7 Steps for Using Facebook to Market Your Bail Business
There isn't a single, magical approach to effectively marketing your bail agency; it takes a multi-pronged approach with regular maintenance to really see results. Fortunately, there are some marketing tools that are completely free and well worth the effort. Case in point: Facebook. Facebook started out as a place online where friends and classmates could connect, but it quickly transformed into a vehicle for businesses to connect with clients and establish industry contacts. Even if you have a bias toward Facebook because you see it as a waste of time, the fact remains that it's a cost-free way to grow your bail business.
Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to marketing your bail agency on Facebook that will have you on your way to stronger connections with potential clients.
Step 1: Create your fan page
The first step is setting up a personal profile on Facebook; you must do this before creating a fan page for your business. To start, visit www.facebook.com and you will find simple instructions to create your free account on the site's home page. Your personal profile can look any way you want, but just remember that you shouldn't post anything you wouldn't want business associates or potential clients to see. Too many people have made the mistake of sacrificing their professional appearance by posting unprofessional things, so don't make that mistake yourself.
The next step is to create a fan page for your business at http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. This is your opportunity to create an interest-grabbing page that displays your company's personality and capabilities. When filling out your company profile, you can thoughtfully personalize it and give visitors a reason to take a close look. Consider including:
1) Your bail agency's logo
2) Photo albums that show your staff at work, engaged in community activities or otherwise exemplifying the agency's culture and personality
3) A professional-looking video explaining what makes your business great
4) Your website URL
5) A description of your agency and your services
Step 2: Find your fanbase
During your time in the bail industry, you likely have made hundreds or thousands of connections with people - whether they're industry peers or people you have helped with your services. Chances are good that most of these people have Facebook profiles, as Facebook claims that to have more than 500 million active users. The site makes it easy to locate these people by searching by name, e-mail address, company name and other criteria. If you know people who would be good Facebook "fans" but they don't already have profiles, you can send them invitations to create a profile and become your fan.
Inviting people with whom you have business relationships to become your fans is your first step to building a network with your Facebook page. As you meet new people in your everyday life, you can search for them on Facebook and send them a note asking them to become a fan of your business. The more people you can get to become fans of your bail agency online, the bigger impression you will make on people who view your profile.
Step 3: Integrate with other marketing collateral
Now that you're a Facebook user, it's time to let people know. If you regularly hand out business cards, brochures, flyers or other marketing collateral, it's easy to include: "Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/examplebailbonds." If you have a company website, you can add a link somewhere on the site that invites people to become your fan on Facebook. Think about the various opportunities you have each day to promote your Facebook page and then figure out how to capitalize.
Step 4: Spread the news
The key to keeping people interested in being your Facebook friend is informing them and encouraging interactivity. If there's an interesting news item that is relevant to the industry or your business, post the link on your wall. If your bail agency is going to be represented at a community event, post information and send a Facebook invitation to your friends. If you notice that one of your friends has a birthday coming up, send them a quick note. These communications keep people interested and will encourage them to regularly visit your profile.
Encouraging interaction on your own Facebook page is only half of the equation. Pay attention to other pages within your industry and don't be afraid to chime in on their discussions if you have something relevant to add. Contributing useful information on other pages can make other people more inclined to visit your own page and become your fans.
Step 5: Let the games begin
Another way to interact with your fans is to occasionally post contests, surveys or quizzes. You can post a thought-provoking question where people submit ideas, or have people submit their thoughts on a specific current event. You can even set it up so that fans vote on the winner. The prize that you give to the winner of a contest doesn't have to be expensive - maybe a gift card or a shirt with your company logo - but your prize out of this effort is that your Facebook fans have your company in mind as they participate in these contests.
Step 6: Promote your blog
Writing a blog is another free marketing strategy, and you can use Facebook to promote your blog. For example, if you write a blog entry covering the information that a person will need to provide in order to get a bail bond, you can post a link to that blog entry on your Facebook page.
Step 7: Keep it fresh
One of the most important keys to rewarding your Facebook fans is to keep your page fresh. By this, we mean making sure to continuously post new updates, write comments on others' posts, hold contests, add new photos and more. If your page gets stale and people are seeing the same things each time they visit, eventually they will stop visiting. Try to make each visit to your profile a new and interesting experience.
Technology changes so quickly that it can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest tools available. But the companies that pay attention to new technology and devise innovative ways to use it for marketing are typically a step ahead of the competition. There are still many ways to use Facebook for marketing that haven't even been considered yet, and that's where the challenge is issued to you: establish your Facebook presence and then put your own innovative twist on it. You might even find that you have fun creating and testing different strategies.
Once you have created your Facebook, feel free to send a friend request to us (we're at www.facebook.com/AboutBail). We look forward to becoming your biggest fan and finding out more about more business!
To learn more about becoming a member of AboutBail.com's trusted network of bail agents, contact us online.