Of all the social media marketing platforms available today, Facebook is the reigning juggernaut. With an estimated 1.23 billion daily users, Facebook has an enormous potential customer base for businesses of all shapes and sizes. But it leaves the question, with so many potential customers— and, potential competitors— how can you and your company make your presence known?
Here are 10 quick tips that are easy to implement, and will help you optimize your presence on Facebook:
1. Use a profile image (and cover photo) that best represents your brand.
First impressions matter. Using an image for your profile picture that accurately represents your brand— and a cover photo that enhances it— offers Facebook users a quick glimpse of who you are and what your company does. Whether your profile pic is your company logo, headshot, or something that captures the essence of your brand, this photo has a valuable function. Because your profile image is what users will see most often when scrolling through their newsfeed, it should both identify you and set you apart immediately!
2. Choose your (key)words wisely.
On Facebook, you have several opportunities to increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by sprinkling in keywords that others use to search for the service you or your company offers. Take advantage of the informational fields provided on your Facebook business page, including the About, Description, Short Description, Company Overview, Mission, and Products. Add unique company information in each field (don’t copy and paste the same statement over and over), and use each one to incorporate different keywords that will lead new customers straight to you.
3. Promote your page through other venues.
Facebook is a valuable marketing tool, but its power is lost if no one knows you have a page! Do you have a physical business or store? Use a sign at the counter that asks customers to follow you on Facebook. Do you send monthly newsletters or emails to your clients? Include a Facebook page “Like” button in all your signatures. Do you utilize other platforms, like Twitter, LinkedIn, or your own business webpage? Share a link to your Facebook page on that site. Get your Facebook company page front and center to drive traffic back to you.
4. Post well.
While you’re driving traffic to your Facebook page, you have to offer customers and prospective clients something worth liking and following. Your content should be engaging to entice Facebook users to comment, share, and come back for more. Need some fast ideas for content? Post one of your blogs, upload a clever video, use images and quotes, share links to relevant articles, or ask a question. It may sound self-defeating, but try to keep self-promotional posts to 10-20% of your content; aim to position your brand as a source of information, to persuade followers to use your services organically, based on the great content you offer.
5. Post often.
How often you post to your page may depend on your specific audience, but you should take into account how quickly a Facebook newsfeed fills with posts. You want to have optimum opportunity for your content to be seen. Generally, posting one to three times per day will help increase your reach without feeling “spammy”!
6. Post at optimum times.
The perfect time to post on Facebook is a subject constantly up for debate. Again, much of your posting may need to be tailored for your specific audience and when they hang out on Facebook. If you’re looking for baseline timetable to get started, the best times to share on Facebook are between 1:00 and 4:00pm. Try posting based on this general rule-of-thumb, and adjust, as needed, depending on what you see happening in your Facebook Insights and Analytics.
7. Measure your Facebook Insights and Analytics.
Speaking of Facebook Insights and Analytics, keeping a close eye on yours will help you optimize your presence by discovering what is and isn’t working on your page. Did your audience watch that DIY video you shared? Was posting that cat meme at 10:00pm successful? How many people did your boosted post reach? You can keep tabs on these questions by reviewing your Insights and Analytics weekly, and using the results to try different strategies, or to amp up the ones getting the best return.
8. Try Facebook Live Videos.
Facebook Live rolled out roughly a year ago, and with it came a new way to market your business. Not only can these live videos improve your reach, they can take less time than writing individual posts, and offer a fresh way to interact with your audience. Try using Facebook Live the next time you want to promote an upcoming event, share a “behind the scenes” clip of your business, or host a Q & A session to boost customer service.
9. Buy Facebook ads and boosts.
Facebook ads allow you to target specific groups and demographics. Boosted posts appear higher in your followers’ newsfeeds which increases their chances of being seen. Both options cost money, but they also both present the opportunity to increase awareness of your brand. With an ad or a boost, you can promote a product or service, drive traffic to your website, or share a special promotion. Since organic reach can be unpredictable (you never know what’s going to go viral next!) paying for reach will ensure your message is delivered to a wider audience.
10. Figure out the art of “Dark Posting.”
This strategy sounds like it’s either illegal or scary. Fortunately, it’s neither— but it is a very underutilized tool to extend your reach. Dark posts are also known as “unpublished posts”; they’re basically newsfeed-style ads that don’t publish to your page’s timeline, and subsequently don’t hit the feeds of people who already follow your page. Why is this beneficial? There are a few reasons, but namely, they’re advantageous because you can target new audiences without clogging your followers’ feeds with repetitive ads and CTAs.
Using the tips above has tremendous potential to increase your Facebook presence, expand your audience reach, and ultimately grow your business. A little experimentation may be necessary to find the best strategies for your unique brand, but these 10 tips will soon have you on your way to mastering Facebook as an effective marketing tool!
Lindsay Merkel is a freelance writer and introvert extraordinaire. The native Pennsylvanian also enjoys outdoor exploration, has a penchant for extreme organizing, and can always be found with a book in at least one hand. Follow her on Twitter (but don’t interrupt her while she’s reading).