3 Ways A Small Business Can Dominate Facebook

Posted by Brian Patterson - January 28, 2013 - Social Media - No Comments
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Many small business owners have come to appreciate the benefits of Facebook for professional purposes in the last several years. But, for those who are just starting out, it can be frustrating trying to compete with some of the more established businesses. It’s a daunting task, but it’s not impossible.

Social networks, and Facebook in particular, allow companies to interact with current and potential customers, spread company news, and eventually convert virtual “friends” into paying customers.

There are many effective strategies for gaining likes, boosting user engagement, and growing a Facebook community. Read on for three simple ways to achieve success in the realm of social media and learn how to improve your company’s online image on a shoestring budget.

facebook-use-images-1Use pictures

Images, more than any other type of media, tend to be liked, commented on, and shared across social media platforms. Photos are eye-catching, informative, evocative, and often humorous. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” isn’t far off when it comes to the power of imagery across online forums.

When it comes to business, post photos of products, employees, or relevant industry news, and you are likely to increase the edgerank score of your page and appear in more newsfeeds. The more newsfeeds your picture post shows up in, the more exposure your business page receives.

Ask questions

This is a valuable tactic both from an engagement standpoint and a customer service perspective. Questions get people involved with the page – and any interaction is a plus. Edgerank is highly dependent on the conversation that surrounds each post. Comments rank higher than likes, so if you can get people talking about a post, you’ll boost page visibility. Even if the Facebook community doesn’t seem to translate to sales in the short-term, the mere exposure effect suggests that increased visibility of logos and company imagery can improve brand recognition and lead to potential consumers feeling positive about the business.

Take a look at the image below.  It is of Online Trading Academy, a company that teaches people how to day trade.  They have ~1,500 Likes currently, and this simple ‘fill in the blank’ question received 34 comments, which is about 2.5% of their total likes.  That is really good interaction.

facebook-ask-qs

Additionally, if you ask questions about the products and services the company offers, you can actually glean crucial insight about your customer-base. While it might be an informal method of surveying a crowd, it does provide valuable information from a sales and marketing perspective.

Update the cover photo regularly

Updating the cover photo is a great way to keep friends engaged and active on your Facebook page. When you update a cover photo or profile picture it is considered an important move by the EdgeRank algorithm, therefore it ranks highly and tends to garner more likes than a basic status update or link post. You can also get creative with the cover photo. If your business is “boring” or specific to one industry, take advantage of the cover photo to broaden your audience.

High Risk Pay, a high risk credit card processing company, struggled with gaining “likes” from people beyond the industry. They decided to think outside the box and created a cover image with a seasonal theme that included a credit card flying through a wintery skyline. They abandoned a more technical, “geeky” background and found that they actually attracted a larger audience with the new image because the page appeared less industry-specific. The updated cover photo was more relatable.

highrisk

There are many more tricks and tips for growing a business’s online presence, but taking advantage of Facebook’s complex ranking system is the best way to build a community of followers. Try these three tactics and be patient. With time and effort you can increase consumer engagement and gain a loyal following.

About the Author

Brian Patterson

Brian is a web marketing and reputation management consultant based in the Washington, DC area. In addition to online marketing, he loves the beach, being outdoors, and spending time with his wife and two little girls.