By now, most small business owners are well aware that using the social media can be crucial for getting your message out to the masses, and for engaging with your target audience to promote brand recognition and loyalty. Most are also probably aware of the fact that Facebook is the 800lb. gorilla when it comes to social media marketing, simply because it has more than 1.5 billion users who login on a daily basis.

While many of the tips for the best ways to make use of Facebook for small business owners are pretty widely known, there are some hidden gems that can really take it to the next level. Below are described some tips which have managed to avoid the Top 10 lists, but which can still be very effective as part of your overall social media strategy.

1. Post images to Facebook through Instagram
Why? Because images posted to Facebook via Instagram garner an impressive 23% more engagement than those images simply posted directly to Facebook. In a colossal study conducted by Buzzsumo, more than one billion posts to Facebook, sourced from three million different branding pages, were assessed in terms of the numbers of shares, comments, and likes for each route. The clear winner, particularly in the category of ‘likes’, was posting to Facebook via Instagram. If you’re looking for better engagement on Facebook, try using the indirect route to see if your own results match these.

2. Facebook posts without hashtags out-perform posts with hashtags
Engagement with your audience is the name of the game when you’re trying to build a following on Facebook, so anything that helps in that regard is worth a try. The same Buzzsumo study of Facebook posts which revealed the greater popularity of non-native postings, has documented another counter-intuitive finding – that Facebook posts lacking hashtags generate better engagement, by nearly 30%, than those which include them. While using hashtags is basically the standard technique for categorizing posts in Twitter and Instagram, it’s not nearly so well accepted in Facebook, most likely due to the fact that of the difference in audiences. This does point up the fact that you shouldn’t be posting the same content to all the social media platforms in your marketing strategy, and that it’s prudent to tailor content to each specific platform.

3. More than half of Facebook users are mobile-only
Knowing that more than half of Facebook’s 1.5 billion users rely on mobile logins only, you should be taking advantage of that fact as a small business owner. All of your posts, including text, images, and video, should be customized for the best possible representation on smaller screens, so that data doesn’t get truncated or otherwise mis-represented, causing your message to be lost or watered down. Your website should also be completely responsive for mobile devices, since your Facebook posts may direct followers to your site for more content.

4. The general Facebook audience is maturing
No, they aren’t getting more sophisticated, they’re getting older – and that means the content you post on Facebook should reflect that, otherwise you may be missing a hefty segment of the Facebook population with your message. In a study of Facebook users around the globe, AdWeek discovered some interesting facts, the first of which was that there are 17% more Facebook users in western countries who are over the age of 40 than there are in less developed countries. Secondly, only about 33% of western country Facebook users are less than 30 years old, whereas in eastern areas like India and Indonesia, that figure is closer to 75%.

5. Usage of Facebook Messenger is booming
As of the beginning of 2018, usage of Facebook Messenger was right around the one billion mark, which is a clear indication that people are making greater use of private communications on the platform. The stated mission of the Messenger product, according to Facebook, is to make it the best vehicle in the world for communication between individuals and businesses – and it seems like that objective is very reachable. What this means in terms of Facebook for small business owners, is that you should be engaging with people through this extremely popular channel. In the quest to reach the widest possible audience, knowing where to look is the first important component.