How about a little insight, Facebook?

March 13, 2013

After enough pushing, prodding and hearing the “But everybody’s on Facebook” argument, you finally decided your business needed a page. About 90 percent of small businesses are on it, so welcome to the club. Whether your page is brand-spanking new or a couple of years old, you want to know how you’re doing. As with any other aspect of business, you have to check your figures, right?

Before you get started, make sure your Facebook page represents a business, not a person. If it doesn’t, the Facebook FAQs can take you through the transfer. Once you’re all squared away, you’ll find your business page equipped with free analytics (yes, free) called Facebook Insights. Not only is Insights complimentary, but it’s also fast and relatively painless.

Managing your social media pages can be time-consuming, so the last thing you want is to spend more time crunching numbers. No worries. Insights spits out the important information, giving you just enough not to be overwhelming.

First, know this: Once John Doe “likes” your page, he isn’t coming back. “What do you mean? Where is he going to see my posts?” Try the News Feed, where your posts will compete with updates from his friends and family - and they usually win out over businesses. Second, the majority of your fans won’t ever see your posts. On average, about 16 percent of followers see a post.

Frustrating, isn’t it? There are certainly ways around it, such as Facebook ads or promoted posts. While these paid solutions are a great complement to your Facebook marketing strategy, you can reach more people simply through posting smarter.

The Facebook Timeline can handle it all: text, links, pictures, videos and most other things you can dream up. Go ahead and try them all. Social media involves a lot of trial and error. There is no perfect answer. Your industry, customers and business personality will shape your social success. Mix it up - then look to Insights to show you what worked and what didn’t. Be as visual as possible. Photos generate twice as many “likes” as text updates.

And don’t be overly promotional. Would you share a post from some business spouting off about how great it is? Unlikely. If your page is fun and vibrant, people will want to share.

Lana O’Hollaren does business development and account management for Aloysius Butler and Clark and manages the agency’s southern Delaware office. She can be reached at 302-249-4438.