One of the biggest challenges for new businesses as they start to using Facebook as a as a marketing tool is to create good habits about engaging with their social network. Use these tips to help you get started.

Update regularly – Posting timely information is really the backbone of having a strong social media presence. For me, best practice is no less than three times a week. By using your insights, you can track what times of day your fans are using Facebook – post during those times! Utilize the Facebook Pages app to post from your phone or the pre-schedule tool to post at off-times. If you are posting infrequently and sporadically there is (a) no way to gain traction with your fans and (b) makes it look like the business is no longer open.

Respond Promptly: Believe it or not you have potential customers who prefer to communicate via Facebook over any other means. Just as you won’t leave a client on hold, you cannot afford to ignore the comments and messages that your clients send. Remember, you, the business, just by being on social media will be expected to be a part of the larger conversation to be a part of the community. Quick response times can also help encourage potential customers to give your business a try – because the appearance is that you care.

Make it visual – Pay attention to your content mix. The Posts tab of your Insights will help with this. It is a good idea to mix things up. For me, best practice is no less than three times a week.

Request Reviews: When a prospective customer searches for your business on Facebook, one of the first things they’ll see is your customer rating. Well-reviewed businesses are much more likely to attract the interest of new customers on Facebook.

Add more reviews to your Facebook page by requesting reviews for your most loyal customers. Or add a link to your email newsletter requesting reviews from your current customers.

           Pro Tip: This is a good habit to get into no matter where your business lives online. One of the things              that we know from Google is that their search algorithm is paying special attention to reviews left on                Google, Yelp and Facebook. This is one of the things that Google is using to verify that you are a                      legitimate business. 

Help, don’t sell: You will find that businesses that are really successful when it comes to social media marketing is that they all have a similar theme – none of them are overly promotional. Not every post pitches a sale or upcoming event or the request to buy now! Think about this as the rule of thirds. One third of your posts should be about your business – advertising products, promotions, etc. The second third should be able educating your audience, sharing articles, events, etc. from your industry and community. The third should posts that show the personality for your business. Profile your employees, share funny behind the scenes videos, etc.

Explore available resources – Things are changing quickly on Facebook for businesses, it is important to keep some awareness about what is going on. Features like Facebook Live are popping up all the time. Some of them are going to stick, others will not. Don’t be afraid to try and experiment with new technology as your page continues to grow.

Play with hashtags and mentions. It’s important to not go too crazy here. Research shows that engagement significantly drops when you start using more than one of two hashtags on a post. You need to make sure your hashtags are relevant to the content you are posting. People do use these on Facebook as a way to find related content.Make sure you are spending time researching your hashtags to make sure they make sense to your audience. Hashtagify.me is one resource out there that can help you monitor trending hashtags.

            Pro-style tip: Don’t add your hashtags in the middle of a sentence. It makes them hard to read. Wait               and add them at the end of your post.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with Facebook Ads. Like everything you do with marketing your business, start small, set a budget and milestones and give it.

What do you find as the best strategies to grow your Facebook business page?

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