What is Facebook?

Although Facebook started in 2004 as an informal online networking site for U.S. college students, the community today comprises people from every walk of life, 75% of whom are outside the U.S. Increasingly, businesses and brands are developing presences on Facebook as an effective means of engaging with fans and others, especially since the network is often the primary place online where those fans are found.

10 Facebook Stats

  • Each day Facebook users spend 10.5 billion minutes (almost 20,000 years) online on the social network.

  • Only 50% of Facebook users have more than 100 friends.

  • There are 955 million active users on Facebook that spend an average of six hours and 35 minutes per month on the network (desktop only).

  • An average of 3.2 billion likes and comments are posted every day.

  • Facebook posted a 67 percent year-over-year mobile growth rate (543 million monthly active users on mobile).

  • 58% of users return to the site daily.

  • 20% of Facebook users have purchased something because of ads or comments they saw there.

  • 50% of smartphones are actually connecting to Facebook every hour of every day.

  • Facebook has 232 million users in Europe, 222 million in North America, and 219 million users Asia.

  • In any given week, less than 0.5% of Facebook fans engage with the brand they are fans of.

6 Facebook Tips

The adage “keep it simple” goes a long way. With that in mind, here are six ways for small businesses to maximise their Facebook presences with minimum resources.

  • Manage expectations - Set realistic goals for your approach to social media and you won’t be disappointed. Don’t expect to get thousands of fans within your first month, but think more along the lines of a two- or three-digit number. Then if you hit something larger than you originally anticipated, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and that will give you momentum.

  • Ask - Ask your followers questions to glean valuable insights and show you are listening.

  • Make time - Unless you can find an intern willing to plan your media campaigns for free, cultivating a Facebook presence doesn’t have to be a full-time job or something that eats up all your free time. Try to set aside an hour a day to work on your business’s page, post updates and communicate directly with customers and fans.

  • Create a page, not a profile - Don’t open a second account on the social network to make a profile for your business. Not only does that go against Facebook’s rules, but it also moves you away from the people who are already on your friend list. These are the first people you want to invite to become fans of your business’s page.

  • Have one-on-one conversations - Send a thank-you message right after someone clicks “like” on your page, and make a point of responding to messages and wall posts within 24 hours. Pay careful attention to whatever fans tell you on your page, and try to respond to their needs.

  • Encourage check-ins - Wherever your business operates, it counts as a place on Facebook. Check in at your workplace every day you are there, even if you’re operating out of a home office. This will put your company’s name into people’s news feeds every time you punch in.