Social media As the world’s largest social network with some 1.06 billion monthly active users, Facebook has become a must, not only for consumers but for businesses too.

Facebook’s business pages have been around since 2007 and millions of companies now use the platform to strengthen their brand, advertise and connect with customers.

But simply having a Facebook business page isn’t enough, if you want to get the most out of the platform, you have to work a bit harder. As a small business you may think you don’t have the resources to focus on this but there are plenty of ways to make the process painless.

 

Here are our top five tips for small businesses on Facebook:

 

1. Use Facebook’s tools to highlight your important posts

Often when you post something on Facebook it’ll get lost, not only on people’s news feeds but on your own Facebook page as you add more posts. If there is something you want to highlight or give priority to an extended period of time there are a number of timeline features to help.

You can pin a post to the top of your timeline so that it will stay at the top regardless of how many other posts you have. You can also highlight a post which makes the post stretch across the width of your page, taking up two columns.

 

2. Use exclusives and offers to keep fans engaged and encourage more

Often your customers will expect something in return for their continuing engagement with your Facebook page. It’s a nice idea to offer exclusive news and updates via Facebook but there is also the opportunity to give your fans discounts on the platform through the “Offers” option.

It’s free to create and post these “Offers” which will appear in your fans’ timelines and can help to drive sales.

 

3. Post relevant content regularly

It’s a good idea to post as regularly as possible if you want your Facebook page to be a success. Post your own content such as news or advice pieces which may come from your company blog or newsletters which your fans will find interesting. Try and remember that Facebook tends to be a place for lighter more entertaining content than the more serious stuff.

But if you don’t have time to concentrate on creating new editorial, don’t be afraid to post content by other people. Bringing your fans’ attention to relevant content written by others is perfectly acceptable and it’s good to foster a mix of in-house and external posts.

 

 4. Make sure you avoid Facebook scams and malware

Your love affair with Facebook will quickly fizzle out if your business gets caught out by a Facebook scam or hack. There are a number of ways you can avoid falling prey to these tricks.

Make sure your employees are all trained to recognise a scam or malicious link and stay clear of them. Also make sure your internet security protection is up to speed and running well. AVG’s Internet Security Business Edition 2013 software for example has built in social networking protection to check links exchanged through social networks.

 

5. Use a third party platform to manage your Facebook and other accounts

Chances are if you have a presence on Facebook, you are also active as a business on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Keeping on top of all of these and making sure you post regularly can become a trial but there are platforms which help you to manage these social accounts simultaneously.

Services such as HootSuite and Sprout Social are designed with busy business owners in mind and let you post to all of your networks with one press of a button.