As of March 2013 Facebook had 1.11 billion users. No matter how you slice it, that’s a whole lot of people who use Facebook. Honestly, it’s a number that’s hard to wrap your brain around. With a platform like Facebook having that many users it only makes sense to market your business there. There are so many articles about how to market on Facebook, but below are 5 simple tips that will help you start bringing fans to your Facebook page.

Facebook is a wonderful tool to market your business. Even though creating a Facebook page for your business doesn’t cost money, managing it certainly isn’t entirely free. It takes time, effort and possibly a little cash here and there to build a successful fan page on Facebook.

1. Post content regularly:

Just like cleaning the dishes at your house, posting content on Facebook is something you need to do every day. Engagement from your fans is your #1 priority. The key to getting people to visit your Facebook page is to always have new content. From my experience, your daily posts don’t have to be the end all and be all of Facebook posts; they just have to engage the reader. Remember, people are looking for a reason to visit your page. If you don’t have fresh content they will forget about you and move on.

However, there is such a thing as posting too much. Whilst the goal is to have fresh content to show, too many posts will start to seem like spam – both to your followers, and Facebook. Posting multiple times a day could cause Facebook to see you as a spam page, which can result in your page being unpublished. To avoid any potential dramas, try and keep to a schedule of posting regular, engaging content. Striking a happy medium between posting too frequently and too inconsistently is key.

2. Ask questions from your Audience:

This point goes back to reader engagement. Your goal is to open up “two-way” communication. To do this, you want to try and ask some questions that are related to your business that people will also engage with.

For example, if you are a pizza place you could ask your followers what their favourite pizza topping is. If you’re a video game store, you could ask “What’s your favourite video game and why?”. Getting people to interact with you breaks down the “internet wall”. The internet is not a very personable place, and a business page doesn’t seem very inviting on the surface. So, if a fan feels like they know you better or can connect with the interests of the people behind the business, they will feel comfortable on your page and will come back to see what’s going on.

Just like with your content posting, there is such a thing as getting too personal with your audience. Try to keep your business page personable, but not personal. You can definitely post some things that align with both your interests and your audience’s, but keep your business page free of any unnecessary information about yourself. That’s what your personal Facebook profile is for.

3. Use that smartphone and upload some pictures:

People love photos. The attention span of an average Facebook user is very small. The average user scrolls down their Facebook page at a furious pace, often while they’re otherwise unengaged. As such, they’re looking for something to jump out and grab them. Pictures are great because they are easy to consume. They don’t require any reading, have a higher chance of providing short-term enjoyment and people know they don’t have to sacrifice much of their time to view them. All they have to do is click on the photo, then get back to scrolling.

As with all content, try and relate the photos you upload back to your business somehow. Restaurants and cafes can upload mouth-watering photos of their food, whilst stores of all types might use some pictures of new products or even items on sale in order to entice more customers.

This sections reminds me of a quote I once heard. “Facebook is like a fridge. When you’re bored, you keep opening and closing it every few minutes to see if there’s anything good in it.”

4. Contests and Giveaways:

And the winner is… you! Potentially.

People love to win contests. By offering free stuff and prizes it rewards your loyal fans and gets them to post on your page. For example, I’m an avid golfer and a local course I frequent has contests all the time relating to the latest golf tournament going on. Not only do I enjoy watching more because I could win, but I keep going to their website/Facebook page to see where I rank.

Ideally you would offer a prize that is somehow related to your business, but it’s not essential. More generic prizes such as vouchers for supermarkets or department stores, or even useful everyday items such as vacuum cleaners, can generate a lot of buzz. The key is to gear the entry requirements for the contest/giveaway so that it boosts your page reach. The easiest way to do this is by telling people to simply like the page in order to enter. However, if you want to try maximising engagement as well, you can ask people to also comment something as well. This may be why they would like to win, or perhaps what they would use the prize for if they won. Keep in mind that this may limit the page reach numbers you can rake in, but perhaps give you more engaged followers.

5. Build your Marketing Brand and be Consistent:

If you have a store or a website, you need to have a place where people can see your Facebook link and your activity. You can even put live feeds from your Facebook account onto your website! Notifying people that your business is active on social media is key to growing your followers. I’ve even seen it on business cards: “Like us on Facebook.” It’s on commercial websites, political ad campaigns, and just about everything in between. These days, being active on Facebook can be the difference between the success or failure of a business. There is no denying Facebook is here to stay. You need to make sure Facebook is part of both your offline and online marketing campaigns.