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Facebook is a powerful tool to expand your business, attract new customers, and encourage loyalty of existing customers. Here are 10 tactics to best utilise Facebook for your business:

1. Promote your Facebook page proudly and often. Publish the URL for your Facebook page on websites, written correspondence, e-mails, signs – anything and everything a customer may encounter to let them know you have a presence on Facebook.

2. Reward Facebook users with promotions or discounts if they like your page. Many Facebook users will be more inclined to like your page if they are getting something in return. When they like your page, their friends will be notified and will then be more likely to check your page out.

3. Utilise Facebook Offers. Facebook Offers is a free feature that gives your business the power to share discounts with customers by posting an offer on your Facebook page. The customer will receive an email with discount information that can then be used at your business.

4. Use images, and use them wisely. It may benefit your product to offer a clickable collage, allowing the user to pick their favourite. It may be just a striking or interesting image that compels the user to click on it and explore your brand more.

5. Asking questions encourages user discussion. The more your customers are commenting on your brand, the more loyalty and recognition it builds. Asking questions to your Facebook users encourages them to interact with your brand in a way that is impossible with traditional push marketing techniques.

6. Provide lots of usable, entertaining content. Utilise different media such as videos, posts, surveys, photos. Update consistently and regularly.

7. Cultivate your brand. Create a culture, rather than sell a product. Invite your customers to contribute to your brand in creative ways. Get people thinking and talking in a way that has them invested in your brand by requesting video submissions, marketing ideas, slogan campaigns. People like to be heard. Give them a platform.

8. Encourage fan-to-fan communication. Stimulate conversation by asking questions, such as what is a favourite product, or how can a service be beneficial.

9. Donations to build a fan base. Consider donating money to a charity every time someone likes your Facebook page. Users like to feel they are ‘doing’ something with their clicks, accomplishing more than just a simple thumbs-up to a company. Help a charity and help your business build a fan base in the process.

10. Post at optimal times. If you post at 3am, your posting is more apt to be lost to your customer, unless you are selling to insomniacs. Identify the times your fans are most active and post during those times. Remember to not overpost – if you become a pest, many users will unfriend you. One to two posts a day is usually sufficient.

Facebook is a growing community that allows you to enrich interaction with your customers. If you use it wisely, both your business and your customers will benefit.