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11 tips for using Facebook for business

11 tips for using Facebook for business

Small business owners and social media marketers discuss how you can use Facebook to promote your brand, engage with customers and grow your business.

Over a billion people from around the world visit Facebook every day to connect with friends and family – and visit their favorite businesses. That’s a billion potential opportunities to get your products or services noticed.

And while having a Facebook page for your business is a good start to building an online community (and attracting new customers), to successfully leverage Facebook for business, follow these 11 tips.

1. Enable native checkout

“For retailers who are trying to grow their business on Facebook, it's critical to think beyond a simple company page,” says Nate Stewart, group product manager at BigCommerce. “While that may help grow visibility, it doesn't guarantee a sale. Instead, retailers need to make it easy for customers to convert without ever leaving the digital walls of Facebook by enabling native checkout. Beyond providing an additional opportunity to make a sale, tools like native checkout create a positive (and simplified) purchase experience for the customer – a win-win in today's competitive retail environment.”

2. Post regularly

“The lifespan of a post on Facebook is very short,” says Erika Taylor Montgomery, CEO & chief publicist, Three Girls Media. “The more regularly you post, the higher the chances your posts will be seen. “We recommend at least once a day, although three times a day is ideal. At Three Girls Media, we've seen the Facebook pages we're most consistent with perform best for us as well as for clients. In fact, we've seen many client accounts' engagement improve once we start[ed] posting updates regularly.”

3. Hold contests and giveaways

“Conduct giveaways on Facebook,” says Grainne Kelly, founder, BubbleBum. “This is a great way to grow your social media followings and gain new customers.”

Facebook has an app to help you run a contest on your Facebook page – or you can run a contest or giveaway on your own. It can be as simple as having someone like your Facebook business page and enter their email address to win free product or some other prize.

4. Offer Facebook-only discounts and promotions

Make your Facebook followers feel special by offering them discount codes and promotions only available to Facebook followers, as well as advance notice of upcoming sales.

5. Share content your audience will find fun or helpful

“Share interesting content – and not just about your brand,” says Jody Serrano, communications manager, MainTool. “People can get bored [or turned off] if they see you talk about yourself all the time. However, they will appreciate you making an effort to provide content that’s interesting and useful to them.”

(Though if there’s some big or exciting news about your business – say you were featured on Shark Tank – by all means share!)

“We post anything we think would keep customers engaged,” says David Krippendorf, founder & CEO, kSafe (formerly The Kitchen Safe). “We've showed our product being made in the factory, stories about customers and interesting press. One of our product videos went viral. In the first day of posting, it received 10 million views [climbing to] 25 million [by] Day 3. That has really boosted our sales.”

So how often is it OK to write about your business? “Follow the 70-30 rule on Facebook: 70 percent of the content should be interesting and helpful to your readers, and only 30 percent should be promotional,” says Liza Viana, CEO, CMK Marketing. “People will get tired of just reading about your latest product, service, sale, etc. They want information that is helpful to them or interesting, even fun! Don't be boring and self-serving.”

6. Post original and customer-generated photos (with permission)

When posting on Facebook, include photos of your products, especially people using them. Also encourage customers to share their photos of them using your products. There’s no better testament than a photo showing someone enjoying your products or service.

7. Use native video instead of posting from YouTube

“When posting videos, we tell our clients to embed, embed, embed,” says Patricia Kilgore, owner and president, Sterling Kilgore. “Instead of linking to YouTube, embed the video directly to your page. The videos will play automatically in the news feeds of your fans, which can lead to a significant spike in total views and clicks. It’s a must.”

“If content is king, then video is prince,” says Kelsey Nelson, senior content manager, Ferebee Lane + Co. “If you’re looking to increase the organic reach of your posts, consider adding [video] to your content mix. Facebook’s algorithm favors native video – not outside links to places like YouTube or Vimeo – allowing for a better opportunity for more people to see your content.”

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