Facebook Strategies for Small Business Owners

Posted by Brian Patterson on February 02, 2013


It comes as no surprise than many entrepreneurs and small business owners feel burdened by the time and effort they believe goes into maintaining social media accounts. When you compare your fledgling operation to long established businesses it can feel like you'll never have the type of online community they have. But it's not impossible! In fact, just by following a few basic guidelines, social media newbies can earn likes for the business Facebook page, boost engagement, and convert Facebook friends into real life customers.

Post regularly

It might feel fruitless in the beginning, but regularly updating your Facebook page is the best way to start building up an audience. Frequent updates show that the page is well managed and up-to-date on industry news. You can use the Facebook page to establish yourself as an expert in the field by sharing any relevant news, pictures, or blog posts. Once it's clear you know what you're talking about, you can build a community around sharing information and growing the brand.

Ask open-ended questions

The best way to get comments and boost interaction on a page is to ask general questions that anyone can contribute to. No matter how niche your industry, asking broad, inviting questions gets everyone talking. The more comments you receive on Facebook posts, the higher your edgerank, and that means more friends will see your status update in their newsfeed.

Update cover photo

This is a great way to draw attention to your page and reach a wider audience. The Facebook algorithm seems to rank big activities like a profile picture switch, an engagement announcement, or a cover photo update much higher in friends' newsfeeds. This makes sense, because theoretically, as many people as possible should see any big news. Not only will changing the cover photo expose your page to more eyes, it can also act as an opportunity to attract more likes for your page. If you're in a niche industry like gardening or finance, it might be difficult to get people to like your page compared to a beloved brand like Dove or McDonald's. But, updating the cover photo to something generic and visually appealing suggests that your business' page is a community for everyone.

Use Pictures

Photos, more so than any other type of media, are frequently shared across social networks. Compared with basic text or links to external sites, Facebook users are more likely to comment on and like pictures that pop up in their newsfeeds. Those picture posts that receive many likes and comments have a higher edgerank score and are subsequently more likely to appear in newsfeeds. It's a catch 22. The financial education company, Online Trading Academy, found that they increased page exposure and grew their online community when then hosted a Facebook photo experiment. They posted pictures of traders in their personal workspace and then asked others to submit photos of themselves with their day trading set-up. It proved very popular and they received numerous submissions. It brought a lot of attention to the page, and solidified them as industry experts.

Promote posts

Promoting posts is an extremely effective way to boost page visibility, call attention to a post, and essentially advertise a service or product for a minimal fee. For just $5-$15 you can pay to promote a post to Facebook friends and friends-of-friends - which amounts to hundreds or thousands of views. This type of promotion can help expose your brand to those who were previously unfamiliar with it and can increase engagement on your Facebook page.

This might sound like a lot to do as an already-busy small business owner, but it's worth investing time and effort into social media. These days, Facebook boasts 1 billion active users. That means there is an enormous amount of power at your fingertips if you can convince even a fraction of that number to take an interest in your business. Start small, be patient, and follow the above tips. You'll build a community of loyal followers before you know it!

About Author: This is a guest post written by Brian Patterson.

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