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First steps to deal with the Facebook page of your Pet Store

If you are looking for any suggestions about how to better deal with the Facebook page of your Pet Store, you are in the right place. This article would like to give you some suggestions about how to support your Pet Shop through a Facebook page in the best way. I don't want to offer you a miraculous handbook and I have certainly addressed only a small part of the subjects that we can deal with (let's say that we could write a whole book about FB posts:), but I am sure that here you can find all the main subjects that are often overlooked or underestimated.

The main purpose is to create a page with the basic information, to write something about pets or about the products you sell, to publish some photos and wait for an influx of people into your Pet Shop.

It seems easy, doesn't it?

Unfortunately it isn't. If you join the fray of the big quantity of pages, groups and Facebook profiles without any knowledge nor project, you could waste a lot of time without obtaining any remarkable results.

 

Explain who you are and differentiate yourself

It might seem taken for granted, but in your page you should put all the information concerning your Pet Shop. It's important to underline: phone number, address, website, opening hours, offered services, the products you sell, scheduled events and promotions. Above all, it's essential to put in the field "about" some information in order to convince people, with a few words, to choose you among all the other shops in the neighborhood.

 

 

Content: what and how.

Now you have a page which is complete and ready to be used.  A new doubt naturally arises: which contents can I post and above all, how can I express them? Keep in mind that Facebook is first of all a social network, ruled by peculiar regulations and it has particular requirements. Here below you can find the requirements for posts: you can make a checklist and verify it before publishing your contents.

Short: Facebook posts have a limit of 63,206 characters, approximately 70 pages of a word document. Although this space may seem useful, you should avoid writing very long posts. When you write, you should put yourself in a user's shoes, who sees in the homepage a neverending post: you could scare him.

Nobody will dedicate much time for a reading on socials, although it could be interesting. The optimal length for a post is one or two lines. Catch the reader's attention, do not bore him to death.

Interesting information: sharing important information to your customers is a must. If you have a pet store and you want to promote it, you have to share the information concerning your business. The community visits your page only to learn about animals, about your Pet Shop, nothing else.  If you are in trouble, for instance, you can share new arrivals in the shop, promotions about products, news about events for pets in your area, the original services offered by your store, and much more. In other words, you have to try to publish contents that are important for your current customers and also for the potential ones.

Interaction: This is one of the main parts of the management of a Facebook page. The aim of a "social" activity is to trigger an interaction with users. Contrary to traditional means of communication, on the social networks the interaction is of utmost importance. It's essential to ask questions and to answer other users' questions. This encourages interaction with your possible customers, by increasing confidence towards yourself, also enhancing your reputation. This way, you can receive important feedbacks in order to improve your service. A good subject to deal with is your customers' furry friends. Remember that a pet lover adores to "give voice" to his loyal pet.

Tone: The big mistake you must necessarily avoid is to address to users with a very professional tone. A friendly tone is suggested, in order to establish a connection with your customers. Remember that people look for somebody who put them at their ease and is easy to approach.

Picture: Which is the best way to draw the attention of someone, if not visually? Never underestimate the importance of a picture associated with a post. Let's suppose you want to promote the new food for cats you have just received: you can share the picture of the brand with the post or you can share the picture of the cat to whom it is addressed. The instrument "picture" is strong also for your customers: ask them to share the photos showing them with your products, allow them to interact.

Video: it's arduous to create videos. Accurate videos require a lot of processing time, and for this reason they are less frequent in Facebook but they provoque a stronger impact. A well structured, educational video can considerably increase the influx of people in your page.

Hashtags: They are very useful to increase the number of people who will see your post. If used, they will have to concern your market field. Let's suppose you have just written a post about a promotion in your shop; the hashtags to promote this post might be #nameOfYourShop#sales #NameOfTheProductOnSale#PetsProducts#petShop.

 

 

Posts: how many and when.

The main instrument allowing you to understand how to better deal with your posts is Insights. You should learn to use it to the fullest, because it offers you quantitative information that might be of great help. FB Insights provides you with the report of the following data: the number of people reached by your posts and the number of those who have interacted, the number of people who called your company from the Page, the number of answers to customers and your average answering time and the number of people who "registered" (that is to say who stated to be in your store) in their posts.

 

Little, but often and assiduously: The main mistake made by those who deal with FB for the first time is to post at once all the available news and to forget the page for a week. If you wish to start a relationship with your customers (and potential customers) you need perseverance, otherwise you risk to fall into obscurity. Perseverance becomes important if combined with usefulness. Remember that your aim is to enrich people by supplying quality contents. You must avoid spam.

According to proven surveys, the best number of posts to daily publish is one. If it is not possible, the perseverance criteria is to be preferred.

At the right time: Through Insights you can check the time when there's a great influx of active users. Programming the publishing of posts (opportunity given by FB) allows to reach as many users as possible. The best time for posting is between 1pm and 4pm, although it changes according to the context.

 

Call-to-action

Each Facebook page allows to create a "button" (called Call To Action in technical jargon, shorten CTA) which allows the user to make a certain action. The possible actions are: contact (through Messenger, e-mail, phone or Web site), purchase or reservation of a service. If you know you are too busy to answer any doubt of your online customers during the day, I suggest you to add the button "call". This way, you can encourage users to directly call and verify if your shop can satisfy their needs.

 

 

Paid promotion

All users have the possibility to advertise the posts they publish on FB by investing an economic budget. This doesn't mean that you must necessarily pay to promote your posts (even though these costs allow you to get more visibility, time being equal). Posts promotion allows to give more emphasis to your contents and to reach a wider community. It's important to decide the addressee of the promotion: you can choose between those who have already interacted with your page (or with other contents) and the people selected through targeting (that is people resulting from a selection based on geographical position, age, gender and interests).

Let's make an example. Let's suppose that your shop is in Milan and that you want to advertise the arrival of the new Techla machine for the immediate engraving of pets ID tags.

What will you do?

Firstly, prepare the promotional post: the text, max two-three lines, and a picture that could be the engravers that you have just bought or en engraved tag (you can also prepare a short video of the engraving made in your shop for a customer).

After that, you shall decide to whom the message will be addressed. If you live in Milan, your can select this city as geographical area of your reference public. You could have the temptation to include also the surroundings or the whole nation, but this is not the best strategy if you have a shop, because few people outside Milan would find your message useful if they have to drive long distances to reach you. You uselessly risk to waste money.

 

As regards your target's interests, it is suggested to always include them in order to specifically reach who is really interested. You could mention the following interests: pets' owners, pets, cats lovers, dogs lovers, petshop, dogs owners, cats owners, pets products, dogs products, cats products.

And now?

What we have debated in this article is only the tip of the iceberg. The next step is up to you. My suggestion is to experiment as much as possible. For instance, try different kinds of posts and observe which fits better your situation. Vary text posts, pictures, videos and external links, so that you can stimulate the different kinds of users as much as possible.

If you have already dealt with the promotion of your shop on Facebook, leave your comment and share your experience :)

 

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