Whether you’re a social media ace or cringe at the thought of having your information out in cyberspace, you can’t deny that running a successful business, nonprofit, or brand these days requires building a solid online presence.

The beauty of Facebook is that it’s a great way to do consistent marketing on a budget. You can stay top-of-mind with your audience long after the last time (if any) they saw you in person.

As an added bonus, if you are seeking media coverage for your organization, I can tell you from personal experience that you’ll be doing yourself and journalists everywhere a favor by being active on social media and having all your information readily available.

Here are a few basic tips for using Facebook to your organization’s advantage.

Don’t mix your personal and business pages.

Back in October, NPR social media editor Christopher Dean Hopkins accidentally published a post about his not quite one-year-old daughter on NPR’s Facebook page, quickly spurring on NPR fans to generate the hashtag #Ramona (see the story here). Although he deleted the post ten minutes after the fact, thousands of users had already seen it. While the little mishap put a smile on audience’s faces, mixing up your personal and business Facebook accounts could be damaging to your brand, depending on what you post. Make sure you’re using the right account by clicking the little arrow in the upper right-hand corner of the screen to see which page you’re on.

Set clear end goals.

When it comes to your Facebook strategy, you’ll want to know that the time you invest in it is well spent. If you wish to gauge how successful your Facebook page is, determine if your overall objective is gaining X amount of followers, increasing website traffic, etc.

Make a good first impression.

Choose a profile picture that’s easily recognizable from a Facebook user’s perspective—use your organization’s logo, or if you’re a freelancer or contractor, use a professional headshot of yourself. For the cover photo, use an evergreen image that shows your product or service, or employees at work. Anyone that may be searching for you should feel assured that they’ve found the right place when they look at your photos.

Keep vital information at the forefront.

Don’t leave your audience in the dark when it comes to what your organization does. In the “About” section of your business page, give a general description of your company, its mission, history, and milestones in a succinct but engaging bio. Also be sure to list your website and contact information and, if applicable, hours of operation. If you neglect to list your website address, your audience will have the unnecessary extra step of doing a Google search to find it.

Time is of the essence.
It is important to the health of your brand that the content on your page is current. For example, you don’t want the post at the top of your page to be about end-of-year giving if it’s almost March. Note that if it’s been a long time since you’ve posted, it may appear that your business is defunct. One useful strategy is to pin your most important posts to the top of your page so that they’ll be the first ones people see.

Have a response protocol.

Take advantage of Facebook’s notifications for your business page so that you don’t miss out on responding to a user comment, message, question, or complaint. Responding to your audience’s needs will show that you care enough to be actively engaged with them.

Need help understanding the public relations process and how to adapt it to your organization? Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation. Public Relations, Press Events, Special Events, Storytelling, Digital Marketing … we can help you implement a strategy for engagement and growth.

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