Connect
It’s here, it’s in your face, and love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. The big question is – should you like it, or should you lump it?
Today we’re going to look at 5 reasons why we love Facebook, and, more to the point, why it can be good for your business:

1. It links and connects us to others.
Facebook, from the beginning, was a tool designed to bring people together, and at its best, it can do just that. It is a type of news-stream from family and friends which, allows us to feel more connected and up to date with each other. We know people in real life, and Facebook allows us to deepen that connection, and gives us a channel to chat to each other too (great for when you don’t have someone’s contact details). It also makes it very easy for family/friends/clients to refer you to other people who might want to work with you.
2. It’s like a two way mirror.
From a business point of view, it allows us to show a more human side of ourself which, can help to build or strengthen our working relationships (we recommend getting to grips with privacy settings, which is not so hard to do). It also allows us a view into the lives of others, and we have the chance to show appreciation or enjoyment of the things they choose to share (strong boundaries are recommended). This is where Facebook has its real power. You build relationships by showing more of yourself. Tracy posts pictures of her dog and cat – hugely popular. She also writes down the funny things her children say – also popular. She uses her settings carefully to make sure that certain parts of her life are only shared with her closest family and friends. (You can learn more about settings in the Facebook help pages – and we’ll be posting more about this topic very soon.)
3. We can connect with others through interest groups.
Some of us are already members of different groups on Facebook. The Arnica Network and the Homeopathy Professionals group are two, very different and very large groups where conversations take place about many topics. It is a great way to get to know other homeopaths, to support each other and have input into cases and other professional matters. It’s very informal. You can hop in and out of conversations whenever you wish. Post a question and you’ll have some responses within the hour, as a general rule.
4. It is a visual medium. 
As humans, we are strongly visual. Facebook is a visual medium, unlike email (for example). It has been designed to make it very easy to add links, copy photos and share documents, etc. It does take a bit of practice, for sure, but just like riding a bicycle or learning to drive, after a while you are on automatic pilot. As more and more of us become smartphone users, it becomes easier and easier to be spontaneous and update our Facebook on the go.
5. We can use it to set up a business page for free. 
A Facebook business page can be a great way to show your family and friends what you do. You can ask your clients to ‘like’ it. You can attract new clients, as your family, friends and existing clients invite their friends and family to ‘like’ it too. Once we have a Facebook business page, we can add a link to it on our website and we can add links to it within our newsletters. All of these links help to give our website an improved ranking in search engines (wow, and we thought it was all about keywords and search-terms!) A business page gives a potential client a place to check you out, to find out a little bit more about the real you, to help them decide whether or not they’d like to work with you. We mentioned this before, but we’ll say it again: you are your business and your business is you. Your potential client is looking for the person behind the therapy. Yes, they do want their health issues to be resolved, but they’re looking for the right person to help them do that. Remember at college when they talked about your USP – your Unique Selling Point – and it was really hard to figure out what that was? Facebook can give you a chance to do that. It gives you a place to find your USP. You have a design or a logo, but what lies underneath that? Not sure? Don’t worry, we’re going to help you find that out too.
SO – have we convinced you?
No? Ok, come back next week, we’ll be talking about websites. Maybe you’ll like that more. 🙂
Yes? Great – here are
A few tips for setting up your Facebook page.
1 Names and faces
Make sure you have the same photo as on your website. (Hopefully a nice, smiley, professional portrait.) When you choose a name for your page, include all or part of your name. Research tells us that people prefer names and faces to logos and company names.
2 Appearance
If you have a design or a logo on your website, make the banner on your Facebook page using the same image. If you don’t have a design or logo on your website, use a good quality photo of something else. Tools of the trade, your practice room, your books, your local landscape. Anything except a ‘stock photo’. It needs to look genuine and real rather than bland and glossy. Ask someone who is good with photos to adjust the light, colour balance and maybe use a filter. All photos can be improved hugely with a few adjustments.
3 Selecting a category
When you select a category, you can decide on one that suits you best. If you choose a local business, don’t include the address or check the box that asks if you want to include reviews. Reviews sound like they could be a good idea, but anyone can write one, and it is better to be safe than sorry.
4 Invite people
Invite people to like your page, but select people carefully. Tracy doesn’t invite anyone who works in reseach, anything scientific, or anyone who works for the NHS unless she knows for sure that they are interested in homeopathy. If she doesn’t know them very well at all, she doesn’t invite them.
5 Write something positive for your first post
Try to keep your Facebook business page focused on you and your business, not on homeopathy. Research shows that the most popular posts are those that are friendly, upbeat, positive and real. Tracy learned a lot from following business pages that were not about homeopathy, but were other types of successful small businesses. She found that the pages with lots of ‘behind the scenes’ photos and comments were the most popular. Once she changed her posts to pictures of her life as a homeopath, many more people started to like her posts.
We’re going to stop here. There is a lot more to say and share, but we’ll save that for another time.
As always, we’d love to hear from you. If you have any comments or suggestions, just drop us a line.
See you next week! (We’ll be getting into the nitty gritty about how to have a successful website.)
Tracy and Lulu

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