Stepping into social media

By now, many businesses have accepted social media as a necessary marketing and communications tool. However, properly using social media can be tricky as what is effective can quickly change.

Facebook has been trying to help small businesses make better use of its offerings. During 2015, the company added 10 million small-business pages and says nearly 2 million of those companies use the platform to advertise their offerings.

Fortune magazine interviewed Mari Smith, who directs Facebook's small-business initiatives. Smith says a business first should assign its page to the most relevant category. For instance, Facebook offers a "Roofer" category. In addition, Smith suggests business owners complete the "About" section thoroughly and make sure cover and profile images are attractive and representative of the work performed by a company. A roofing contractor specializing in metal roofing, for example, should upload high-resolution photos of his or her company's best jobs.

As for content, Smith suggests users include "a variety of written, visual and video content" and post once or twice per day.