Every small business should be on Facebook. With more than 2.27 billion monthly users, small businesses can use Facebook in a number of ways to promote services, increase customer support and boost recognition.
Using Facebook for business may seem difficult, because its rules and algorithms change frequently. However, with the right strategies, Facebook is one of the best tools for targeting a specific audience through paid campaigns. It knows a lot about its users (more so than we ever thought), and it uses this information to your advantage when you purchase ads.
Here's how to create a Facebook page and use it to your advantage.
Create a Facebook page
The first step is creating a Facebook page for your business – not a Facebook profile. A profile is a personal Facebook account that's designed to share personal information and photos with friends and family. Pages are public profiles that let businesses and public figures connect with fans and customers. Users just have to like a page to start seeing updates from the page on their news feed.
To create a Facebook business page, you must have a personal profile and follow Facebook's on-screen instructions. When you're creating a page, Facebook will ask some questions, such as a category to describe your page, business name, address and phone number. You also have the option to upload profile and cover photos.
It's important to include all the information you can so customers can easily recognize your page and can find the information about your business.
Editor's note: Looking for the right social media management service for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.
There are a range of sections you can add to a Facebook page, but not every section will be a good fit for your business. Here are some sections you should consider adding.
About: The About section is one of the most important parts of your Facebook page. It should be filled out with your address, business details, contact information, hours and website URL. Many people go online to find specific information about a business; don't let your potential customers down by keeping this page blank.
Community: The Community page is where posts, photos and videos from customers show up. Customers can also check in to your store here. This is a great area for your audience to interact and learn more about your company.
Events: You can create event pages and promote upcoming events in this section. Once you create an event on Facebook, you can invite people and share specific information about it all in one place.
Home: This section is where all your updates and posts live. This is also the first page users see when they visit your page.
Info and Ads: This section is designed to add transparency to your page. It shows your followers any Facebook ads you're currently running.
Offers: You can post discounts or deals from this section. This is an easy way to encourage people to come to your Facebook page. Tell customers to like your page and find a deal on it.
Photos: The Photos tab features your photo albums you've posted on your timeline.
Posts: This section shows all your posts, including timeline photos and updates.
Reviews: Under the Reviews tab, customers can write a review and indicate if they would recommend your business. Ratings show up at the top of your page. While you can hide the Reviews tab, it can provide valuable feedback to you and your followers. Reviews help verify your business and make it easy for customers to recommend your product or services.
Services: You can showcase your services on this page. You can add a photo of your specialty, its name, pricing, description and duration.
Shop: You can add your inventory on this page, and users can buy your products directly from Facebook. Sales are sent to your bank account.
Facebook best practices
Once you've created your business's Facebook page, the real challenge begins. You should regularly create content and engage with followers. Here's how to use it to market your products and services.
1. Respond to messages
With Facebook Messenger, you can reply to customers as your business. Your inbox is located at the top of your page when you're signed in as a page admin.
Facebook Messenger is an important customer service tool, and customers expect you to use it. In fact, Facebook tracks the response rates and times of brand pages so customers know how quickly they can expect an answer. Facebook Messenger is attractive to customers because they expect a fast response, and many people are more comfortable live chatting than calling.
Messenger has several new tools and updates that make it easy for brands to engage with customers on the platform, including natural language processing for Messenger chatbots.
According to a January 2019 New York Times article, Facebook is making plans to merge Facebook Messenger, Instagram messages and WhatsApp to create a unified messaging platform. This plan would make it possible for users on the three apps to communicate with each other, and you'll be able to connect with your customers on all apps.
2. Use insights to determine the success of your campaigns
Facebook Insights is an analytics tool. It's free to use, and it shows data on actions taken, page views, the number of people you've reached, the number of post engagements and more. This information can help you measure the effectiveness of your social campaigns and how to improve your posts.
3. Use publishing tools and schedule posts in the future
You can use Facebook Publishing Tools to schedule posts to go live in the future. You can also create videos, advertise your business, promote an event, make an offer, write a note and post job applications on your Facebook page.
It's important to post regularly – at least twice a week. If you find that you're spending too much time on Facebook each day, try third-party social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer. While creating and scheduling and multiple posts takes time upfront, it saves you time in the long run. [Interested in social media management and monitoring tools? Check out our best picks on our sister site, Business.com.]
4. Know your target audience
Facebook has excellent targeting tools. When you're promoting a post, you can target specific demographics, locations and interest groups. In order to have successful ads, you need to know who you're trying to sell to first. Once you know your target audience, use the targeting tools Facebook offers.
5. Be personable, not just salesy
Even though you've created a business Facebook page to connect with customers and ultimately to make sales, your audience doesn't want to see advertisements. Try to create personable and engaging Facebook posts. [Related: How to Use Social Media to Drive Sales]
6. Offer giveaways and contests
It's difficult to drive organic traffic on Facebook, but regularly running giveaways and contests helps. Before you create a contest or giveaway, make sure you understand and are following Facebook's rules. If you don't follow the proper laws, you could be in legal trouble. Learn more about the laws and guidelines of social media contests and sweepstakes in this Business News Daily guide.
7. Create and advertise events
You can create events as a business on Facebook. You can invite anyone to these events and pay extra to promote them to a targeted audience on Facebook. Events can be a fun way to engage your audience and turn them into customers.
8. Share relevant content from other sources
It can be time-consuming to create and share only original content. Curating content from other sources can save time and effort. Networking with other sources can also benefit you in other ways, and they may share your content in return.
9. Have conversations
Don't publish a post and then not open Facebook for a week. Create and share posts to engage with your audience. Respond to comments, questions and concerns. If you're having conversations with your audience, they're more likely to become your customers.
In January 2018, Facebook announced it made major changes to its newsfeed algorithm. With this change, Facebook prioritizes personal connections and engagement. In short, your posts won't be seen unless they generate a conversation.
Another way to be engaging on Facebook is with its polling features. It's similar to Twitter's polls and is a great way to start a conversation or get to know your customers' opinions. To create a poll, go to your Page Manager and select Create a poll from the icon menu below the Write Something box.
10. Highlight business milestones
Highlight company milestones and celebrate anniversaries on Facebook. These posts usually engage your audience and will make you seem more personable. If you're offering a special promotion for any milestones or anniversaries, promote that on your page as well.
11. Use Facebook ads
The best way to reach your desired audience is to run Facebook ads. While these cost money, they're effective, because you can choose your target audience based on demographics, behaviors or contact information. You can choose a daily or overall budget for ads, select the amount of time an ad runs and adjust your desired audience. Facebook tracks the interactions on each promotion you run, which helps you develop highly successful campaigns in the future.
12. Create Facebook videos
If you're scrolling through your Facebook timeline, you might notice a lot of videos. That's because videos do great on the platform. One way to create Facebook videos is through Facebook Live, which allows you to broadcast to a large audience for free.
With Facebook Live, you can have real-time conversations with followers and give them an inside look at your business. For more tips on how to effectively use Facebook Live, read this Business News Daily guide.