Apr
12

Facebook: Is Your Chapter There?

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Since Facebook arrived in Australia in 2005, it has changed the way we keep in touch with people we have met face-to-face.  And with 1 in 3 Australians now on Facebook, this online tool is a great way to boost your offline marketing.

BNI Australia has been active on Facebook for over 12 months now, and we have been having a blast with it!  We would love you and your chapter to start taking advantage of this great networking tool, too.

Maybe you like the idea of using Facebook for your chapter – but are not quite sure where to start?  No problem: we’ve put together a Facebook guide (below) and four videos to help you get up and running.  You can find these helpful step-by-step guides on the BNI Blog.

Let’s get into it!

Why Facebook?

Before we get to the nuts and bolts of how to set up your chapter’s Facebook page, let’s have a quick look at why your chapter should start a Facebook page.  The top reasons are:

  • Increase the visibility of chapter members and their businesses,
  • Increase the visibility of the chapter as a whole,
  • Increase the number of visitors and thus potential referrals and members for each chapter,
  • Highlight the benefits of visiting your chapter over other chapter and associations,
  • Provide education, and
  • Promote chapter and member events.

Setting Up Your Page

Ok, great, so setting up a Facebook page makes sense in terms of benefits but how do we actually go about doing it?

Firstly, check with your Executive or Assistant Director before you set up a completely new page. Many chapters already have basic pages in place, set up by proactive Directors.  If your page is not yet up, or you need some help with your existing page, check out our Facebook-page tutorial videos on the BNI Blog for help.

Once you’ve got the all-clear, you will need to enter the following details:

Page Category: Select ‘Local Business or Place’ then ‘Professional Service’. or Select ‘Company, Organisation & Institution’ then ‘Consulting/Business Services’ See the video for more details on this

Page Name: Use the following format: BNI Chapter Name – Business Networking Region. For example, the City Fringe chapter located in Sydney would be: ‘BNI City Fringe – Business Networking Sydney.’

Branding: Please ensure you only use branding provided by BNI Australia.  The branding is available for download here along with video instructions on how to install it.

Info Tab: This is the main area on Facebook where you can provide static information to promote the BNI brand and your local chapter.  We can provide you with information in template form, if you prefer, otherwise here is a guide to what you should include:

    • Your chapter name,
    • Your local meeting location, time and building name, and
    • An overview of BNI, including:
      • The structure (international, national and local),
      • Information on referral marketing,
      • The number of members in the chapter,
      • Information about closed business,
      • Current members represented in the chapter, and
      • Types of members required.

Page Access: Facebook pages can be modified by people with ‘Admin’ access.  You must provide admin access to either your Executive or Assistant Director – check with your local office for more information.

Username: The username is the unique shortened URL for your chapter’s Facebook page and can only be set up by your Executive or Assistant Director.  Please check with them for further information.

Bring Your Page To Life

Now that your page is set up, it is time to bring it to life!  Adding regular content is what will turn your page into an active and thriving community that will attract new members and retain existing ones.

The type of content you share on your page can be divided into sub-sections to make it easier to share.

You should aim to post at least once per day.  Make sure you spread the topics you post on over a range of areas (that is, don’t focus on just one aspect of BNI, or networking), and make sure there are several people in your chapter scheduled to post items to the page so the workload is shared.

Attraction Content

One of the main aims of your chapter’s Facebook page will be to attract new Facebook ‘fans’ (and thus new chapter visitors and members).  With this in mind, you should tailor the content to the needs of your local business community, as these are the people you want to attract.

Ideally, your chapter’s Facebook page should serve as the hub of business networking information in your local area.

Therefore, you might like to include posts with information about:

      • Other local networking events,
      • News from chamber and local council website and pages, or
      • Local community events such as fundraisers, family days, sporting events, fetes and markets.

Education Content

Another great type of content to include on your chapter’s Facebook page is educational material.  That way anyone interested in networking and referral marketing will be interested in your page.  When you include this kind of material it not only boosts the credibility of your chapter, but of the BNI brand as well.

The great thing about BNI educational content is that there is a huge amount of material already prepared that you can use.  Just check out the following pages and copy and paste what you need:

Member Visibility Content

Your Facebook page not only gives your chapter as a whole a chance to shine, but individual members too!  This is a great way to build their credibility.  Here are some ways you can highlight your fellow members:

      • Chapter closed business values [weekly or monthly]: Do you want more business?  This week BNI City CBD passed $24,560.35 worth of closed business between members.  Great work!
      • Specific referrals people are looking for: Frederick Marcoux from BNI Australia is looking to connect with Mark Smith who is the Marketing Manager of XZY Pty Ltd located in Perth.  Can you help Frederick with an intro?
      • Content from your chapter members’ pages, to position them as experts.

Focusing on individual members is a great way to share their skills and knowledge, and to build their credibility.  Just make sure you ‘tag’ members that you post about by including ‘@’ before their name so Facebook can create a clickable link to their profile or business page.  Easy.

Promotional Content

Promotional content is designed to ‘soft sell’ potential members to visit your BNI chapter.  Some examples include information on:

      • Visitors days
      • Specific categories
      • E.g. ‘Are you a plumber looking for more work?  We have 25 business owners waiting to pass jobs on to you.  Contact XYZ to meet with us.’
      • Such as social catch-ups.

7 Tips For Getting Your Chapter On Board

Everything we do in BNI is based on team work and commitment, and maintaining your chapter’s Facebook page is no different.

With this in mind we have put together 7 tips for getting your chapter behind Facebook campaigns, and to keep your page rocking along:

      1. Create a Facebook position on the leadership team,
      2. Put together a Social Media Committee,
      3. Brainstorm for content ideas as a whole chapter,
      4. Post 1 to 2 times per day,
      5. Make up a schedule of the content you are going to share and who will post it,
      6. Schedule your posts using HootSuite, a program designed to automatically post your updates whenever you choose, and
      7. Share content from others pages: BNI Australia, your regional chapter pages, other networking groups, other business pages, members’ pages.

Remember, when talking with your fellow chapter members about starting your chapter’s Facebook page that it is a great way to increase the visibility of all members and thus more referrals for everyone.

Follow the Rules

So you are nearly set to go!  The last point to mention is that it is good to have a few rules in place, just so everyone has a positive experience on your page.  Here are a few Facebook-etiquette tips we have put together:

      • Keep on topic: Only share information relevant to your page including networking, business referrals, your experience with BNI, etc.,
      • Stick to Facebook’s Statement of Rights & Responsibilities,
      • Think before your post.  Check spelling and grammar,
      • Remember it is a social platform not a self-promotion platform,
      • Don’t spam others on Facebook,
      • Remember Giver’s Gain®, and
      • Keep your posts positive and upbeat.

Try some of these tips – and let us know how you go.  Any questions? Get in touch at social.media@bni.com.au

By Natalie Alaimo

Natalie Alaimo is the National Social Media Director for BNI Australia.  She also runs social media training business, Natalie Alaimo International, teaching entrepreneurs how to leverage the power of social media to generate an avalanche of clients.  Visit her online to download a FREE copy of “The Social Media Blueprint – 9 Steps To Getting Results FAST on Social Media”.

Categories : Facebook

Comments

  1. You know very well about social entrepreneurship, hu likes it.
    You are great in it

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