As promised in my blog on Which Social Media Channels Should I Use For My Business?, I am following up with a more in-depth detailed blog on how to use Facebook for your business to get results.
Facebook is by far the biggest social media channel, with an updated estimate of 1.26 billion people using the site, 699 million (updated for October) active users each day, and generates up to 645 million local business page views per week. Facebook has proved its popularity amongst users is here to stay. Facebook can be thought of as the “social” home for your business on the Internet. It’s a place where people can go to leave a message, browse through business products and photos, or chat with you online.
With so many TARGETED potential customers, creating a Business Page is a must. Remember that your Page needs to be updated on a daily basis with not only promotional information, but engaging and interesting content as well. Know that this platform needs a considerable amount of human and financial resources (Facebook advertising), and, if done right, the benefits to your business will absolutely be seen.
Before you start with your Facebook Business Page, you must ask yourself:
1. Is this the right target for my business?
- Who is your target audience? Make a list of who and where they are.
- Determine if Facebook is the place where your audience can be found.
- At this time, 45% of Facebook users are women while 55% are men, with the largest age demographic being between 25 and 34. Here are some more useful demographics worth checking out.
- Are your products or services suitable for Facebook.
2. Do I have the resources to make this successful?
- Human Resources: Creating content, posting consistently, replying to comments and questions (should be done within 24 hours) and engaging with your audience as well as ongoing advertising on Facebook does take up a lot of time.
- Financial Resources: Advertising on Facebook is definitely a must to increase your fan base. You can start as low as $50 per month and go as high as your budget allows. This is the only way to get results. Promotions and competitions also cost money. Whatever you do, avoid high interest loans to fund ads on these platforms.
3. Can I make a long-term commitment to this?
- You have to be able to commit to consistent, daily posting over a long period of time in order to get results.
Techniques on best ways to post to Facebook
- Photos and images are more likely to be Liked and Shared by Fans, while text updates are more likely to get Fan Comments.
- Posting on Saturdays and Sundays have a higher Like percentage.
- Shorter posts are more likely to be Shared.
- Content that is posted later in the day is more likely to be Liked and Shared.
- Posts that are more neutral (neither a negative nor a positive tone) tend to get fewer Likes
- Check out more information on these statistics here.
- Statistics show that 19.4% of Americans cannot access Facebook at work. Take the time of your posts into consideration and when your Fans will see this in their News Feed.
- Another very important aspect of Facebook is the use of Hashtags (#). When posting about a topic, remember to use a hashtag to highlight the important #keyword. A user can click on this hashtag word and see all the related results for that word. The hastag helps to make your post more searchable for Facebook users. By including a hashtag in your update, you can get in front of people who may not have seen your post otherwise and can create extra buzz and exposure for your business. Learn more about using hashtags on Facebook.
Remember that you will have to monitor engagement and draw conclusions about your own Page and its Fans to optimize your presence and results.
Top tips for posting to Facebook
Tip #1: Post to your Facebook Page on a regular basis.
- Keep your content fresh and new. Statistics show that the best engagement is toward the end of the week and on weekends. Times to post are debatable, ranging from 9am to 7pm, but again, monitor your own page insights to see what works best.
Tip #2: Plan ahead
- Plan your content a week or even a month ahead! Creating a content calendar is key and will help you to get more creative and plan more strategically smart posts, as well as being more consistent with your posts.
Tip #3: Content
- Remember to adhere to the 80/20 rule – 80% provide compelling, interesting, funny, even personal content, 20% should be about your products/services. Don’t always talk about yourself or your products.
- Once you have set up your Facebook Page, you will want to grow it, and to do this, you need to be consistent, relevant and excited in the content you post.
Tip #4: Photos and Images
- Photos and images get 53% more likes, 84% more click-throughs and a 104% more comments than the average text post does. Photos were found to make up a whopping 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook.
- Remember that image size is important – how it displays to your fans will dictate their engagement as well. For some great info, check out the Ultimate Social Media Size Cheat Sheet.
Tip #5: Reward your Fans
- Reward your fans for their ‘participation’ in your Page. Small gifts like a company branded T-shirt or gift-card, discounts on products, exclusive offers are great ideas. People love freebies and giving it away to the most engaging fans will incourage sharing on their personal pages and promote viral activity. Here are other ideas.
Before deciding to develop your Facebook Business Page, invest the time to make a clear and implementable plan. Many business owners lose their business focus and get “lost” trying to come to terms with social media, which will have a negative effective on the business. A plan really helps you stay focused.
You may consider outsourcing this or hire someone in-house (either full or part-time) if you do not have the time to do it.
Don’t get frustrated. Stick with it. Facebook takes time and an investment of your time over a sustained period, in order to achieve results.
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