- As one of the most visited websites in the world, Facebook is a very important tool for small business owners who want to engage their customers and attract new ones.
- The core of proper Facebook utilization involves curating and creating content that appeals to your audience.
- Facebook offers multiple tools for promotion, and you should consider using all of them to maximize your reach.
- This article is for small business owners who are interested utilizing Facebook to grow their business.
Every small business should be on social media, especially Facebook. From its powerful advertisement options to Facebook groups, Facebook has many tools small businesses can and should use. A solid Facebook presence helps you engage potential customers and grow your business.
"Having a Facebook page helps to legitimize your business in the customer's eye," said Jake McKenzie, content manager for AutoAccessoriesGarage.com. "Or another way to look at it is a business without a Facebook profile may seem outdated at the best or untrustworthy at worst."
With so many ways to promote your business on Facebook, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are six easy steps to make Facebook work for you.
1. Create a business page.
If you want to have a solid and professional Facebook presence, you need to create a separate page for your business – your personal Facebook profile won't cut it. A page is like a regular profile, but it's for brands and business. Also, instead of asking to "friend" someone, users must "like" or follow a page to see its posts.
According to Hootsuite, here is how you create a Facebook business page:
- Sign up. You will need to either use your personal Facebook page, or you can create a page from scratch. Visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/create, and select the type of page you wish to create. Fill in the page name, category and description; then click Create Page.
- Add photos. It's important to add a profile and cover photos that reflect what your business does. Given that these pictures will be providing your clients with your first impression, use high-quality images that portray your business in a positive light. Select the images and hit Save.
- Create a username. Also known as a vanity URL, your username is how your customers will find you on Facebook. Your username should be the same or as close to the name of your business as possible to avoid confusion. Once you've completed step two, you'll see "create @username" under your page name. Click here to create and save your page name.
- Enter your information. When you set up your Facebook page, you'll notice there are a lot of options to customize it. Add as much information about your business as possible, including your business name, address, contact information, website, business hours, products, etc. You will also need to create a description of what your business entails. You can add additional categories to ensure your company is included in all relevant searches on the site. As you add information, use strategic keywords throughout that indicate to both readers and to Facebook what your page is about.
- Tell your story. Although you have already entered information about your business, you will find that you can expound on the story behind your company or brand. In this section, talk about why and how your business was created, what makes your brand unique, the services and products you offer, and anything else you think will be relevant to a customer.
- Create your first post. Before you can invite people to like your page, add some content to it. Your very first post can be a simple "Welcome to our page!" Or you can post a deal or coupon, a picture, video, link, or whatever you think would be a good introduction to your brand.
- Publish and then invite followers. Once you have filled in all the details, it's time to expand your audience! Invite people to like your page once all the information is completed.
Key takeaway: Follow the most current instructions and best practices for filling out your Facebook business page's information completely, accurately, and in a way that's optimized for the platform's preferences.
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2. Post regularly on your Facebook page.
To use Facebook to promote your business, you need to do more than set up a Facebook page – you need to use it and post regularly.
"Post as frequently as you can … at a minimum, once per day," said Katie Campbell, social media manager at Fundera. "Your audience and customers want to feel like they know your business and can relate to you."
While it's important to post regularly, it's just as important to post quality content. Campbell suggests posts that share behind-the-scenes information and photos about your employees and that shows off your products or services. This shows your dedication to transparency and quality.
If you're unsure what your customers want to see, experiment. You can use Facebook's poll features to ask what they want to see, or take a look at Facebook Page Insights, which helps take the guesswork out of sharing.
Facebook Insights is free for every business page and shows valuable information, such as how many people engage with each post and how many people it reaches.
If you're concerned that posting on Facebook will take up too much of your time, consider using Facebook's publishing tools to schedule posts in advance. This can help you streamline the posting process – it also ensures that posting doesn't slip your mind.
3. Engage your followers.
Facebook's new algorithm favors posts and pages that create engagement. Before posting anything on Facebook, ask yourself if it will create a conversation. It's also important to remember that Facebook is a social media platform, so you should be social.
"Businesses should interact with followers by responding to customer comments, questions and concerns," Campbell told Business News Daily. "Use your Facebook page for what it's meant to be: a social site. Get to know your customers' needs by hosting polls and responding to reviews."
The key to engagement is posting quality content. For best results, try to be friendly and conversational. Keep updates timely, and respond to comments and private messages.
Tip: Respond to messages, reviews, and posts on your page to signal to the poster, other visitors, and to Facebook that your business is active, engaged, and customer-focused.
4. Leverage friends of fans.
People are most likely to try something if their friends already use it.
When customers interact with your page, their friends will see the activity in their newsfeeds. You can also foster more interactions using polls and asking questions followers want to answer.
"Social media is the new 'word of mouth.' You want people to be able to tag your business when they're talking about you," said Cat Smith, owner of Get Social with Cat. "Your customers are your best advocates."
Encourage customers to check in to your business on Facebook when they visit by offering a small discount for anyone who does. Checking allows users to notify their friends where they are. Host a contest or sweepstakes and encourage users to post about your business.
You can also create special events and limited-time promotions and invite your followers, who can invite their friends in turn.
5. Try Facebook ads.
If you're having problems reaching users organically, try Facebook ads. Promoted Facebook posts look like regular posts but are highly targeted and reach more people.
Facebook's tools are very effective and make it easy to target a specific audience. You can target people who like your page or by location, age, gender and interests. Because Facebook collects user data, it can target your advertisement to those who are most likely to be interested in your product or service.
The platform also features an analytics tool to helps you understand which ads drive interest and sales.
6. Write amazing content for your Facebook audience.
According to WordStream, you can create compelling content for your Facebook business page by:
- Posting a variety of content. By posting an array of content, such as photos, videos, gifs, press releases, blogs, articles, etc., you are much more likely to entertain and engage your audience.
- Ending every post with a question. One great way to create amazing, engaging content is by posing a question at the end of each post. This can help boost your engagement levels and make your page more interactive overall.
- Using contests in moderation. By creating contests and allowing your customers to win prizes, discounts, etc., this makes your page more engaging and can boost sales.
7. Start a Facebook group.
Building community around your product, service or brand can be an excellent way to connect with customers on a one-on-one level. These groups can be immediately related to your business, they can be adjacent to your business, or they can help organize people around a cause relevant to your business. For example, a marketing agency may want to create a Facebook group centered around answering small business marketing questions, or a woman-owned business may want to create a group designed to share content with other female founders.
8. Use all Facebook features, not just Pages.
New Facebook features are rolled out regularly. As of 2020, consider utilizing tools like Facebook Live, Facebook Video and Facebook Stories to help promote your business.
- Facebook Live: Go live on the air to engage with your audience in real time. Your followers will receive a notification that you're going live and can tune in to watch. The recording is made available for playback so followers can watch later if they are unable to tune in. You could interview a guest, demonstrate how a product is used, or showcase an event where you may be exhibiting.
- Facebook Video: Video consumption – especially mobile video consumption – is on the rise. Utilize Facebook Video to get that video content in front of your Facebook audience. With 85% of businesses utilizing video content as a marketing tool, you're not just jumping on the bandwagon, you're using a growing, in-demand medium.
- Facebook Stories: Use the Stories feature to post content that will appear on user's feeds for 24 hours. (Stories expire after 24 hours.) This tool is great to help boost your business's organic reach, which is getting more difficult to achieve on Facebook as the platform continues to grow.
9. Create a plan.
Deciding what and when to post on Facebook should be part of an overall strategy that complements your other marketing, sales, and public relations activities. Organize these materials in a content calendar, which you or your staff can use to plan and track content that's published on Facebook and other marketing platforms and channels. Use this content calendar to make sure that important holidays are recognized, sales are announced, company announcements are shared to your Facebook page, and much more.
Tip: Create and consult a content calendar to help you plan.
10. Continue growth IRL.
Consider marketing activities that help boost your audience even while your customers aren't on their computers or phones. For example, you can offer incentives for customers to write Facebook reviews or give a coupon or a special offer in exchange for a new follower. You can also encourage customers to be active through other channels, such as email marketing, to visit your Facebook page to see great content.
For more information about Facebook for business, read this Business News Daily guide.