Should You Choose Facebook or Twitter for the Start of Your Social Presence?

When a business decides it’s time to keep up and get their brand on social, it is extremely overwhelming. There are many social network options, but most new-to-social businesses settle on Facebook or Twitter as their first online marketing platform.

Via Flickr by Jason Howie

Via Flickr by Jason Howie

Why is this? Well, Facebook and Twitter are warring clans for the dominion of social media. While Facebook is the innovator that amped social media into what it is today, Twitter was ahead of the curve in creating a new form of social networking. Since their rise to popularity, Twitter and Facebook have been borrowing site layouts, keywords, hashtags, content formatting, and algorithms from each other. Much like the rivalry between Microsoft and Apple, Facebook and Twitter are in a casual war.

So, when businesses are new to social, they gravitate towards one of the two giants. They have a tried and tested layout that attracts users from every demographic. No matter what your business is, you can find your audience in the folds of one of these platforms.

But which one do you choose? If you only have enough time or room in your budget for one, you have to look at who your target audience is.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

For larger businesses that have a target audience that spans across the country, Twitter is your best bet. The audience of Twitter is vast and the platform makes it easy for your audience to interact with your brand. As long as you understand how to craft your messages, use hashtags, create a conversation, and how often to post, Twitter is going to be your best platform.

Via Flickr by Ricky-Lai

Via Flickr by Ricky-Lai

For the smaller or localized businesses, head to Facebook. The users want to interact on a more personal level with Facebook. They want to have conversations with their brand and stay up-to-date on what is going on. Local businesses thrive on Facebook because the people want to support their city and create relationships with owners. They also love bragging about that awesome boutique on Main Street or the greatest tacos ever at the 3rd Street Mexican restaurant. You are likely to get high interaction and more referrals on Facebook.

However, I highly recommend you get on both. My starting price for my social media services cover both Facebook and Twitter posts. This is because I believe businesses need to be on both and it does not take up a great deal of extra time to create different messaging for each platform. Your audience is not restricted to one platform. There will be some of your audience on Facebook but not on Twitter and vice versa. To stretch your reach as far as possible, starting on both Facebook and Twitter will give you excellent leverage.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

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How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business

So you realize that you need to be social. But where do you start?

It can be overwhelming. There are numerous platforms and every social media advice website will tell you something different. Here is what it comes down to – you need to evaluate your brand message and your marketing goals and find platforms that match the “persona” of your business.

“But how do I know which platforms match my business?” Luckily, I am here as a social media expert to break it down the main platforms for you.

Via Flickr by marcopako

Via Flickr by marcopako

Facebook. Many say Facebook marketing is as dead as paper marketing, which, if you follow my posts, you know is not the case. It is good to have some Facebook presence no matter what your business is (however retail, restaurants, and local businesses do the best). It’s a numbers game – there are over 1.2 billion active users as of January 2014. You can’t ignore that big of platform. Granted, Facebook’s algorithms make it hard for your messages to reach that platform, but if you do a little bit of research you can greatly use organic reach Facebook to your advantage.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Twitter. With the right hashtags, you can do anything on Twitter. Yet the best businesses on Twitter are the opposite of the best businesses on Facebook. This is because retail, restaurants, and local businesses have a dedicated customer base while other businesses have more casual relationships with the audience. This is where Twitter comes in. Twitter allows you to connect with other businesses, prospective customers, and industry enthusiasts who will promote you for free – as long as you use the right hashtags. I insist the majority of my clients get both a Twitter and Facebook. They are the two powerhouse platforms you can’t ignore.

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is THE platform for B2B marketing. Yet LinkedIn can be tricky. You need to have one employee be the “face” of the company, meaning they create, manage, discuss, and make connections on the company’s behalf. It can be tricky to outsource your LinkedIn marketing. Usually it is best to do in house after researching the best way to use LinkedIn as a connector tool, not as a spam marketing robot.

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Google+. I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with Google+. There is a lot to be desired and I don’t see its use as a social media platform – outside of its affiliation with Google. With Google’s search engine rules, having a Google+ page is practically a must. With a Google+ page, you get higher search engine rankings and more credibility in Google’s (AKA – Internet God’s) eyes. If you rely on high search engine rankings for your business, get a Google+ page.

Via Flickr marioanima

Via Flickr marioanima

YouTube. YouTube is more of a supplemental platform for your marketing plan. Only certain brands are good for YouTube. If you have the opportunity to make instructional videos, product reviews/highlights, or “commercials” online with your product or service, then YouTube is a great platform for you. Just make sure your videos are professional and high quality!

alicegop

Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform if your business is highly visual. If you have high quality product photos or offer services that are eye-catching, get your boards started! The pinning platform is best for craft, home decor, home improvement, wedding, food-related, and retail businesses.

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram is great for highly visual businesses. The difference in Instagram – you need to be very interactive as well. On Pinterest, you can get away with throwing up content without a whole lot of interaction. On Instagram, you have to be involved. You have to know the best filters, know the hashtags, and know your audience as well as constantly communicating with your audience.

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Blog. Bottom line – blogs are important for pretty much every business. Blogs are your opportunity to showcase your knowledge about your industry. The golden rule is to never write an entire blog post as self-promotion. You should always blog to give away “free samples” of information to your audience so they want more.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

Why You Need to Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

Back when email was on the rise and everyone was head-over-heels in love with this quick new form of communication (after you waited for AOL to log you in using dial-up for about half an hour), many businesses scoffed. “We don’t need this email. It’s a fad that will pass. Customers would rather call us on the telephone!”

Those businesses learned very quickly they do need email to reach a large portion of their customer base and those who did not perished. History repeats itself and this time social media marketing is the new “fad” businesses are reluctant to pick up.

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Some businesses outright refuse to add social media accounts for their businesses. Others hastily create accounts and pages and often do them wrong (such as creating a Group instead of a Page on Facebook).

There are also many businesses that realize they do need to have a social media presence, but try to do it in-house to save money. Here is where the majority of businesses go wrong. It may seem easy to create a business profile and update it every now and then. You do it every day on your own Twitter and Facebook accounts, why should your business be any different?

You feel confident at first, filling out some basic About Us information and sharing your first post. You might think it’s a good idea to link your Facebook and Twitter posts to save time. You might decide to update once a week or every few weeks with text updates on sales or sharing funny cat videos you find online. When you don’t have time to post, you let your employees take over. People start liking and commenting, which you love looking at. Every now and then a customer might complain in a post on your page that is promptly deleted so your business doesn’t look bad.

It seems things are running smoothly on the social media front. However, your business is not growing at all. Your time on social media seems like a waste and you don’t know how other businesses are accomplished on these platforms. This is because you don’t understand everything you did wrong like I just did.

Nicole Yeary2

Via Flickr Nicole Yeary

As a social media marketer for a huge variety of different business industries, both big and small, I can look at your profiles for five minutes and understand all the mistaken steps you took. I will start brewing ideas on how to fix them and optimize your account.

Many customers prefer to communicate through social media and get updates from their business on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more. When you ignore these platforms or use them incorrectly, you come across as inauthentic, inconsistent, and uncaring about customer needs. Hiring a professional social media marketer allows your business to become a likeable brand on the internet. Your customers will turn to you for their questions, concerns, and investment in your industry.

Professional social media marketers have studied the nuances of every platform extensively. They know the exact formula for posting on each platform and the language preferred by those users. They understand how each social media site is different in expanding a business’ reach, what kinds of posts get the most engagement, and how to create and time messaging. They can also analyze your account and audience to find out when your customers are online and most likely to see your messages.

Social media experts will interact with your audience as a business and customer service representative to increase your customer loyalty. Marketers will learn everything about your business to create a brand personality for your social media presence that is likeable and engaging. They will collaborate with you to get the most out of your website, blog, special offers, sales, events, and more. On top of that, social media marketers are constantly analyzing your platforms to see where improvements can be made.

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? For social media marketers, it is another day at the office. For you, it takes a lot of research and all of your free time, if not more.

This work is not as expensive as you might think. No matter how big or small your advertising budget is, you can find ways to afford social media marketing. At the very least, you can shell out a one-time expense to get consultation on the basics of social media marketing.

I have base prices for my services and different package options for all kinds of businesses. However, I can also take any monthly budget you set and tell you exactly what I can do for you with that amount. I also offer consultation on the basics of marketing tailored for your business needs and goals. You can view my social media marketing service options on my website. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or to email me at h.s.hobbs@gmail.com!

Originally posted on LinkedIn

 

The Stats Don’t Lie: Pinterest vs Facebook

I may be confusing you all. Last Friday I wrote a post about why you still need Facebook as part of your business’ social media marketing plan. I still wholeheartedly think you need your Facebook still, and Terri Lively’s comment sums up why perfectly:

terri tweet

However, Pinterest is quickly growing into a social media beast that businesses can no longer ignore. These stats prove why you might want to see if Pinterest fits into your marketing plan.

Pinterest Positives

Via meeleeo.com

Via meeleeo.com

Via meeleeo.com

Via meeleeo.com

Those on Pinterest are actively searching for products and solutions to make their lives easier. This makes Pinterest extremely profitable for B2C companies selling physical products. On Facebook, users are more like window shoppers, so your chance of selling products on Facebook is less.

On the other hand, Facebook users will take advantage of deals advertised on Facebook more than ones advertised on Pinterest. If you have a lot of coupons or special offers planned, Facebook is the place to advertise them.

Via meeleeo.com

Via meeleeo.com

Once Pinterest users see something they like on the platform, they become huge supporters of the brand and products. This is why Etsy shops do so well on Pinterest over Facebook. Users on Facebook need to see the product or business page multiple times and get friend recommendations before they decide to convert to customers.

The Only Pinterest Negative…

Via meeleeo.com

Via meeleeo.com

When Pinterest users are on the platform, they are actively engaged and have a high rate of conversion. However, users spend less time on Pinterest than they do on Facebook. This is why certain marketing posts will do better on Facebook because you have a higher rate of visibility.

Why You Still Need Facebook for Your Social Media Plan

Five years ago, you could go up to any twenty year old on the street and ask them what their favorite social media website was and the answer would be Facebook or Twitter. Now there are so many options for social media that the answer could also be Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, and more. This is part of what has caused social media marketing to evolve into the monster it is today, and why many businesses mistakenly believe they should be on all of them.

Via Flickr by Chris Heiler

Via Flickr by Chris Heiler

I feel that social media marketing is currently in a transition limbo. Now is the time where platforms need to be actively making changes that excite and engage users to keep them there. Facebook users themselves aren’t going anywhere. Facebook was an innovator of social media and that place is still respected. Even though there is no shortage of users, businesses are starting to shy away from Facebook and focusing on other platforms.

Many changes can be attributed to this shift. For one, Facebook recently changed their algorithms so content from business pages is hidden from user’s feeds if they do not already actively engage with the brand. This takes a lot more effort and convincing on the business’ part to get their customers to go to their page and like posts. Even when you pay for advertising and get many likes on your page, it is hard to get those people to stay active on your business page.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

However, just because something is hard doesn’t mean you should quit! Many bloggers are debating the value of Facebook for businesses and convincing them to leave that platform. But I don’t understand the logic in eliminating a huge platform that reaches more REAL people than any other platform. It is true that certain companies do not do well on Facebook, such as B2B businesses. I can understand those companies focusing their social media time in other places. But for the majority of B2C businesses, Facebook is invaluable.

  • On Twitter, you have to scream to get noticed in the slew of the news feed since everyone has hundreds of followers who are Tweeting three times a minute.
  • Instagram is valuable, but not large enough to sustain an entire social media plan.
  • Pinterest is wondrous, possibly the new Facebook for B2C businesses, but currently the majority of the audience only works for certain businesses.
  • Google+ has the potential to be the new Facebook, but we are still a long way off from seeing that.
  • LinkedIn is strictly B2B and is not going to change any time soon. Even with LinkedIn being B2B, it takes more work than Facebook to successfully market on that platform.

These other avenues are extremely valuable to a social media marketing plan, but cannot sustain it. Like it or not, Facebook still needs to be a building block in your marketing. It does take a little more time and effort these days, but it is absolutely possible to make Facebook worth your marketing time. You can look at my numerous other posts for ideas on leveraging Facebook to your advantage and get a better ROI.

What is your opinion on Facebook’s value? Leave a comment or reply to me on Twitter @HS_Writing! To seen an opposing argument against Facebook, check out this post on Social Media Today.

The Facebook Machine and How It Decides Your Content is High Quality

One of the most important parts of social media marketing is creating quality content. You want content that is exciting to your followers so they respond, share, or click through to your website. Not only should you post content that you think your followers will enjoy, you also need to make sure the content is up-to-snuff according to Facebook’s high standards.

Facebook uses algorithms to set their quality standards so each user sees exactly the content they want to see and share with others. Have you noticed that Facebook ads reflect a status update you just made or a Google search you just performed? This is part of their algorithm that tries to give each user relevant content, down to the ads they see. Facebook analyzes:

  • The source of the content to make sure it is a trusted authority.
  • If the content is unique, fresh, and original.
  • How many times the content is liked or shared because it tells Facebook that many people enjoyed the content.
mkhmarketing19

Via mkhmarketing

This algorithim is part of Facebook’s evolution. Previously, it just showed all friends posts in your news feed in the order they were posted. Now the default setting is to organize the content by “Top Stories.” Some users (like myself) hate this option because I want to see everything that is getting posted, but many users just keep that default setting to see what is most popular.

Facebook has recently updated its algorithim to track, not only likes, comments, and shares, but also the quality of the source. Therefore high quality news sites will get a higher rank in the news feed over sites that are created simply to get likes and shares, such as Upworthy.

Via Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Via Official U.S. Navy Imagery

As mentioned before, Facebook grows smarter by tracking what each user clicks on, talks about, and searches in order to custom deliver content that user wants to see. Facebook even has options for the user to tell Facebook they don’t want to see that kind of content. To make sure your content meets Facebook standards, here are three things you can do:

  • Improve your SEO techniques by researching popular key phrases and inserting them correctly into your content. This is a new Google Panda update that mandates phrases as more valuable than keywords.
  • Make all content high quality that you would want to read. Quantity is not your friend any longer.
  • Register for Google Authorship so your blog post is under your name. This will make it a trusted authority website.

Do you have questions about what Facebook wants to see? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

 

5 Problems You Did Not Know You Had With Your Facebook Business Page and How to Fix Them

Facebook has become an essential piece of a business’ marketing strategy. When creating a Facebook business page, most do not realize they do not fully understand how to properly manage their page. There are five changes you can make to customize a Facebook business page and see better marketing results.

Via Flickr Ksayer

Via Flickr Ksayer

You don’t have enough Likes

Having a large following on Facebook, better known as Likes on your page, is the key to a successful marketing scheme. It is harder to get the first 100 Likes than to 500 since your page gets little exposure with less than 100 Likes. To change this, you can:

  • Place “Like” call to actions on your blog posts
    Businesses often have the social media icons on their sidebar, including a link to their Facebook page. However, you need to put this message at the end of every blog post, “Like what you see? Follow us on Facebook for more great content like this.” Include a link to your page in the anchor text, “Follow us.” You could also offer bonus content that is only available on Facebook, forcing your blog readers to Like your page to get the content.
  • Share Facebook posts on Twitter
    Copy the link from a new Facebook post and shorten the URL to put on Twitter. There are many helpful URL shorteners, such as Bitly and Tiny URL. Make sure to copy the link to the particular Facebook, not the page overall. If you copy the page link, in the future people will not be able to find the post they want to read and become frustrated with your brand.
  • Tell Twitter followers to Like your page
    Not only will posting links to your posts on Twitter increase the visibility of your posts, but you also need to tell your Twitter followers to Like your page. This is when it is okay to shorten the link to the actual page to share.
  • Write an article about Facebook
    On your blog, write a post about why your audience needs to get on Facebook, little known Facebook facts, or how average Facebook users benefit businesses when they Like their pages. Put a link at the end to your page to help promote it. This specific article topic will reach a wider audience than your blog followers, leading to more likes.
Via Flickr bloeise

Via Flickr bloeise

People aren’t talking about it

There will be a count of how many people are talking about your page under the title. If it is low, you need to start prompting your page. This number is the people who have interacted with your page in the last week. Likes, comments, and shares are considered interaction. If your page has a thousand likes but low interaction, something needs to change.

  • Update the page more often, like three or four times a week often.
  • Interact with people on your page by replying to and Liking their comments.
  • Make your content diverse, using pictures, video, text, quotes, links, and more.
  • Put a call to action in your posts, such as, “Like this if you agree” or “Tell me your thoughts.”
Via Flickr Kris Krug

Via Flickr Kris Krug

You only care about clicks

This means your Facebook page is filled with links to your blog or website in order to get more hits to those platforms. The page should not be used for promotion only. While links are sometimes good, they do not produce a whole lot of emotional attachment.

Stories need to make an immediate connection with the user. This is why images are so popular on Facebook. They can transmit the perfect message while instilling some sort of emotion in the viewer.

Via Flickr Ricky-Lai

Via Flickr Ricky-Lai

You are not present on your page

There are a few things you need to do to become more present on your page:

  • Ask questions and reply
    There needs to be back and forth communication on your page, just as you would speak in real life. You need to be active on your page and monitor comments in case one of your followers asks a question. Make sure all of your communication thoughtful and constructive.
  • Use descriptions
    Not only are descriptions a great call to action, but they also allow you to write a summary and present your perspective. If you share a link that is not from your brand, talk about how it affected you that caused you to share it.
Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

You are too present on your page

Even if you follow all of these rules and post great content, you should not overdo it to the point where your fans are un-Liking your page or turning off notifications. Posting a dozen things a day overwhelms your fans’ news feeds. At most, post four times a day, but even that is bordering on too much.

How to Make Your Facebook Posts Stand Out – Part 1

Facebook marketing for business is an often talked about subject. While there are many great Facebook tips for business out there, it is hard to find discussion on what makes a post stand out from the others on a user’s news feed. There are certain things businesses can do to make their posts on Facebook more authentic and noticeable.

Facebook’s News Feed used to be completely customized by the user. They could set their feed to show the most recent posts by the people they follow or the top stories. Now, the News Feed has a new algorithm that decides what content shows up in what feeds. Placement on a feed depends on:

  • How many people Liked, Commented, or Shared a post
  • Relevance to the user, analyzing if the user has interacted with the brand or person much
  • Timeframe of the posting in reference to the last time the brand or person posted

Keeping these factors in mind, you need to start crafting posts and posting them in a certain way and timeframe. There are seven basic things you can do to make your posts engaging and memorable. Here are the first three I am going to talk about and we will get to the other four next Friday.

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

  1. Always remember the brand identity when making posts. Make all content you post emphasize on your brand identity. 80 percent of the content you post needs to be entertaining or valuable in line with your brand. Only 20 percent of your content should be completely promotional.
  2. Make quality content. Make sure you have a solid idea for the content you post before you post it. There is no reason to simply post content for the sake of it. Content should solve a problem, be informative, or be entertaining. Also, over-posting will flood your follower’s feeds, causing them to un-Like your page.
  3. Post photos, tips, quotes, and other varied content. This is the key to quality content. Photos are the easiest way to capture attention and photos on Facebook get more Likes than any other kind of content. Even if you are linking to a blog post or the company’s website, add a relevant photo to the post in order to grab attention.

    Tips are another great kind of content to post. They offer a nugget of information that is interesting or informative to the user. Quotes can also generate likes, especially if the quote is funny or from a famous person. The best kind of content, behind photos, is a question. Posing a question to the people who follow your page will make them want to comment with their answer. Make the question dimensional, not something simple like, “What is your favorite book?”

Don’t forget to check out the second part of the post that will be released next Friday! In the meantime, what are your favorite Facebook posts to see from businesses? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

Increasing Your Brand’s Awareness on Facebook without Paying for Advertising

Businesses have trouble using their brand identity strategies on Facebook without breaking the bank. While Facebook supplies great advertising tools, they often cost businesses money. If you are on a budget, there are many Facebook marketing strategies that will do a great job increasing your brand awareness.

Building brand awareness helps people identify with and remember your brand. Look at McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Even with their many design changes over the years, their brand is instantly recognizable and brings to mind certain things. This is from years of reaching out to audiences with mass marketing that costs millions.

With the invention of social media, businesses can experience the same growth and awareness that these name brand companies have without spending millions on advertising. Facebook has over 500 million users, providing businesses with an amazing pool of people to recognize their brand. There are four ways you can get your brand to millions without paying a cent.

Via Flickr Chris Bannister

Via Flickr Chris Bannister

Make a Facebook Page and Share It On Social Media Sites

This is the first thing you need to do if you want to market on Facebook – create a business page. This is entirely different from creating a profile, which is what you do when you first log onto Facebook. The landing page needs to be nice to look at, interesting, and fun in order to encourage people to Like the page and follow your updates.

On other social media accounts and your website, put a link to your Facebook page telling visitors to get onto Facebook and Like the business. Don’t stop with social media – offer customers to Like you on Facebook in your physical store, if you have one, and on all printed marketing materials.

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Post Authentic, Rich, and Varied Content

The content you post to your Facebook page should not be overly promotional or only promotional. Post links to your blog where you inform or entertain readers on things related to your market. You can even post links to articles from non-competitive sources. Anything you post on Facebook needs to be conversational. Avoid typing words in all capital letters, exclamation points, or technical terms. Pretend like your business page is another friend on Facebook.

Facebook users like images and videos, so make sure to spice up your page’s feed with lots of this content. It can be photos of your products with the latest deals and prices, or it can be funny photos that engage users and cause them to share. You can also post moving stories or funny work happenings from your day. Facebook can act as a behind the scenes look at your business, making your brand feel more authentic.

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Craft and Submit Press Releases to Share

This is one of the best ways to raise brand awareness. Write a newsworthy and compelling press release about a new product, service, events, or information related to your business. If you sell computer software, write about a new law enacted on software trademarks, but include a quote from your business and an About Us section at the bottom. This gives people news-relevant information and it subtly promotes your brand’s knowledge and authority on the niche.

Look up how to write PRs correctly and post them to press release websites. There are many free sites that post your press releases on the internet. From there, copy the link of the posted press release onto your Facebook page. Don’t forget to post a link to your company’s Facebook page in the press release in order to cross-link your information and gain more exposure.

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Give Fans Exclusive Deals and Content

When people Like your page, they are doing you a great service. Every time a user Likes a page, it shows up on their news feed to their friends. Their friends can proceed to click on your page to learn more about what you do. This kind of loyalty and free advertising needs to be rewarded. Offer exclusives just to Facebook users who have liked your page. Give them a code that offers free shipping, a percentage off of their total order, or a buy one get one free deal. This will increase their loyalty and make them more willing to spread your brand to others.

5 Strategies for More Facebook Likes on Your Business Page

Getting more Likes on your Facebook business page can provide your company with great exposure and other benefits. Communities that are developed when you learn how to promote your business on Facebook will help you increase brand awareness and ROI. There are many marketing strategies that can be used to gain more Facebook fans.

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Create Engaging Content and Be Active About Posting It

Content needs to be authentic and varied. Do not be overly promotional or only post one kind of content. Post links to articles related to the industry, text about specials going on, informative videos, and images. Images are by far the most popular content to put on Facebook, but it should still be diversified.

Include a call to action at the end of every post on Facebook. Tell them to Like, Comment, and Share. Pose questions to your fans in order to increase their engagement. You need to post content at least twice a day every day. When to post varies depending on the fans of your business. A good starting rule of them is to post in the evening from six to midnight. This is the period of time most people are online. Thursday through Sunday are the best days to post as well.

Network with Other Companies in the Area

Facebook provides many tools on a business page that allow you to find and interact with other companies in your area and market niche. Using a Graph search can help you find these companies. You need to Like them through your business page by going to Edit Page and selecting Use Facebook as Your Page. After the pages have been Liked, you can comment on and share their posts on your page. The company will likely follow you back and engage on your page, increasing Facebook Likes for both of you.

Via Flickr Ksayer

Via Flickr Ksayer

Ask People to Like Your Page and Supply Like Buttons Everywhere

Invite all friends, family, employees, and business partners to Like your page right at the beginning. This will give you higher visibility and credibility. Tell your customers, prospects, and your community to Like your page as well. Promote your Facebook page on your website and any other social media outlet your business uses.

Add social plugins on all of your social media accounts to include a Like button. This is especially useful when maintaining a business blog. Adding a Like button to the sidebar and on every post will increase the likelihood that someone follows your page.

Give Out Coupons and Hold Contests Exclusively for Facebook

Hold a contest exclusively for Facebook fans. Tell them to like a post and share it in order to be entered in a contest with a prize from your business. Offer multiple entry opportunities when they get someone else to Like your Facebook page.

The same sort of idea goes for coupons. Offer coupons exclusive to your Facebook fans. They are doing a lot of your advertising work by Liking and sharing your page and posts, so let them have 15 percent off their total order, free shipping, or another discount. This will make them feel appreciated and allow them to become loyal to your brand, increasing the chance they will get their friends to Like your page.

Via Flickr owenwbrown

Via Flickr owenwbrown

Look at Analytics to Learn About Your Fans

Analytics are able to tell you how many people see your posts and when and why you get new followers. This helps you understand what your fans like to see, allowing you to adjust your content. Analytics will also be able to tell you which kind of content your fans like the best. If fans consistently Like, comment, and share videos more, then you should start posting more videos over other kinds of content.

Another thing analytics do is help you determine when to post your content. You can see the times of day and which days of the week your fans access your content and business page the most. From there, you can decide when to post content.

How important are getting Likes on your Facebook page as opposed to a following on other social media sites? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!