Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company specializing in serving small businesses and entrepreneurship. Lesonsky has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for nearly 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media in 2008, she was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky received the “Champion of Small Business” award by the Association of Small Business Development Centers and was named one of the nation’s top 100 Small Business Influencers in 2011. Read more from Rieva at http://www.smallbizdaily.com/.
Is Facebook® about to follow MySpace® into total irrelevance? Investor and analyst disappointment over Facebook’s recent IPO, General Motor’s much-publicized pull of its Facebook ads, and the rapid rise of Pinterest® have combined to spur pundits and headlines suggesting the giant social network is soon to become obsolete. Well, not so fast. There are several reasons small businesses shouldn’t count Facebook out just yet.
First, Facebook currently accounts for 14 percent of all time spent online worldwide, according to a survey last month by investment firm Needham & Company, which was reported in MediaPost. The survey of 100 Facebook users worldwide found they spent an average of 20 minutes to an hour a day on Facebook.
What’s more, time spent on Facebook is increasing overall. Sixty percent of survey respondents said that they are using the site more than they did last year. Nearly one-third (30 percent) use it less frequently. Most (62 percent) prefer Facebook over any other Internet services.
True, Facebook isn’t the “hot new kid on the block” anymore. But part of what survey respondents like about Facebook is that it’s become so ubiquitous and familiar. With users of all ages, the site makes it easy to keep in touch with friends and family.
And while GM may have found less than stellar results from its Facebook ads, I can speak anecdotally that for many small businesses I know, Facebook ads have been highly effective at increasing their number of fans and customers for an affordable price.
Have I convinced you yet that Facebook is still relevant? Good. Then here are a few tips from a Buddy Media™ report on how to make your Facebook posts more effective:
- Keep it short. Posts with 80 or fewer characters have the highest engagement.
- Beware URL shorteners. Longer URLs have three times higher engagement. Why? Users can see your brand in the URL so they are more comfortable clicking on the link. Shortened URLs that are a garble of letters and numbers, on the other hand, make users wary.
- Ask questions. Posts with questions have 15 percent higher engagement than those that are statements.
- Be direct. If you want users to take action, don’t be shy. Posts asking users to “like,” “tell us,” or “comment” are effective ways to request an action.
- Know when to post. Posts after business hours have 20 percent higher engagement, and posts on Thursdays and Fridays have 18 percent higher engagement. This suggests most users check Facebook after the workday or when planning for the weekend. Speaking of weekends, Saturday is the worst day to post (18 percent lower engagement), unless you’re in the restaurant or bar industry, in which case it’s the best.
The above information is provided by a third party and may not reflect the views, opinions, or policies of AT&T. AT&T makes no representations or warranties regarding this information.