Once you have gathered Likes on your business page, it is easy to direct them to your website. This is done by providing links to content that can only be found on your site such as articles or blog posts, entry forms, video’s, landing pages with "sticky content", etc... In addition, by using keywords in your Facebook name, status updates and anchor text links, you build more backlinks to your website and improve its ranking on the search engines.
2. Create more traffic directly to your offline location
You can drive traffic to your local business by promoting coupons, special deals or sales promotions and events on your Facebook page so that people have to come to you to redeem those coupons or attend those events.
Another way Facebook can bring more foot traffic to your location is by incorporating a “check-in” app on your Facebook page. These work in such a way that when a customer comes to your store, they can send an update to all their friends on their social media network that they have checked in to your business. This provides free marketing for your business since your store will get free publicity. I have found it to be most effective if there is an additional bonus of some sort for checking-in.
3. Improve your repeat business
Facebook allows you to have a database of fans who will buy over and over again from you. Just like email lists have the ability to provide repeat business every time you send out an email, your local business page is also made up people who have experienced interacting with your business either socially or commercially and who are likely to keep doing so. NOTE: Because of Facebook's continual lessening of the natural Reach that posts achieve, most business owners will find it necessary to pay for important posts to ensure reaches all those who have liked your page.
4. Increase the number of referrals you receive
Engaged fans reward purveyors of great products and services by spreading the news to their network of friends. Most don't even realize they are doing this is by “liking” your page and updates you post there. These show up on the newsfeeds of their friends. This generates curiosity from their friends who want to find out which business their friends have just liked and this creates a ripple effect as more and more people get to know about your business - all from one excited prospect or customer ‘liking’ your page.
5. Position your business as an authority
Providing quality, content-rich posts helps brand your local business as an authority in your niche. This especially works well with knowledge-based professionals like accountants, attorneys, doctors and financial planners. But, this approach can even be successfully used by service businesses like florists, carpet cleaners and even restaurants who post worthwhile ideas, tips and recipes.
6. Increase sales leads
Most business owners often don’t understand how Facebook can easily generate more sales leads for their business. Here are just a few of the ways:
- Offer coupons for special promotions by posting it as a status update to show up on the news feeds of your fans who then can pass it on virally to their friends. (Make sure the deals that are posted there are buzzworthy enough to share and by all means, pay the few bucks it will take to make sure your entire audience sees it)
- Another way to generate more sales is to direct traffic to a special promotion on your web site - for restaurants, that may be a special Valentine's Day (or other holiday) dinner reservation form. For a salon, it could be an offer to pre-purchase a package of 3 cut and styles for 50% off. Or, for an Accountant, it could be a simple optin for a free information booklet explaining the upcoming tax changes and a guide to maximizing their tax savings. (Then, at the end of the downloadable, PDF booklet, could be a special offer for a discount on their first year's tax filing.)
- You can create events to be held at your local business and get people to register for free on Facebook to attend. Then present a compelling offer at the actual event.
- You can also reach out beyond your existing Facebook fans by using Facebook Ads with geo-targeting to reach the local population that fits your demographics - such as women between 18-27 in a particular city or zip codes.
7. Gather high quality testimonials
As I discussed in a previous post, testimonials are gold for businesses. People prefer to do business with a local business that has many happy customers so they can feel safe in their decision to do business with you. As a small business owner, you can easily get client testimonials from your business page by getting in touch with fans who mention your business on their post or who like and share things you've posted. More often than not, these testimonials are viewed as more real and verifiable because they have the photo and name of the client and the client can be contacted freely by others on Facebook.
There are many other simple strategies that can be used on Facebook to help grow your local business. The most important thing to remember is that it's not enough to just have a presence there. And, simply posting self-serving messages without delivering real and buzzworthy value simply won't work. But, if you take even as little as an hour or two each week to cultivate a real audience of fans who truly do "like" you ... and you reward their engagement with valuable posts and exclusive Facebook offers or promotions ... you WILL be greatly rewarded for your efforts.