Small Business Resources: Using Facebook to Promote Your Business and Build Brand Awareness

August 23, 2012

In this edition of my Small Business Resources series, I want to briefly look at how to use Facebook to promote your business and build brand awareness (check out last week's post for a general overview of the social media tools I use). These days, having a presence on Facebook is as important as having your own website. In fact, many companies are opting to eliminate the company website altogether and only have a Facebook page.  

Here are some key tips when it comes to managing your business' Facebook page:

- Interact with your fans and be authentic. Technology has given us the opportunity to get to know our customer base better and learn more about what draws them to a particular brand. It's important to view your Facebook posts as conversations with potential and existing customers. Don't be afraid to ask questions or elicit feedback on new products or events. Think about what types of posts you would like to read. Also, make sure you respond to what fans post on your page. I've definitely come across companies' pages where customers post questions, praise, or complaints and the page moderator never takes the time to respond to them. No one likes being ignored!

- Make your status updates interesting. I've found my most successful posts have been when I share sneak peeks of new products, invite fans to upcoming events, or ask questions. Photos tend to elicit the highest response rate.

- Don't over-post. No one wants their Facebook news feed to be bombarded with posts from one company or person. The quickest way to lose Facebook followers is to overtake their feeds and annoy them. I prefer to post just once a day.

- Timing is important. There has been endless analysis about the best time of day to share updates on Facebook. Consensus seems to be that lunchtime (around noon) and early evening on weekdays tend to be optimal times for capturing the most views.

- Take advantage of Facebook Insights. What's the point of using Facebook to promote your business if you don't know how people are engaging with your page? Use Insights, Facebook's analytics tool, to see if all of your hard work is paying off. 

- Pay attention to Facebook's changes. Facebook is always changing its policies and updating its tools, and it's important to stay on top of the news so you can keep your page looking its best. For example, when Facebook changed to the timeline layout, I knew I needed to add an eye-catching cover photo. I also learned how to highlight important posts so they appear more prominently on my page. Mashable is a great source for keeping up to speed with social media news. 

- Make sure you have a Facebook widget on your company's website. One of the best ways to promote your Facebook page is to feature a link to that page on your company's website. Promote your Facebook page on email newsletters and add a link to your page in your email signature. 

Do you have any tips for using Facebook to promote your business? 

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