Social media is a part of most peoples' everyday life, and so it follows that companies who want to be a regular feature in their customers’ lives should have a social media presence.

The stats back this up, with the benefits of social media marketing including increases in brand loyalty and recognition; greater traffic and more opportunities to convert; as well as 100% higher lead rates than outbound marketing.

So how should small businesses, who don’t have the resources to set up a dedicated Instagram department make the most of these opportunities? Luckily, there are some simple ways to grow your following on social media, and in this series, we’ll look at three of the biggest names around: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and we start our series with the most popular of them all: Facebook.

Facebook is the undoubted number one of social media: it has over two billion monthly users, and it’s still growing and being used more and more often. But businesses don’t always get it right when it comes to tapping into this lucrative market, so we’ve broken down the best way to boost followers and engage with consumers on Facebook.

Complete your profile

It sounds so simple, and it is, but having a complete profile can make a big difference. Good quality cover and profile photos, as well as up-to-date information, instantly adds reputability and trust to a company’s online presence.

The ‘About’ section of your Facebook page may be the first impression users have of you, so make it count! Consumers will often turn to Facebook to look up businesses as well, so if it’s relevant, be sure to have a physical address for local shoppers to find you.

Link your accounts

As this series will show, while Facebook is the biggest platform there is, it’s just one of several social media giants, and it pays to get them playing together.

If you already have a presence on any platform - be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or others - be sure to announce there when you’ve joined a new one and encourage your followers to do just that and follow you to the new site. If you’re already on all of these platforms, including links to your other accounts in your profile on each one can still help.

Be useful

The most popular people across all social media platforms are those that share informative, interesting, or entertaining content. HubSpot reports that 76% of people browse their Facebook feed to find interesting content, so if you can create something that’s worth reading or watching, and then sharing, you’ll see engagement increase.

Not got anything to share at present? Why not give your followers an offer; a reported 42% of people have followed a Facebook page just for discounts and deals.

Interact with people

Perhaps this ties into being useful, but people want human contact not to be sold to. They want likes that show appreciation, discussions on topics that interest them, insights they didn’t know, or even just to be tagged in funny videos.

Find or create communities to discuss passions in your area, publicly talk insider tips with a similar company, or highlight a fan who’s been proudly mentioning your great products or services.

Make use of targeted advertisements

One of Facebook’s strongest features for businesses is the power of its targeting when it comes to advertisements.

There are plenty of ways you can narrow down your audience to find exactly the type of people you’re looking for, like ones who fit your consumer demographic and have liked similar pages to yours, in order to then show them your page and your posts. Even a small advertising budget can reap serious return on investment if done well.

In part two, we’ll turn our attention to a very different social network: Twitter.

About the author

Jake Waller is a wordsmith who plies his trade here at Findmyshift. He uses his background in engineering to simplify complex topics for a variety of tech firms. When not writing for Findmyshift he blogs under a pseudonym at My Name is Skylance and has a passion for creative writing and editing, about which he's always talking on Twitter.