SOCIAL MEDIA: Expert advice to boost your Facebook

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With 1.39 million active monthly users, chances are if your business is online you’ll have a Facebook page.

However, a Facebook presence alone is not enough. To be successful you need to attract customers and to do this you will need to build an audience that interacts with your brand.

Simon Horton of ShopIntegrator suggests ways to help you grow your Facebook audience and keep them engaged.

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1 Spark conversations
Facebook is about generating conversations. Think about how you can encourage someone to ‘like’ you, share content or respond to a comment. If in doubt, ask yourself: is this post something you would want to interact with?

If you find it difficult to get started, questions are helpful conversation starters.. For example, “What do think the season trends for Winter 2015 will be?” Or, “Red diamonds are the rarest in the world – True or False”.

2 Be a visual force
Visual content has a significant impact on engagement and is probably the most important tactic you can use to optimise your Facebook posts.

Hubspot notes that posts with photos see the most engagement, accounting for 87% of total interactions.

Use an image or photo to support all your posts from quizzes to industry news. When you are showing a product use interesting compositions and display pieces in real-life situations.

Video is an effective social media tool. Use short original videos to showcase your products, introduce your business or illustrate how a beautiful piece has been made.

3 Mix it up
A successful Facebook page has a balanced, lively and regular mix of added value content. Creativity is key so don’t be afraid of bringing fun to your posts.

Your Facebook page should support your content strategy, so use it to drive your audience to your website. For example if you have a new blog post or exciting company news then shout about it on Facebook and include a link.

4 Think mobile
Three out of four Facebook users access the platform through their smartphones and a lengthy post won’t transfer well. Keep the your posts short, aiming for between 100-250 characters.

5 Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
Check out other businesses’ Facebook pages – both small and large. Look at what works and what doesn’t. You may not have big brand marketing budgets but you can get plenty of inspiration from other players.

6 You can only improve if you know how you are performing.
Get into the routine of regularly checking your Page Insights to keep track of your performance. Find out what posts are giving you the most engagement and replicate them.

7. Open a Facebook shop
A Facebook store provides your business with an additional sales channel and offers customers an alternative environment in which to purchase your products. There are some excellent third party solutions available that are cost-effective and easy to integrate.

These tips are my favourites, but I’m sure you have found more, so feel free to share via @ShopIntegrator or in comments below.

About the author: Simon Horton is the founder of ShopIntegrator, a hosted shopping cart ecommerce plugin that makes it easy for anybody to add an online store onto their existing website without any coding.

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