A Computer Consultant’s Guide to Facebook Pt.3: How to Attract New Paying Customers

how to start a pc repair businessIn Part 1 of my series on Facebook for Computer Consultants I talked about why I believe it’s necessary that your computer business have a presence on Facebook.  In Part 2 I showed you exactly how to set-up an eye catching page to help your business stick out from the rest.  Today I’ll be going over some strategies you can use to attract new paying customers through your Facebook Page.

The Goal

So now you have a gorgeous, professional, well put together Facebook Page.  That’s great!  But it won’t do you much good without people.  You need to get people to your page.

But it’s not enough just to get random people liking your page.  You want highly targeted people, folks who are looking for computer help or will need your services in the future.

Finally, once you have those targeted people, you want to always remind them that you are there by providing valuable content, exclusive deals, and info about your company.

The following are strategies I’ve used to get people liking my page and using my services.

Getting Your Existing Customers Onto Facebook

The first thing you want to do is get your existing customers onto Facebook.  These are people who have already proven that they will use your services, so you want to do everything you can to keep your business in their minds.  These are the easiest people to sell to, because they’ve already been sold once. But you need to make sure you keep reminding them that you are the go-to computer guy and Facebook is a great place to do it.

The easiest and most direct way to get existing customers onto your Facebook page is to send them an email. You should be sending your customers a monthly newsletter anyway.  So in this month’s newsletter, include a link to your new and improved Facebook Page.

You may also want to include a link to your Facebook page on your website, business cards, and other marketing materials.  Put your Facebook URL anyplace you can in order to get that link in front of your customers.

You’re not going to get all your customers to follow you onto Facebook.  To put things in a realistic perspective for you, I only got about 10% of my existing customers to like my page.  That’s okay.  That’s better than nothing, and the real power of this process comes with attracting new customers.

Getting New Customers

Unfortunately, due to the restrictions of business pages on Facebook, you will not be able to interact directly with new people via your page.  That means no going to stranger’s profiles and asking them to take a peak at your page.  This is understandable to prevent spamming and unsolicited messaging.  But it also makes reaching out to new people more difficult.  Because of this, there are really only two ways to get new people onto your page.

Use People You Know (who will then refer you to their friends)

The first thing you should do is tell all your existing Facebook friends about your business page.  This is similar in the “physical world” where when first starting your business it helps to tell everyone you know about your business so you can start getting referrals.

These initial “fans” of your page are probably not going to be your customers, but they will help you spread the word and may even share stories and status updates that you publish.

Also, when they “like” your page, a little blurb will appear on their wall that may entice some of their friends to check out your business page.  I’ve had a handful of new customers find me this way.

Find People You Don’t Know (Facebook Ads)

The second way to get new customers is via Facebook Ads.  Facebooks Ads are all those advertisements you see on the right side of your Facebook page.

You’ll notice that they tend to be eerily relevant to you, sometimes to the point where they know exactly what kind of things you like.  That’s because Facebook ads allow the advertiser to target people in a very granular way based on the information in their Facebook profile.

For example, if you enjoy working with elderly customers, and want to target your ads to this demographic, you can target females over the age of 70 who live within a 30 mile radius of you.  Prefer retired baby boomers with extra cash?  Target married men between the ages of 50-70 with an income greater than $100k.  The ability to laser-target your ads to your ideal customer is the beauty of Facebook ads.

Anyone is able to place an Ad in Facebook, although it does cost money.  I’m not going to go into detail about how to create Facebook Ads, there are already some great tutorials here and here.

Instead I’ll cover what ads I ran for my business and which one was the most successful.  It’s important to run multiple ads at first, see which one performs best, then take that ad and run with it.

Here are the three ads I started with:

How to start a computer business

Which one do you think performed the best?  I’ll let you know which one did later on in this article.

In this initial campaign my goal was simply to get some new local followers that I could turn into potential customers.  Because I’m an in-home consultant, having the customers be near me was important.  So I targeted Facebook users in a 30 mile radius around me.  I also specified ages 35-50, the demographic of people I think actively use Facebook that may also be looking for computer help.

The first ad, “Free Computer Tips”, was my way of enticing people with a free benefit for liking my page.  The second ad, “Germantown Computer Help”, is promoting a free service I’m offering exclusively to Facebook fans.  In the third ad, “Tired of a Slow Computer?”, I tried to use one of the most common complaints I hear, a slow computer, as a way to get people to click.

You’ll notice in all three I mentioned a town or county within my target area. I think this is an important attention grabber.  It’s a way to show folks that this ad is relevant to them.

The Verdict

I ran all three of these ads for a week.  Based on my budget and the way I targeted the ads, I was limited to a maximum possible three clicks per ad per day.  But if you think about it, three clicks per day for a week times three ads is 63 possible new customers for this campaign!  Of course with any new ad campaign, you’re probably not going to get the maximum possible engagement.  In the end I received a total of 32 clicks across all three ads with a total of 11 new likes.  This cost me only just shy of $36.

I’d say $36 for 11 new potential customers is a pretty good deal!  If I get even one consulting job from these guys, it’ll pay for the ad and then some.

There was a clear winner as far as which ad was most effective.  Ad #1, in which I offer free computer tips, received a staggering 26 out of the total 32 clicks!

how to start a computer business

For my next round of ads, I will try three slightly different versions of this one and see which one performs best.  I’ll keep doing that a few more times until I can’t tweak it any more.  At that point I’ll have one good ad that I know will get good click-through whenever I choose to run it.

Providing Value

Now that you have all these new shiny happy people coming to your page via referrals or Facebook Ads, how are you going to go about turning them into loyal customers?  After all, that is really the goal of all this effort.

Make It Easy To Contact You

Make sure your website and phone number are visible at all times on your page.  That’s why I recommended incorporating them into your profile picture.  In that same article I also recommend adding your URL to the “About” seciton of your profile because a) it shows up on all your pages and b) it’s automatically formatted as a click-able link.

Share Useful Information (Most of the time)

You want to spend the majority of your time on your Facebook page sharing useful information and interacting with people.  The easiest way I’ve found to find relevant information to share with my followers is to “like” a bunch of tech Facebook pages while logged in as my Facebook page.  Do that and they will show up in your Page’s news stream.  At that point when you see a story you think is worth sharing with your customers, it’s easy to click “Share” and post that story to your business page.

It’s really fair game as to the content you choose to share.  You should choose stories based on the demographic of your customer base.  Don’t share programming or hacking articles with your customers if the majority of them are elderly or non-tech types.  I tend to share a lot of internet security and virus info from sites like AVG, McAfee, and Norton. Whatever you share, it’s important to do it often and consistently. It may not be immediately apparent, but your customers will value the consistent stream of quality computer tips coming into their Facebook stream.

Offer Something for Free (Often)

After every few posts where you share valuable info, don’t forget to offer something valuable from your own service offerings.  People don’t come to Facebook with the intention of buying anything or hiring anyone.  They come on to check out what their friends are up to and share personal stories.  In order to get them to try your services, there’s no better way than to offer something for free. Some good examples are 30 minutes of free remote support, free diagnostics (if not already offered), or a free system tune-up.

Another free “service” I offer is to answer followers tech questions right on my Facebook page.  Once or twice a week I’ll post the following message on my page: “Have a computer or tech question? Ask it here and we’ll answer it for free!”  I’ve had a handful of folks take me up on this.  It gets your followers engaged with you and keeps your business on their radar.

Share News About Your Company (Every now and then)

Have a new service offering?  Opening a new location?  Recently hired an employee?  Be sure to share all your business milestones with your Facebook community.  Avoid talking about yourself and your business too often or you’ll start to fall into the “selfish pushy” group instead of the “valuable resource” group in your customer’s mind.

That concludes this series on Facebook for Computer Consultants.  I hope you learned something and, more importantly, have taken action to start or improve your own presence on Facebook.  Please be sure to leave a link to your computer business Facebook page in the comments so we can all learn from each other and be inspired!

About Matthew Rodela

Matthew started YFNCG as a way to chronicle his journey in starting a computer business. It has grown to be a resource where anyone can learn to start and grow a computer business. When he's not running his business, Matthew spends his time playing Trumpet with the Maryland National Guard Band.

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