According to eMarketer, 41 percent of small businesses in the United States use Facebook as an integral part of their online marketing strategy. However, business owners also report that their efforts aren’t as effective as they’d hoped. That’s what we’re here for.

 

Facebook is the market leader on the internet for social networking sites, making it prime real estate for businesses to leverage it as a springboard to gain awareness. Your brand can absolutely have a presence on Facebook, so learn below how to use it for something more than catching up with old friends – to reach your target audience. You CAN leverage your personal page to use for business, but you’ll first need to make some adjustments.

 

Here are five components to getting the most out of Facebook for your business.

 

Create your business’s brand identity.

 

This is a crucial step to branding yourself on Facebook. Your brand is your business’s overall image, and you want it to be a good image. Think critically of how you want to be seen. For example, using an appropriate and correctly sized profile picture and a specific vanity URL are key to making yourself recognizable. This is how you get traffic to your page, liked by your target audience, and get them to follow your business across social platforms and on your website.

 

Double-check your privacy settings.

 

In transforming your Facebook page from personal to professional, remember that you will start to get friend requests from potential professional connections. This means filtering the content that you allow people to see, which can be done in Facebook’s control panel. Your privacy settings limit or expand the access your audience gets to your page.

 

Show your credibility.

 

As you transform your page from personal to business, ensure that you keep it professional – ALWAYS. In addition to having an appropriate profile picture and URL, fill in your work history, the “About” section, and other professional details. Basic information like this will introduce people to you and your business. People want to know who you are, so tell them. Showing your professional details shows your credentials, and it speaks to who you are.

 

Have meaningful content.

 

Use your Facebook status and pages to produce and post meaningful content. When you want to be seen in a professional light as you do on this page, the content you share — whether it’s a blog post, paper, or picture — will speak to your position in your industry. Keep the content appropriate and relevant to your niche (no game requests!). The most common reason that a Facebook user “unlikes” a brand is sharing uninteresting posts.

 

Engage with your audience

 

Not only should you monitor commentary directed toward your brand, but you’ll also need to interact with the people making comments on a regular basis. Take note of conversations between other Facebook users as well. Join groups to connect with potential partners, clients, and industry professionals. There is great power in connection. You could also host events to engage with your customer base face-to-face, which is a big plus. Give them a unique experience.

 

Facebook is the largest social media network in most major markets, which means that there is plenty of space for you and your business to dominate the social network scene as well. As a large and FREE platform, it is completely at your disposal; take advantage of the opportunities that lie within it to propel your brand’s growth and success. Use it to engage your audience, share information that demonstrates your expertise, and establish yourself as an industry authority.