Using social media to promote a brand takes the same dedication, patience and time that any marketing campaign requires. There is no such thing as instant sustainable success. Using Facebook as a marketing tool is a great way to begin building an online presence to gain brand exposure. Here are some great tips to get you started or expand on your current Facebook marketing push.

Social Media is Social
The first thing to remember about all social media is that it really is about being social. Marketing on Facebook requires interaction. Browse the site and look at other pages that are relevant to yours. Engage in conversations and answer questions. Make wall posts on other pages. By participating in the site, you encourage others to visit your Facebook page. Don’t advertise as you browse, these interactions should be genuine. Advertisements are off-putting and won’t build long-term sustainable customer relationships. It seems obvious that interaction is key with social media, but many companies fail to put in the time that is needed to truly develop an online presence on Facebook. Take the time; it is well worth the eventual results.

Pictures Grab Attention
Once you have begun building a Facebook fan base, there are some simple things you can do to keep people engaged all the time. Make your posts graphically oriented, never simply post a block of text. Facebook users browse so rapidly, text is often ignored. Pictures catch and hold attention longer and are more likely to generate comments. Keep the pictures interesting and fun and you may find your fan base growing exponentially, in less time than you might expect. Pictures are more likely to be shared, so more people see them than a text block.

Questions Encourage Answers
Another tactic to engage readers is to ask questions. Don’t simply tell people about you, find out about them. A quick and fun question will often garner a significant number of responses. Asking questions does a couple of things. First, it allows people to talk about themselves, which they are much more willing to do. Second, it lets your fans know that you are interested in what they have to say. People respond in a positive way to companies that are approachable.

Successes should be Shared
Don’t just appear approachable, be approachable. Your fans should feel like they are your friends. Include them in your company by posting about successes and company info that is not directly related to sales. Posting about winning an achievement or producing an award winning product lets fans know that you want to celebrate with them, which helps them feel connected with your company’s success.

A Little Genuine Interest Goes a Long Way
While give-a-ways and viral videos are a great way to bring in new fans, the only way to keep them is by always having updated and fresh content. Stale pages don’t keep fans and while they may forget to un-fan your page, they aren’t interacting anymore. Treat fans like real people; address them by name in your responses. Just because the interaction is online, doesn’t mean that you should be any less personable, genuine and polite than you would be in real life. In fact, to generate successful Facebook marketing you need to be more genuine and give fans more information. Take an interest in other people and they will return the favor. Listen to what people say and respond. Don’t make posts and never follow up. Facebook is like a conversation that you are holding with several thousand people simultaneously. When someone asks a question, make sure to provide an answer.

Taking the time to interact with Facebook fans will increase your business success. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. People will develop brand loyalty to companies that listen to consumer wants and needs.