Social media holds many opportunities for promoting your jewelry business, but where do you begin? One effective—and manageable—place to start is to create a business page on Facebook. Millions of people post, like, share, make buying decisions, and see your images and posts on Facebook. Here’s how to gather your own fan base on Facebook, from start to finish.
Step 1: Set Up
You can create a Facebook Business Page for your jewelry business by clicking the “Create Page” button in the top right corner of any existing page. Facebook will guide you through the set up process but there are a few specs that are useful to know ahead of time. Your timeline cover photo should be 851X315 pixels, your profile photo should be 180X180 pixels and thumbnails should be 111X74 pixels. There are four apps visible on your page. The first is reserved for your photos but you are free to use the others however you choose. Think carefully about how to exploit this prime real estate! You can use your apps to make special offers, announce events or even set up a store. There are services like Shortstack or Easy Social that make it easy to customize your apps.
Step 2: Content
Before you set up your own Facebook business page, study your competitors to get ideas. Who has the most fans? Who has the most active fans? What kinds of posts get shares, comments and likes? Examine national brands in other industries. These companies have huge research budgets so learn from them! Filter what you see through the lens of your own brand to generate ideas that are relevant to your customer base.
Resist temptation and restrict sales messages to 15% of your posts. People on Facebook are not there to shop and they will get annoyed if you overload them with commercial messages. Brainstorm several topics that you think your customers would be interested in. For instance, jewelry customers might be interested in fashion, entertainment or travel. It may take some trial and error. You will know when you find a good topic because people will respond with likes, comments or shares. Once you have your topics, create your own posts and supplement by sharing posts from other people. Why all this work for posts which have nothing to do with jewelry? Facebook only shows your posts to a percentage of your fans. The higher your engagement numbers, the higher the percentage of fans that will see your posts. If posts on other topics drive up engagement, more people will ultimately see your sales messages when you do post them.
Step 3: Images
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” This saying predates social media but it holds true on Facebook. Posts with images have 120% higher click through rate than those without. Include an image with every post. Fortunately, jewelry lends itself to this format. Text messages can also be converted into visuals with free, easy-to-use programs like Picmonkey. If you don’t have an image available, link to a relevant web site and Facebook will pluck an image from that page to include with your post.
Step 4: Branding
Think carefully about the way you present your company on Facebook. Make sure your images, profile photo, company description, content and tone are all consistent with your brand. Anyone visiting your Facebook page should instantly recognize your brand. Visitors should be able to tell immediately if you are an upscale, luxury jewelry company or a small, crafty company. Curate your content to cater to your customer base. An upscale company might want to include luxe lifestyle posts while a crafty company might want to share DYI posts from knitters or bakers.
Step 5: Call to Action
Every Facebook post should have a call to action. Use direct language to ask people to share, comment, or like your post. This may sound silly or heavy handed but it is an extremely effective way to encourage engagement, which in turn persuades Facebook to show your posts to a wider audience. Calls to action can also move people through your sales funnel. For example, they might coax people to visit your website or sign up for your newsletter. These are important steps to converting Facebook fans into customers or tempting existing customers to purchase again.
Step 6: Consistency
For best results, be consistent. Some experts recommend positing three to five times a day. That is a hard bar to meet and potentially annoying to fans as well. One to three times a day is a nice balance. However, if you can’t manage that, pick a number, like three times a week, and stick to it. Facebook will factor the frequency of your posts into their calculation of how much exposure to give each one. So the more you post, the more people will see your posts.
Step 7: Calendaring
Once you have selected your subject matter and you’re committed to posting regularly, set up a calendar to chart the days, times, and subjects of your posts. After you create your calendar for the month, you can actually schedule the posts directly on Facebook. Just put your cursor in the status update box and click on the tiny clock that appears in the lower left corner. Scheduling posts monthly will save you a huge amount of time.
Step 8: Responsiveness
Facebook is a social environment and no one likes to be ignored. Users can get irritated in as little as one hour if they don’t get a response to an inquiry or comment. You can actually damage your brand if you don’t engage promptly. Ideally, you should check your page several times a day, but once a day is the absolute minimum for a healthy community.
Step 9: Attracting Fans
Building up a fan base can be intimidating but you have a secret weapon. If you ask all of your customers, friends and family to like your page you will be off to a strong start. Contests and sweepstakes can be very effective as well. For example, here at Nina Designs, we gave away an iPad when we launched our page and attracted thousands of fans. It didn’t matter that many of them had no interest in jewelry because everyone has a friend who makes jewelry and those friends were exposed to us when they saw their friend like our page. Naturally, we only allowed people who liked our page enter the contest. That is called fan gating and it is very effective. You can fan gate contests, special deals, or coupons. If you are going to run any type of contest, check Facebook rules carefully as well as state and federal law (this article from Social Media Examiner spells it out). To be safe, consider using an outside service like Shortstack as a host.
Step 10: Advertising
Facebook advertising is most effective when directing people to your Facebook page rather than to your website. It is actually a very good tool for building a fan base. Ads are inexpensive and easy to set up. I recommend using AB testing to fine-tune ads. Run two ads with the same image but slightly different text, then take the wording that gets the best results and run it with two different images. Repeat the process regularly. Facebook has very detailed case studies to help you learn to craft the most effective ads.
Approach setting up your own Facebook business page one step at a time. Let us know where you are in the process, and where you might be stuck. . .leave us your questions here at Rio Grande’s Blog.