Confessions from an Ex-Social Media Director: 5 Tips for Using Facebook for Small Business

“Forgive me, Mark, for I have sinned.”

As a small business owner in Columbus, Ohio (HQ for Holden Ellis) or elsewhere, you’ve probably muttered something along these lines whilst trying to generate business or leads via Facebook. A lot of professionals say you just need to be “authentic” and “real,” which is true, but that doesn’t make success any easier. In fact, it seems counterintuitive, but being authentic with content and message is incredibly difficult and complicated. It takes a shitload of discipline. I’ve spent most of career helping businesses and organizations do just that.    

Facebook for Small Business Columbus

Authentic isn’t something that can necessarily be prescribed through a blog post, it’s custom to each business, brand and audience. While fantastically authentic content is the best thing you can do to jump-start your small business on Facebook, these 5 Facebook tips for small business will improve your social cred in a hurry and begin to derive some real measurable results to your bottom-line and your audience.

Tip 1: Understand the Intimacy of Facebook

Each channel carries its own posting intimacy for users. Sites like Twitter, Snapshat and Instagram have built cultures around posting more—over sharing need not apply. But on Facebook, one post goes a long way. If you’re a brand and posting more than 2-3 times a week—you are probably just annoying your audience and are one purge away from getting un-liked or hidden in their feed. Users have an intimate connection to Facebook and are not there for blatant marketing. Less is more.

Tip 2: What the Hell is NFO?

Yes, much like search engine optimization, Facebook has an algorithm that governs a user’s proclivity to see posts called NFO or News Feed Optimization. Knowing what Facebook is looking for will allow you to prepare. Three main data points are:

  1. User affinity—How much historically engagement is there between the two users?
  2. Time of decay—Without a ton of engagement, posts have an inherent shelf life. 
  3. Type of post—Is it a share? Organic URL? Video or copy? It all matters.

Tip 3: Show Don’t Say

If content is king, consider video its first knight—the wrecking-ball henchman of the king. There’s a symbiotic optimization relationship with video between search engines and Facebook. Make and share as much video as you can.

Tip 4: Pay to Play

Unfortunately, a good old-fashioned organic Facebook post has been marginalized. Facebook knows that people aren’t on there to see ads—you know this, too—so they took brands down a few pegs by creating the ability to “Boost” posts. Boosting a post is essentially a way for you to get your content to your audience and for Facebook to treat it like an ad and charge you money. Not ideal for you, but it can be effective. Also, it’s not going anywhere so get used to it.

Tip 5: You Are Not the Center of the Universe

Posts that are self-absorbed about the brand and offer no benefit to your audience will create a community of just that. It’s just going to be you talking about your brand and a few die-hards liking every post. If you want meaningful engagement, shares and new likes, try providing content that answers a question your audience might have. Meaningful wins, make it about them—not you.   

Holden + Ellis is a Columbus social media marketing firm that uses content to inbound and grow business.

Did that h1 make you salivate a little? If so, reach out. We’d love show you how we can change your business for the better with meaningful content. Email CVO Josh Fitzwater today and say, “hi.”