One common mistake we see from business owners is that they rely on Facebook to generate leads and propagate their whole business. This might have worked a couple of years ago, heck, it may have been worked better a few months ago, but if there is one thing that we can be sure about with Facebook is that it is never constant.
You may think you have 5,000 followers, and technically you do, but in Facebook’s eyes you need to continually earn those followers. You have to keep creating bigger and better content to keep those eyeballs on your page, or you have to pay for them. The best way to get in front of your audience is simple – create your email list. When you have an amazing email list – one that would make Facebook itself weep tears of joy – then you will truly see the difference in your business. At the time of writing (May 2016), it has never been easier to create your own newsletter, electronic direct mail or flyer send-outs.
How do you build up an email database?
There are some very simple strategies to build you email database as a business. The first is to create a competition on Facebook to collect emails, the second is to use your call-to-actions wisely and the third is to get yourself published on social media.
1. Facebook competitions
The funny thing about building your database so you can get off Facebook is that you actually can use Facebook in order to build your database. It is an absolute Catch 22. Running a simple Facebook promotion might cost you some money in the short term (great prizes can start from RRP $100 to attract people to the Facebook page) as you will need to buy a prize and put some advertising money behind it, but you have the potential to add hundreds – if not thousands – of people to your email list. As one of the conditions of your competition, ask people to private message through their email address and then add that in to your database. This is a great way of both increasing your numbers, but also driving engagement on your Facebook page.
2. The call-to-action
These are so important when it comes to running your Facebook page. If you have a more important call-to-action than a sign-up, then by all means push that. You need to find other places to create these call-to-actions. Regularly post your blog posts to your Facebook and from there, encourage people to sign up to your email list. You could even post once a week a link to the place on your website where people can sign up. It is very helpful if you have an opt-in pop-up on your website. This can capture emails of people who are interested in your content. You could even create great content that is only downloadable if you hand over your email address. A real estate agent could create a PDF on selling tips, a greengrocer could put together a weekly recipe plan with a shopping list and the list goes on.
3. Get yourself published
Don’t underestimate the power of the written word in the age of the internet. Getting yourself published and recognised as a business owner can position you as the thought leader in that topic. LinkedIn Publishing is a great (free) place for you to publish your content, but there are plenty of other ways to get published. HuffPost always looks for fresh content, as well as a whole suite of other places. The more people who see your writing, the more people are willing to hand over their email address to sign up for your updates. They want to see your writing is quality, so give them the social proof. However, remember to always link back to your sign-up page. If you are not the best writer, just swallow your pride and get some help. Writing is a real craft. No-one expects you to be Shakespeare, but there are certainly people out there who can help you.