Everyone from your grandma to your childhood pen pal has Facebook, and you know it’s an important site that gets plenty of eyeballs each day. But is Facebook really worth your efforts as a business owner? The answer is yes, when used correctly. Some entrepreneurs slap a generic question or comment on their Facebook status, leave it alone, and then wonder why they aren’t earning hundreds of fans each week. But when you utilize the social media site properly, Facebook can become an important branding tool for your company. Some best practices for businesses on Facebook include:
- Timing posts properly
Most people get into work, check e-mail, and drink a cup of coffee before they dive right in. Though this may drive you crazy as a boss, use it to your advantage when it comes to connecting with your fans. Morning posts will get more views and interaction than those posted later in the day. Studies show that posts at 9 a.m. gain the most traction throughout the day. Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are the most active days on Facebook when it comes to sharing information. Using these facts, you’ll be able to connect with fans more effectively as they peruse the site.
- Engaging content
Just as you zone out when someone at a cocktail party is blabbering on about a topic that you find dull and dry, Facebook users won’t stick around if what you’re saying doesn’t interest them or is too self-promotional. A quick “Wow! It’s so hot out there today!” is forgettable, irrelevant and frankly annoying brand behavior. It may even get you unfollowed. Instead, share links to useful articles, funny images, or interesting facts. When you’re providing something that benefits the Facebook user, they’ll feel more likely to connect with your brand.
Let’s face it: many Internet users are lazy. They’d rather look at a compelling image than read a big block of text. Take advantage of this and post captivating pictures along with your statuses. You don’t need a fancy camera; just make sure the image will make an impression on the viewer. A shot snapped of Barack and Michelle Obama after the president’s re-election quickly became one of the most shared images on the Internet. Considering that point, a status that said, “President and Mrs. Obama are thrilled about the re-election,” would not have had anywhere close to the same impact. Now, realize this is simply an analogy, we wouldn’t recommend showcasing political, religious or other controversial topic matter, pictures or posts if you are looking for material for a business Facebook page. That sort of thing can alienate your audience if they do not share your viewpoint.
- Use your cover photo wisely
A cover photo is an important space for a business. It allows you to reflect company culture and values, while further communicating exactly what your business stands for. In fact, a recent study found that visitors pay far more attention to your cover photo than any content found on your Facebook wall. With this in mind, take some time and put some thought into the image. If you’re running a promotion or preparing to open a new location, incorporate this into the cover photo (just make sure that the cover image isn’t all text-based or an advertisement; Facebook has rules about that). It’s also wise to give your brand a human face by using pictures of people (either employees or customers) in the image.
- Ask for feedback
Most consumers love to give their input about a product or brand, so use your Facebook page to get this information for free instead of paying for focus groups. If you’re thinking about unveiling a new flavor at your ice cream shop, ask fans what sounds most appealing. If you’ve recently made changes to a product or are getting ready to launch a new product line, ask how past or current customers feel about it. People want to feel like the brand cares about their opinion, so this is a good way to connect on a deeper level.
By putting a personal spin on a business’s Facebook page and engaging users, a brand becomes more appealing and memorable to a consumer who is constantly inundated with advertising messages.
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