I often consult with social media managers for these companies and even the most basic best practices aren't being followed. Then I speak to the CEO or marketing director and they're clueless as to why Facebook "doesn't work" for their business. While Facebook is in fact based on top secret algorithms that doesn't mean you can't make it work for your brand with a few easy steps.
- Don't post too much: Facebook posts have a lifespan and if your previous post is still active you're competing for views with your own post! Generally speaking the bigger the following your page has the longer each post "lives" so don't over post. Depending on the size of your page and the popularity of your posts (actions per post) you should only post 1-2 times per day.
- Use photos: Need to share a link? Okay, well you could drop it in and have Facebook convert it to a link post (that's the one with the ugly box) or you could share a photo relating to the link. "Link posts" suck - really, really suck! So instead find a good pic (preferably sized for Facebook) and upload it, then add your text and your link to the body of the post. It will still be hyper-linked but without the big ugly box. People love photos so the activity on the post will usually be much higher and you'll still get clicks on your link.
- I care about your brand, well not THAT much: People want to hear about your brand and your products but it can't be every post. Take it easy with that crap. Share random funny links, photos from company related outings, jokes, whatever. This is what is viral, not your link to a sales page.
- Timing: Every industry has different times that work for posting. When you start building a following post at different times and get a feel for what days and times get the most activity and then use that as your guideline for posting going forward (and don't forget you can schedule posts). It's important to post when your audience is in front of their computers.
- Reply to everything: If someone leaves a comment on a post, or just on your timeline, make sure you reply. The lazy way is to just like their comment but you're better than that. Leave a nice comment and if you can, ask a question within it. Keep the activity going by getting those commenters engaged.
- Keep it short: Case studies have shown that shorter posts get higher engagement rates. Keep your rants on your blog and think about Facebook as Twitter. Hell, use Twitter to construct your posts (I do on occasion). Twitter gives you a character count so write your sentence(s) in Twitter, try and keep it under 140 characters, then copy and paste into Facebook. Short and sweet.
Once you get your page up to snuff it's time to start advertising. I absolutely love Facebook ads and I recommend them to everyone I meet with. They're cheap and, depending on your goals, very effective. If you're trying to get page likes or engagement they are fantastic. Again, people screw this up often. I talk to folks who sometimes pay over a dollar per like on Facebook. Sadly, it's not far off from what is considered the standard. But if you know what you're doing and play around with copy and images you can get highly targeted page likes for $0.05-$0.28... and yes, those are real, interest-targeted US citizens.
Facebook advertising is too complex to go into a best practices session but I learned everything I know from research and from trial and error, so you can too. With optimized CPM it's way easier to manage a cheap, successful campaign on Facebook nowadays so give it a go and start growing your page.
That's all I have for now. I hope this helped anyone out there starting a business or trying to get some attention for their artistic endeavors. Facebook can be super effective if you use it properly so don't push it to the back burner.