As a user who wants to keep up with friends and family, there’s really nothing complicated about Facebook. You post a few vacation photos, like items that catch your interest, and accept friend requests from people you know and enjoy communicating with.

Things get a lot more complicated once you step into the world of social media marketing, however. Once you do, some of the patterns and ideas you are used to, go out the window. Instead, there are a new set of rules and best practices to follow.

As a result, lots of businesses are trying to reach customers over Facebook, but find that they aren’t using it correctly. If you’re just getting started out, or looking to get more from the world’s most popular social media platform, here’s what you need to know…

Keep Business and Personal Accounts Separate

I see a surprising number of business owners who use their personal accounts to promote their companies and vice versa. This is a bad idea for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it confuses buyers, makes you harder to find online, and undercuts your own privacy. For the good of yourself, your business, and your customers, keep your personal and professional profile separate.

Get to Know Facebook’s Social Engagement Formula

Because there’s so much content posted to Facebook every day, programmers at the company had to come up with a formula to decide what individual users will see in their feeds. The process is complicated, but the net result is that users with lots of engagement (likes, shares, etc.) have their posts seen more often. Knowing that, it’s up to you to add material to your feed that fans and followers are going to like.

Images Draw Shares and Responses

Drawing on the last point, you should know that the overwhelming number of shares and likes are given to images and photographs. That’s partly because humans tend to think and react visually, but also because pictures can be seen and understood in less than a second. So, if you want viewers to see more of your content and react to it positively, say it in pictures.

Keep Viewers In-App

For a while, the traditional view of social media marketing was that your goal as a business owner was to get buyers to check out your website. However, it’s much easier to simply keep users in the app they are already on. For instance, if you want to find buyers on Facebook, send them to your business page on that platform rather than trying to bring them out of Facebook and to your website. It’s an easier next step, and you don’t necessarily need prospects to actually visit your site these days anyway.

Try Targeted Advertising

Social advertising is a whole other animal, of course, but it’s best feature is that it allows you to narrow in on specific type of prospect. If you think you could grab someone’s attention and turn them into a customer with an image-based ad, test your thoughts with a highly-focused group. You may discover a cost-effective way to reach a brand-new audience.

Facebook is a wonderful tool for reaching out to customers and prospects, but only if you use it in a way that leads to real results. Put what you have learned in this quick article to use today, and see what kind of difference the right approach makes!