Facebook is booming as a social media venue that can help promote your business.  Companies large and small are getting in on the action. Using Facebook to interact with your target sales population can provide your business with more customers/clients and provide your business with that ever elusive ‘word of mouth’ business promotion that is so valuable to a successful business. Below are some tips to promoting your business by using Facebook.

First you need to create a ‘page’. The Facebook system will walk you through this process. You will want to include your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) as a tagline when creating your page. This USP tells your fans exactly who you are, what you do or sell, and why they should choose you and your company. See more on creating a USP here.

How Do I Get Fans?

Provide links to your Facebook business page on your webpage and blog. Facebook has a widget that you can use for this purpose. Potential fans visiting your other sites need only click on the widget to Like your page. From then on, they will receive your status updates.

Post your business page to your personal site and encourage friends and family to Like your page.

Invite friends that you already have on Facebook.

Include links to your Facebook business page at Linked In, Twitter, and other social media sites.

Include your Facebook page on your promotional materials – press releases, print ads, business cards, etc.

What is the Best Time to Post on Facebook?

There have been so many studies on this question, and the answers are all over the board! The key to knowing when to post lies in what you are selling/offering. Who is your audience? If you market primarily to teenagers, posting late in the evening is going to reach more fans. The life span of a post is about 3-4 hours, so you want to make sure that your particular audience is seeing it and engaging with it.

In addition, you should plan on posting 2-3 posts per day to achieve the best results. Again, this depends on your specific audience.

The key here is to plan on monitoring your posts for the first few months. You can then get a sense of when your audience (your Facebook fans) is engaging with your content the most often. If your posts are not getting any interaction, try adjusting the times that you post.

What Should I Post?

You want your content to engage your Facebook fans. You can do this by creating content that encourages conversation. You want them to engage with your post – to Like it and to Share it and to Comment on it.

Keep in mind the 80/20 rule – 80% of your content should be about your fans and 20% about you.

Use pictures! Studies of Facebook interaction show that posts with pictures get more interaction.

How Long Should My Content Be?

Keep your content short. Studies show that content with 100-120 characters get the most interaction.

How Can I Get My Facebook Fans to Interact with my Posts?

Catch your fan’s attention and ask them a question. Posts that receive the most interaction are those that ask the fan to do something. This is as simple as saying, “Do you agree?” or “Like if you agree”. Get creative!

Use sweepstakes and contests to engage your fans. Check out Offer Pop for some ideas on sweepstakes. They offer free sweepstakes services to Facebook businesses with less than 100 fans; after that, there is a fee.

Create a Posting Calendar

If you want to get very organized, consider creating a posting calendar to remind you when and what to post each month. I find this very helpful in keeping track of postings on my various Facebook pages. Download a free calendar here.

Stay Engaged!

Creating your Facebook business page is not enough. You must post relevant and engaging content several times per day. And you MUST participate in the conversations. If you are not talking to the fans, they will leave you. Position yourself as someone who cares about their customers and clients by talking to them!

If you don’t have the time to keep up with the posts, hire someone to manage your Facebook business page for you.

Have fun and Happy Posting!