Facebook began as a way for college students to connect with their peers, but in the last 11 years it has exploded into a social media powerhouse with no signs of slowing down.

Now, small businesses are using the platform to stay connected with patrons and clients outside of the normal in-person interactions. But in order to maximize the benefits of Facebook, it’s important to know how to use it as a business tool.

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Before you start posting, you need a strategy. Just like working out and running a gym, you must have goals to work towards. What do you hope your business will achieve? Do you want users to share information with their friends and increase exposure of your business to potential clients? Do you want to become a wealth of knowledge for health conscious people within your region? Do you want one of your coaches or staff to become a well known face within the community? Think hard about what you want to do with your business on Facebook, and post accordingly.

Engage Them Before They Engage

Your Facebook posts have fierce competition. After all, every 60 seconds, there are 293,000 status updates on Facebook. That means your snappy headline may not be enough to earn a click.

You have to elicit a response from your potential readers before they even think about clicking Like or following a link. If you’re posting an article from someone else, include your reaction in your post, and ask an open-ended question to trigger a mental response, persuading people to click. For example, “We aren’t fans of dropping weights. What’s your biggest gym pet peeve?” Now that reader has thought of the topic and is invested. I you want people to interact by clicking or writing, they’re going to need something that sparks their interest.

Be Relevant

You must find your business’s balance between posts that are timeless and trendy topics. For example, it makes sense to post an article about how to handle the extra food and sweets during the winter holidays. However, the same topic in June will seem out of place. But an article about how to find gym time during a busy work week is relevant no matter the time of the year.

Relate and Respond

Many users feel comfortable reaching out to businesses and brands on Facebook, and your business will be no different. If someone posts a question to your page, respond quickly. Even if you don’t yet have an answer, let the user know you’re working on it. After all, this conversation is public and easily shared. People respect businesses that listen to them, and sometimes they simply want to be heard.

Facebook can also serve as a vital public relations tool. You must expect to see something unfavorable; even if that never happens, be prepared. If someone posts a negative review or comment, find a way to put a positive spin. “Thank you for letting us know. We are taking action to fix the problem.” Those words can work wonders for your brand’s image.

Follow Your Followers

The best course of action when creating an engaging social environment on Facebook is to pay attention to your audience. Pay attention to what gets them interacting and talking. Take note of the content they find most interesting. And give them the things they want to read. Align these observations with your Facebook goals, and you’re sure to see results.

Need to get organized? Whether its monthly billing, running attendance reports, or communicating with your members via text or email, Chalkbucket Labs can do the job. Find out more about the gym management software that can help grow your business with tools designed and improved by gym owners by scheduling a demo today.