Should Your Lingerie Business Be on Facebook?
My name is Treacle and I’m the founder of The Lingerie Addict, a haven for lingerie lovers of every nation and persuasion. As a blogger, I interact constantly with the people your business needs most—customers. My column here is all about bringing you, the lingerie store owner, the perspective of us, the lingerie consumers.
Should Your Lingerie Business Be on Facebook?
The short answer is YES! More than any other form of social media we’ve discussed so far, your business has to have a space on Facebook.
Why? With over 500 million active users (50% of whom log into the site everyday), Facebook is where your customers are (Source: Facebook stats). And with 30 billion pieces of content shared each month (websites, news stories, photos, blog posts, etc.), it’s where your customers are talking. Now I didn’t major in math, so I can’t “crunch the numbers,” but I’m sure we can all agree that this represents countless opportunities for people to learn about your business every single day.
Unlike blogging or Twitter, which still only appeals to fairly small part of the population (how many of your friends have blogs or Twitters?), almost everyone is on Facebook, and they use it to tell their friends what’s worth paying attention to. Facebook puts you in the middle of the conversation and allows you to connect with other brands, bloggers, customers, and clients in a way that is simply impossible through other forms of media.
In fact, one of the best things for your business is a Facebook page, which will be the primary focus of this article. Here are five easy steps to get started-
- If you’re not already on Facebook, you need to create a personal or business account. Since businesses are not allowed personal pages, you’ll want to check the guidelines before deciding. I recommend setting up a personal page as yourself so that you can use all of Facebook’s features (and also avoid getting kicked off if you accidentally break the rules).
- Next, you’ll need to make a Facebook page for your business. You can start by going to this address– http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. After your page is created, make it pretty with pictures and descriptions of your brand. Once you’re satisfied with how it looks (keep in mind, your page will be visible to over 500 million people) make it public.
- Third, reach out to the people who are either already your customers or know about your brand and ask them to “fan” you. If you have a newsletter list, you can send the url of your fanpage to those subscribers.
- The instant you have more than 25 fans, get a vanity url. I cannot stress how important this is for brand consistency and brand management. Once you’ve chosen your vanity url (fingers crossed that it’s still available!) check, double check, and triple check the spelling as vanity urls cannot be changed once finalized.
- Set up a customized Facebook landing page. That could be the subject of an article all by itself so I recommend reading Darren Rowse’s tutorial over at ProBlogger.net.
Once your Facebook page is up and running, here are a few best practices to keep in mind
- Interact with your fans; don’t just talk at them. The general rule is to “be personal not promotional.” For example, when someone comments on a status update, respond or give them a thumbs up. One of the quickest ways to a dead page, is to ignore your fans. After all, that’s why it’s called social media.
- Post things your fans are genuinely interested in knowing about. Everything you post on your page should be worth liking or sharing. If it’s not, don’t post it. For example, are your fans really interested in your new marketing director? Probably not. Are they really interested in a 20% off coupon? Probably so. As an added bonus, if a lot of people like or share your content, it’ll rise to the top of the News Feed (kind of a homepage for status updates) for all your fans.
- Don’t expect instant gratification. People do not come to Facebook to buy things. They come to hang out with their friends, play Farmville, and goof off at work. If your page is all about the hard sell, I guarantee you will be dissapointed and wondering why Facebook didn’t “work.” Focus on building rapport with your fans first, and then use those relationships as the springboard for your business.
- Give people an incentive to join your page. Everyone likes to feel special, and if your Facebook fanpage is a haven for exclusive content (maybe previews of your next collection or a funny story from your store), fans are more likely to get and stay engaged.
- Look into Facebook advertising. Facebook ads are not only extremely low cost, they also allow some of the most targeted campaigns I’ve ever heard of…perfect if you’re looking for exposure in local markets. For a tutorial on how to maximize the value of your Facebook ads, I recommend this article from All Facebook.
Facebook Pages Done Well:
To wrap things up, let’s take a look at a few Facebook fanpages doing all the right things:
Frederick’s of Hollywood—The mega-lingerie retailer uses Facebook to not only promote sales and discounts, but also to immediately answer questions from their customers. FoH also injects a bit of personality into their Facebook status updates, such as the current series highlighting classic horror movie quotes.
Kiss Me Deadly—A small label out of the UK, Kiss Me Deadly doesn’t have the marketing dollars larger brands do, but they do use Facebook to leverage their fanbase. KMD posts photos of their fans in lingerie, updates about current stock and distributors, and sneak previews of upcoming ad campaigns.
La Petite Coquette—The world famous lingerie boutique out of NYC is a great example of how to integrate customized landing pages and other apps into your Facebook strategy. The Welcome tab introduces new vistors to everything they need to know about La Petite Coquette at a glance while the FourSquare and Events tabs let La Petite Coquette promote their brick and mortar location.
I hope this article helps you with your Facebook plans. If you’d like more detailed or personalized feedback, why not book a Lingerie Business Strategy Session with me? It’s the perfect opportunity to get all your most pressing social media questions answered.