential if you are set up as a regular personal account.

Business pages on Facebook also have additional capabilities such as tracking & usage data stats (like how many weekly visitors or posts) and the ability to customize with additional promotional widgets. Get your business page on Facebook as customized and complete as possible before trying to promote the page to your customers and prospects.

Website Linking of Facebook Business Page

The first step to promoting your new business page on Facebook is creating a link from your business website. Facebook offers several promotion badges (or web logos/buttons) for businesses to utilize on their websites or other online promotional tools (such as a blog or e-newsletter). Facebook badges are only available to page administrators, so you will need to set up your Facebook business page first to get access to the available badges. Badges showing the feed or number of “likes” is a good way to encourage participation or promote further likes of the Facebook business page.

Ideas for Promotions to Get More Facebook Likes

Many companies choose to launch a Facebook Like Campaign in conjunction with the launch of a Facebook business page. This is a great promotion strategy to quickly increase page “likes” from customers and potential customers.

Facebook Like promotion campaign ideas could include:

  • photo contests – each new like must post a photo that people can vote on (note: encouraging photo entries to promote their photo to their own list of friends will get you even more likes!)
  • random prize drawings pulled from all Facebook likes – ask them to post on your wall to be considered for the contest… this encourages – page activity that their friends will also see and hopefully join in
  • special discount offers to all Facebook likes – use your page as a communication tool for distributing “Facebook only” promotions, discounts or coupons to keep customers coming back to your page and your business
  • small prize to first X# of Facebook likes – award everyone something for quickly liking your page (coupons work well for this)
  • charitable donations – giveaways to a charity appeal to people’s desire to support a cause – increase your donation level if you reach certain quotas with total likes

Link all Social Media to Facebook Business Page

Make sure that all of your other social media channels are hyperlinked to the new Facebook page. Promotion of the launch and a feed of relevant posts is also a good strategy. This may include your company blog, intranet, LinkedIn or Twitter. A Facebook badge that includes a stream of posts is a great way to encourage interaction with the Facebook page from other social outlets.

Promotion of Facebook Business Page Offline

Local retail stores or sales and service locations is a great way for small businesses to promote visibility of a Facebook business page offline. Mention of special offers available only to Facebook “likes” will assist in getting offline customers to sign up online. You can also build your Facebook following with business cards by simply adding the Facebook icon and your page name on your business cards.

Keep Facebook Content Fresh for Ongoing Promotion

The best way to continually promote your new Facebook business page is to keep content fresh and post often enough for the page to be top of mind (but not so often that the page becomes a nuisance on your customers’ Facebook walls). Encourage comments or likes as much as possible. Every time a customer interacts with your page their comments or likes will appear as activity on their wall for friends to see, potentially encouraging them to join your page.

Also plan to use your Facebook page as a hub for ongoing special promotions only available through your business page. You can even use it to promote your special online offers on sites like Groupon or Living Social.  To test out how the service works, Subscribe to Living Social for local email alerts on deals.

If you want to sell products on your Facebook business page, you can easily set up an online store with a Facebook e-commerce application. Giving your page visitors more ways to interact with your business (more bells & whistles) will help spread the word about your Facebook page being a valuable page for visitors to like.

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With over 20 years of integrated marketing experience, Diane is author of the award-winning book PR Tools to Toot Your Own Horn. Diane also serves as the marketing director for SureShade, a growing small business that has become the new standard for shade on boats, and runs Marine Marketing Tools, a site that bridges her passion for boating and small business marketing.
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