Putting your business on Facebook can seem overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with the online space.  However, with a few basics, and some dedication you can represent your business on Facebook. There is a good chance that your business may already be listed on Facebook. So, why not give a good impression to customers when they find you on Facebook?

1. Create A Facebook Page

Create A Facebook PageA Facebook page is different than a Facebook user account.  It’s important for a business to set up a Facebook page instead of using an account to represent your business for several reasons. First, it is against Facebook policy to use an account as a business. Accounts are suppose to represent an actual person, and Facebook has been known to delete accounts that they find are not being used as a person. Also, a Facebook user account is limited to 5,000 friends. There is no limit to the number of people who can like your page. You may think that you are a long way off from 5,000 friends, but wouldn’t you hate to invest the time and energy in getting to 5,000 friend only to have to turn away additional fans of your business? Third, Facebook gives you a lot of data with pages that they don’t give to accounts. You can find out customer likes and dislikes, and learn where they are from and when they are online. If you don’t have a Facebook page, creating one by going to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/.

2. Add A Meaningful Profile Picture and Cover Photo

Facebook Profile Picture and Cover PhotoIt’s generally a good idea to use your logo, for your profile picture. Since the profile picture is displayed with all of your posts and comments your brand image will be a part of everything you do on Facebook. The cover photo is the image that is displayed at the top of your Facebook page. There are a lot of great things you can do with the cover photo. You can make a collage of your products, and your store. You can introduce your employees, or show off your skills.  Here are some more ideas. The cover photo is a great way to attract people, and get them interested in your business.

3. Regularly Post Interesting And Meaningful Content

Sharing information on Facebook that is interesting to your customers and fans is key. Facebook uses over 100 factors to decide what posts a user will see when they log in. When you post interesting and useful information such as tips, links to useful articles, you provide value to your Facebook fans and they will comment on and like what you post. The more comments and likes you get on your posts the more Facebook will display your posts. Only posting your specials and promoting your business causes people to loose interest, and when they loose interest your posts stop appearing for people. You can mix in posts that promote your business, like specials, and sales. However, it should not be the majority of what you post.

It is great if you can post two or three times every day to your Facebook page. This will really help you look like an expert in your field and grow your page. When you first start out it will feel like no one is seeing what you are posting. However, don’t be discouraged, over time if you consistently post quality content you will gain a following.

4. Promote Your Facebook Page

Be sure to spread the word that you have your Facebook page. You want to promote your page online and offline. To promote your page online be sure to have a link on your website to your Facebook page. If you have a blog or email newsletter be sure to include in your message that you have a Facebook page. Cross promoting your online efforts are a great way to increase your number of fans.

Offline, in the real world there are plenty of ways to tell people you have a Facebook page. Advertise your page on your printed marketing materials including business cards, menus, flyers, signs, t-shirts – anywhere it will be visible.

5. Engage And Interact With Your Fans

Keep an eye on your page so when people leave comments, ask questions, or give feedback so you can respond. Having these conversations help to customers happy, and give you insights into what customers are thinking. Not responding will give people the feeling you are ignoring them, or that you don’t care. You answer your phone when it rings, and respond to voicemail. These days people expect the same from Facebook interactions. As an added bonus, Facebook considers posts to be more important if there are more likes and comments, and the more important they think a post is the more frequently they will show it. When people comment on posts their friends will see this, and the number of people your post reaches will grow exponentially.

(photo by quinn.anya)