With more than 500 million active users, 50% of which log in every single day, Facebook is much more than a social networking site. It’s even more popular than Google! While there’s no denying it’s important to build a website for your business, creating a Facebook fan page is incredibly advantageous in reaching out to new customers and building your brand. ChooseWhat recently sat down with Eric Carvajal, owner of The Carvajal Group, LLC in Austin, Texas, who has grown his business through the use of Facebook.
“As a real estate professional, I am constantly looking for new ways to network,” Carvajal says. “I have been studying Facebook and social media for a while now, and I’ve even been approached by many business owners about consulting on their social media strategy.”
There’s no denying that Facebook is a site where a lot of people are spending a lot of their time. Incorporating Facebook can be a great boost to your marketing strategy. Read Carvajal’s tips below on how to take advantage of Facebook in order to expose more people to your business.
Use Facebook to Meet New People
“Think of Facebook as one big cocktail party,” Carvajal explains. “It’s your job to interact with the most people.”
When Carvajal meets people at events, he immediately friends them on Facebook. But it doesn’t just stop there. He interacts with them; he invites them out for coffee; he follows up with them. It’s not enough just to friend people on Facebook and hope they become a customer eventually. You have to work at it.
“It helps them remember what I look like, know a little bit about me, and become familiar with what I do. It’s a great way to keep in touch.”
Build Relationships—Don’t Plug Your Business
After you’ve friended someone on Facebook, it’s best not to bombard them with a ton of self promotion. Carvajal strongly advises against this strategy.
“It doesn’t work to just plug your business,” he says. “People will defriend you.”
Instead of just posting about what your business is doing, Carvajal suggests that you simply be interesting.
“What has your attention?” he asks. “Engage people with what you find interesting. People connect with what captivates them.”
While Carvajal does discuss his business on his personal and professional Facebook pages, he doesn’t stop there. He posts things he finds appealing himself.
He suggests posting:
- Poll questions
- Links to articles
- “Stupid, random” things
What do you click on? Follow that same concept.
But once you’ve posted something, you have to be interested in what people are saying too. You can’t make your interaction one-sided. You are on social networking sites in order to build relationships, and you can’t do that if you’re not making the effort.
If someone comments on your posts, respond to him/her. Better yet, “Like” or comment on someone else’s posts.
“The more you interact, the more times you’ll shop in people’s newsfeeds—it puts you out there,” Carvajal says.
Plus, he adds that you can get introduced to new people by simply posting intelligent things on other users’ walls. It can help build your network by simply being interested in what others have to say.
Use Community and Fan Pages to Build Brand Recognition
Carvajal suggests having a personal and a professional Facebook page. “It’s a big mistake to not be on Facebook personally. People will know and like you and move onto your business page.”
While he says having a business page is important, he says you can also build your network by having similar community pages that inadvertently apply to your company. For instance, one of his realtors created a community page devoted to dwellers of a certain condo complex in Austin and posts deals and events to her fans. She’s able to build a relationship with her followers without directly selling anything to them.
“These pages have nothing to do (officially) with the Carvajal Group, but they have everything to do with the Carvajal Group,” he explains. “You can use these other community pages and channels to narrow down your demographic and direct them to your business.”
Armed with Carvajal’s tips, you can now master your business’ social networking presence! And while you’re out conquering Facebook, don’t forget to visit the ChooseWhat fan page!