You’ve heard repeatedly how you need to be active on every established social network, as well as all the new ones coming out, but who has time?
To get the best bang for your time investment, establish a presence only on the most important social networks to your business. Stay focused on the types of participation that will help you achieve your objectives in the shortest amount of time.
The following best practices will help you get the biggest bang out of Facebook without spending a lot of time doing so.
Build a business and personal page. I think there is a place to use your personal profile for business while also using your fan page for business as well. Create a business page and learn how to set it up to get the most from the new design.
Change the settings on your personal profile to allow public subscribers. (Don’t worry, they can’t see anything you don’t make public.) I’ve found that I get a significant amount of traffic from these public subscribers. People use Facebook in different ways and this is like having two different options for exposure.
Promote with calls-to-action. Your goal is to increase the number of engaged fans coming to your page. To do this, ask people to like, share and comment on different posts. You don’t need to beg your audience, just use questions and subtle calls-to-action in your updates. For example: “Like this post if you agree!”
Focus on the Wall with content. Many people spend a lot of time creating pretty pages, apps and tabs on their Facebook page when most people never actually visit those pages. If fans see your content, it’s in their timelines; so spend 90 percent of your time posting content to your wall via status and image updates for a better return on your time investment.
Pick two times a day, perhaps in the morning and at the end of the day, and commit to posting several new items and engaging in conversations with those that comment. This is also a great time to comment on others’ pages.
Create interest lists. Facebook allows you to create lists of pages and group them any way you like. You can pick out a handful of related pages, competitive pages or just pages you find interesting and view all the activity on them in an organized manner. This makes commenting and liking on other pages a snap and can lead to more engagement on your page. Try to do this once a day.
Use images for status updates. Facebook is for entertainment. It’s not a hardcore business network and I doubt that it ever will be. If you want the opportunity to occasionally make an offer, you’ve got to spend the greatest amount of your time entertaining and engaging fans with interesting stuff.
People find images interesting—even if they have nothing to do with what your business sells. Facebook also finds images interesting and will likely show your update with images to more followers than text and third party plugin status updates.
Add the "Like” button to your online world. Put the Facebook "Like" button everywhere you interact. Put it on your Web pages in blog posts and in your e-mail newsletters and remind people to hit that button if they like something.
Buy ads to promote content. I think Facebook ads are a pretty good deal. The promoted post option allows you to buy greater exposure for your status updates with your followers. This is a group that already said they like you and is an important group to stay in touch with.
I also like to use the Facebook Sponsored Stories option to reach the profiles of targeted people who don’t already follow you. Both of these are great for promoting special content such as a new eBook.
Read your stats. Pay attention to your analytics or what Facebook calls Insights. This simple display of what’s going on with your Facebook page can give you a real view of what Facebook and your fans think is your best content. Play with different forms of content and ways to engage and you’ll start to learn how to get the greatest return for time spent on Facebook.
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
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