- THE MAGAZINE
Facebook is one of the biggest websites in the world. Known as a social networking site, Facebook surpassed the traffic of Google in March 2010. And with more than 500 million active users, Facebook continues to grow.
What does this mean for your cleaning company? Your clients and prospects are on Facebook. They’re socializing about life and daily happenings, so of course the subject of dirty floors comes up periodically. As a result, many cleaning companies are enjoying free leads and easy referrals from Facebook.
There are two kinds of Facebook pages:
Facebook Personal Profile PageThis profile is for you personally, or it can be named after your business. With the personal page, you can seek people in your community to become “friends.”
Facebook Business PageHere your friends and clients can “like” your business. The drawback is, you can’t seek out people to become your friends. Instead, they must seek you out.
So which should you go with? Your best choice may be to go with a personal page if you only want one page. However, if you already have a personal page or you want to have a page for both you and your business, try creating a personal page first and then create a business page later.
Facebook is more for educating, giving advice, and letting people get to know your company. Doyle Bloss, vice president of marketing and education for Bridgepoint, told me he thought of Facebook as a “living newsletter.” That’s a great way to think about it. On Facebook, you can update and educate on a continuous basis. Your clients get closer to you because they can see more about who you are.
Creating Your Personal PageGo to www.Facebook.com and fill in your information. If you would like the personal page to be associated with your business, you can put your business name as the first and last name. However, be aware your profile has the possibility to get deleted later. To be safe, enter your personal name and create a second business page later.
The next optional step will allow you to choose friends from your email address book. Then you be asked for other personal information, such as your school, and an option to upload a photo. The photo is something you really should do, to get people to see what you look like.
Lastly, you can edit your profile. It’s very important and helpful for your website ranking to put your website in your Facebook profile. Put your link in the info section under “contact information.” It should also show up in the right side bar.
Creating Your Business PageGo to www.Facebook.com and click on the link that says, “Create a Page” under the sign up section. You must log out if you already have a profile.
Log in with your existing Facebook account or create a new one. You’ll be walked through the process of importing contacts and adding info to your new page. Fill out your profile completely.
Add a “like” box to your website so your home page visitors can “like” your Facebook business page. Just click the “Get Code” button.
Facebook ideally wants all commercial activity to happen on the business page. And then, of course, they ideally want you to pay for the advertising. But this doesn’t mean you can’t solicit your business page from your personal profile. In fact, this is done quite often, and I recommend you ask for friends from your personal page. Just be careful about the sales pitches you make on any Facebook page.
Get the Most Out of FacebookI get frustrated when a client wants me to look at their Facebook page and the first thing I see is they only have a few friends or “likes” on their page.
Don’t worry so much about how good your page is or even how many posts or pictures you’re putting on the page. The first thing you want to be concerned about is getting a few relevant posts, pictures, and videos up. Then, get people to your page. You can do this by asking others on your personal Facebook profile to “like” your business page.
Another popular way is to search for local Realtors, carpet retailers, and other business people who you can request to be their friend. Just use the search bar to find people in your area. Most often, other business people are quick to accept your “friend” request.
Advertising on FacebookYes, Facebook has pay-per-click advertising. The average costs are around $1-$3 per click. And you can refine which cities and other specifics about prospects you want to target.
When they click your ad, you can lead the prospect to your Facebook page or your website. With these ads, it’s best to use images, as they get more clicks. In a banner ad, ask a question. Remember, people are networking here, so think about phrasing your ad as a question Facebook users will embrace. One idea is to use an ad with a headline that states, for example, “The Cleanest Carpet in Houston.” To the right of the ad, use a picture of your cleaning truck or company logo.
Post regularly to your page, but not too often. Remember, Facebook is about being social. Very few people want to see cleaning tips every day and no one wants constant sales pitches. Post once a week, or maybe more often for short periods of time. If you only get around to posting once a month, that’s fine too.
Post regular updates of what’s happening in your company. Pictures and videos are great. People love to see who you really are and what you really do on cleaning jobs. Ask for reviews, always. You can ask clients to give reviews on your Facebook business page or give a link to your Google Places profile to let them give a review. Your reviews can also be used as testimonials for other ads in most cases.
What You Should Do With Facebook
- Make friends and keep friends.
- Educate about spot removal and cleaning.
- Post about current noteworthy jobs.
- Post pictures of employees, current jobs, vans, and office.
- Make occasional promotions only for Facebook friends.
- Use contests to create a viral buzz.
- Link Facebook with your email newsletters.
- Post regularly, but don’t think it’s the end of the world if you don’t.
- Do not post every day.
- Do not make a sales pitch with every post.
- Do not mention political affiliations.
- Do not complain. Facebook isn’t a group counseling session.