If you’re engaging in a thorough internet campaign, chances are you’ve got a Facebook account to engage in ‘social media’ – even if you don’t quite know precisely what to do with it. You’ve possibly got a fan page happening as well. The question you have to ask yourself is: are you making the best of it?

Most businesses have a few social media profiles these days. Facebook, or for that matter Twitter, LinkedIn or any of the other social sites, can be incredibly handy if you want to boost your online image or try to bring some traffic back to your site for SEO. If you don’t approach it in the right way, however, it can be a complete waste of time.

Social media has never been easy for businesses. Facebook, with its reliance on sharing and linking, can be extra hard for a business to break into. There are a few things you can do to get an edge. Here are five of them.

  1. Don’t stick strictly to SEO. A lot of businesses approached Facebook at first from a search engine optimisation angle. It can be helpful to use Facebook as part of your SEO. It won’t necessarily help your Facebook campaign though, to stuff a lot of keywords into your user name and profile page. Pick a name that suits your company and make sure you do what’s best for your users.
  2. Show your real self. Companies often fail in social media because they ignore the personal aspect. Social media sites are all about interaction between individuals. For this reason, use your own real name and the names of your staff. Build up personalities, make friends. One of the best things about using Facebook for social media marketing is that it allows you to connect with your target market in a genuine way. Engage with them; you might even learn something.
  3. Use real photos. It’s tempting to just slip your product photos onto your profile. They look slick. Unfortunately, they probably look a bit too slick. Companies that use candid snaps from around the office tend to do better on Facebook than companies with a formal approach, and companies that include images from customers do even better. A good example of this is Coca Cola’s Facebook page. It can be a good idea to check the profiles of a few successful Facebook pages.
  4. Invest in content. Business owners running SEO campaigns might be a little surprised to realise that Facebook requires quality content as well. Your Facebook page operates much like any other media centre. You’re going to need to publish quality, interesting content to keep people’s attention.
    Don’t forget that Facebook allows you to post all kinds of interesting multimedia content. Make a few videos, post images and mix up a few audio posts to keep the attention of your followers. Comedy tends to work well, but anything that provides value to your target market is likely to appeal.
  5. Make regular contact. Ever noticed how much time it takes to keep up with friends on Facebook? Your business needs to spend at least that much time keeping up with its friends as well. Social media thrives on constant contact. Don’t keep anyone waiting.

Bonus tip: Here’s the distillation of all good advice for Facebook – be yourself. Easy. Just be as you naturally would be in a relaxed environment. Businesses that manage to let go of their traditional, formal business personas do a lot better in social media than those that toe the company line. Remember that your customers are looking for genuine connections, not marketing.

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