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Facebook for Small Businesses

January 17, 2014 0 Comments

With over 1.2 billion users, many businesses are finding Facebook to be a great way to engage potential customers and build brand awareness. In fact, 25 million small business pages now exist on Facebook. While it may have been a competitive advantage in the past to have a page on Facebook, now it is a norm to stay competitive. That being said, not all business pages are created equal.

You have all came across a business page on Facebook that was rarely updated and was poorly set up with bad visual appeal. Probably one of your first impressions after seeing the page was that the business was very small, with few customers, and probably wasn’t very legit. While I am generalizing here, it is important to note that an outdated, crappy Facebook page will do your brand no good. So if you are going to have a page, you want to make sure it adds benefit to your business.

Here are tips on how to make the most out of Facebook for your business.

Be Consistent

I see business Facebook pages all the time that are not maintained with relevant and timely content. The page owner may post frequently for awhile but then gets busy with other things and posts become few and far between. You must post daily to engage your audience and keep them interested in your content. This includes the weekend as well. Even though your business may not be open on the weekend, your audience is still online. However, you do not want to post too frequently or you will cannibalize your earlier posts and patiently annoy your audience.

Know Your Audience

Facebook Insights provides a lot of great information on your target audience. This will help you when deciding that types of content to post and at what time you should post them.

This chart shows when your audience is online. Post statuses when the most people are on.

facebook-times

This chart shows the age and gender demographics of your audience. You can use this to tailor statues based on age and gender appropriate topics.

facebook-likes

Do Not Be too Salesy

Your business Facebook page is for building brand awareness and keeping your audience engaged and in one place. It is not necessary a place where you were convert customers (at least not directly). People like great content, they do not, however, like to be blatantly pitched to, especially on Facebook. The quickest way to alienate your audience is by posting tons of “buy now” and prices on your page.

Vary Types of Content

Do not just post all pictures or all links. From my experience, text statuses get the most organic exposure, followed by pictures, followed by links. (of course this depends of lot of factors). A good content strategy uses a variety of content types to engage their audience. There is so much content on Facebook for people to consume, you need to make sure you are keeping yours relevant, interesting, and engaging.

Ideas for content:

  • Common interests such as local events or fun facts – show interest in what your audience is interested in.
  • Helpful tips and good information around things of interest to your target audience.
  • Things happening in your business like a new opening of a store, a new product line, a new employee. Be creative.

Ideas for different ways to present content:

  • Ask questions

    facebook-ask-questions
  • Play on emotions and nostalgia

    facebook-nostalgia
  • Leave blanks to fill in

    facebook-leave-blanks
  • Ask people if they would “like” to do something

    facebook-like-question
  • Give them choices

    facebook-choices

Engage

If people make a comment, join in on the conversation. People are more likely to engage with your page if the page engages with them. Be responsive. Do not take months to respond to comments and messages. You can also seed likes and engagement. Have your employees join in on the conversation. The more engagement a status has, the more people will see it.

Experiment

There is no special formula for engaging people on Facebook. While the tips above will help you build an engaged audience, you must try things out. Each audience is unique so something that might work well with one audience will have terrible results with another. You need to try things to find out what works for your specific audience. Have fun with it.

 
If you have any additional tips, please share them in the comments below.

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About the Author

Jenny Villalobos is the account manager at Digital Aptitude. She keeps projects on track while creating content and managing social media communities for clients. Beyond work she loves to travel and plan events. Follow her on Twitter.

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