Ten years ago today, the global phenomenon that is Facebook was launched. In celebration of its tenth birthday, here are 10 quick tips for promoting your small business on the social networking site:
1. Research what your audience are doing. When are they online and what do they respond best to? If you can see that the majority of your intended audience are using Facebook after work, at around 6pm, then use that timeframe to post the information you want them to see. Try a few different times and experiment until you get it right.
2. Use the ‘Build Audience‘ function (in the Admin menu on your page) to increase your audience, and invite your email contacts and Facebook friends to like your page.
3. Encourage those who have liked your page and your Facebook friends to share your page. This will then put a link to your page on their profiles and timelines, so their friends will see your page and increase your audience.
4. Whenever you can, post a photo with your status updates showing what you and your business is doing. Evidence has shown that photos obtain better engagement than just text.
5. Try and use videos too! Try using Vine to film quick, 6-second films to give people to quick taste of what your business is up to.
6. If you have a website, make sure you link your Facebook page to it, so that people can cross between your website and Facebook page easily (the same goes for Twitter and Google+).
7. Don’t be afraid to get professional help if you need it. This could be getting someone to set up and run your page full time (but make sure it is someone who knows your business and can give it personality), or employing a company to add plug-ins and additional features to your Facebook page, such as an events calendar or appointment booking feature, for example.
8. Respond and engage with your audience. Ask and answer questions, and keep your content interesting and relevant so that they keep coming back. Don’t forget that every time they ‘like’ one of your status updates, photos and videos, it is shared onto their timelines for their friends to see, which will continue to increase your audience.
9. If your business type allows it, you could try running a competition from your page to boost your audience and get people involved in promoting your page. Offer something for free in return for a ‘like’ or ‘share’, and watch your overall likes grow!
10. To help further increase your audience, and/or drive traffic to your website, you could look into Facebook advertising. You write your ad, set your daily budget and decide on who you want to target (Facebook is able to let you get really detailed as to who you want to target!), then Facebook puts your ad into the advertising column of your targeted users and charges you each time the ad is clicked.
These simple tips will help you to build a community for your business on Facebook, which you can then keep providing information, advice and products in front of to boost your business. It is a valuable tool, and should definitely be part of your marketing strategy.
Happy birthday, Facebook!