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Utilizing Facebook for Business Promotion

With 1.4 billion people on Facebook worldwide, it doesn’t take  much to recognize the endless possibilities that utilizing the Facebook can provide for marketing your business.  A 2013 poll revealed that of that 1.4 billion people, 728 million sign into their Facebook account daily, a 25% increase from 2012.  With the gender breakdown being roughly 53% female and 47% male, Facebook is the perfect marketing platform for targeting a diverse demographic.  Of the 16 million local business pages that have been created since May of 2013, 46% of businesses say that their Facebook promotions and interactions greatly affect the profitability of their business.  Facebook is a social network that functions through its members sharing things that interest them.   Their friends can then like what has been shared, growing the audience outward.  This makes Facebook the perfect platform for the growing and sharing of businesses.  The interconnected nature of the site lends itself to the rapid sharing of information and exponential growth.  Recent studies revealed that an individual is 71% more likely to purchase an item that they’ve seen referred through Facebook.  It’s no wonder that companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks have put so much time into growing a social media fan base.  But it’s not just large corporations that are reaping the benefits of marketing through social media.  Contrary to what you may think, Facebook lends itself well to small businesses with unique products and services.  Utilizing Facebook offers equal marketing opportunities to small businesses and corporations alike, evening the playing field and making advertising less overwhelming.  Here are some helpful tips that will explore how to promote your business using Facebook.

Know Your Audience

First, you’ll want to identify you’re demographic.  Maybe you’re a small restaurant hoping to promote through your business’s Facebook page.  Starting locally would be your best bet for acquiring “likes”.  Seek out people in your area and offer deals to those who “like” and “share” your page with their friends.  This gives them incentive to tell other’s about your business and will get them coming into the restaurant on a more regular basis.

Play Copy Cat

Try researching other Facebook pages similar to yours to see what’s working.  Look at how many “likes” their page has.  See how interactive they are: what do they post and how often.  Look at the response from their friends: what posts are earning the most likes and comments.  Put what you learn into practice and see how it goes.

Keep Your Page Interesting

Stagnant business pages that share nothing but the same material over and over will lose you fans and likes quickly.  Also keep in mind that you can’t expect to have an active, dialoguing fan base if you post to your business’s page only once every few weeks.  Successful social media must be diverse, consistent, and relative.  You may be thinking that this sounds difficult.  It’s common to have a hard time coming up with things to post that don’t directly relate to your business or lead back to your website.  Social media is a newer form of marketing, so it’s good to remember that creativity, innovation, and experimentation are all things you’ll have to rely on.

Build A Relationship

Perhaps the most undervalued aspect of social media is the direct contact you have with your customer.  There is no better way to glean beneficial feedback on your business or product.   When fans of your page like something you post, take note.  Think of it as research to better cater to them and make your page more appealing.  Likewise, if a fan comments on something you post, make an effort to respond.  Social media works when you engage.  After all, that’s what it’s all about: interaction and building relationships.  The more connected fans feel to your business, the more likely they are to interact with it.  This interaction helps promote your business in your fans’ Facebook feeds, giving you the potential for more growth.

Know When to Post

Facebook is not merely for sharing photos and statuses with your friends anymore.  In fact, there’s an almost scientific way of looking at your social media interactions in order to make them not only socially beneficial, but profitable for your business as well.  Knowing when to post to Facebook is very important.  This ensures that your statuses and shared links or photos will reach the largest number of friends and fans.  The best hours to post during are 1pm – 4pm, leaving 8pm – 8am as the worst times.  Monday through Friday are your best bet for targeting traffic-heavy hours during the week.  Avoid posting on Friday nights and especially on weekends.  That’s when people are out doing things rather than scrolling through their feeds.  The weekly peak of Facebook traffic happens on Wednesday at 3pm.  Learn these times and develop a schedule for making posts. Like anything else, social media marketing involves a bit of trial and error.  You may find that fans of your business prefer morning hours, rather than the 1-4 bracket. Try out this basic schedule and then adjust it as needed to get the maximum amount of response on your posts.  You can also, take a look at this chart that breaks down Facebook traffic even further by showing the best times to post for different industries:

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