Facebook has the potential to be a powerful tool to help your businesses extend its reach, but the magic doesn’t happen all by itself. In fact, it takes a lot more than setting up a profile page, connecting with friends and existing customers, and consistently posting content to gain substantial exposure, much less quantify an increase in revenues.

Yes, your customers are on Facebook (along with about a billion other people around the world). And sure, they largely embrace the channel not only as a way to socialize and network with friends, but also as a place to interact with brands, discover promotions, and be influenced in their purchasing decisions. However, there is an immense amount of competition for attention on the news feed.

If you are launching a business profile page or feel like your current campaign can use a boost, consider these five solid strategies for generating buzz on Facebook:

1. Ride the Trends
Trends are like waves that roll across the seas of social media, progressively picking up speed and growing in stature until eventually commanding mass attention. By keeping your finger on the pulse of the stories your consumer base is tuning into and somehow incorporating it into a message that speaks to your marketing mission, you can harness some of the momentum produced by trending topics to energize campaigns.

To do this successfully, it pays to be creative and entertaining, and to keep your message relevant – such as when Denny’s (famous for offering free birthday meals to customers) circulated a message via social media on the Apple Macintosh’s 30th “birthday,” inviting the iconic brand to collect on the offer. The post was eye-catching, made a clever connection to one of Denny’s most popular marketing gimmicks, and generated third-party news coverage, all while underlining the brand’s lighthearted image as a fun place to eat with your family.

2. Focus on Sharing
Creating and distributing sharable content is among the most effective ways to connect with your audience, gain exposure to new customers, and drive traffic to your website. But once again, it’s more difficult than it sounds, requiring a comprehensive effort to cultivate posts people take action on.

Scrutinize the content you produce for Facebook to ensure that it represents genuine value to consumers, whether it contains helpful tips for saving time, an irresistible deal on useful products and services, or a bit of insight that puts an exclamation point on your brand’s point of view. Maximize the effect by making posts visual so the primary message is comprehensible at a glance, and include clear calls to action (or incentives) for likes and shares and easy single-click links for readers to travel to your desired landing page.

3. Build a Community
Often, businesses on Facebook become overly focused on achieving numbers. However, a large following isn’t necessarily an active one.

Instead, it makes sense to allocate more time into strengthening relationships through one-on-one contact with users that profile as “best customers” and devising innovative ways to better engage the audience at large. Along with establishing your Facebook page as a go-to resource for quality information, deals, and promotions, provide a forum on which fans can express their opinions and demonstrate enthusiasm. Run photo contests or let customers vote on a brand decision (such as naming a product), and always ask for user comments and reply to them in order to stimulate the socialization factor of which Facebook was created for. Remembering to utilize the tenets of great customer service can go a long way, even online.

4. Engage By Using Events
Facebook Events provides a way to not only maximize exposure for product launches, grand openings, and special promotions, but to also can build anticipation and strengthen your public image by keeping events on consumer radars for an extended period of time. The simple act of sending out the invitation is a way to make meaningful contact with your network – but it’s essential that you reach out for a reason that warrants interest. Otherwise, you run the risk of turning people off. Choose to promote events that resonate with consumers, and take the time to craft an alluring title, description, and design that makes invitations cry out to be clicked on.

As event dates draw closer, continue to consistently post bits of compelling information that make attendance even more appealing, responding positively to those who RSVP or take the time to leave a comment. Don’t be shy about making the call to action for people to share your invitation to interested parties, and consider extending incentives for those who actively promote or attend.

5. Seize the Day
Inactivity, lack of commitment, and low expectations are all common contributors to failure to engage an audience on Facebook. Every day, every post, and every new connection is an opportunity to help your business grow and succeed. You need to seize that opportunity by striving to do something special, whether that means creating a piece of content with viral potential, or interacting with an individual member of your community to forge a last allegiance.

Marketers are always discovering new methods and techniques for running more effective social media marketing campaigns to drive their business. Never stop listening and learning – not only from competitors and peers, but also from your consumers – in an effort to cultivate and execute winning strategies.

Conclusion
Businesses of all shapes and sizes are rushing to get in on the proverbial social media gold rush by launching a profile page on Facebook. However, without a plan to engage and energize an audience, you may find yourself pouring energy into something more akin to a ghost town. By stay in tune with current trends, promoting sharing and community, and remaining focused on user engagement, you can generate more buzz on Facebook in order to grow your business.

What additional tips can you suggest to create a buzz on Facebook?

About the Author: B. Spero is an online contributor and marketer who writes about promotional strategies to generate buzz and traffic on social media. 

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