Expert Interview: Facebook for Businesses

Social networks like Facebook are everywhere in our everyday life, and both businesses and brands know how to incorporate this in their marketing strategies. Especially for business, Facebook is a great platform for small and medium-sized companies to present themselves and their offerings. Expert Felix Beilharz explains what to consider when maintaining a Facebook business page.

Can any company use Facebook or are some that are more suitable than others?

Facebook is quite big and diverse, so it’s suitable for every type of company. You can’t say that only enterprises or SMBs benefit from Facebook. When used correctly, Facebook is beneficial for everyone.

Facebook helps spread highly-visible and positively-rated content. How can a company improve the scope of their audience?

There are two ways to reach that. First, good content produces interactions. Facebook´s organic reach relies a lot on interaction like shares, likes or comments. If you can get people to engage with your content, then your organic reach will improve. The second way to reach an audience is through placement. On Facebook, you can distribute content with paid advertisements. A mix of good content and well placed advertisements is the best way to spread the word.

How do these Facebook ads work and what do companies have to keep in mind?

Facebook offers a variety of ads depending on the goal you have. To generate well-placed ads, it’s important to know about these goals, though usually you need to test for that beforehand since it is never easy to predict what will work and what won’t. My advice: use the advertising manager to create ads—and leave the “promote” feature behind. It has a poor targeting.

What exactly does “targeting” mean in this context?

Targeting addresses a strict demographic, for example by gender, age or geography. There are more than 100 filtering options in the advertising manager, from occupation to interests. It’s important not to filter too tight, as it can make your ads unsuccessful. You should aim to address 1,000 people minimum.

Are there certain times or days on which companies should post their content?

In general there is no hard and fast rule for optimum posting times. Facebook tends to spread its content little by little. Once content is posted, it doesn’t sit on a newsfeed for some time and eventually lose relevance. It trickles little by little into a user’s timeline. However, it still makes sense to post content when a community is most active online. Take a look at your page’s insights to find out when most of your fans are online and try to upload content at that time.

On some pages you can see hashtags. Do they work beyond the Twitter universe and are they used at all?

Not really. Hashtags do work on Facebook but they often aren’t used properly. Facebook’s search function isn´t good enough to find hashtags or every post that contains a certain hashtag. Many people don’t understand hashtags or have private profiles which make their posts hidden. Of course, this could all change depending on the “trending topic” feature that Facebook has begun to integrate.

If this will work, what hashtags are useful for companies?

There are two recommended approaches. One is to use a currently trending hashtag. For example, #dressgate became popular when users debated over whether a photo of dress was either blue-black or gold-white. The second approach is to create a unique hashtag. For example, #1and1hosting is only used by our company and people that talk about it. Creating a unique hashtag is an easy way to track a specific conversation.

Should a company that produces their own video, upload them directly to Facebook or is it enough to post a link to the YouTube channel?

Both ways are definitely useful. When uploaded on YouTube, a video has a longer lifespan and can be found through a YouTube or Google search even after several years. On Facebook, videos spread more organically through the newsfeed, but very few users will use the platform to search directly for a video. Still, the audience is usually larger on Facebook. My advice would be to upload videos on both channels and find a working combination of both.

Felix Beilharz

Felix_BeilharzFelix is “one of the leading consultants for online and social media marketing” (RTL). The four-time book author teaches at several universities and colleges, gives lectures throughout Europe and advises and coaches enterprises using online marketing and social media tools successfully.


Category: eBusiness | Tips
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