As a business, you really can’t afford to ignore Facebook. Whether you embrace it or not, conversations about your brand are occurring there all the time. With just a little effort and devotion, you can keep current customers coming back and win over new ones. Here are some tips to get you started.

Share quality, useful content
Put yourself in the mind of a visitor to your page. What kinds of content will encourage users to click “like” and leave comments? Some examples include: video, photos, links to content and simple text.

Don’t talk about your brand too much
Customers understand that you have things to say about your store, sales to promote and other housekeeping items. But constant talk about the same thing will only result in boredom. So …

Mix it up
Adhere to the “rule of thirds” which is to share original content a third of the time, related by outside content a third of the time, and by interacting with other users a third of the time through replies and asking/answering questions. Ideally, when others visit your page, they will see a variety of content types, and a high level of engagement to help convey a sense of community.

Edit headlines and sub-headlines
After placing a link in the share field on Facebook, take a moment to edit the headline and sub-headline, as well as select the appropriate image once the link populates and appears below the share field. After doing so, delete the original link before hitting share (the populated link and image won’t go away). Doing so presents a tidier post and encourages interaction.

Always incite conversation
If you post without asking a question, you might be hard-pressed to spark a conversation. But adding a question to any post can make a difference. Generally speaking, questions that encourage a brief answer will yield more and longer comments than questions that encourage only a “yes” or “no” or the simple, “what do you think?”

After posting content, it is essential to check back later to address comments. Comment just like everyone else. Multiple times if you want. Be a part of the conversation. You can also address specific people in a comment by putting their name after the @. It’s just another way to be personable.

Remember: Facebook is a community
As the owner of a Facebook page or profile, you are the host. Make your followers and friends feel welcome and treat them with courtesy. Remember, social media calls upon us to use the same good judgement we use in face-to-face interactions. Show people that you value their involvement in the community and they’ll come back.

Be genuine
Remember that social media is powered by the “social” part. While it’s important to maintain a “voice” online, it’s also important to be human and authentic, and to remember social media is not about broadcasting your message, but about the two-way conversation.

Don’t overthink it
Keep it simple. If you own a pizza parlor, ask your fans to click “like” if they like pepperoni. Or ask them to comment and tell you their favorite toppings. You could use that information to create a Facebook special.

Follow me for more tips
Don’t own a pizza parlor? Using the above example, think of some ways you could insert your business into a simple engaging conversation on Facebook. And if you’d like to see how I approach Facebook engagement every day, feel free to subscribe to my posts at