It might seem less ‘business-like’ than LinkedIn and other social media channels, but intelligent use of Facebook can actually be a great benefit to SMEs. Here are six tips.

  1. Make it easy for people to follow you
    There’s little point putting time and effort into creating Facebook content if you never acquire the quantity of followers to make it worthwhile.
    One solution: invest a small sum in Facebook ads. These will increase your reach to levels where the percentage of click-throughs to your website becomes significant.
  2. Put yourself in their shoes

    Don’t just use Facebook to push out the messages you want to say. If your content is all corporate news and updates, there’s no real added value.
    Think what the visitor wants to find. Provide useful content and engaging conversation. Remember that Facebook is quite an informal environment – this may be a place to show the lighter side to your SME. Then provide links to further valuable content hosted on your website, taking potential customers there.

    Rather than feeling pressured to convert people into customers on Facebook, see this as relationship building. The point being that, when they’re then ready to buy, you will be front of mind.

  3. Offer something exclusive or different

    Social media users like to feel they’re ‘in the know’ before others. Playing up any new, exclusive or innovative angles to your product or service will help generate buzz. If you need people to trial or review products, recruit them here. Even if you don’t really need this, why not do it anyway?

  4. Run a competition

    Competitions are a great way to attract viewers and ‘likes’. Asking people to share in exchange for a competition entry is a quick and easy way to increase your brand awareness.

    But be careful not to rely on techniques such as ‘who can get the most likes’. They’re easy to manipulate on Facebook. Always have an element of genuine human judgment as the final arbiter.

  5. Be visual

    If all you post is links and plain text updates, you won’t achieve the same reach as with images or video.

    Facebook also has an invisible algorithm at play, all about giving users a better experience to keep them coming back. One way to use this to your advantage is to ‘trick’ Facebook by uploading an image first, then including a link in the written part of your status.

  6. Stay on the case!

    Facebook moves fast. Conversations are often as close to ‘real time’ as the Internet gets.

    People will expect a response to queries or comments within an hour. Research suggests problems should be resolved within six hours to maintain customer satisfaction. For SMEs this is vital, as word of mouth is key to growing your customer base – and this can both work in your favour, or against it, depending on how you handle it.

    If pressed for time, Facebook’s ‘Saved Replies’ feature allows you to quickly reply with pre-written responses, such as directing people to a help desk. But be wary of appearing like a robotic machine; people will expect and value a real ‘human’ response.


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