You have spent days finalizing your new website. The design is perfect and matches the look and feel of your business. Every box is aligned and the fonts have been carefully selected to clearly convey your message and encourage the visitor to peruse your site.
You may have even have gone one step further.
You set up a Facebook Business Page with a stunning cover photograph to match the design of your website. Voila! You have created a seamless online presence that is unique and all yours.
But you are only halfway there.
Despite your valiant efforts – and they have been worthwhile – you have done only the first step. Creating a website, a Facebook page or a Twitter account is analogous to printing business cards – and keeping them in your pocket. You have to DISTRIBUTE the business cards in order to bring in the customers.
Similarly, with a business Facebook page, you have to build it, maintain it and then keep high quality, interesting content coming…
So what’s the secret to promoting a business on Facebook?
On Facebook, traffic is about interactions, which can come in the form of comments, likes and shares. All of these are fundamental to promoting your business on Facebook. The more buzz you can generate around your business page, the more likely you will be able to turn curious Facebook friends (and friends of friends) into paying customers.
Below is a list of tips to take to help increase your activity on Facebook.
1. Create a Facebook Business page.
Different from a Facebook Personal page, you can set up a page that is only about your business. This is a great way to create separation between your private life and your business life. To learn about how to set up a page on Facebook, you can go here.
Image Source: Different Hand Festures via Shutterstock.
Once you have created your business page, take some time to build up your likes! Tell your friends, invite your family and shamelessly ask for people to like your page. This fundamental network will provide your initial boost of support to help you distribute your message, so more is always better.
Once you have some likes, it’s time to turn your page and your supporters into actively engaged users and future customers.
2. Stand Out!
Make a name for yourself!
Whether in the design of your page, the words you write or the photos and videos you post, you want to stand out. Amidst the blur of endless content that clutters your Newsfeed, you want your posts to stand apart from the rest. Eyes are naturally drawn to photos, graphics and videos.
Visual, rather than text posts attract attention in Newsfeeds and increase the likelihood that users will engage with your content. According to Facebook, posts that include a photo album, picture or video are more likely to receive Likes, shares and comments.
3. Emote! (Don’t hide your feelings)
Just as in “real life,” virtual communication works best when you share your feelings. While it’s important to maintain a professional tone and to keep your look and feel in line with your business’ aesthetic, you do want to create real, human connections with your fan base. Posts with emoticons get more likes and comments!
Image Source: Emoticons via Shutterstock.
So smile, frown and wink at will – catch your reader’s eye by telling them how you really feel.
4. Ask and You Shall Receive!
Asking your fans for help and support is a great way to engage your Facebook audience. It is widely accepted – and highly effective to ask your Facebook followers and friends to share, like and comment on your post or even better – to visit your website, visit your store and shop!
If you tell them explicitly how you would like them to engage, users are more likely to oblige and many will be happy to help.
5. Small Talk
Like a good cocktail party goer, effective Facebook promotion relies upon creating conversations. One great way to do this (In real life and virtually!) is to ask questions. Ask visitors to share their thoughts and opinions on your posts. Statistics show that question posts generate a lot more comments, but do not tend to drive shares or likes.
Your goal is to encourage your followers and their friends to interact and share a piece of themselves on the page – ideally in the form of more than just a “Like.” Write questions that can be answered briefly – with a yes or a no. Most Facebook users won’t take the time to write long-winded responses to vague or philosophical questions.
Keep it simple.
6. Play to their Competitive Side!
You can always create a buzz with a contest and a chance to win. Words like “Giveway” “Free” and Winner” always catch our eye as we scan through our feeds, particularly if the words are from a friend or a business we know and trust. You can encourage interactions, postings, pictures and more by starting a contest on your website. Ask followers for favorite pictures, recipes or memories. (And be sure to give out prizes!)
But you don’t need to have a contest to create the buzz. Just by using BUZZ words – like “Free!” “Exclusive” or “Sale,” you can encourage interactions. Plan posts and wording carefully so you can make every post a winner!
7. Brevity is the Soul of All Wit
Even if Shakespeare wasn’t on Facebook, he still offers some good Social Media Tips.
For the most part, you want to keep your posts short and sweet. People rarely have the attention span to read long, text-heavy posts. That being said, very long posts from time to time can spark conversations and debates that lead to higher engagement levels.
On a daily basis, write short comments or post an image. Brief humorous or witty posts are fun for people to “Like” as they scroll over them quickly in their newsfeed.
Sprinkle in longer posts from time to time when you have something of value to add. Think carefully about the quality of what you are posting. If the content you post is intriguing and well written, your post can spark a conversation or lively debate filled with longer comments.
8. Timing is Everything.
In the mornings, we are racing around getting kids to school, navigating rush hour traffic or catching up on email. This is a slower time of day on Facebook. As the day progresses and the post-lunch fatigue sinks it, people start engaging with Facebook. After 5 pm, things really pick up – this is Prime Time on Facebook too!
Image Source: Different Hand Festures via Shutterstock.
And don’t forget to post on weekends!
Many people use Facebook more on weekends than during the week. Weekends are a good time to spark longer conversations because users will have more time to engage and respond. Rainy, lazy Sundays are opportune moments – your visitors will have lots of time to read your posts, respond with comments, shares and likes.
9. Don’t Take Short Cuts
When you post a link on Facebook, you don’t want to use a URL shortener like Bitly. It’s important to write out the entire URL. Research has shown that users want to know where they are clicking before they go so they are more likely to click on a link and engage with your post if you write the whole link out.
This isn’t Twitter! No need to save space with abbreviated URLs.
10. Finally, Don’t Forget to Link Back to your Website!
All this flurry of activity on Facebook will only turn into real dollars if the customers come into your brick and mortar store, call you on the phone or purchase from your online store. Just as you want to make sure your website has a link to your business Facebook page, you also want to remind your Facebook friends to check out your website from time to time. Every few posts, you can remind them of a sale or new product on your website – and post a link! This is a great way to use Facebook to bring visitors to your site.
Once you have started using your Facebook page regularly, these simple tools will quickly become second nature. As you post more and follow new pages, your network will grow and your users will become much more engaged.
Remember to write content and post images and video that is truly compelling and high quality. If you find it boring, your readers probably will too! Try to find something worthwhile to post; posting for the sake of posting will quickly become transparent to your readers and can lead to UnLikes.
On the other hand, a great Facebook page manager will build a reputation for good posts – funny pictures, wise sayings or reliable tips! As fans come to know and love your page as a great spot for interesting content, they will be more likely to come back and engage in the future.