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Seven tips for small businesses on Facebook

As a nation, we are incredibly plugged in, especially when it comes to social media. In fact, Canada was one of the first countries to adopt Facebook, and now we're leading the pack when it comes to mobile use of the platform too, according to recently released numbers by Facebook Canada.

Here are a few quick, eye-popping stats:

  • 19-million Canadians access Facebook once per month (15-million via mobile or tablet)
  • 14-million Canadians log into it every day (10-million via mobile or tablet every day)

Facebook use in this country is higher than the global average, which spells big opportunity for Canadian businesses and brands to reach their target demographic where they are most engaged.

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If your business has a presence on this social network, that's great. If not, it's time to set one up – but only if you have the resources available to manage it properly. There's not much worse in the business social scene to have a brand start off strong only to drop off weeks later.

For those businesses new to Facebook, or for those looking to beer up their presence, here are a few tips:

1. Launch a business 'Page', not a personal account; 2. Create an engaging profile picture and cover photo. Being recognizable and memorable is key.

3. Fill out all of the available 'about' information about your business on the page, this includes website link, contact information and hours of service.

4. Before you post a single thing, come up with a content strategy. At the most basic level, this includes 'what' you will post as well as how often you will post. Commitment is key, and coming up with a firm editorial calendar will help keep you on track.

5. Visual content is shared and liked more often than text-only or article posts, so make sure you integrate photo, graphics and video into your social content strategy. It also has the highest engagement rates. What your audience will enjoy and share depends largely on who your audience is, what your niche is, and what content your audience will find entertaining or useful. Trial and error usually quickly eliminates what works and what doesn't.

6. Consider paying for Facebook ads. It was recently confirmed that only 6 per cent of a page's audience will organically see posts from a brand page. Facebook ads are a good way to target a specific demographic, whether it be by location, age and interests. Go in with specific goals and remember to include calls to action so your visibility can result in action. Since results are provided real-time, it's easy to measure and adjust your strategy on a regular basis.

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7. A final, and perhaps obvious, final tip that businesses often forget: be social. Prompt engagement with your fans by asking questions or for feedback, and be sure to respond to comments or questions your audience posts on your page. The more you interact, the more visible and memorable you'll be.

Year over year, Canada's digital sophistication and social media use continues to rise. It's a trend that's becoming the norm, and offers plenty of opportunity for businesses of all sizes and in all industries.

Lisa Ostrikoff is a TV journalist and anchor-turned-creator of BizBOXTV, a Canadian online video production, advertising and social media marketing agency. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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About the Author

Lisa Ostrikoff is a TV journalist and anchor-turned-creator of BizBOXTV, a Canadian online video production, advertising and social media marketing agency. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook. More


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