In Facebook, Social Media

As the world’s largest online network, Facebook now has over 1.79 billion users worldwide, with 1.18 billion of them logging on daily to share well over 4 billion pieces of content every day. In the midst of this, business owners are also trying to use this platform as a means of marketing. Yet with 41% of US small businesses trying to make their mark on Facebook, 45% of them feel that its just not working.

If you’re one of these businesses, there are still a number of things you can do in order to improve Facebook’s effectiveness. We’ll be blogging more about the ins and outs of Facebook, as well as the other social media platforms, throughout the upcoming year, but we wanted to start with a little primer to ensure that you have a good grasp of the basics first.

Choose Your Category
When you sign up for a new Facebook Page, you are given the choice of it being a local business or place; a company, organization, or institution; a brand or product; an artist, band, or public figure; entertainment; or a cause or community. Determining which category your business  belongs in may be a no-brainer, but for many businesses owners, the choice is not so easy. Feeling torn about which category their business fits into, they don’t take the time to choose wisely. The wisest path here is to think about what it is you want to accomplish with your Facebook Page and how that relates to your business and customer/client base. This approach will help you guide you to the strongest category for your social media presence.

Pimp Out Your Profile
Your profile is a portal to your business, so make it accessible as possible. Start by filling out your company information completely, especially your company description and a link to your website and phone number. Be concise and accurate and make sure any contact information matches the information on your website perfectly.

Let’s Get Visual
Facebook is largely driven by images and videos. Be sure your Profile Picture clearly depicts your business and is 180 x 180 pixels. Your Cover Image should be 851 x 315 pixels and can be changed regularly, seasonally, or intermittently. As you start to think about content, be sure to consider what images you’ll be sharing with each post, as Facebook users are much more inclined to engage with content that has strong imagery.

The Name Game
After you establish your Facebook Page, you can start inviting your friends to “like” it. Once 25 of them do, you can change your Facebook URL from the series of randomly chosen numbers to a personalized ID. When you’re given that option to have, be sure to put some thought into how you want to name it to make it easy to find and search for.

What To Share and When
Research shows that social media campaigns with fewer than 2 updates a week are largely ineffective, and those with over 10 a week are overwhelming, so you’re going to be shooting for releasing between 5-10 morsels of information every week. You’re using Facebook to set yourself up as a leader in your field, and your business as the go-to resource in your industry. Some of your posts should link directly back to your website, perhaps to a blog you’ve written or other information that your audience will find helpful. However, the greater part of what you share should be from articles in online trade magazines or other resources that your audience may not know about, but will be grateful that you have shared it with them. This is a social network. It is about building relationships so share things your audience will want to communicate with you about.

Organic, Algorithms, and Ads
When Facebook first started, you could share something on your wall, and nearly all of your friends would see it. However, with so many people now using the social network, it no longer works that way. The algorithms Facebook currently has implemented generally allow only a very small percentage of the people who like your page to actually see your organic posts. Nevertheless, Facebook’s Ad Manager does allow you to promote your posts and create other ads targeted by demographics, geography, hobbies, and a number of other factors for a fairly reasonable price. To be effective, you’ve got to advertise.

This is just a primer in getting started on Facebook as a business, so we’ll go into more detail as time goes on. We also understand how overwhelming it can be for busy business people. If you would like some help with your Facebook presence or want to explore social media advertising, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss the possibilities.

Call us today at (941) 548-9950 or fill out the accompanying contact form.

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