By Craig Robinson

Small businesses today are being thrown under the bus in many different ways. Expected to pay more taxes, subject to regulations which don’t or won’t affect larger corporations – it’s very tough to even exist in a business atmosphere, much less to actually succeed. And if the pressure coming from every angle doesn’t deter you, then you have to compete with the big boys via marketing for a slice of the pie. How can do you this?

One of the best ways small businesses are targeting their customers is through social media sites like Facebook. With over a billion users, a mobile market quickly expanding, and a low-cost, multi-function ad-delivery medium, Facebook is the perfect spot for small businesses on the rise. Let’s check out a few ways a small business can leverage Facebook for marketing success.

1: Figuring Out the Site’s Algorithm

EdgeRank is the algorithm Facebook uses to categorize content based on three unique variables. Weight, Affinity, and Time Decay. The reason this should be important to a small business is simple. The more you’re able to leverage EdgeRank, the more you’ll be seen on Facebook. So just throwing some money in the system might help you get seen by a few folks, but leveraging EdgeRank can put you in many more News Feeds for a lot longer, and it also gives you preferred placement for future material. So there’s an accumulative effect here when you leverage EdgeRank.

Affinity is a measure of people’s interactions with your material. So, for instance, if they Like, share, click-through, and perform general actions with your material, you’re going to score higher here. The amount of this engagement goes beyond the Affinity and holds real Weight. Naturally, the more Affinity and Weight value your content has, the longer it stays up in the News Feeds of your audience, theoretically.

Small businesses using Facebook for business marketing purposes need to understand that quality content that’s pertinent and very niche-specific will help leverage this algorithm. Providing material that’s entertaining – material that offers something to your audience, whether it’s a deal or a solution to a problem. Material that asks for and receives engagement. This is how you leverage EdgeRank in your favor over time and ultimately reach more people. But, of course, there’s only so much you can do with quality; money comes into play as well.

2: Making Ads Work For You

Yeah. Unfortunately, you need to cough up some bucks if you want to compete with the big boys via Facebook marketing. The good news, however, is that you can still reach a lot of people and start to control more of your niche with not much investment at all. At least compared to what you’d spend offline.

You can do this through a variety of ad formats offered by Facebook, but one of the best is the Promoted Post. Not only can you reach a much larger audience with around only $50+, but you can also put your best foot forward with material that you already knows performs well.

That’s because a Promoted Post is just a post that you already have. So you can take a post that’s very popular and poignant but is slipping down due to the time gone by, and you can revamp it by promoting it, selecting different targeting options, setting your budget, and letting it fly.

You can think of this like a much easier way to launch a basic ad. Say you’re using an app like Qwaya to split-test your ads to see which works the best. This is a great way to ensure a successful ad. But just how successful can you expect it to be? With the Promoted Post feature, you can use material that has proven to perform well and get it out to more people for more engagement and brand recognition.

3: Expanding Facebook Across Your Network

The only question concerning Facebook’s Embedded Posts feature is: What took them so long to launch it? Embedding is something that’s been around for a long time, used a lot by small businesses who embed YouTube videos on their blogs, blog posts on their main sites, etc. So, you may already get the gist of what you can do with embedded material. But in case you’re new to this type of thing, here’s how it works.

Say you have a post on Facebook that’s doing really well and you want others to know about it. Well, you can simply embed this post on another website of yours to make sure that other people see it. This can help you drive traffic, build awareness, and even build trust and loyalty amongst your base. Here are just a few types of posts you can embed for impact:

  • A popular infographic or meme that’s funny, entertaining and popular
  • A user-review of your business or product
  • A contest or promotion sign-up post
  • A witty and popular status update
  • New product information concerning a release, a discount, etc
  • A basic message to users who aren’t in your Facebook network
  • A post containing searchable hashtags within your niche
  • Press releases created for a social audience

And the list here can go on and on. Using embedded posts can really help you spread the word about your brand, which will result in much more awareness.

As you can see, we only listed three different marketing methods small businesses should use on Facebook, but that’s totally about space. There are many different tactics and methods you can use to boost your brand, but the three that are explained in good detail above should help you get a basic idea of how to build up a network as a small business.

Craig Robinson, an online writer for Qwaya, a Facebook ad campaign tool. He loves to write different topics about social media tips and strategies. Besides writing, he also enjoys engaging with different communities and social forums.