Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Facebook Secrets! (Part 2)

This series of mine recently appeared on the Martial Arts Business System page.

Three amazing tips and five incredible tricks to amaze your friends and impress your customers
Part 2 of 3

In part one of this series, I explained how to migrate a “Personal” Facebook page to a “Business” page and told you why that’s so important. Next, I’ll help you make your Business Facebook page MUCH more useful in spreading the word about your school, building customer loyalty, and having some fun with the technology.

Tip #2 – Be a “Place” Too!
Congratulations, you have your own “Business” page! Now take it a step farther and become a “place.” Place pages are sort of like business pages, but it’s really geared toward serving mobile and smartphone users. You know, tweens, teens, and most adults these days! A “Place” page is just that: a page representing a physical location that people can go to. And when they’re there, it’s possible for them to tell people they’re there, which is a great boon for marketing your business. More of that in the next “trick,” but first – how to make a place page.

When you set up or edit your Business Page, making it a “place” is as easy as correctly filling in your school’s address information. When it’s working, you should see a map show up on your page’s “Basic Information” screen (accessed by clicking the “Edit Page” button). You can check or uncheck “show this map on the page,” but it’s probably best to have it there. That same map will then appear on the “Info” screen of your business’s Facebook page.

Now when smartphone users access your page through the “Facebook App,” which they can download from “touch.facebook.com” or “m.facebook.com,” they’ll have the option to “Check in” at your site. This is to be encouraged, but how and why do you encourage it?

Trick #3: Check-ins and Check-in Deals
Check-ins are great for two reasons. They show viewers of your page that you have an active community of people visiting you, which speaks well of your business. Better still, those “check-ins” show up on the Facebook page of the smartphone user who did the check-in. All of their friends will see that, “Jane is at Five Star Martial Arts.” And they’ll see it EVERY TIME she checks in there. That’s a LOT of free, frequent, repetitive advertising for your school, and it shows all of Jane’s friends just how much she values the services you’re offering. When they start thinking about those services for themselves or their friends, where are they likely to go? That’s right – it’s like you’ve inserted a commercial for your business in the middle of Jane’s Facebook page and the page of every one of her friends (because they’ll all see it on their newsfeeds)!!

So now you need to encourage Jane to “Check In” whenever she’s at your dojo! One way to do that is just to ask, often, to “please check in on your smartphones when you’re here! It’s a great way to let everyone know how we’re doing and it encourages them to check us out!” That will work great with some of your students, so definitely do it. But others like to have incentives, and Check-ins make it easy!

Back on your “Edit Page” settings, you should see a “Deals” option on the bottom of the left-hand menu.  Click that, and it lets you create a “Deal” for smartphone users to take advantage of when they’re at your school. Think of it as a coupon for anyone with a smartphone that ONLY works when they’re standing physically at your school. You get three types of deals to choose from, each of which serves a different purpose: a single deal (check-in once, get the deal), a multi-check-in deal (check in a certain number of times, THEN receive the deal), or a group check-in deal (a certain number of people must all check-in at once, then they all get the deal). Detailing the advantages and limitations of each is an article unto itself, but do note that you can only have one active check-in deal at a time. Choose your type of deal, fill out the form fields, and then let everyone know about the deal. A favorite of mine is to offer a small discount – say $5 to $10 – off the regular price of a multi-week intro program. The customer feels (justly) that they’re getting an even better bargain, plus when they take advantage of the deal, they’re sharing it with all of their friends! That’s a good deal for both of you!

Be sure to check out part 3 of this series, where I’ll explain how you can encourage people to visit your Facebook page and more ways to insert your own Social Marketing messages into other peoples’ pages in a friendly, constructive way.

Mike De Lucia is a writer, accomplished business executive, and martial arts enthusiast. Mike is currently the Director of Business Operations for Five Star Martial Arts in North Syracuse, NY. His martial arts background includes dabbling in Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Iaido, Goju-Ryu, and Kenpo Karate, which he practices along with his wife and children. Mike blogs at www.virtualvellum.com.

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