Maximizing Your Time Investment on Facebook - Moz

By btails     03/21/2023

Maximizing Your Time Investment on Facebook

Facebook is the social network that needs no introduction. With over 71% of the U.S. adult population, Facebook's user base dwarfs that of Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and every other "competitor."

Because of its ubiquity among the general public, many business owners believe an active Facebook presence is critical to their success online. While this is true in many cases, it's not true for all businesses. It depends on your goals for the time you want to invest in social media.

Facebook is not primarily a customer acquisition channel—so if your main reason for being on social media is customer acquisition, consider other social networks better suited to this purpose (including LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or even Instagram, depending on your type of business). The vast majority of business owners either see a negligible financial return on their time spent, or no return at all. This may be due in part to the fact that only about 2.5% of brand page posts are actually seen by their followers.

Instead, use Facebook for its most natural purpose: Build brand loyalty for your business and turn your community of followers into evangelists, online and offline.

Here are a few ideas to help you get started doing exactly that.

Scout the Competition

Google's Wildfire product offers a fantastic free competition monitor. Punch in your business and a few of your competitors to benchmark your performance over time.

Screenshot of Google's Wildfire

Pay special attention to spikes in the trend-lines—if you or one of your competitors dramatically increased its following around a certain date, visit Facebook and check activity around that date to see what was so successful. It may inspire you to do something similar.

Post Engaging Content

As the saying goes, there are no second chances for first impressions, so draw people in with a killer cover photo. Cape Kaleidoscopes in Mashpee, MA is just one example of a company succeeding with its cover photo: a brightly-lit interior photo of its store. Four Firkins in the Twin Cities is another, showing a line of enthusiastic customers stretching out the door.

Screenshot of Cape Kaleidoscopes' Facebook page 
Screenshot of Four Firkins' Facebook page

Another creative visual use of Facebook is by Amsterdam Printing, which uses the Facebook Timeline to showcase its company history, complete with photos and descriptions of key events in its 115 years in business.

Screenshot of Amsterdam Printing's Facebook page

Posts with photos are more likely to get viewed, liked, and shared by your fans, and photo contests are even more likely to have higher levels of engagement. "Caption the photo" contests like this one from Bits and Pieces would be great for a local plumber or general contractor.

The Swan Center for Plastic Surgery also uses this technique extremely well.

Don't forget about embedding videos in your posts, either! Here's a great example from Point Reyes Cheese of the production of a sandwich that includes their cheese. Note the great teaser that piques fans' curiosity and encourages them to click through.

Sample video in a Facebook post

If your company's just not that visual, try asking questions of your audience—trivia about your city or industry, for example—or posting surveys or polls to find out what your fans are most interested in reading.

Sample poll on Facebook

Partner for Maximum Reach

Partnering with charities and nonprofits can be a great way to market your business and be philanthropic at the same time. Dr. Jeff Donaldson's "Likes for Lives" campaign, where he donates $1 for each Like on his Facebook page in a given month to the OhioHealth Bing Cancer Institute is one example of a successful implementation of this kind of partnership.

Likes For Lives Sample post

Consider Paid Advertising

While not well-suited to direct conversion of prospective customers, Facebook does offer the simplest, most economical advertising platform for small businesses of any major Internet company.

Due to its treasure trove of demographic information (including interests, employment history, age, and relationship status) and geographic targeting ability (down to the ZIP code level), Facebook allows small businesses to be extremely targeted with both the type of customer they're trying to attract and their budgets.

Your business can advertise to its neighbors who are fans of partner organizations, or even competitive businesses to yours, for example.

Facebook Audience Targeting form

These types of campaigns are usually most successful in concert with some sort of discount offer—which, coincidentally, also enables you to track how successful the campaign was in the first place.

One of Facebook's newest ad features, Promoted Posts, can help you gain some extra visibility for status updates you especially want your fans and their followers to see—with no effort beyond setting a budget for how much you want to spend.

Facebook Promote Your Post form

In Summary

No local business "has" to be active on Facebook in order to succeed online. But being smart about how you spend your time and energy can help you harness the potential of a site that nearly 130,000,000 American adults use every single day.


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The Beginner's Guide to Social Media

Ready to dive even deeper into social media strategy?
Check out the Moz Beginner's Guide to Social Media