What do retailers, manufacturers, big law firms, and mom-and-pop stores have in common?
Companies in these industries and more are discovering how valuable a Facebook business page can be.
As of October 2015, more than 50 million small businesses had profiles on the social platform and close to 85% of companies in the United States with 100+ employees reported having pages and maintaining some level of consistent activity. Smart marketers know that Facebook provides an opportunity to connect with prospects, customers, and clients personally.
However, understanding Facebook’s potential marketing value is not enough. To use this platform effectively, marketers must know what works and what doesn’t.
We’ve put together some basic Dos and Don’ts to help business owners and old-school marketers understand Facebook etiquette and how to use Facebook for marketing. If you’re not already an expert in Facebook marketing tactics, read our list to avoid making some common mistakes.
The 5 Do’s
1. Do use the Facebook Insights feature
Facebook’s Insights tool lets page administrators see how individual posts perform in terms of the number of people who view the post and the number of viewers who click on it. Comparing these statistics from post to post gives you a sense of what people are most interested in and will allow you to strategically craft future content to maximize audience engagement.
2. Do use a profile picture that represents your company
This might seem like an obvious suggestion, but more than 15% of the businesses on Facebook don’t have profile pictures and many that do haven’t chosen them wisely. Just like personal profiles, business page profile pictures are displayed as small icon next to your posts everywhere that your content appears. You want your posts to be easily recognizable and contribute to building your brand’s identity, so it’s best to use something like a logo so that users can easily identify your company.
3. Do coordinate your cover photo with marketing campaigns
Part of any successful social media strategy includes using available digital real estate to spread the word about upcoming events and campaigns.
Unlike profile photos, which are used to identify your brand’s content everywhere on the platform, cover photos are only visible on your profile page. They take up a large, eye-catching space at the top of your business profile and should be changed often to reflect current campaigns, sales, promotions, or events.
4. Do post during appropriate times of day
Studies show that posting between 1 and 4 p.m. is the best time for gaining visibility, but your company’s ideal window could shift depending on what kind of content you’re sharing and who your target audience is.
Thanks to Facebook’s new scheduler, which allows you to load posts in a queue to go live at a predetermined day and time, you’ll never have to worry about missing your window again!
5. Do pay to play
The growth in popularity of Facebook business pages means that individual accounts don’t have the organic reach that they once had, but a great solution to this can be adding a digital advertising component to your strategy.
Facebook’s ad targeting capabilities are some of the best in the business, and a small amount of money can go a long way in terms of making sure your posts are reaching the right audience.
The 5 Don’ts
1. Don’t be overly promotional
It’s tempting to venture down this path, but using Facebook like free advertising space is actually hurting you. Mixing in some informational posts (which provide thought leadership and valuable information about industry trends) and culture-oriented posts (which give followers a sense of the people behind your business) will balance out the self-promotional material and keep your audience from tuning you out.
2. Don’t leave your company’s “About” section blank
The fewer clicks it takes someone to find basic information about your business, the higher your chances of converting them into a customer.
The “About” section on your business page should include, at a minimum, your website and phone number, but adding inviting copy, store hours, or other information will help make your page even more useful and compelling to visitors.
3. Don’t delete or ignore posts
The connectivity and communal nature of Facebook works to the advantage of a business most of the time, but the person in charge of your social accounts needs to be prepared to handle negative feedback when it does pop up.
The best way to handle this is with professionalism and courtesy. Resolving a customer complaint via Facebook shows publicly to your customers and others that you’re willing to go the extra mile to help solve their problems.
4. Don’t post too much
Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithms are designed to discourage you from posting too much—so posting five times a day doesn’t guarantee higher visibility for your content.
Think of Facebook as a community space—overloading the feeds of your followers is going to get your page un-liked or your posts blocked, and not posting frequently enough won’t create the engaging brand that helps drive business.
Social media best practices stipulate that anything more than 1 – 2 times a day is going to get tedious and that businesses see the highest engagement levels when they’re posting at least once per week.
5. Don’t post low-quality images
Since Facebook is a very visual space, it’s important to make sure that your pictures are high quality. Web photos don’t require high resolution the way that print media does, but photos should be in focus, composed attractively, and be relevant to the topic of your post.
Do you have any Facebook tips to share, or would you like some help designing a Facebook strategy? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!