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social media how toIs your small business on Facebook?

Are you looking for better ways to engage your fans?

Small businesses are winning on Facebook more than ever before.

In this article you’ll find 11 ways small businesses can improve engagement and drive sales with Facebook posts.

boost facebook engagement for small business

Discover eleven ways to boost Facebook engagement for small businesses.

#1: Move Your Audience to Action

Litographs is an online store that creates art from books. They sell posters, t-shirts and tote bags, so right off the bat they have some great visual content that appeals to readers.

The company uses their Facebook posts to drive sales, but they also do a good job of entertaining their audience with questions and humor.

litograph facebook post

Ask questions that require action and also use an image for inspiration.

Litographs came up with a fun idea to create temporary tattoos of sentences from Alice in Wonderland. They invited 5,000 people to join the world’s longest tattoo chain. This kind of idea is a great way to mobilize your audience and make them part of something special.

litograph tattoo facebook post

Make your audience part of something special.

Also give your community special discounts on Facebook—everyone loves a good deal.

litograph discount facebook post

Give your audience special discounts.

#2: Host a Facebook Party

Mamavation is a website that teaches natural wellness and nutrition and champions GMO-free food and products. They have high engagement and use video, blog posts and images to educate their audience about making organic food choices.

The company recently held a fun Facebook party to give away gift certificates and discounts to people who engaged with each post.

mamavation facebook party cover image

Use your cover photo to let people know about special events.

Mamavation had several posts with different giveaways and also gave a discount to everyone. Many posts during the party included tips to educate their audience.

mamavation facebook party post

Think of ways to engage your audience in real time.

Images still get high engagement on Facebook, and the ideal image size is 470 x 470 pixels. Share something thought-provoking, inspiring or humorous for extra engagement.

mamavation image post

Using images in your posts helps boost engagement.

#3: Show Personality

Through a Dog’s Ear is a small 7-year-old company that makes music to help calm anxious dogs. Their Facebook page is filled with personal photos of the founder and her dogs.

through a dog's ear facebook post

Get personal with your photos.

In the post above, notice that the company also tagged Wells Fargo, and Wells Fargo in turn liked the image. You can also use tagging and hashtags to get your posts more visibility.

through a dog's ear facebook post

Share things that are happening in your day and also relate to your business.

#4: Incorporate Humor

Cool Mom Picks is a website that curates gifts, gear, tech and resources for moms. They have great video tutorials and they bring together interesting finds in blog posts. They also use humor and show some personality in their posts.

cool mom picks funny facebook post

This post uses humor and provides tips that people can use and share.

Text-only posts are not dead and can still get great engagement. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope a little with your humor if that’s part of your brand.

cool mom picks text facebook post

Text-only posts can still get engagement.

#5: Have Fun

Authors sometimes wonder what to write about on Facebook—which is funny, since they’re writers. If you’re between projects, think about using Facebook as it was originally intended: a social site where you let people know what you’re doing.

Author Erica Spindler does a great job of getting personal and having some fun. Share things that you find funny or you feel are important for people to know.

erica spindler author facebook post

Use humor and tie it into your experience or your brand if possible.

#6: Be Responsive

Make it a habit to respond to comments quickly, as Erica Spindler did in the post below. When you do that regularly, you’ll get more engagement with your posts.

erica spindler author facebook post

Ask questions and respond to comments regularly.

#7: Create a Facebook Event

While libraries aren’t necessarily small businesses, many struggle with engagement and connection.

Lawrence Public Library uses humor and also takes advantage of Facebook events. They use things like Throwback Thursday or Caturday memes to take advantage of fun trends.

lawrence public library facebook post

Humor plus cats wins.

If you have events on Facebook, reshare them, post in the events to get more visibility and encourage people to join them.

lawrence public library event facebook post

Reshare your events periodically.

Ask your fans to share pictures in posts or on your page to get more engagement. When people share their passions with you, they’re more connected to your brand.

lawrence public library fan pictures

Encourage fans to post pictures.

lawrence public library event pictures

Show what’s going on at your location.

#8: Post to Your Page and Profile

David Newman of Do It Marketing uses his Facebook page and personal profile to market his business, which helps speakers get more opportunities.

He’s connected with many speakers personally, so it makes sense for him to get extra traction by posting about his business on his personal profile. If you occasionally share your business page posts on your profile, you can extend your reach.

David has a Speaker Booking Machine cheat sheet and uses his cover image to showcase that opt-in with a call to action button.

do it marketing facebook cover image

Use your cover image to drive leads.

Below, he posted to his personal profile with a slightly different twist, telling people to leave a comment if they wanted to get the cheat sheet. That led to a lot of comments (social proof) and more visibility for this post.

do it marketing facebook post

Use your personal profile to let people know about a special offer.

This post led to 550 cheat sheet downloads, 120 signups for a teleseminar and 33 sold seats to a $777 program—all without any spend on Facebook ads.

#9: Invest in Videos

Videos are huge on Facebook, and Learn Cake Decorating Online uses them effectively on their page. They have a featured video and regular quick videos that get lots of views and engagement.

learn cake decorating online facebook videos

Facebook videos get high visibility in the news feed.

The company also uses the 22Social app to give away a free video class to build the email list and then offer a membership to people who sign up.

learn cake decorating online facebook app

Drive Facebook fans to your email list by offering them something good.

#10: Provide Great Local Content

Realtors sometimes find Facebook a challenging place to market. Posting images of houses is great, but Realty Austin offers great local content, too.

They’ve created their own guide to viewing bluebonnets in Austin. This content provides a service to potential customers beyond real estate.

realty austin local content post

Post about your area if you’re a local business.

Creating content takes time, but it can be a huge driver for awareness and new customers.

Realty Austin goes a step further on their website and tells people to post directly to their Facebook page if they have something to add. This gives website visitors a reason to check out their Facebook page, too.

realty austin traffic driver

Drive website visitors to your Facebook page to show them where the action is.

#11: Go Behind the Scenes

Getting personal on Facebook is a great tactic, but so is giving your community a sneak peek at something no one else can see. The Celtic band Barra MacNeils literally takes people behind the scenes during their shows.

barra macneils facebook video post

Take people behind the scenes.

barra macneils facebook photo post

Show people photos that aren’t available anywhere else.

Conclusion

Most of these examples illustrate what’s working for small businesses in their Facebook updates. For your business, focus your energy on getting into the news feed. If you’re having trouble, consider boosting key posts that are engaging and interesting to your fans to reconnect with them. Facebook can drive a great deal of traffic to your website, but concentrate first on getting your posts in front of fans.

Here are some key takeaways from these examples:

  • Use visual content, including good images and interesting videos.
  • Add a personal touch, which can help differentiate you from other small businesses.
  • Incorporate humor and have fun—that always gets engagement.

How about you? Are you a small business using Facebook? Are you working on improving your Facebook engagement? What’s working well for you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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  • Hi Andrea!
    I really like the article. It’s simple and on-point. I tell these 11 things to my team every day. Social media marketing for upstart businesses can be really hard. It’s frustrating at first, especially when you know you have great content but can’t get any engagements because your total followers are too low. Anyway, good job on this 🙂

  • We’ve definitely noticed very quickly with our startup that showing personality, behind the scenes and even customer photo’s to work well both on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Definitely need to set up a few contest or parties. Will have one up by the end of the week for sure. Great ideas here.

  • So true – I know some people get discouraged when they see that their post only was seen by a handful of people so you do need to get your overall fan-base up. Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Yes, people want to be more “business-like” but the human side gets more engagement 🙂 Good luck with your contest!

  • Thanks Andrea. We came up with an amazing contest that is relevant to our audience and one that we believe will create a lot of buzz. Going to use Heyo to implement it this week. Thanks again for the great ideas ~ Mike

  • These are some great examples of how to increase engagement on Facebook here. I always encourage my clients to be creative with these and using humor is a great way to connect. Happy Monday Andrea! 🙂

  • Thanks for devoting an article to small businesses! So often examples are given for what the big guys and their social media teams are accomplishing.

  • Nice post!

    I liked to know if anyone on here as Hosted a Facebook Party. Is it similar to a Twitter chat? How long is the Facebook Party? Thirty minutes? One hour? Two days? Do you choose a topic or just chat as if you were at a “real” party? Any feedback you could provide would be helpful. Thanks!

  • Thanks Steve! Yes I’m a big fan of humor 🙂

  • I agree Mari – sometimes smaller companies are a little under-represented in posts. While big companies can have an advantage in some ways on what posts “look” engaging but sometimes diving in to the actual analytics you find that the smaller Pages are getting better engagement percentage wise! So always something to keep in mind. Thanks!

  • I’ve hosted Facebook parties in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s more of a Live-streaming party using the app 22Social or it’s just a “chat”. I think keeping it shorter is better because the audience doesn’t check in and feel like no one is there. I like keeping them to an hour max. Or if you have a longer party have multiple things planned. Hope that helps!

  • Thanks Andrea! I’ll research and “test” out a Facebook party.

  • This is fantastic! Fun, creative ideas that really resonate with ‘human beings’. I love it! thank you for writing it, Andrea. I’m going to share with my Art as Action team. I think we can use some of these ideas on our FB page!

  • Awesome! Thanks Yvonne!

  • Tami Iseli

    Thanks Andrea, great article. I’d be interested to see a post with examples of how Facebook parties work in practice, if you have any examples to share.

  • That’s a nice guide Andrea, we can also use Video Call-to-Action to increase the engagement to a new level 🙂

  • Gurneet Kaur

    Hi Andrea!,
    The article states all the essential points for individuals or businesses to follow. I really liked all the examples given by you. 🙂

  • Hello Andrea,

    I like it .The most important part is about being numerous.At times when conducting online marketing on social sites like Facebook,we tend to forget that it is a social media where people will log in for not so much formal reasons.The humor in marketing is a powerful tool in this.

  • claudia marie lenart

    I really like that the article had so many different types of businesses. As an illustrator and artist sometimes it’s hard to relate to large corporations or apply their techniques. I got some ideas from this and may have to post some of my early works on Throwback Thursday.

  • I would definitely go check out how the Mamavation one went that I showed here. It was not too long ago so you just need to scroll down the page a bit; http://www.facebook.com/mamavation

  • Thanks Salman – great to hear what you are doing too 🙂

  • Glad you enjoyed it Gurneet!

  • I love humor 🙂

  • Awesome – so glad to hear Claudia!

  • Hello! I have a question, based on the contest, that whoever shares or comments will be registered to “win” – On the FB page I manage, I can’t tell who shares the posts… I just tells me in the insights how many times it was shared. Am I missing something?

  • Tami Iseli

    Thanks Andrea, will do!

  • Bryce Phillipy

    Great ideas all. How does this square with Facebooks’ new more stringent posting policies?

  • Great tips! Having trouble getting people to engage in “boring” services such as financial services. Anybody have ideas?

  • Want to boost engagement for your small biz on Facebook? Spend $1000 a day on Facebook ads, of course!

    Lol, no seriously, I genuinely appreciate all of these tips, Andrea. With Facebook continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate, many businesses are looking straight to ads as their solution to ‘be seen,’ ‘get noticed’ and ‘increase our audience.’ But this is totally the wrong philosophy.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Facebook advertiser for many brands myself, but what you’re preaching here is “more social, less media.” It’s a concept I picked up from “A World Gone Social.” Essentially, it means getting back to the social media basics. Instead of spending more to ‘get noticed,’ businesses & brands should focus on excellent social media engagement that will ‘be remembered’ – there’s a vast difference here.

    I hope more businesses take heed to your advice, Andrea, great tips!

  • Sure Profits

    Hi andrea,
    I really like your post and your suggestions. It can be really frustrating and crestfallen when our posts don’t reach the intended number of persons. The organic reach is limited to a percentage of the persons liking your page. Anything that can improve this must be good for new page owners especially. Thanks for sharing this information. It is well appreciated.

    Vinton

  • Great way to build brand. Awesome tips. Thank you Andrea

  • Guest

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  • Very informative article bro, i’m Getting highest number of traffic from facebook. thanks

  • Erik Kyle

    just an incredible article,didn’t know much more about it till i read it

  • Marketing Sweet

    Thanks for the great tips Andrea. I really think that video is the way to boost a business’ engagement on Facebook. However the key is capturing your audience so they watch for more than the first few seconds. I think a behind the scenes video would be more likely to assist in this process since it’s something out of the ordinary.

  • Glen Kosaka

    Great creative ideas Andrea! I like the fact that they can be done by businesses of any size, not just large brands.

  • great post on how to maximize facebook engagement to generate website traffic or increase sales.

  • Drishti Khanna

    Nice points to pen down..i will use these points when start my own business.. but i think we should hire any agency that provide services at reasonable cost for start ups..like http://www.phoenixmedia.in/ is an agency that provide you resonable rates.. thank you.. 🙂

  • Shelly Davenport

    Excellent article. Really helped a lot. Are hashtags on FB advised or do they just not matter?