Business Magazine

Small Business Social Media Guide (Part 4: Facebook, Google+ and Social Listening)

Posted on the 03 April 2012 by Fleetmatics @fleetmatics

In Part 1 of this series, we covered how to get your business acquainted with the available Social Media platforms. In Part 2 we gave shared some tips on what to say on your social media channels and how to say it. In the third installment, we dove into some advanced tips to keep in mind when blogging and using Twitter. And finally, in the 4th and not previously planned installment, we’ll focus on the nitty gritty for Facebook (including the new timeline for business pages), Google+, and tips for Social Listening.

Let’s do it to it!


So you finally finished perfecting your Facebook fan page for your business, right? Great – well now it’s time to rinse and repeat. Facebook has now introduced the “Timeline” page for business pages as well, and that brings forth quite a few changes (to take advantage of):

  • The Cover Image: The cover image takes up a huge landscape on your page (850×315 pixels), so the pressure is on to make it good. The cover photo should help visitors to your page clearly understand what your business offers at first glance. Also, make sure you are well aware of the Facebook “rules” for this large image. You aren’t? No worries, we’ll cover them right now.
  1. Include price or purchase information, such as “25% off” or “Download it at our website”
  2. Include any contact information (Web site, email, mailing address)
  3. Include any references to user engagement elements, such as Like or Share
  4. Use calls to action
  • Pinning and Highlighting:At the top right of each of your Facebook status posts, you’ll notice a star icon and a pencil icon. When you highlight a post, it spreads across the whole width of your page. You can do this by clicking on the star icon. To pin something, you click on the pencil icon and select “Pin to Top.” Whatever you pin shows up at the top of the page, and the other posts are displayed in chronological order.Keep in mind that when you pin a post, that is going to be the first thing visitors to your page see right below your cover image, so the post should be something very important and a good representation of the product or service you provide. So for example, you can highlight a new video, but pin a post that links to your entire video library.
  • Company Milestones: Make your timeline more interesting by adding company milestones. All you need to do is click on the line that runs down the middle of your Timeline and select Milestone. The purpose of adding milestones is to tell your visitors your company’s story. Let them get to know you and your history better.
  • Applications: The tabs that used to be on the left side of your page are now at the top under your cover image. Unfortunately, only four of the tabs/applications are displayed, so make sure you move your most important ones to the first four spots. To move an application, you simply expand the list by clicking the down arrow button next to the top row of apps, click the pencil icon on the app you’d like to move, and under where it says, “Swap position with,” select which app you’d like to swap it with.

See some great examples of company timeline pages.

Now that you’re well on your way to having a nice Facebook timeline page set up, let’s talk about how to increase Facebook engagement for your business page. There are several things you can do to build your business on Facebook as well as engage followers.

Business Building

  • Post professional photos of your company’s employees to reinforce your brand and connect with customers
  • Combine Facebook with other social media tools
  • Use contacts from your email to find additional connections
  • Use the Find Friends feature for suggestions of other people to expand your network
  • Look for mutual contacts on friends’ lists
  • Find experts in your field and invite them to be guest bloggers
  • Search to find groups or fan pages related to your business by industry
  • Make sure you are posting on your page at least 3 times per week

Engaging Followers

  • Time Management
    It pays to be aware of the peak hours to capture the most engagement. Studies have found that it is best to post during lunch time, after working hours, and later at night.
  • Request Customer Feedback
    Don’t always talk AT your fans – ASK them for their feedback. The post doesn’t even have to be related to your business, just come up with an interesting question that would catch your own eye and engage you to respond.
  • Create Shareable Content
    All of the content you create online can include a share button that encourages your fans to post that content to their walls.
  • Create Fan-Gates
    This is a great way to increase your fan base. Create a custom tab on your Facebook page with a fan-gated contest or deal, such as, “Like Us and get 10% off your first order/service.” ShortStack App is an easy-to-use tool that helps you create custom tabs and gives you the option of setting up fan-gates.

Google Plus

If you find yourself thinking, “I don’t really need to set up another social media profile for my business, right? Google+ will phase out,” – THINK AGAIN. And go create your profile. Google+ can significantly affect the Search Results (Google is still the top used search engine, remember?) So not creating a Google+ page for your business could severely hurt your search engine rankings. Once you have your page set up, here are some tips for maximizing it:

  • Optimize for SEO: Use targeted keywords in your business description. And write a one-line description.
  • Get creative with your photos: You can create a multi-image panoramic scene or use it to display different products or services you provide.
  • Make your posts stand out: You can bold, italicize, and strike-through your Google Plus posts: use the format *text* to bold, _text_ to italicize, and –text- to strike through a word or phrase.

Social Listening

With all of the Social Media platforms there are now, it is important to listen to what is going on in your industry. Listening is crucial to keeping your strategy fresh and competitive.

  1. Determine WHO your target audience is and WHERE they are.
    By where, we don’t mean geography, we mean where online. Studies have shown that different generations tend to flock towards different social media platforms.
  2. Find influencers in your industry.
    Use social analytics to discover who exactly is sharing your content and links. According to a Forrester Research Report, a minority of people generate 80% of the impressions. If you can find out who that minority is, you’ve struck social sharing gold.
  3. Know the keywords and trends related to your industry.
    Determine the topics that are important to your business and identify them as potential keywords. For example, because we are in a recession and people are looking to cut whatever costs possible, if you’re an HVAC company, a phrase like “reduce heating bills” should be at the top of your list.
  4. Have a strategy in place.
    Address the goals and approach your company will take and write them down. Keep in mind that reputation management should be one of those goals. A few minutes of your day should be dedicated for searching the social platforms as well as the web to see what is coming up about your company, good or bad. If it’s bad, address it. If it’s good, share it everywhere!

That’ll do it for our Small Business Social Media Guide. We hope you found this helpful and are well on your way to a successful Social Media strategy for your business! Don’t forget, you can reference Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this guide any time.

Let us know your thoughts on our Social Media Guide in the comments below. And, of course, if you found any of these posts helpful, we’d love for you to share all 4 parts with your friends and followers!

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