With COVID-19 limiting the way that we travel, gather, communicate, and conduct business, now is an opportune time to focus on growing your online presence through Facebook.
Why should your job shop use Facebook?
Recent surveys have shown that 7 out of 10 US adults use Facebook, and, of these users, 74% visit the site at least once a day. This undoubtedly includes your past customers and future prospects. In fact, a recent study conducted by TREW Marketing and IEEE GlobalSpec shows just how important social media platforms (including Facebook) can be as 46% of engineers, a large segment of your customer base, consider social media to be a valuable content source.
To stand out from your competition and get in front of your target audience, here are Xometry’s top 5 tips for creating and maintaining your Facebook presence for your machine shop.
Step 1: Create or Claim Your Facebook Business Page
If you don’t already have a Facebook business page, you can log in to your personal account and set one up. Facebook’s setup instructions are easy to follow and it only takes a couple of minutes. If you find that there is already a page with some of your business’ details on it that you don’t control—something called an “unmanaged page” which was automatically created when past customers “checked in” to your business—you can claim it. To do so, check out Facebook’s instructions here.
A few useful tips when setting up your page:
- Set up your “Preferred Page Audience.” These are the people or businesses that you want to see your new Page. Try to target groups that match the kinds of parts you make or industries you work in. For example, if your shop specializes in automotive parts, you may want to include “Automotive Industry” as one of your target audiences.
- Add a description of your business including manufacturing capabilities, business hours, location, and contact information so prospective customers can get a hold of you.
- Upload a cover photo and profile picture of your shop or shop’s logo to add some visual interest to your new page.
Step 2: Post Regularly and Post Different Types of Content
57% of consumers say that social media influences their shopping, and 44% said Facebook was the most influential. For this reason, it is extremely important to post new Facebook content at least a few times per month. If you have a company blog or are running promotions or sales on your site, it’s best to post these to Facebook, too. This will generate more exposure for your shop, more interest in your promotion, and improve your overall Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is a measure of how well your site ranks in Google search results. To maintain relevancy and not look and sound too promotional, mix up the type of content you post by including current events, recognizing holidays, or sharing interesting industry-related articles that appeal to you and your customers.
Step 3: Be Sure To Share Photo & Videos
Upload any photos of your shop or any parts you’ve recently made to show prospective customers what your shop can do, and make sure these are parts you are allowed to share! If you don’t have customer’s permission to post parts, post pictures of your machines, shipping area, new tools, your impressive facility, or even your team members to generate interest and show off your business. Photos and videos are proven to be the most engaging type of content to post on Facebook and can help you acquire new customers.
Step 4: "Pin" Your Most Relevant Posts to the Top of Your Page
Each time you post new content on your page, older posts get pushed further down on your timeline. However, there may be cases where you’d like a specific post – that has had high engagement or is still very relevant – to stay at the top of your Page even after you’ve published updates. To achieve this, you can “pin” the desired post to the top of the page. Click the drop-down arrow in the top right corner of your post and then click “Pin to Top.” Now your post will stay at the top of your page, allowing visitors to see this important business information first thing when they land on your Facebook page.
Step 5: Gather Data to Improve Customer Targeting
Facebook Insights is a free, built-in-tool that allows you to analyze the data associated with your shop’s Page, including your Page’s reach, likes, and actions taken on your Page. This tool is automatically activated once your Page receives 30 likes. It even allows you to compare your Page’s performance with other Pages like it, giving you valuable information on other businesses similar to yours. You can access Insights by navigating to the Insights tab at the top of your Page.
Rinse and Repeat
All you have to do now is continue sharing pictures of the high-quality parts you’ve created, posting updates, and responding to customers. In no time, you’ll have yourself a strong foundation to acquire new prospects and stay top of mind with your past and current customers.