Facebook Business Basics
LIKE ANY TOOL, FACEBOOK REQUIRES CARE TO BE USED SAFELY
BY JIM WEISZ
The world is changing before our eyes. Social media is everywhere, and as small business owners, many DJs are embracing the still somewhat new technology. As a result, there’s a lot to be learned about social media and how to use it.
For this column, I will focus on Facebook, since it is by far the most-used social media platform. Facebook has over 500 million active users (as of July 2010), while Twitter has over 100 million users. Both obviously have impressive statistics, but the additional 400 million users on Facebook, coupled with the additional capabilities of Facebook make for a good resource for DJ companies.
According to the statistics page on Facebook.com, Facebook launched in February of 2004 and by December 2004 they had nearly 1 million active users. That means more than 500 million people have jumped on the Facebook bandwagon in the last six years—and it’s just going to keep getting bigger. Facebook users are loyal—50% of Facebook’s active users log on to Facebook in a given day. There are also more than 150 million users who access Facebook through their mobile deviceS.
Every Facebook user has a “wall,” which is almost like a personal homepage on the website. It’s a place where friends can see your status updates, pictures, links, and anything else you choose to post. It also shows anything that anyone else has posted to your wall too. In regards to all of that, there are privacy options that allow you to choose what content your friends and Facebook users who are not friends can see.
Facebook has a plethora of privacy options in regards to the various ways you use the website. There are options for applications, friends, pictures, ads and more. One feature that pertains to privacy is the option to separate the various members of your Facebook friends via lists. The lists tool is useful because you can make a list for any category you’d like. For example, you could make a list for friends and family, another for DJs you network with, and one for clients .
The benefit of this feature is that it allows you to designate what each group can see from your profile. This is particularly important if you have other wedding professionals or clients as friends. Why is that important? Let’s say for example you’re particularly biased on a certain political issue. You get fired up on a topic and post about it. If you don’t use lists, all of your Facebook friends see what you posted in their newsfeed. A local photographer who enjoys working with you and refers you often is offended. Now what happens? Maybe nothing. Or maybe they stop referring you because they were offended. Why risk the chance of tarnishing your businesses reputation for something you post online?
SEPARATING BUSINESS AND PERSONAL
More than likely you already have a personal Facebook page, but do you have a separate page for your business? If not, add that to your to-do list. Your personal page should be primarily for that—your personal life, while your business page is where you can post DJ-related content. Now does that mean you should never post DJ content on your personal page? Of course not. But if you’re using your personal account to peddle your DJ business, eventually your real friends might get annoyed and hide you (meaning they won’t see your posts in their newsfeed).
I’m friends with a lot of DJs on Facebook. I don’t know their privacy settings and how they have their lists set up, but by the looks of it, many don’t use that feature. As a result, I see tons of DJs who make multiple posts everyday that are only about their DJ business. Of course work is part of our personal life, so the fact that you’re talking about work (DJing) isn’t the problem—it’s the fact that most people won’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about. For example: “Status update: Just realized I forgot to bring extra XLR cables for the wedding tonight” or “Status update: Meeting with John Smith and Jane Doe about their wedding reception.”
Concerning a lot of what people post on Facebook, someone might say “who cares,” since there is so much mundane content. But there’s a difference between mundane posts and posts that have little to no relevance to most of your friends. Do you see your friends who work in an office post about the TPS report they forgot to put a cover sheet on? Or your friend who is a realtor post updates about showing houses to clients? If so, and it’s on a regular basis, I would bet that gets old to you too.
So, what’s the solution? Use your business page for your business updates. Go ahead and post that you’re meeting a bride and groom for a consultation, or that you’re excited about a new piece of gear you’re showcasing at an event this weekend. It’s even OK to occasionally make those types of posts on your personal page, but remember that unless you’re using lists so only your DJ friends will see it, most of your friends won’t care.
I see a lot of DJs posting updates from their personal account where they’ve linked to a clients name (using the @ sign before their name to link to their page). You can only link to someone you are friends with so that means these DJs are friends with these clients. I personally am only friends on Facebook with a couple clients, as I wait for them to send me a friend request. Why? Well, I don’t want them to feel obligated to accept my friend request just because I am their DJ.
I recently asked some other DJs about how they handle friending clients. Some said they take it on a case-by-case basis. For clients they feel that they have a good connection with, they send a friend request. Others wait for the client to initiate the contact. My personal opinion is that since I wouldn’t want my doctor, lawyer, dentist, insurance guy, pool guy, etc. to ask to be my friend on Facebook, what makes me think a client wants to be my friend on Facebook? So, I let my clients know I have a business page that they can join to get updates about my business. If they also chose to friend me on Facebook, I would accept the request. But I am not going to initiate the friend request, so I don’t put them in a weird place about how to handle it.
POLISHING YOUR BIZ PAGE
A page for your business on Facebook can be a great resource for new leads. One way a lot of DJs are using their business page is to post pictures from recent events. Then they will send an e-mail to the client to let them know the pictures have been posted and send them a link to their page. The best-case scenario is that the client will go through and tag the pictures of their guests. So now all those people who have been tagged are heading to your Facebook business page to see the pictures from the wedding.
In addition to pictures, under Notes you can also post articles that visitors to your page may find useful. Or, if you have a blog, you can post a link to a new blog article. Either option depends on you creating interesting content that will engage the reader. You can also post links to relevant wedding-related websites or pages of interest to your clients or prospective clients.
As far as getting people to “like” your Facebook page (using FB’s virtual thumbs-up feature), be sure to link to it from your website. You can also send out invites to any of your Facebook friends as well as send an e-mail to all past clients asking them to join your page. You may be surprised at how many will like your page and post a nice comment, which is good for prospective clients to see.
In addition to posting news, pictures and various business updates, you can also use it as a resource to fill dates. You can offer special discounts on particular dates or let everyone know that you offer a gift card for referrals. If you do post offers, be sure that the people who like your business page are relevant to your offers. For example, I’ve visited numerous DJ business pages that I can see I am one of about 200 DJs who like the page. The page has a total of 250 people who like it. If the business owner posts a promotional offer, it’s really only relevant to the 50 people who aren’t DJs. It’s for that reason I personally recommend not inviting other DJs to become a fan of your page.
The world of online social media is ever-evolving. While it provides a great new tool for DJs to build relationships and build business, it requires awareness of how website features work, and some common-sense thinking about how to approach making those connections with clients
Jim Weisz is a DJ who has primarily served the wedding and school dance markets since 1999. In 2003. Jim relocated to Dallas from Chicago to take a position at TM Studios (formerly TM Century and JonesTM). Over the last ten years, Jim has spoken at DJ conventions about websites and has been a regular writer for Mobile Beat magazine about websites, marketing and a variety of other topics. Jim can be reached at email@example.com.
Facebook Business Page Tip
Once your page has 25 “likes” you can create a custom URL for it. Meaning, you can name your business Facebook page something like www.facebook.com/xyzdjservice, giving you a better option for linking from your website and in any emails you might send.
Filed Under: Issues from 2010, Sales & Marketing
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