Obey These 5 Facebook Commandments for Social Media Success Using the social network personally doesn't qualify you as an expert.

By Matthew Toren

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There's a common misunderstanding that because you know how to use Facebook for personal use, you know how to utilize it for your startup or business. Nothing could be further from the truth, as evidenced by many unsuccessful Facebook pages out there.

It's a common complaint from entrepreneurs that they're using Facebook often but aren't seeing any real leverage or meaningful traffic from their posts. If you're going to take the time and make the effort to have social media outlets such as Facebook, you must learn the basic tips you'll need for success.

Related: When It Comes to Content Marketing, You Should Absolutely Double Down on Facebook

Here are five Facebook commandments entrepreneurs must follow to see their fan pages be a success instead of a content wasteland.

1. Images over links -- always

Did you know when you make a Facebook post, a thumbnail image will already pre-populate with a short summary as well? Of course you did. Guess what? Everyone else knows that as well, which is probably why you aren't getting a tremendous amount of click-through with your links.

When you put a link in your post, try hitting the "X" in the top right hand corner of the pre-populated image to close it and then click the photo icon to add your own full-size, already formatted image. Using the full size image you load vs. the pre-populated link image helps set you apart. Images always garner more likes, comments, shares and clicks than links alone.

There's the added bonus that using your own image ensures it's there, because often the images in pre-populated links are broken or irrelevant to the story. One other thing to remember is that if you auto-schedule your posts through tools such as Hootsuite, the system uses the pre-populated link image, so you'll need to upload your image through the Hootsuite dashboard the same way as Facebook if you want your original image to show up.

Remember, images over links every time.

2. Image plus quote equals the secret sauce

It doesn't matter what business you're in, there are amazing quotes you can find that will help support your vision. When you combine those quotes with an image, you have the holy grail of Facebook posts.

People love quotes. They're the most shared content on the Internet. There are entire Instagram accounts with millions of followers that only post quotes made into beautiful images. This is a great way to increase comments, likes and shares of your page posts.

Try using designers on Fivrr.com to build some beautiful images or do it yourself with a free, or upgraded pro version of PicMonkey.com.

Related: 5 Reasons Social Media Is Not Working for You

3. This or that, yes or no

Social media users love questions and giving their opinions. Think of some of the most successful viral content campaigns on the Internet that ask simple questions such as, "Who wore it best?" or "Hot or not?"

Your business doesn't have to be related to fashion to get this successful tactic right. Frame up service offerings with simple questions such as, "Would you rather have this, or that?" and of course, utilize commandment number one and include a side-by-side comparison image of the question you're posing.

By asking simple questions that require short, easy answers, especially when posted with a visual companion piece, you will see your Facebook post interactivity skyrocket.

4. Ask for help

Going along with the same theme of simple questions, often a simple ask for help from your Facebook audience will garner big results. People like to offer their opinions and when you ask for help making a decision about something for the office, for your product or service or anything really, you will get a lot of participation.

Ultimately, that's what the most successful Facebook pages are about: participation in a community. If you're trying to create a successful tribe through your Facebook page, be sure to ask for your users help along the way.

5. Continue the conversation

When your users comment, like or share, how do you follow up with them? You want to make sure you continue the conversation in the comments section for all the interactions you receive from others, even negative comments (unless they're abusive, which you should delete to keep the community safe).

If you keep the conversation going with your users, you'll build out a more robust tribe that helps contribute to the success of your Facebook page.

Related: Want to Look Smart on Social Media? 5 Tips From Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Matthew Toren

Serial Entrepreneur, Mentor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.

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