With more than 800 million active users on Facebook, it’s easy for your business profile to get overlooked as just another face in the crowd. If you’d like your fan page to do better at the polls, then keep these simple rules in mind: meet, engage, and impress.

MEET: Be a social-media butterfly, not a Facebook wallflower.

When it comes to social media, there’s no benefit in being shy. Make use of every opportunity you get to invite people to your Facebook page:

• Add a link to your e-mail signature and on all your company e-newsletters.
• Install a Facebook “LIKE” box on each of your website’s pages.
• Send a standard e-mail message to all new clients/customers inviting them to visit your Facebook page.

If you’re active on other social networks, use those opportunities to draw attention to your business. For example, if you leave a comment on a blog, include a link to your Facebook Fan Page in it.

The Hungry Dudes is a Detroit-area food review group that’s never at a loss for engaging content to share on social media. Every day, they post pictures and descriptions of meals from different restaurants that get their followers drooling. While their content is always appetizing, the businesses they review would go largely unnoticed if they were unable to offer links to their respective websites and Facebook pages. If you’re a resaurant in the Detroit-area and do not have a Facebook prescence, you’re missing out on great opportunities for exposure from groups like The Hungry Dudes.

Like any brand with a web presence optimized for social media, The Hungry Dudes’ website links to their Facebook page and all other social media presences.

ENGAGE: It’s all about the timing!

Each of your posts should strive to spark a life of its own – easier said than done.

Engage your followers in as much of a casual “conversational” tone as possible. This will make your posts more personable and will lead to longer life spans.

Start by choosing a time of day that will get the most exposure.Studies have shown that peak user times for Facebook are in the early morning at 7:00 a.m., during lunchtime around 12:00 p.m., and late at night around 11:00 p.m. The better your timing, the higher the likelihood that users will comment on, like, or share your content.

Once you’ve got their attention, keep it.

Show your appreciation to users who actively engage in your dialogue by responding directly to each fan’s comment. You’ll extend the life of your post by keeping the conversation active, while increasing the likelihood that each of those fans will respond to your posts in the future.

Detroit Love Apparel Company does a great job engaging their Facebook fans. They always give off casual, positive vibes when engaging their followers and do so in a timely manner.

After you’ve created a post, be sure to give it some time before you completely move on to another task. Quick responses mimic the immediacy of face-to-face conversations. The longer you wait in between responses, the more likely you are to lose someone’s interest and engagement. If you’re constantly on the move, the Facebook Pages app is a very helpful tool for staying connected.

IMPRESS: Before you run for homecoming court, be sure that your “content is king.”

Social media without quality content is like a pretty face without personality – you must have substance!

Some businesses choose to attract fans to their Facebook page with the lure of prizes or promotional offers. That works, but you can’t stop there. Your followers won’t stick around for very long unless your content is useful and/or entertaining.

Offer a variety of content to provide a better understanding of your industry and your brand.

Social Media Club – Detroit is a great example. Each day, they post new material – sometimes it’s a link to a helpful article about social media, and other times it’s a photo about a recent event or an informative video. By consistently offering a variety of media, they keep their followers interested and do not bore them with the same material day in and day out.

If you have graphic design skills, creating original photos and graphics with quotes or snippets of information can be an incredibly great way to spread your message quickly.

Sometimes posing simple questions that are seemingly unrelated to your specific market can spur dialogue as well. A dentist’s office might post “Are you a fan of real sugar or artificial sweetener, and why?” You’ll be surprised at how many people will be willing to voice their opinion, and each time they do your brand appears in their newsfeed and your exposure increases.

If you’ve followed through with your end of the deal, fans will gladly return the favor by sharing your content with others. This gives you an opportunity to promote all of your social networks and build relationships by linking to other businesses and resources.

When it comes to Facebook marketing, go hard or go home.

Your Facebook presence will shine brightest when you put in the necessary time and effort.

If it’s the extra time that you lack (like many small business owners), you may want to consider acquiring Social Media Management services to stay ahead of the competition.

Remember that your marketing efforts and your overall brand identity are very closely linked. No business can afford to have their social media presence fall short.

A well-maintained Facebook business page has the potential to make your brand the most popular name in the game.

Do you have questions on maintaining a successful Facebook Fan Page for your business? Ask away in the comments area below!