By Natalie Smith

With more than 1.6 billion active users, Facebook is unquestionably one of the best online platforms for marketing. Today, companies can’t afford to ignore the benefits of an engaging Facebook presence – not only do website visitors arriving from Facebook spend more time browsing, they are more likely to make purchases.

In essence, the social media leader gives brands an opportunity to develop a voice and make it reverberate among prospects and customers. Here are some tips on how you can develop your brand’s voice on Facebook and make it echo across social circles so that your followers become your promoters.

Content Is Everything

The quickest way for brands to lose followers on Facebook is by publishing aggressive sales pitches. Instead of putting people off in such a way, you should concentrate on content marketing. Creating and posting great content is what makes people follow you and look forward to your updates. The key is to provide a nice balance of value and entertainment – the content you share should be clever, informative, and amusing.

When it comes to producing great content, you should focus on providing information that your followers will not only enjoy but also use, such as how-to guides, tips & tricks, and other types of applicable advice. However, don’t only post articles – followers also enjoy videos, pictures, infographics, cartoons, podcasts, etc. In the end, your content should be interesting and clever enough to entice sharing. The more they share, the more your brand get promoted.

Great Customer Service as Marketing

Facebook is also a useful platform for providing great customer service. We should all learn from online shoe retailer Zappos, a pioneering brand that combined social media engagement with customer service to boost its marketing edge. What Facebook offers is an opportunity to help customers with their questions and issues promptly and efficiently, as well as thank them for their positive comments. The idea is to exceed the expectations of customers while other followers are paying attention.

Facebook followers tend to be very enthusiastic when it comes to sharing positive customer service experiences, and this is the ultimate word-of-mouth referral. However, should you provide bad customer service, your brand’s voice will echo negatively, and this is a situation that can compromise your reputation.

Be Truly Social

It’s important to remember that Facebook is not an echo chamber. Many brands limit their Facebook activity to constantly posting updates without taking the time to acknowledge their followers. So, what you should do to enhance your Facebook presence is communicate with others whenever you can.

Even if your brand represents a conservative law firm, your followers will expect that you’re friendly and social. Being a good neighbor on Facebook means accepting friend requests, using a friendly tone of voice, responding to comments, sharing interesting updates posted by others, remembering their birthdays, etc. You can even use humor and emoticons when deemed appropriate.

In any case, your communication style should always convey the pleasant and approachable personality of your brand.

Learn the Art of Engagement

The Facebook experience is about communication, interaction and engagement. You want your brand voice to be heard, so you should encourage casual conversations with your followers. For example: a restaurant can engage followers into talking about recipes, a veterinarian can ask followers about the story behind the names of their pets, a law firm can ask opinions about controversial Supreme Court rulings, etc. When it comes to eliciting engagement, polls, contests and giveaways can also be very effective on Facebook.

In the end, you should always keep in mind that Facebook followers expect value and friendly interaction. If you want your followers to be the echo of your brand’s voice, you will have to give them valuable content and the opportunity to participate in your Facebook experience.

Natalie Smith is a freelance writer and copywriter from Seattle. She follows topics such as content marketing, social media, and business is general. You can reach her @Natalie Smith.