Facebook logoSo you’ve made sure your business has a page on Facebook, you’re posting regularly – but are you using that presence to its best effect? In a previous article about Facebook business pages, I mentioned that visual content is five times more effective in engaging followers or random visitors who have chanced upon a business page. Whether it’s a photograph or video, visual images add impact and communicate immediately – think about the success of other sites such as Instagram and Pinterest. There’s no getting away from it, given the choice of reading several hundred words in a Facebook post or moving on to the video posted further down the page what would you do?!

How to create your visual content more easily…

But before you start panicking about how to generate all this exciting visual content, let me reassure you that you don’t necessarily have to do that much. Social media sites are all about creating communities and two-way dialogues, so what could be better than asking your customers to contribute to your Facebook page by posting their own photographs and videos that are relevant to your brand, the services you provide or the products you sell.

It’s the ultimate in endorsement – the customer who is happy to post a wedding photograph thanking your for the cake stand they bought from your online shop is, in essence, telling all their Facebook friends and your Facebook followers that yours is a great shop and you’ve just made a bride very happy. People like that.

It also means organic sharing and increased traffic to your Facebook page and – ultimately – your website and greater exposure of what you’re offering. Empower your followers and more will follow!

Smartphones and mobiles make it even easier!

Smartphones and tablets have made it even easier to share a moment – think back to our hypothetical bride, she has a million things to do on the day, but a simple snap of her wedding cake on top of your cake stand and then uploaded to Facebook is effortless and, if anything, adds to her joy of the day.

Respond to user-generated content

Important to remember is your response to content that is added. Maybe that bride was let down at the last minute and you saved the day – a few words to say how delighted you were to have helped shows that you care about your customers and the service you provide.

Here’s another idea: ask customers to show how they’re using a particular product. Sticking with the cake theme (yum!), invite them to show your top selling muffin stand in action – here’ a chance for customers to show off their baking skills and promote a popular item which may then generate even more sales. Introduce a hashtag and this activity then makes it very easy to share on Twitter too – either yourself or your followers – and creates a theme. Don’t forget to first check that no one else is using that hashtag across other social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram.

Of course, it would be wrong to leave everything to your followers. So listen to what they’re saying, what posts they are sharing – in short, what engages them and makes them enthusiastic? Follow their lead and give them more on that same theme. It’s also an opportunity to show a different side to your business – a behind the scenes moment or a ‘this is how we did it’ movie (Twitter Vine is great for this) that gives real insight into what you do (and, importantly, your love for it).

Are your Facebook followers creating content on your page? Have you come up with any other good ideas that have built greater awareness and engagement with your brand? Feel free to share!

[polldaddy poll=8288038]