Small Business Facebook Lessons From People Who Do It Right

Cauldron falls yorkshire dales | Flickr - Photo Sharing!People spend a ton of time on Facebook socializing.

Given the amount of time spent, marketers have followed their prospects to this social media giant despite the short lifespan of a Facebook like. But they overlook the fact that people are on Facebook to engage with their family and friends not brands.

As a small business owner, you may wonder how you can possibly break through the noise and achieve your goals whether they’re to improve your branding, establish thought leadership, distribute content and/or generate leads.

5 Small business Facebook lessons based on the social media rock stars

One way to get a feel for what works is to look at some of the people behind small businesses who are successfully interacting on Facebook. Based on these social media rockstars, here are 5 Facebook lessons that any small business can follow and make their own.Cauldron falls yorkshire dales | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

1. Post consistently.

Show up on a regular basis. Like any other type of media interaction, you have to get your followers to expect and look forward to seeing your posts in their feed.  Ian Cleary does a good job of this on his RazorSocial Facebook page.

Here’s a sampling of his recent posts.(6) RazorSocial-Blog post-FacebookSmall business Facebook lessons via Ian ClearyRazorSocial-Human on Facebook

2. Have a personality.

People scan their Facebook feeds seeking interesting, amusing information often to break the monotony of whatever they’re supposed to be doing.

Therefore, if your content looks like a boring brochure or corporate blather it’s not going to get clicked on.

You have to give people a reason to want to read your stuff and care about it enough to do something.

Peter Shankman lives larger than life. He’s always jumping out of a plane or jet setting somewhere cool. Peter Shankman-Facebook

3. Always use a good photograph.

It’s not about the words; it’s about the attention. Photographs are people-magnets. Some of the best Facebook streams are an endless array of interesting photographs.

Snap a business shot. Take out your smartphone and grab a selfie. Make your customer part of the post. This is a popular tactic because it’s not just about you. Even better, it gives you street cred. Mark Schaefer of Businesses Grow does a great job of this. Like Shankman, he’s often on the go. Mark Schaefer on Facebook

4. Converse with your Facebook followers.

For the social media rock stars, Facebook engagement isn’t empty marketing talk. It’s how they interact and make physical distances disappear.

Spin Sucks’ Gini Dietrich takes social media interaction on Facebook to another level. Recently, Dietrich posted a photograph from MarketingProfs B2B Forum (BTW–Here are 5 Awesome Content Marketing Lessons From MarketingProfs B2B Forum.) Unlike most people, she didn’t just say, “Here I am.” Small Business Facebook

Instead, she used the photograph as an opportunity to engage. She turned it into a caption contest. The result: Over 200 comments.

5. Show you’re a real person.

You don’t need to spill your guts on Facebook to be a human. Rather you just need to show that you do something more than pound away at your computer. Ian Cleary includes the occasional personal request or reference to his family.

Amy Porterfield posted a Halloween photo on her business page to get interaction. Amy Porterfield-Facebook

5 more small business Facebook lessons you can use

Here are 5 other small business Facebook lessons that will help you achieve your Facebook goals.

1. Decide how you’ll handle your personal and professional lives on Facebook.

Before you skip this point, it influences what and how you post on Facebook (and other social media platforms as well.) Consider the following:

  • Will you have separate professional and personal pages?
  • What information about you, your family and your business do you want to be public and what do you want to be private? How does your family feel about this?

Personally, I assume everything I post on Facebook (or any other social media platform) is public and winds up as some form of data. I don’t post about my personal life.

2. Take advantage of your Facebook real estate.

Use your profile image to your advantage, particularly if you’ve got a small business since everyone gets the same amount of space.

Both Jon Loomer and Ian Cleary use their profile images to get visitors to engage with their businesses. They include images, text and a call-to-action
(6) RazorSocial-5

3. Skip the promotion.

Understand that your target audience can smell marketing messages a mile away. Offering an occasional Facebook deal can make your followers feel special but don’t use Facebook as an extension of your push marketing. This can be a turnoff even from the pros!

4. Never do anything that would upset your mother.

Not only because your mom may be reading your feed but also because women are considerably more active on social media. (Hat tip to Upworthy for pointing this out.)

As your mother would remind you: Mind your manners on Facebook and be nice to people. Getting into an argument on social media won’t prove your point; it’ll just give more people a reason to complain and that’s a recipe for a PR firestorm.

5. Be willing to take risks.

Shankman is one of the most creative people I know. What puts him in a class by himself is that he continually tries new things including creating a t-shirt after a conference talk to entrepreneurs.Small Business Facebook Lessons

Shankman’s not afraid to fail. He started Help A Reporter Out as an experiment on Facebook (until it grew too big.)

 

You can take your small business Facebook strategy up a notch and make your Facebook interactions stand out by following these lessons.

Here’s the secret: You have to start and you have to continue showing up on a regular basis.

What’s your small business Facebook lesson and what makes it worth learning?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Related article: Social Media Platforms: 2014 & Beyond


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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