DigitalPR With Celestine Achi: 8 Essential Facebook Tips for Businesses

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8 Essential Facebook Tips for Businesses

Friday, January 29, 2016

You probably already know that not being on Facebook isn’t an option for businesses anymore. If you don’t, take my word for it. If you don’t want to take my word for it, let me give you a little nudge via some quick data.

Millennials, the age group in their twenties and early thirties, now outnumber the baby-boomer generation. In a nutshell, that means a huge population of purchasing power. Ignoring this group is, at the very least, not a wise idea if you want to stay in business.

Looking only at the dining-out habits of millennials, we find the following:

– 65% consider social media discussions about restaurants before deciding where to go.

– 32% check the menu online from their smartphone.

– They trust word-of-mouth recommendations and online reviews from social media and review sites like Yelp over advertising.

We know right away, without any further data, that this is mobile and social crowd. Facebook is the largest social site on the web, let alone the site with the most users period. It only makes sense to take full advantage it, so we have 8 great tips to help you out, which will be spread out over 4 posts. Ready?


1. Never Ignore Your Audience

Reply to every single comment on your Facebook Page. You wouldn’t let a customer walk through your door without being acknowledged, would you? (if the answer isn’t no, you need some extra guidance I can’t provide here) Yet unbelievably, only around 30% of all brands on Facebook respond to their comments according to Socialbaker.com.

This statistic is the epitome of bad business. Every single interaction is an opportunity to grow your business and your revenue, and if you don’t view them that way then you are either not the owner of the business or you need some serious sales training. Don’t be in that 30% statistic. Respond to every comment. Every time.

Sendible’s social media management software can lend a helping hand, unifying your social media profiles into one priority inbox so you can see the messages you need to reply back too across all of your social media platforms.



2. Give Them Value

Sure, cat memes are funny, but do they have anything to do with your business? Here is the great conundrum of posting, that of balancing self-promotion with keeping the interest of your fans. Fortunately, there’s a rule that holds true the majority of the time called the 80/20 value rule. It says that (blatant) self-promotion should never exceed 20% of your social posts. That includes sales, discounts, and even general information about your company specifically.


The other 80% is the tricky part, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn to curate articles and other posts from around the web that are related to your business and that are interesting. Just make sure that you’re not promoting a competitor when you do. Create original posts as well, just keep in mind that they should be interesting, related to your business somehow, and non-promotional. For those who may be mathematically challenged, this rule means that 1 out of every 5 posts should be about you, and the other 4 should be super-interesting (not to imply that your business isn’t super interesting, of course).


For many these two tips may be self-evident, but Socialbaker.com’s 30% statistic lets me know that there are way too many businesses that can’t see the forest for the trees. Take these first two tips to heart and apply them every day.


3. Always Be Learning

In the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin’s hard-nosed character tells his audience of half-hearted salesmen the key to selling real estate: Always Be Closing. In the realm of social media, this is a bad idea.

While always be engaging is a mantra you should definitely embrace, it applies to last week’s post. This week’s first tip (tip 3 for those keeping score at home) has to do more with the ever-changing landscape of social media.

Do you know what Panda or Penguin means when it comes to search? Did you know that Pinterest just changed their layout and added business pages? Or that Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ have pages just for businesses? Do you know what a promoted tweet is?

These questions aren’t rhetorical, they’re essential. Social media sites are constantly vying to develop the next big change that will draw more users (and keep current users), and the changes are coming at dizzying speeds recently. It may seem like a hassle to keep up with, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to stay at the top of your social game.


4. Timing is Everything

Guilty. I have violated this rule too many times, and I’ve lost connections because of it. I would get online and start reading posts, tweets, blogs, and articles – and every one of them was so interesting and great that I had to share them. Right Now!

The result was that when others opened their page they were flooded with information that I had shared. That can get annoying, fast. You know that friend that will never shut up long enough for you to share in the conversation? That was me.

The solution to this problem? Spread…it…out.

That sounds easy, but for many of you it’s just not very feasible. After all, you have other things that need to be done with your business too. Additionally,when should you post?

This article from last year gives some insight with data collected by the URL shortening service bit.ly. It’s not comprehensive, but it’s a start. Common sense plays a part – a post around lunch time is probably going to be seen by more people than a post at midnight. This is business, though. Guessing doesn’t cut it.

The best solution for this conundrum is to use social media scheduling tools. With these nifty pieces of software you can write your posts for the week, pop them into the scheduler, and be done with it. They will usually tell you what the optimal times are as well. Ain’t technology grand?

Don’t get the wrong idea though. Automation, while immensely useful (and necessary, IMHO), does not a social media strategy make. But more on that in tip 8. (I know, the suspense is killing you)


5. Optimize For Mobile

The desktop interface is all but dead. Well, maybe I shouldn’t go quite that far, but the fact is that with the growing mobile space eating away at desktop and laptop use, the third screen of mobile is very quickly replacing the second screen of computers.

Making sure that your page is easy to read and navigate from a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet is no longer a secondary consideration for your online strategy. The viewership of social sites and the web in general, is quickly moving to mobile for the majority of people. 

Once your Page is setup and optimized for viewing from a computer, you need to then check it from a mobile device. Make sure that your cover image is easily discernible on a smaller screen and that your layout is adjusted so that anyone viewing from their phone or tablet has as good an experience (or better) than those viewing from their desktop or laptop.

You should also make sure that you can be found through a mobile search. 91% of people who search locally say that they use Facebook to find local businesses online. That’s another statistic you can’t ignore.


6. Use Check-ins

Check-ins all started with the rise of the Foursquare app, but they have been adopted since by most other widespread social sites and apps, including Google and Facebook. Twitter just bought a Foursquare competitor as well, so don’t think that check-ins are a fad that has passed. In fact, they may only be getting started as newer strategies are employed for their use.

Facebook check-ins are already popular, and they are used more with every passing month. Just like mobile optimization, this is something you would be remiss to jump on now. Even though check-ins are several years old, at this point in the evolution of social media using them still puts you pretty much in the category of early adopters. Yet they are do have some time and experience behind them that proves that they are effective as marketing tools.

Encourage your fans and customers to check in at your business, if it’s applicable. Word of mouth advertising is the kind of recommendation that millennials trust above all others, and, as mentioned in the beginning of this series. They are the largest group of consumers now and will be for years to come.

Put these two practices into play right away. Go forth and conquer the social space before your competitor does. Track your progress, grow your fans and monitor you competition using a comprehensive social media management tool.


7. Measure Your ROI

In addition to all of the previous tips, there is a plethora of other things you need to remember and handle on a daily basis when it comes to social media in general. It can be a lot to handle for one person or even a small team, even if they hold full time positions as social media managers. Facebook can’t be your only outlet online if you really want to be competitive. Using other networks like Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest and managing a website, blog, maybe a Tumblr account, or any other number of possible options is the best way to make sure that you reach every demographic you are after.

Thankfully there are tools which make the social media management process easier, and do far more than that. Measuring your ROI is a business necessity in any venture, unless you just want to waste time and money. Good social media management software gives you an edge over those companies who either don’t use one or who limit themselves in the name of saving time and/or money. The right dashboard will save you more time and increase your chances to expand revenue far more than any shortcuts could ever hope to.

While a good social dashboard will allow your manager or team to effectively schedule posts and track engagement, it also does a lot more than that. Reports and analytics are absolutely necessary in measuring your ROI. They will do all of the tracking for you, leaving you only having to act on the data rather than collect it first as well. Two beautiful features they offer are letting you know when exactly is the optimal time to schedule your posts for based on reader engagement, and which posts your readers are actually paying attention to and sharing. You have to know these two things to ensure that your efforts are translating into business.


8. Turn Fans Into Cash


A “Like” is not necessarily a sale, but it can be if it’s managed correctly. This is really a recap of the first two tips, but they bear emphasizing because it is your part of the interaction that determines whether or not your social media presence is something that brings you more business or just something fun that you do online (translation: a waste of time and money).

Using the 80/20 rule is important because it is what draws your audience in and captures their attention. Responding to your audience is important because, according to Desk.com, over 80% of social customers will abandon a purchase because of poor customer service. Make no mistake, every comment you reply to is a form of customer service, and conversely so is every comment you don’t reply to. According to Bluewolf, the use of social media as a customer service channel by companies will increase by 53% in 2013 alone. That is a direct reflection of the demand for such interaction by social customers.

I hope that these tips gave you some great insight and practical knowledge that you can put to use in your online strategy. Social media may eventually be replaced by a newer and better platform for marketing and sales, but until that day comes it is the reigning king and you would do well to make the most of the current opportunity.


***This article was written by Dan Brody who is the Chief Information and Technology Officer CITO to our partner, Sendible - a platform for engaging with customers, measuring results and monitoring your reputation across multiple social media channels at once.

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