With well over 2 billion active users, Facebook can be a valuable marketing tool for small businesses. When you’re just starting to build your social media presence for your business, you have a plethora of free and paid tools that can be effective in boosting your clients’ list. But you should focus on exhausting all your free options before spending any money on Facebook Ads or Promoted Posts.

Nowadays, most consumers are using the internet to research local businesses. Most small business owners go as far as creating a Facebook business page, but don’t pay much attention to it after the initial setup is complete — being passive about your Facebook presence will make you miss on a lot of opportunities to promote your business for free on Facebook.

A smart Facebook presence can go a long way in helping your business grow at a steady pace. Since Facebook can be a little tricky to figure out from a business owner’s point of view, we took it upon ourselves to provide you with a few pointers.

1. Create a dedicated Business Page

Using a regular Facebook profile to keep in touch with your customers says a lot about the way you do business in a negative way. Using a Facebook page for your business makes sense because the page’s layout is designed to focus the viewer on the things that matter the most.

Once the page has been created, use every weapon at your disposal to make it reflect your brand. Set your business logo as the primary photo and think of a cover photo that is both appealing and showcases what your business actually does. Oh, and don’t forget to claim a vanity URL in order to make it easier for customers to share it among themselves.

2. Get positive reviews

One of the first things that people check when they research a particular local brand on Facebook is the reviews section. Trust me, positive reviews go a long way in getting locals to visit your business. Even more, the rating of your Facebook page might show up on Google or another search engine, so make sure you pay attention to it.

You can maintain a high overall score by asking your most loyal customers to leave a review. You can motivate them to get involved by offering them a small discount — just enough to make it worth their while.

3. Post on Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are there to bring together individuals that share a common interest. Finding a Facebook group that is right at the door of your business niche can prove to be invaluable. You have all these people who are directly interested in your product just waiting to read all about what you have to offer.

Start by gaining entrance to local groups and share the most engaging post from your business page with your personal Facebook profile. By enabling potential customers to see the face behind the business, you pose as an approachable business owner. You can take it even further and look for Facebook groups with people interested in the same type of product (or service) that you’re offering. Try to get in touch with your creative self and make your posts feel as natural as possible. And please don’t spam. Multiple posts that look way too generic might be reported by group members.

4. Hold a Giveaway Contest

There’s nothing more efficient in making people interact with your business page than handing out free stuff. You don’t necessarily have to offer something valuable — think of something that will not hurt your profits.

You can ask your audience to like your business page, share it, or even leave a review. Make the enrolment rules clear and consider using some kind of system that keeps track of who has entered the contest — a popular option is Facebook’s Contests for Pages.