As the world’s most popular social network, Facebook continues to grow in influence. According to the Pew Research Centre, 87% of adults aged between 18 and 24 use Facebook, offering your business a potentially huge customer base to tap into.

Although Facebook continues to limit the potential reach of organic posts, they are introducing a number of paid tools and techniques to compensate. All of which means your business has a number of useful new ways to engage with your customers and fans.

Here are our top 5 ways you should be using Facebook for business this year to get ahead of your competitors.

#1 – Using Facebook to provide customer support
As one of the world’s most popular websites, Facebook users spend many hours every week on the site. As well as keeping tabs on their friends and family, many users even rely on Facebook to supply news headlines, or to ask pre-purchase questions of brands.

By encouraging users to ask more questions, your business can use Facebook as a platform for providing front-line customer support. Not only are you connecting with customers where they are, but you also have the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and exceptional service publicly.

And in the event that you cannot resolve the issue quickly, or if it would be inappropriate to do so publicly, your team can always fall back on Facebook Messenger. Adding live text support takes personal interaction to the next level and will help elevate your customer service above the expected norm.

#2 – Engage your customers’ creativity
The success of social media relies on being social. As well as providing useful content on each of your social feeds, it pays to invite your brand’s fans to submit their own content too.

Tapping into the creativity of their clients, high-end notebook manufacturer Moleskine regularly asks their customers to share their latest artwork. Moleskine owners are encouraged to upload their best sketches to the company website, with the best being showcased on the company Facebook page using the hashtag #myMoleskine

The campaign costs Moleskine almost nothing to run, and in return they receive increased social visibility among their followers’ followers. Moleskine also save on costly artwork production, thanks to the regular efforts of their brand fans. The video above showcases 250 such content examples – imagine the resources Moleskine saved by crowdsourcing instead of developing internally.  

This approach could work for almost any brand, although those without a hugely creative fan base may find a simple caption competition can yield similar benefits.

#3 – Everyone loves a contest!
Contests and giveaways remain an effective way to increase your page follower count. In return for liking or sharing your page, Facebook users earn entry into a prize draw.

Organic reach is becoming much harder to achieve for brands on Facebook, so a coordinated approach using paid ads while encouraging users to share your updates is vital to get your brand page seen. Providing customers with an incentive to carry out your social marketing for you should be an essential part of using Facebook for business this year.

#4 – Improved paid advertising
Because Facebook wants you to spend more on advertising, they are constantly reviewing and improving the service offered to marketers. The enhancements of greatest interest will be in the demographic targeting provided, allowing you to better control how, when, where and to whom your ads are displayed.

Contests will help boost organic reach, but much of your marketing efforts during 2016 will have to be built around paid ads. You should also get ready for Facebook to add new advertising features throughout the course of the year.

#5 – Instant Articles & Monetization
Helping advertisers move beyond simple promoted posts, Facebook launched an all-new Instant Articles platform on April 12th, now open to all publishers. The service allows your team to create long content with embedded rich media, optimized for mobile viewing and fast loading times. Notably, Instant Articles also brings monetization opportunities, through direct-sold ads, Audience Network and branded content. 

Most recently, Facebook introduced Instant Articles to Messenger, making link sharing more effective, and ensuring that Facebook and Messenger users have a cohesive and seamless experience across platforms. Users just need to spot the lightning bolt in the top right corner to identify a link as an Instant Article.

2016 promises to be an exciting year for business marketers using Facebook. But as always your team will need to move quickly to take advantage of the newest innovations when they launch. Arrange a free demo of the Falcon platform today, and we’ll show you how to simplify running social media on Facebook for business.

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