The basic rules of using Facebook

Facebook is a great way to promote your business, boost traffic to your company website and increase sales. In fact it would be hard to name a company these days that doesn’t have a Facebook page.

However, not all Facebook pages are created equal. Some Facebook pages look fantastic, adding to the reputation and profits of their owner’s business. While others are poorly created and managed, and reflect badly on the business they represent.

If you’re starting a business, you’ve probably already thought about creating a Facebook page, or maybe even have one already. If so, you can get a head start on your competitors by making sure you follow some basic rules of Facebook and building a page that attracts the right people and encourages them to come back – helping build not just your Facebook fans, but your business too.

Make your brand page look professional

When building a Facebook page for your business, it should look as professional as your website. Your Facebook page could be an important window or door into your business, and potential customers may make a decision on whether to buy your products or use your services on the basis of it, so it’s wise to invest the time in it to get it right.

This means filling it out in full with photos and/or your logo and any relevant information about your business. Use the same or similar copy to your website too, to ensure a seamless brand experience. Nothing looks worse than a half hearted attempt at a business Facebook page with no image or a badly chosen shot that looks nothing like the company’s website. If you’ve invested in a logo and website, you’re halfway towards a great Facebook page already.

Don’t post too often

Of course once you have a great Facebook page you’ll be itching to start using it and interacting with your customers and fans. But try to reign in that enthusiasm just a little! If you post too frequently people may get bored, and pay less attention to your posts. Or worse, ‘unlike’ you or block you from their news feeds!

It’s much better to have fewer posts that get great engagement than swamp people with lots of statements, questions and links. You need to leave time for Facebook posts to be seen and build comments and interest before you replace them with a new one.

So how often should you post? When you start a business, social media experts recommend beginning with one or two posts a week on your company Facebook page and see what works for you and your type of business.

Check and respond often

Try to check your Facebook page regularly to see what response your posts are getting. That way you can keep conversations going, answer any questions and nip any negative posts in the bud quickly. If you’re responding to a comment someone has made, or answering a question, tag the person in your response to alert them to come back to your page to read your reply.

Think of your Facebook page as a bit like a garden. If you prune, water, weed and plant often it will grow and thrive and attract people. However, if you ignore and neglect it, it will just wither and die.

Be intelligent

There’s no need to stumble blindly into Facebook. There’s plenty of well-researched intelligence on the best ways and times to use Facebook for business on the internet if you look. So instead of having to make your own beginner’s mistakes when you start a business and launch your Facebook page, you can learn from someone else’s trials and errors and get it right first time!

For example, research shows that engagement rates for Facebook posts can be as much as 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays. So if you have something really big to announce, or something interesting you want people to share, it may be a good idea to save it for then. (Though you may find if you track your own page’s activity that your peak times may differ.)

Be interesting and relevant

It may seem obvious, but if your business is selling vintage jewellery, then posting about last night’s Masterchef elimination probably isn’t appropriate! If someone has liked your Facebook page, the chances are that they interested in your products in particular, and vintage jewellery in general. So talk about things they’ll want to read. Share news of your latest finds, details of fabulous jewels on auction, or photos of celebrities wearing amazing pieces.

Try to be aware of what people visiting your Facebook page will expect and want to see, and how it relates to your business – the products and services you offer. If you have the time, make your Facebook page THE place to go for anyone with an interest in your area, and establish yourself as an authority on your subject. Not only will you boost your business’ reputation, but you could well increase sales too.

Need more help with social media?

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