Social media has changed the way businesses market themselves to an audience. In the pre-social media days, it was all about crafting a message, and shooting it out onto the air waves, or posting it on a billboard. Now, though, it’s all about interaction, and building a relationship with your fan base. And, though there are predictions every day that it will tumble from its throne, Facebook remains one of the key social media platforms for businesses looking to engage potential customers, and grow a loyal following.
It’s not as easy as it looks, however. Which is why, before you post, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind.
Tip #1: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words
The first thing you need to do when it comes to your posts is to stop your readers from scrolling. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure every post you make is accompanied by an image. Pictures stand out in the minds of viewers, and if you have an eye-catching image it will arrest their attention long enough to read the attached post, and to get their attention. Once you have that attention, getting them to click-through is easy.
Tip #2: Post Consistently
Consistency is one of the most important factors when it comes to social media in general, and Facebook in particular. You should pick times to make regular posts, and if possible you should assign a particular day for recurring themes. For example, if you’re going to post about special offers and discounts, do it on Friday afternoons so you catch your readers on payday. That way your followers know when to keep an eye out for discount codes or coupons, and you aren’t bogging down your posts throughout the rest of the week.
Tip #3: Promote Your Social Media Presence
Cross-promotion is your friend when it comes to increasing your Facebook following. If you have a website, make sure you put your Facebook information on your About Us page… and, really, on any page where it would be appropriate. If you run an ad on flyers, or in the local paper, make sure you put your Facebook information on that ad. If you write a blog (which you should), make sure you leave a “follow us on Facebook” call to action at the end of your post so that readers who enjoy your content can connect with you to stay informed.
Tip #4: Listen To Your Feedback
Facebook is an interactive medium, and your audience can leave their thoughts on your wall, or send you messages directly to communicate their views and feelings. This allows you to get direct feedback from your target audience, which is something you should pay very close attention to. There are always going to be people you can’t please, and people who troll your page because they think it’s funny, but you need to be able to recognise patterns of satisfaction and dissatisfaction in order to adjust to what your audience wants from you. If you keep them happy, then they’ll keep reading, following, and spreading the word about what you’re doing to their followers.
Tip #5: Interact With Your Followers
It should go without saying, but you need to interact with the people who are following you, too. Don’t just take the feedback they give, but use that as a jumping-off point to create a relationship with them. When you communicate with your fans, they feel connected to you, and to what you’re doing. They become invested, and when your followers are invested they do more than just watch and click; they support you.
Tip #6: Run A Facebook-Only Promotion
While it has fairly short-term benefits, running a promotion on your Facebook page is a good way to get some attention from people who are interested in what you’re doing. Typically, every person who likes the post you make gets an entry, and they can get more entries for sharing it, and for following your Facebook page. Because people want the biggest number of entries possible, they often do all three if they really want to win. This gains you followers in a big dose, and those who enjoy what you do will keep following you.
Tip #7: Offer Incentives For Becoming a Follower
Ideally, you want people to follow your Facebook page because you offer them content and updates they find valuable, and because they’ve developed a relationship with your company that is organic and real. It never hurts to sweeten the pot, though, which is why it’s a good idea to offer some incentive for becoming a follower. Perhaps it’s access to a special offer, or followers-only content, but if there’s a measurable benefit to becoming a follower on top of everything else, then it becomes a much easier sell that will attract more people.
Tip #8: Make Your Page as Attractive as You Can
It might seem shallow, but first impressions are a big deal when it comes to your Facebook page. You need to have a solid display image, a banner picture above, and you need to tweak your colour scheme and layout so that it is both pleasing to the eye, and intuitive to use. You want all the important information to be front and centre, so no one who visits your page has to go hunting for anything. Lastly, always make sure you’re careful about copyrighted images and video. If you do get popular, you want to make sure you’re not infringing on someone else’s rights.