When Facebook’s new Timeline for businesses rolled out last Spring, most admins were pretty excited about the new MESSAGE feature that allows both fans and non-fans to connect with a business page on a more personal level, versus publicly on the wall. That excitement was short lived as admins across the nation became increasingly bombarded with message notifications on their page.
Okay, okay, okay… I get it. Incoming messages are a good thing; they are direct communication between a business and a fan, customer, or even a potential customer. That’s agreed. However, the good can turn “bad” real quick if you or your admins are not responding to the incoming messages your business page is receiving. One way communication is never cool and most definitely not effective when it comes to Social Media. Ask yourself this question… Would you let your business answering machine overflow with inquiries and messages without ever responding to the calls? Not likely.
So here’s what we suggest to our clients when it comes to the MESSAGE option for pages. Turn it on initially. Simply go to your FB Business Page. Click Edit Page. Click Manage Permissions. Scroll down to Messages and “check” the “show message box on my page” option.
Monitor the Message Inbox regularly for at least a week responding to all inquires or comments. At the end of the week, assess whether or not the Message feature was primarily, “manageable” for you as an admin, and secondly, useful or advantageous for your business. If yes, OPEN for messages, is just another way of saying… OPEN for business.
If the messages on the other hand become to numerous and the task of responding too cumbersome, turn off your Message feature right away. It’s better to have a legitimate lead or question directed to your Contact information than lost in the shuffle of Facebook messages.
Small business owners are taking social marketing seriously when it comes to establishing and promoting themselves online. In a recent survey by Manta, 90% of small business owners are committed to spending time or money to engage with their clients in social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
This is significant in that small-business owners have been social network holdouts over the past few years and are finally adopting social media. Erik Qualman, the author of the wildly successful book Socialnomics states that “businesses don’t have a choice on whether to do social media, the question is how well they do it. ”
What is changing their minds?
Well the biggest benefit seems to be related to one of the findings in the survey and that is that 78% say that being found by new customers through social media channels is the main reason they are investing in social marketing. “Small businesses understand they need to go where their audience is. Participating, networking and being found online is extremely important today in growing their business, so it’s not surprising that they are embracing the channel”, said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta.
However, the large amount of online and social media channels available can be overwhelming for today’s small business owner to navigate and use successfully. Business owners just don’t have the time or energy to maintain a consistent presence for both their business and themselves. Many of them are turning to companies like everzocial™ that specialize in being their voice online and allowing them to focus on what they do best, managing their business.
The bottom line is that all the recently conducted surveys reveal an interesting trend. Those who haven’t thought of spending time and resources on social networking should think again.