*For this post I will be using Radius Café + Urban Casual Dining (Hamilton, Ontario) as an example of effective use of Facebook for business purposes.
I am an avid explorer of small and local businesses. Unfortunately, I don’t always have the time to stop by every interesting store or café I pass by.
When a local business catches my eye, I either search for it on my smartphone right away, or send myself a reminder to search the name of the business when I get home. If the business doesn’t have a website, Twitter account, or Facebook page where I can find more information about it, I’ll likely forget about it or lose interest in it.
One business that I’ve come across that made superb use of online promotion, and Facebook in particular, is Radius Café + Urban Casual Dining.
Radius opened in Hamilton, Ontario in the spring of 2012. When the café first opened for business, they didn’t even have a sign above their door yet. I found out about the business through their effective use of online promotion. Upon my first visit, it became my favourite café in Hamilton.
Below are four ways that Radius effectively makes use of their Facebook fan page, and four reasons why you should be doing it for your business too.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
On a Facebook fan page, you can (and should) include the location of your business, and what kind of business it is. This ensures that when potential customers include basic information they may know about your business when searching for it, your Facebook page will be one of the top results.
Be sure to include all key information about your business on your Facebook page, especially if your business has a common name or a similar name to a major company. Including things that differentiate your business from others on your Facebook page will make sure that those searching for your business will be able to find you online.
It can take some time to get an attractive and informative website off the ground. The great thing about Facebook is that it provides a template for you to input all of the necessary background information about your brand that customers need to know.
The first picture in this post demonstrates how Radius effectively brands their business by using a consistent colour scheme. They’ve also included their website, their slogan, and a promotional feature about their business on their cover photo.
Facebook also makes it easy to upload pictures and create photo albums. Having attractive pictures of your business develops your brand’s image online, which will definitely increase public interest.
Reminder: Facebook also allows you to connect your Instagram account to your page!
3. Keeping your customers updated
When you promote products, services, and sales on your Facebook page, customers who have ‘liked’ your page will see it on their news feeds. If they like your posts enough, they may share it with their friends, which will give you more exposure.
The image to the right is a great demonstration of a promotional Facebook post by Radius. Parking near the café can be hard to come by, and free parking is a rarity in downtown Hamilton during most hours of the day. It’s great to let customers know that not only is there amazing food being served for brunch, but they won’t have to worry about the added cost of parking that day.
4. Simple (yet effective) customer interaction
In addition to liking your page, customers can also include their location to their personal status updates. If they post that they are currently at your business’s location, their friends are likely to check you out.
Customers can comment on your page, as well as on your posts. If you engage with them, it will help maintain their loyalty to your business.
Warning: If a customer has a bad experience with your business, they may let you know about it by commenting on your Facebook page. It is best to reply to the customer and deal with the situation in a polite and professional manner. Don’t delete their comment without their consent, as they will know you did it and will likely let others know about your poor customer service etiquette.
Since its opening in late April of 2012, Radius has quickly become a central meeting and event spot for students and professionals in the downtown core of the city of Hamilton. Their effective use of social media definitely played a part in their fast rise in popularity.
By following the route that Radius took to brand itself online, your business can also grow its offline success.
For more information about Radius Café + Urban Casual Dining, visit their website at www.radius.ca
Do you have any tips on how businesses can effectively use Facebook fan pages? Or have you come across businesses that have used Facebook to their advantage? Let us know in the comments below!