Gaining likes, losing likes and everything in between.

Facebook is a marvellous thing in many ways. Free advertising for your business and instant connection with your customers.
And it always looks like you are working, even when you are just keeping up to date with gossip.

I have made many great friends and contacts via my business page. I have also seen more lunacy from strangers than I ever thought possible.

I’m lucky that my page seems to be steadily growing, currently gaining about 100 new likes each week and almost all of my business comes from Facebook, so I thought I’d share a few tips that I use to help you build your pages or understand why likes can come and go.

1. Your page is your shop window. AT LEAST once a week stand back and have a look at that window. What are you displaying? Have you shared so many other pages that potential customers can no longer see any of your own work?
Clean it up. Delete or Hide what’s not relevant anymore.
First impressions count. Potential customers may not take the time to dig through your folders, have your best work on show on your landing page.

2. Don’t update too often. Once a day is normally enough. Be brief, friendly and UPBEAT.

3. Schedule posts to reach your audience at the best times. You don’t need to be sat in front of your computer or on your phone at 7pm on a Sunday night, but many people will be. Use the Schedule option.
Watch people. When do they use their phones most for browsing? Be there when they are on line.
Many people now admit to grabbing their phone as soon as they wake up and checking Facebook.
Women are very active on Facebook, so if you post something in the middle of the school run, many of your potential audience are probably busy and will miss the update.

4. Always post a photo if you can with your status update.
Our newsfeeds are so full that we stream through them at an incredible speed. You need something to catch people’s eye and make them stop for a moment.

5. This is important for lots of reasons - Don’t give away lots of personal information, it will come back and bite you on the bottom.

6. Commenting on current affairs will normally lose you some likes.

7. Celebrating your achievements and milestones will also lose you some followers. Don’t let it bother you. The general trend will always be upwards.

8. People will leave negative comments at times. It can be upsetting, but don’t get into a dialogue with these people. It’s your page, if the comments are offensive delete and if necessary, ban.

9. Your ideas may be copied. Where possible, don’t lose sleep over it. You had that idea yesterday. Tomorrow you will have a better one, whilst those people can only copy.

10. If you produce a product watermark your photos. Photo theft goes on and it helps stop some of that, but crucially if your picture starts to become widely shared your name quickly disappears without a watermark.

11. Life can throw a real spanner in the works sometimes. Make sure you have at least one other Admin on your page who can get access to your page if you are suddenly taken ill, or dealing with a family emergency.

12. Not every business has a new look product to advertise every week, but you can still get people’s interest by creating an entertaining page. Beautiful photographs and good writing can make a potential customer look forward to your posts.

I don’t like fruit smoothies, never have, but I love getting updates from Innocent Smoothies page. It’s always funny and entertaining. It makes their potential customers buy in to their ‘lifestyle’ so much that people regularly send them pictures that they could use. It’s an excellent example of professional Facebook marketing.
Go and have a look.

13 Join same interest groups and share your work (when invited to) on other pages. Word will soon spread.

14. Be ORIGINAL the pages that get shared are shared because they are inspiring. Copying tutorials on You Tube is fine to learn techniques, but if you want to make a name for yourself, you’ve got to dig deep and get creative. Be brave and get your own ideas out there.

15. It’s your page and you must run it in the way you feel best reflects your business, but please do remember not everything that we think is appropriate to say out loud/type out on Facebook.

16. To quote a friend, ‘Givers gain’. Being nice costs nothing. Helping and giving advice where you can will repay you a hundred times over.

Clearly, I’m not trained in Marketing, so these points are purely things that I have picked up from running a page over the last two years and talking to friends with pages, but I hope amongst my ramblings you may have found a little gem of information that helps you.