A Sales Rep’s Cheat Sheet for Social Selling on Facebook
With over 1 billion active users, Facebook is one of the largest social networks. At the same time, it is one of the most personal social networks. Typically, people use Facebook to connect with their family and friends – not their business contacts.
Nevertheless, in some industries like Financial Services or Real Estate, some professionals rely heavily on Facebook to engage their clients. So, we thought we’d put together a series of tips for using Facebook for social selling.
Understand the Difference between Company Pages and Personal Profiles
A Facebook profile is a personal account. When you sign up for Facebook, you get a profile. This is a place where you can add friends and family members, communicate on a personal level, and share photos.
A Facebook page is a business account that represents a company or an organization.
Which Should You Use?
Let’s say that you are a local insurance agent who works for one of the largest insurance companies in the country. Which should you use – a business page or a personal profile? The answer depends on what you hope to accomplish.
You could create a Facebook page for your office and communicate with your customers through the page. One of the perks of having a Facebook page is that you can use Facebook’s paid advertising channels. Plus, you have access to Facebook’s detailed analytics (called “Audience Insights”).
On the other hand, some insurance agents have strong, personal connections with their clients. That’s why they engage their customers through their personal Facebook profiles. Since the Facebook algorithm tends to favor posts from friends rather than business pages, this can be a great way to reach current clients, as well as friends who might become clients one day.
Joe Pulizzi is an interesting example. He is the founder of Content Marketing Institute, and he uses both a personal profile and a business page. He uses his profile to communicate with members of the marketing community.
At the same time, the Content Marketing Institute also has its own business page.
Segment Your Friends via Facebook Lists
If you decide to use your personal Facebook profile as a way of communicating with your customers, consider using Facebook lists to organize your friends into groups.
You might have one list for friends, another list for family members, and yet another for your clients. That way, you can choose the right audience for your Facebook posts. Photos of your children can be shared with friends and family members. Meanwhile, your professional posts can be seen by customers – with a smattering of personal photos so that you appear human in the eyes of your clients.
Think about Mindset When Planning a Content Strategy
When people use Facebook, remember that they have a casual mindset. They are looking for moments of nostalgia, diversion, and distractions. They’re looking for content that complements their lifestyle and interests. They aren’t necessarily looking for a long dissertation on their profession, nor are they looking for explicit sales pitches.
Here’s what parentsare looking for, according to Facebook’s research:
How Do You Apply This Mindset to Your Content Strategy?
Let’s say that you’re a real estate agent. What would your content strategy look like on Facebook?
For many people, thinking about real estate is a welcomed distraction from other tasks. So, as a real estate agent, you might post some tips and tricks for buying a house. For example, here’s a post shared on a profile page of a realtor:
And here’s another example from a Facebook business page:
Those examples of Facebook posts are more straightforward, in that they are closely tied to the real estate industry. But don’t be afraid to think outside the box, as well. That could mean positioning yourself as an expert on your local news and cultural events. For example, here’s an update from a real estate agent on a bridge closure in her community.
Share Visual Content
When sharing content to Facebook, include photos, videos, and infographics. Those types of content tend to resonate well with Facebook users.
Look at the examples from the previous section. Each Facebook update includes an eye-catching image. That’s important for getting someone’s attention.
Establish a Cadence
Be warned: If you flood your followers’ feeds with posts, they may unfollow. No one likes to be bombarded on Facebook. So, best practices say that you should post between one and two times per day.
Don’t Be Afraid to Look for Prospects on Facebook
Twitter and LinkedIn seem like the most obvious places to look for prospects. But Facebook can be a treasure trove, as well. This infographic from Salesforce explains how to use Facebook’s search commands for prospecting.
Remember that Facebook is a personal network. While you might find the names of potential customers on Facebook, you may not to use another channel for your initial outreach (e.g. email or LinkedIn) because contacting a stranger on Facebook can be creepy.
Want to Learn More?
After reading this post, you should have an idea of whether social selling on Facebook is right for you. And if it is right for you, you have some ideas for using the network properly.
If you’d like to learn more about social selling, check out our cheat sheet for social sellers. You’re sure to find some tips for LinkedIn and Twitter.