How do you get started with your business on Facebook? How do you know what to post or when to post it? How do you get Facebook followers? How do you figure out what to do (or not to do)?
At DalySocial, we’ve compiled what we believe to be the Ultimate Tips for Facebook Business Marketing — the Dos and Don’ts (yes, we’ve chosen the Oxford spelling, but if you’d prefer, we present to you the “Do’s and Don’ts”) of Facebook for Business. These tips have been gathered from thousands of online digital marketers around the world, and represent the most commonly advised strategies for commencing and perfecting your Facebook campaign.
Here we go…
Post at least once per day.
Your Facebook page, while a good place to include it, should not be a static page that is purely informational. What will encourage people to follow your company if you never offer any content? It doesn’t all have to be original content (blog posts, videos, etc.), don’t worry. It is strongly recommended to share content from others whose views align with yours.
For example, we sell Social Media services at DalySocial, and a portion of the articles we post to Facebook come from sources like Hubspot, another online marketing blog.
Another quick post idea? Motivational quotes. Easy for people to like and share — just make sure you know who it is you’re quoting (you don’t want to accidentally share something from Mein Kampf).
That being said, if you can’t find anything worth posting, don’t. Worse than posting less than once per day is posting garbage.
Schedule posts for times when you cannot do it manually.
There are several great resources out there, many of them with basic, but very useful free options. Our personal favourite (at the moment – social media is always evolving) is Buffer.
Buffer’s free option allows you to schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. The number of posts you can schedule is limited, but you can get a few days’ worth done. Buffer’s free account also offers limited analytics, and enables you to “re-Buffer” posts. Their browser extension makes it easy to share anything on the web as a Buffered post. The importance of this is in the link analytics.
Don’t schedule more than three times per day unless the content is extremely valuable to your followers.
Which looks better?
Or this: http://buff.ly/1Obx5Sg ?
They both link to the same Daly Dish blog post, however the shorter URL is both easier to share, and as an added bonus, the buff.ly shortener is run by Buffer, and therefore provides link analytics with your Buffer account.
Read More: The Beginner’s Guide to URL Shorteners
Use Facebook posts to provide background information about your business.
Who started the company and why? What, aside from profits, are the company’s goals? In what ways have you embraced sustainability in your business?
This isn’t limited to your standard product/service industry, either. Artists and musicians, for example, should also do this on their pages.
How did you create your piece of art or record your song? What did you learn from the artistic experience that you would like to share? Who has most heavily influenced you?
Optimize your profile picture and cover photo by adding links.
Consider including links to your website in the descriptions for your profile picture and cover photo. Whether it’s to a product, a piece of content, or just an “About Us” page, links are opportunities for users to get to know your company better, and the descriptions of your profile picture and cover photo are prime real estate.
If you decide to add links to the descriptions of these two photos, make sure they are shortened links — that way, you know if they’re working or not.
Post work in progress.
Post images or videos of your work in progress. This is particularly easy for artists/musicians, but can also benefit businesses. Post previews of upcoming articles or white papers. If you’re a small business that packages its own products, show your followers the process! The same goes for software developers, give your followers a “taste” to keep them coming back for more.
Upload your images directly to Facebook.
This makes them more likely to be shared. Include links to higher resolution images in the post description. Choose examples with thumbnails that resolve clearly and entice people to want to click over to the full-sized images on your website.
Post “preview” or “cliffhanger” videos directly to Facebook.
The best way for videos to travel on Facebook is if they’re already uploaded to the site. Post snippets of your videos directly to your Facebook page with links to the full videos and/or exclusive videos on your YouTube channel. If you do not have a YouTube account, but you find yourself posting videos, you need to consider signing up. Facebook wasn’t made for video — YouTube was.
Always include a Call to Action (ie. “Like/Share/Follow”)
This is very self explanatory, but be careful not to sound too narcissistic or self-promotional. Don’t just say, “like this post” — try something that has the user make a decision, instead of leaving it open-ended. For example, some of the most successful posts on Facebook are images that simply pose an ‘Agree/Disagree’-type question, and ask users to “Like” or “Share” if they agree.
The other, slightly modified example, is to pose a question with only two possible answers, and the user is asked to “Like” if they choose the first option or “Share” for the second.
If you’re asking people to follow your page, you need to offer them something. For example, we’ve run a Facebook campaign that invites people to like our page in exchange for a free downloadable word cloud template.
Businesses, you can offer a white paper or some kind of product discount (“10% off your first purchase when you Like our Facebook page”). Artistic industries can offer free music downloads or artwork prints.
Always remember your audience’s viewpoint:
“What does this have to do with me?”
For users to see or comment on your posts, they need reason other than “look at my ___” or “our latest ___”.
A good reason includes the user, at least intimates some benefit for them, and most importantly, gives them opportunities to respond or participate in your thread.
Post about your time in the office or out in the world doing business. Post about your sourcing methods, your process, your broader mission as an entrepreneur, mistakes you’ve made and learned from, etc.
People like to learn, so why not learn from you?
Participate in other people’s posts or discussion threads.
Particularly if they interest you or you’d like to know the poster better. The best way to show people you care is to comment or respond to their postings. There are some etiquette rules, though, which are outlined in the “Don’ts” below.
Join and participate in groups and communities for businesses or professionals in the same industry.
It’s a great place to network with like-minded individuals and to learn from and engage with influential entrepreneurs.
Many groups also have page and work-sharing events (“like for like”, “share for share”, etc.) that you can take advantage of, though this won’t help with your organic growth.
Like the pages of and share posts by other artists you find influential.
Be sure to ‘Like’ other pages (that align with your business) as your page:
Utilize Facebook’s analytics.
Use Facebook’s “Insights” to monitor your success and adapt from results. These free analytics show you data about your weekly Page Likes, Post Reach, and users Engaged.
There are a multitude of other tools available also, but the best way to learn is to play around with it yourself (you can’t hurt anything – though “Promote” will always mean Facebook wants your money).
Create posts days or weeks ahead of time and schedule their releases using a site like Buffer or Hootsuite. This saves valuable time during your day-to-day, as you can schedule all of your posts at times when you’re not so busy.
Buffer and Hootsuite also analyze your data to suggest peak times for you to post, taking away the uncertainty of ensuring your awesome content reaches its sharing potential!
So we’ve covered the best things to make sure you do, but what about things you shouldn’t do?
Don’t ask people for money.
Never post anything that could be construed as a sales pitch – do not ask people for money. You’ll accomplish nothing more than establishing your tackiness.
If it’s for a charity event, that’s another story, but use your common sense. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer – what would you like to see from a business like yours?
Don’t spam or send mass messages to groups of people. If you do send an announcement, invitation, or request to more than one person, make sure the reason you’re sending it has something to do with them. If you’re having an event, make an event page and invite friends that way.
Don’t post on someone else’s wall.
Unless that post has something to do with that person, that person’s interests, another post on their page, or something you know they or their friends will be interested in seeing, don’t post to people’s walls.
If it’s all about you and has nothing to do with them or their friends, either message them personally, or save it for later when you know them better and will understand what you’re up to.
Don’t use other people’s discussion threads to promote your business.
Shameless self-promotion is tacky. It won’t engage anyone, unless those threads closely relate in some way to your business, or your comment or promotion relates in a direct and significant way to the post.
Don’t talk about religion or politics. The no-brainer.
Steer clear of any “hot” topics — anything you’d consider inappropriate for business in the real world is also inappropriate for business online.
Now we want to hear from you!
Let us know in the comments what tactics have worked for your