It doesn’t matter where your business is located or what it offers, there are potential customers on Facebook. The problem most business owners face is that they’ve never been successful generating any business from their social media efforts.

An August 2015 study by Manta asked small business owners, What is Your Primary Goal for Using Social Media?

  • 37% of small business owners want to acquire and gain customers

  • 17% want to drive awareness for their business

  • 15% want to gain lead generation/referral

Growing Your Page With A Limited (or No) Budget

Over half of all business owners are looking to generate direct revenue from social media. The study also found 87% of small business owners plan to spend $1,000 a month or less on social media and that broke down even further with 40% planning to spend $100 or less.

Though it is very difficult to build a small business Facebook page organically, there are some ways you can maximize your effort.

1. Don’t Post About Your Business

Though it sounds counter-intuitive, one of the biggest reasons small business owners don’t generate any business from their Facebook page is that they only share links to their websites or talk about their service or product.

Though I have no data…as a former real estate broker, I’ve often thought real estate agents and brokers are among the worst offenders. Way too often, I’ll only find them sharing links to their listings, open houses, etc.

It’s important to realize that most of the people who are fans of your Facebook page already are familiar with what you do or sell. It’s not about constantly advertising to them but instead providing value.

2. Provide Value For Your Fans

The goal is to provide value with what you share. Each day there are thousands of articles being created that relate to every industry. Put the efforts of all those content creators to work for you. An easy way to start is by setting up a Google alert to receive a daily email of new articles related to the topic.

One of the best ways for a small business owner to find great articles to share on Facebook is by using the free search available on Buzzsumo. All you do is go into Buzzsumo and enter a topic and then it returns the most shared content on Facebook.

Finding articles that are already performing well is a great way to find content that people are interested in. Since Buzzsumo only offers limited free searches, I wouldn’t recommend relying on it alone.

3. Be Authentic and Engage

Facebook is a social media platform. So be social. You’re a small business, be yourself. Let your personality and the culture of your company come through. You’ll find that you can actually create engagement and build a community by engaging with others.

By applying these three principles to your social media efforts, you’ll find increased engagement, followers, and eventually lead generation.

Post originally appeared as: 3 Ways Every Small Business Owner Should Be Using Their Facebook Page