There’s ​no doubt that Facebook has become the most powerful of all the social networks. Just recently they were able to announce that they have crossed the threshold to more than 1 billion users Despite its less than impressive IPO the service still has a significant amount of power behind it. Not only does it offer users a one-stop shop to all of their friends but it also gives brands and marketers a fantastic opportunity to connect with their customers; and perhaps make a few more.

​As a brand you are able to use the free infrastructure that Facebook offers you in order to get yourself set up. If you have something that your customers want then it should be relatively easy to find a few fans (you may have to purchase Facebook ads in order to let your customers know where you are).

Once you have set up your page you really have to know how to post. There are a few tricks that one learns when posting content to Facebook, some trial and errors that have been perfected over time, and they can often make the difference between having an engaging post and losing a few fans. ​

1) Don’t post a missive.

I really can’t stress this one enough. If you write a post of a dozen plus paragraphs then your fans are going to get real sick of it, real fast. Keep your posts short, sharp and to the point. ​

2) Engage with your customers

Facebook has presented you with an amazing opportunity to reach your customers in their homes (or on their cellphones) and it’s not something that should be wasted. When you write a post make sure that it’s funny and ends with a question or call to action. (i.e. Posting about the new Hobbit movie coming out in December could end with ‘what are you doing to prepare for the movie?’). Remember that the majority of customers will not return to your Facebook page again. The only way that you will reach them is through their Facebook news feeds (where all your posts are pushed). You are competing with their real life friends. Make your posts an attractive alternative to being social.

3) Look at all the pretty pictures

Study after study about the habits of Facebook users has shown that they engage more strongly with pictures and less with text. Because of this a number of very savvy brands have been using pictures as a way to keep their fans interested. The most famous of these is the recent Oreo Cookie ‘a picture a day’ campaign. The campaign commemorates a particular day in history, or important event, in the form of an Oreo cookie (this is similar to the now infamous Google Doodles that have made Google such a popular website)  ​

4) Timing is everything 

The optimal time to post on Facebook is (as of writing) around 1:00pm-3:00pm in the afternoon on a Wednesday or Thursday. That is when, statistically, the majority of users are online and you can get the highest engagement. However this also depends on your customers. If you are marketing to young teens then you’ll want to post later in the afternoon when they’re at home from school, if you’re marketing to business people then you’ll want to post around lunchtime when they’re on their break etc etc. Spend some time getting to know your customer base and see which time frame works for you. ​

5) Analytics are your friend

Facebook offers you the ability to see how popular your posts have been. Facebook understands that in order to keep brands happy, a key source of revenue for them, they have to give them the best information about their posts. Slowly but surely Facebook is offering key indicators for brands to realise how popular, or unpopular, their posts have been. Use these tools as much as possible as they can be the difference between a popular post and a DOA. ​