Remember when Facebook was used solely for keeping in contact with friends and family across the world? When Mark Zuckerberg created ‘Thefacebook’ in 2004 (yes, that was its original name) we’re sure he didn’t expect it to be the phenomenon it is today. With 1.44 billion monthly active users and 936 million daily active users it’s become a part of our everyday lives. So how has it changed? Firstly, everyone has Facebook now, and if they don’t then they’ve definitely heard of it, if they haven’t heard of it – where have they been? Originally, the social media site was only available to university students, but popularity soon spread and people of all ages were using it to update their status or add a new photo.
In recent years Facebook has not only been a way for friends to keep in contact by sharing statuses and pictures, it’s also been adopted as a useful tool for business owners and brands. In 2010 Facebook allowed companies and celebrities to invite fans and customers to connect with their page, they took the opportunity to sign up, enhance their exposure and communicate with customers in a way that they couldn’t before.
We asked our social media experts to answer some commonly asked questions about using Facebook for business. So if your company is on Facebook but you’re not getting the right response, or you’re new to the site and need some tips, read on.
How often should I post?
Don’t overload newsfeeds with your content and promotions. It’s more likely to annoy your audience than interest them – plus Facebook has already de-valued this kind of content in previous algorithm updates. Instead, think outside the box and get creative with your content – what will interest and entertain your followers?
Why do I need to respond to comments?
Acknowledging your customers is important. Social media has become the go-to place for customer services and ignoring consumers or failing to handle their queries will reflect badly on your brand. Responding quickly and effectively can do wonders for brand reputation – especially if a happy customer tweets about their experience! Facebook now has Response Time and Response Rate tabs – these can’t be seen by users unless a page replies within a certain time, so if this gets displayed publically it demonstrates to a user that a company has good customer service on that channel. This also suggests Facebook is encouraging businesses to make more of Facebook as a customer service tool. You can find more information on this here.
What content should I post?
Avoid posting lengthy content on your page – keep it short and sweet to catch a user’s attention. Content should always include a video or photo as this content receives the highest organic reach and best engagement.
How can I get customers to be active on my page?
Ask customers to engage and share their thoughts. There’s a great example from Asda below, it asks readers to share a photo that sums up what they love about summer to be in with a chance of winning. It’s fun and by offering an incentive it encourages people to engage.
How can I keep up to date when I’m not in the office?
If you’re out of the office at an event and want to update your page, Facebook manager and Twitter are a great way to share live updates from behind the scenes.
How will my customers recognise me?
Make sure your cover photo and profile picture are relevant and engaging – something customers are able to recognise.
Facebook’s new algorithm: What does it mean for my business?
This came into effect on 9 July 2015 and has been created to allow users to choose friends and pages that they want to see first on their newsfeed, a blue star will appear on prioritised friends, as the picture shows below. It also shows you who you’ve followed and unfollowed and gives you the opportunity to follow or unfollow them again if you change your mind. Users can select up to 30 accounts to see first on their newsfeed.
Hopefully the latest update won’t have too much of an effect on businesses, as it’s a focus on people rather than pages. However, this does follow an update in May that saw content from friends prioritised over company page content. This means the reach of company pages has gone down and the challenge of getting content seen is even greater. To counteract this, businesses need to combine interesting and interactive content with a paid media strategy to be seen.
Do you use Facebook to interact with your customers? Or do you have any other Facebook tips? Let us know in the comments below.