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There’s no doubt; social media has forever changed the way we shop, spend and engage with brands. This is particularly apparent in 2020, with the pandemic pushing traditional high-street shoppers online and adding to the already astronomical pool of online users across the globe.

Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are now essential tools for any start-up, entrepreneur or small business looking to gain the edge in their market. They are uniquely designed to reach, nurture and engage your target audience, regardless of geographical location.

The UK is currently the largest market for Facebook in Europe, with 44% of the UK online population using the platform more than once every day. It also ranks as the world’s third most visited website, with a userbase of 90 million small businesses.

So, if you’re ready to engage a ready-and-waiting global audience, here are our five top tips for using Facebook to supercharge your business, start-up or idea:

1. Use Facebook Messenger as part of your customer communications strategy

Solid relationships are key to success in today’s crowded market. All lasting relationships begin with a conversation, and Facebook Messenger facilitates this beautifully.

Conversational commerce shortens the time gap between seeing and buying. An essential tool for potential customers in a myriad of ways, Facebook Messenger can be used throughout the entire customer journey, from facilitating fast, tailored product research, to organising flexible delivery of products post-purchase – all whilst building a trusting, personal relationship to ensure future business.

2.  Add a call-to-action button

Facebook pages that provide a call-to-action button (directing customers to engage via Facebook Messenger, website, email or phone, or simply view products or read reviews), have been shown to drive 185% more click-through than pages without one. To add this feature, simply click ‘Add a Button’ under your page’s cover photo, select the most relevant call-to-action from the options, save it, and test it.

3. Make the most of video 

We all know the power of imagery for building brands, but video posts can be even more compelling, particularly if your product or service has strong visual appeal. Video posts merge smoothly into your target audience’s newsfeed – especially how-to posts, FAQs and mini documentaries – as long as they are kept short (maximum two minutes) and eye-catching. It’s best to shoot your videos in a vertical format, as they gain 50%more impressions than those shot in landscape.

Also, try to focus on ‘native’ videos (i.e. posts uploaded straight to Facebook rather than from a third-party channel such as YouTube), as these will command three times the number of shares, and twice the number of views, than third-party content.

If your video contains speech, always add text. Facebook videos autoplay in mute mode, with research showing that 85% of videos today are watched without sound. You can either generate and edit captions automatically, or you can upload a SubRip (.srt) file.

And with users spending three times longer watching Facebook Live posts than pre-recorded content, it’s also worth considering adding live videos into the mix.

4. Use a content calendar to keep control of your social media platforms

If you’re using a multitude of social media platforms, it can be tricky to keep on top of what you’re posting and when. Social media management platforms such as Hootsuite, Buffer or SocialOomph offer free basic services which will make managing your brand considerably easier.

These tools allow you to manage multiple profiles simultaneously, by automatically sharing and tweaking posts across platforms, as well as scheduling posts in advance. The additional benefit of social media management software is the ability to map analytics across your platforms, as we discuss below, to evaluate which ones are working best for you.

5. Use analytics to future-proof your brand

Whether you’re a start-up, entrepreneur or small business using Facebook, it is essential to track your successes, failures and audience impressions. While Facebook Insights tracks likes, page views, and more; Facebook Analytics dives a bit deeper to tell you who your audience is and how they’re interacting with your page. By tapping into this intelligence, you can be confident of both fuelling future campaigns for repeated success – and future-proofing against repeated mistakes or failures. Here’s a handy guide to get you started.

If you’re unsure where to start with your Facebook marketing strategy, our STEAMhouse Incubator provides tailored, expert advice that can help you hone your social media skills and give you the confidence to launch your own campaigns. So don’t delay, get social on Facebook today!

STEAMhouse offers support, advice and workshops led by industry experts, and is ideal for turbo-charging your budding idea, start-up or small business. Get in touch or apply to join today! Alternatively, join our mailing list to receive regular tips and advice.