With over 1.79 billion monthly active users, Facebook has led the charge in defining social media for our time. As the most popular social media site in America, the site has become our go-to news source for your co-worker’s new Pug, or catching up on your aunt’s latest vacation photos. But as more and more businesses and organizations flock to the platform to engage with their communities on a personal level, it’s becoming clear that Facebook isn’t just a forum for friends. The growing social media titan has solidified itself as our go-to source for the latest news, store business hours or our favorite band’s upcoming shows. In many ways, Facebook has become the primary way we interact with brands. With that in mind, it’s increasingly important for companies, no matter how big or small, to leverage social media to connect with their fans and followers more effectively.
Justin Johnson works in the SMB department as an Account Manager at Facebook in Austin, TX, and he helps businesses do just this. Day-to-day, Johnson works with over 40 clients throughout North America to coach them on their Facebook and Instagram marketing strategies. He sees what works and what doesn’t when it comes to social media posts. He sees common pitfalls and problems with everything from profile updates to cover photos. Johnson understands that many businesses rely on Facebook for revenue and vitality, and he helps them meet their goals and streamline their message. We asked Johnson if he could provide us some solid advice on how businesses might use Facebook, and here are a few tips from the pro himself:
Don’t roll your eyes at this one. You’d be surprised how many businesses and companies leave their profiles and pages incomplete. According to Johnson, “Your Facebook page is the online ‘face’ of your business. I highly encourage every business to include accurate and up-to-date information on their page (i.e., profile picture, cover photo, website link, store hours, address, events, description, etc…). This is beneficial to ensure that when users visit your Facebook page they have access to important information about your business.”
Did you know we process images over 60,000 times faster than text? While many businesses may consider a wide shot of their building or simple pattern as a banner, Johnson encourages people to “choose a colorful, action-packed cover photo that attracts viewers.”
This one is simple but often overlooked. Call-to-action buttons can help you make a sale, send people to your website or complete another quick task that leads to a conversion. According to Johnson, “A call-to-action button on your business page helps users engage with your business. Some call-to-action buttons include: call now, shop now, book now and donate now.” If you’d like to learn more about call-to-action buttons click here.
Coming up with a status update might not seem difficult, but it takes great skill to truly engage your fans and followers. Johnson advises, “Your posts need to be high-quality, concise and engaging. There is a lot of content out there, so you need to find ways to stand out. Most importantly – your customers (and potential customers) need to know what you and your business are all about. Therefore, authenticity and consistent brand messaging is key. One effective practice for posting is to ask customers for photos they’ve taken with your product and reward them for their submissions with discounts. In other words, use customers as your creative department.”
High quality video evokes emotion and offers insight into your brand more than words can often do. According to Johnson, “Video also continues to gain momentum on Facebook. Our Head of Small Business Dan Levy put it this way: ‘If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million.’ Just remember to adhere to the ‘three second audition rule’: your video must be compelling enough in three seconds or the audience will move on. It is also important to note that your video should be able to convey your message with the sound off as many viewers will have videos muted on their phone.”
This sounds simple, but watching your numbers can be a science. According to Johnson, “Consistency is key; however, sharing relevant content that resonates with your audience is equally (if not more) important. I encourage businesses to utilize Page Insights which provides a deeper understanding of their fan base including age, gender, location, when people are looking at your Page, how specific posts are performing, etc…”
Johnson states that one common mistake he sees companies make is failing to tailor content to each audience. In the end, he says, “Views, clicks and likes aren’t the metric that matter most – sales are.” That’s why insights and metrics that are so important. Depending on what’s most important depends on a business’s objective and the goals they are measuring on Facebook. He says, “For example, if you are an eCommerce business that sells men’s backpacks you want to track how many users are completing checkout on your website and can accomplish this by installing the Facebook pixel. Or, say you are a new tech startup based in Austin, Texas that wants to let locals in the area know that your business exists then you will want to track reach and attention performance from ads that have been activated.
“There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to key insights or go-to numbers, my recommendation is to have a deep understanding of what matters most to you as a business – and most likely that is sales,” says Johnson.