Facebook provides a tremendous opportunity to tap into your target demographic. Around half of the European population, or 250,000,000+ people, are on Facebook.

Social media really is an incredible tool for business. It provides you with the opportunity to access more potential prospects than any other advertising medium in history. You can get content shared around in a viral fashion, seeking out the people that would seek out your products.

The Internet Has Changed the World

The Internet has changed the world. More and more of us are seeking information, products and services online. The business that fails to get to grips with the online environment these days is doomed to failure. Even practical services, such as plumbing, requires an online presence in order to thrive today.

Internet connections are getting better and better. We are seeing ADSL broadband with speeds up to 24 Mb per second. We are seeing broadband and mobile phone contracts getting cheaper and cheaper. On mobile phones we are seeing over 2 GB of data becoming the norm in terms of monthly allowance. More of us are searching on our smart phones when we are out and about.

All of this signals both great opportunity and great confusion for many.

In this article we will take a look at some of the things that you should do, and some of those you shouldn’t on Facebook.

The 80:20 Rule

The generally accepted guidance is that around 80% of the posts that you make on Facebook should be social, and only around 20% should be product or service related. You shouldn’t spend all your time selling products and promoting your business. You simply won’t come across well in social media, and won’t get the personality of your business exciting your customers.

Make Time To Respond

You should ensure that you respond to social media questions, queries and comments as soon as possible. Ideally you should be responding within one hour, and you should certainly be responding within 24 hours. Even negative comments should be responded to, in order to show that your company cares about the feedback it receives.

You should make sure that you don’t come across as a company that ignores its customers. You will make your customers angry and new customers will avoid you like the plague. You should cultivate the image of a “human” company.

Keep Your Updates Under 80 Characters

Research suggests that shorter updates are far more successful than longer ones. In fact, you may get 70% better engagement, in terms of comments and likes.

Avoid crafting lengthy novel-like status updates. They will turn your customer base off. They may not even reading anything you say.

Take An Organic Approach

You should take a 100% organic approach to your Facebook profile. Reach out into your own networks in order to spread the word about your business and therefore enhance your Facebook presence. Use email, use your website, and use the people that you know.

You could even promote Facebook as a main strategy within your overall marketing strategy. You could send specific messages out pertaining to your Facebook presence.

Do not buy likes from dodgy sources. Fans that are bought will not engage with your business, and will not be worth a dime.

Engage With Your Fans In A Rich Way

You should ask questions and produce content that is intriguing to your fans. Facebook fans like nothing more than a great question to answer. Questions have been shown to get over 90% more responses than other forms of communication on Facebook.

Avoid posting fake comments and feedback. Keep everything interesting and real.

Post The Right Amount

Make a point of not over posting on your Facebook profile. 1 to 4 times a week tends to be a good level, although some pages can deal with a couple of times a day. Generally, people think that Facebook is a good place to interact with a brand, but if you spend too much time talking, and not enough time listening, you will just turn your fans off.

Cluttering your newsfeed will make you seem desperate, and also make your customers confused. Get the content details just right.

Think About Your Other Social Media Platforms

You should think about what you are posting on Twitter, Pinterest and through your other marketing channels. If you duplicate everything else in Facebook then you will effectively be saying the same thing to customers at the same time through different media.

Take a strategic approach to your social media strategy, and understand what Facebook does well for you. It may be that Facebook takes a certain step in the process of a roll out of a product or service. It may be that Facebook takes a different approach to the same topics in order to communicate to your audience in a more social way.

It’s true that questions are crucial to response rates in Facebook. Get your approach right in Facebook and you will build a huge following that will be extremely brand loyal.

Facebook truly is a phenomenon. Get your advertising correct on it and you will have a successful business that stands the test of time. Avoid Facebook in your business and you will be omitting great potential.

The online environment should not completely take over from offline avenues. They should compliment each other. The majority of businesses benefit from an interactive approach to marketing, using real world experiences and strategies to enhance the impact of those online.

Phone calls to fans, interacting with people at events and exhibitions, and other means of interaction can dramatically increase the amount of likes and fans that you get. You will enhance your social interaction and social impact when you really connect with people and keep it real.

Keeping Up With Facebook