- Facebook has more than 2.91 billion active users, making it a vital platform for small business sales and social media marketing.
- A Facebook Business Page can connect you with customers and offer key information about your business, products, services, and upcoming events.
- Facebook Ads and Messenger Ads are highly targeted and effective ways to reach potential customers.
- This article is for small business owners interested in using Facebook to improve their social media marketing and advertising strategies.
Every small business can benefit from a Facebook presence. With more than 2.91 billion monthly users, Meta – the Facebook company’s new name – gives small businesses many ways to promote their services, increase customer support, and boost sales and recognition through their Facebook platform.
Using Facebook for your small business may seem challenging because the platform’s rules and algorithms change frequently. However, with the right strategies, Facebook is one of the best ways to use social media for business.
One of Facebook’s biggest strengths is allowing you to target a specific audience through paid campaigns and advertisements. The platform maintains a significant amount of information about its users, which can be advantageous when targeting ads. In addition, creating a Facebook Business Page can be an effective small business marketing tool.
Here’s a look at the various ways to use Facebook to benefit your business and maximize your efforts.
Did you know? Facebook’s business offerings used to be grouped under the Facebook for Business umbrella. Now, these business tools are called Meta for Business, reflecting the company’s new branding.
What is a Facebook Business Page?
A Facebook Business Page is like a free business website companies can build on to expand their internet presence. Like a personal Facebook profile, your Facebook Business Page includes functionality for sending and receiving messages, posting updates, getting notifications and interacting with other users’ content through liking, sharing and commenting.
Of course, given how many companies have a Facebook presence, you’ll need your Page to stand out from the crowd to draw significant attention to your business. If you’re questioning whether the work that goes into distinguishing your company on Facebook is worth it, the many benefits of Facebook Business Pages may convince you to invest the time.
Key takeaway: A Facebook Business Page is a free resource that helps you to connect with customers and grow your online audience. Like email retargeting, Facebook allows you to reach a captive audience.
Benefits of a Facebook Business Page
If you create a Facebook Page for your company, you can use it to do the following:
1. List basic contact information.
If people wonder when your phone line or storefront is open, they may visit your Facebook Page to find out. They’ll also want to know your address if you’re a storefront or your support-line email if you offer services remotely. A Facebook Business Page is a one-stop shop for listing all of this information.
2. Engage new and longtime customers.
Not even your most loyal customers see what happens inside your business on a day-to-day basis – that is, unless you regularly share elucidating social media content with them. A Facebook Page is a great place to post shots from inside your storefront or behind the scenes with your support team. You can also boost customer engagement by updating followers on new products and discounts.
3. Know your audience.
When you have a Facebook Business Page, you’ll have access to audience insights and demographics. You can use the data provided to inform a robust demographic marketing strategy and better target your campaigns.
4. Lessen marketing costs.
Starting a Facebook Business Page is free, and many additional Facebook marketing and analytics features are either free or inexpensive. Integrating a Facebook Business Page into your marketing plan is a budget-savvy way to reach more people – potentially an audience of billions – with less money.
5. Boost web traffic.
By linking to your company’s website on your Facebook Business Page, you’ll drive more traffic to your website. The more people you get to your website, the better the chances of people reading in-depth descriptions of your products and services. Better yet, if you sell products online, people who jump from your Facebook Business Page to your website might even buy something.
6. Improve SEO.
Facebook Business Pages are good for more than just your social media presence; they’re also a boon to your rankings in search engine queries.
Tip: When your company website is Google mobile-friendly, you’ll do better in search engine rankings, because Google prioritizes mobile page load speed as a key metric.
How to create a Facebook Business Page
Now that you know some of the benefits of having a Facebook Page for your business, it’s time to start creating one. Follow these steps to set up your Page:
1. Create your Facebook Business Page.
The first step in creating a Facebook Business Page is to ensure you’re setting up the right type of account. Remember that you are creating a Facebook Page, not a Facebook profile.
A profile is a personal Facebook account 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.
Go to Meta’s Set Up a Facebook Page weblink to get started.
2. Answer questions.
To create a Facebook Business Page, you must already have a personal profile and follow the on-screen instructions. When creating a Page, the company will ask for some information, such as a category to describe your Page and your business’s name, address and phone number. It’s crucial to include as much information as possible so that customers can easily recognize your Page and find information about your business.
3. Add profile and cover photos.
You have the option to upload profile and cover photos to your Facebook Business Page. It’s good practice to do so, as attractive graphics and a visual brand lead to better engagement rates with your content.
4. Fill in the appropriate Page sections.
You can add many sections to a Facebook Page, but not every section will be a good fit for your business. Here are some sections you should consider adding:
- Home: This section is where all your updates and posts live. It’s also the first section users see when they visit your Page.
- About: The About section is one of the most essential parts of your Facebook Page. Fill it 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 section is where posts, photos and videos from customers show up. Customers can also check out your store here. This is an excellent place 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.
- 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 in this section. This is an easy way to encourage people to come to your Facebook Page. Ask customers to like your Page and find a deal on it.
- 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. Although you can hide the Reviews tab, you may not want to, as it provides valuable feedback to you and potential clients. Reviews help verify your business and make it easy for customers to recommend your products or services.
- Services: You can showcase your services in this section. You can also add information about your specialties – including photos, descriptions and pricing.
- Photos: The Photos tab features the images you’ve posted on your timeline.
- Shop: You can add your inventory to this section so users can buy your products directly from Facebook. Sales are sent to your bank account, and it’s an easy way to start dabbling in e-commerce.
Did you know? One little-known Facebook benefit is that it has been shown to boost employee productivity. A 10-minute Facebook break at work can make workers happier, healthier and more productive.
What are Facebook ads and boosted posts?
If you’re having problems reaching users organically, try paid advertising options like boosted posts or Facebook ads. Boosted posts are posts you place on your Facebook Page; you pay a fee to “boost” the post to a target audience. On the other hand, Facebook ads offer more functionality and placement choices.
Boosted posts and Facebook ads make it easy to target a specific audience. Target people who like your Page or segment by location, age, gender and interests. Because the platform collects user data, it can target your advertisement to those most likely to be interested in your product or service.
Should you use boosted posts or Facebook ads?
Boosted posts and Facebook ads can both be valuable elements of your marketing strategy.
Here are some benefits of boosted posts:
- Simple tactic: Boosted posts are the simplest way to advertise on Facebook. You choose your target audience, set a budget and determine your campaign’s length. When the post is approved, your target audience will see the post in their News Feed during the campaign.
- Online advertisement: While they have fewer customization options, boosted posts are still considered ads and will be listed as ads on your billing statement.
- Brand awareness: Boosted posts are an excellent way to build a brand, foster brand awareness, and gain comments and shares.
These are key features of traditional Facebook ads:
- Customization options: You have more customization options with Facebook ads.
- Support tools: You’ll create Facebook ads in the comprehensive Ads Manager platform.
- Creative sharing: You have options like sharing the ad to Instagram, Instagram Stories and Messenger, and choosing placement locations, such as on the side of the News Feed.
- Higher control: You create and manage the ad, and select objectives like tracking conversions and lead generation. You also receive deeper targeting capabilities.
Tips for placing Facebook ads
Since boosted posts are straightforward with fewer options, we’ll focus on maximizing your Facebook ads’ effectiveness. However, many of these tips also apply to boosted posts.
1. Set goals for ads.
Ads are most effective when they have a clear objective. A clear objective will also help you track your ad’s progress and can help you assess if your marketing strategy needs tweaking. For example, some organizations want to use ads to get people’s attention, while others want people to engage with content or links.
Facebook defines two common ad types – dynamic and lead – to help businesses accomplish their goals. Dynamic ads promote relevant items from your product catalog and retarget them to people who have shown interest in your site. Lead ads give viewers an easy way to get the information they’re seeking.
2. Select your audience and choose the location.
To target the correct audience, you need to define the ads’ reach. Facebook allows you to adjust your audience using the following criteria: location, demographics, interests, behavior and connections.
Location can help you with a local marketing strategy, narrowing down people in your general area who may find your products or services more relevant than someone in a different state or country. Demographics allows you to choose the age range, gender and job title of your target audience.
Use the interests, behavior and connections criteria to narrow your audience even further.
Did you know? Facebook is the most useful platform for reaching an older demographic.
3. Set your budget.
Buying an ad requires you to create one and then submit it to Facebook’s ad auction. The ad auction allows you to set the parameters used to deliver your ad – including your budget. You’ll need to determine how much money you want to spend daily and over time.
Facebook’s ad auction requires you to set a “bid,” which is the maximum amount of money you are willing to pay when someone sees or engages with your ad.
4. Create compelling ad copy.
In marketing, everything ultimately comes back to how good your copy is, and Facebook ads are no different. Regardless of what type of ad you choose to run, the copy you write must speak directly to your ideal customer and make them want to listen to you. To do this effectively, you have to know precisely who you are targeting and what you want them to do.
Here are the primary written components of your ad:
- Headline: Start with the headline. Don’t fill it with a boring list of features or blatant marketing jargon. Instead, make it conversational and engaging. When developing your ad, the field listed as the headline is essentially the first sentence above the image; it needs to be as good as the first line in your favorite novel if you want people to keep reading instead of scrolling past.
- Description: Use the description field to combat any anticipated objections. This text will be prominently displayed beneath the image and is easily visible without the viewer clicking to read more. If viewers learn that your offer is completely free or has a money-back guarantee as they are scrolling, you may get them to stop and reconsider.
Keep in mind that the copy you write will likely need to be changed for different audience segments even if the offer is the same. Additionally, it’s essential to try out different combinations and test them to determine the most effective.
Tip: Prioritize simplicity in online ads. Simple ads are more effective at capturing attention than complex ones.
5. Use images and video.
You need eye candy if you want people to pay attention to your copy. This can be a carefully curated image that visually articulates your offer or brand, or it can be a video that people will want to watch.
If you use stock images, use high-quality images relevant to the advertising copy. Facebook has several image and text rules about image types and the ratio of words allowed on ad images.
It can often be more effective to opt for video for your Facebook ads. People love to watch videos online, and editing video is easier than ever thanks to the growing field of user-friendly video-editing apps.
Tip: When using videos and images in your ads, be sure to avoid copyright infringement, or the creator could hold you liable. Find a free-use image or get the content creator’s permission first.
6. Create Messenger ads.
Messenger ads are still in the Wild West marketing phase, making it the ideal time to jump on the bandwagon. The wonderful thing about Messenger ads is they are delivered directly to customers’ Messenger app, along with messages from their friends, co-workers, and family. It’s an intimate space that still feels very personal, primarily because few businesses use this platform.
It is essential to keep this feeling of intimacy at the forefront of your mind when creating ad experiences for Messenger. To do this effectively, you’ll want to utilize a chatbot service to build full campaigns. This process allows you to ask your subscribers a question or offer them something of value. You can then create an automated experience that moves them further along the sales funnel in a way that feels less like a sales pitch and more like a friend offering advice.
7. Learn the fundamentals of Facebook advertising.
Facebook ad-targeting specificity has come a long way in the last few years. Early on, there were a few hit-or-miss approaches to creating Facebook ads. Now, the platform allows you to choose the type of ad campaign you want to run, detailed objectives and custom audiences.
You can also run multiple versions of the same ads to determine which is more effective and limit the amount you spend by carefully allocating your budget by day and ad.
If this all sounds complex, that’s because it is. It’s crucial to take your time and learn the fundamentals of setting up your campaign properly. Stunning copy and attention-grabbing graphics are no longer enough.
It’s good to understand how Facebook ads work, but if you don’t have the time to stay on top of them and their updates, seek help from a marketer who is skilled with them.
Tip: Some useful tips for hiring a marketing company are to seek references, consider industry expertise and ask for work samples.
How to use Workplace
Workplace has been on the market for a few years and has seen rapid adoption by organizations of all sizes worldwide. According to Meta, more than 30,000 companies use Workplace as their internal team collaboration tool.
Think of Workplace as a supercharged company intranet. It’s designed to look and feel similar to Facebook, making it straightforward for employees to use. The familiar central News Feed is the tool’s primary hub.
These are some of Workplace’s most helpful functions:
- One-on-one video calls or instant messages via the system’s Work Chat
- Project- or department-based groups to centralize communication and facilitate collaboration
- Business application integrations – such as Microsoft Office and Dropbox – that allow users to share presentations, files, and images within Workplace, and make live edits to documents
- External team collaboration, which is great for organizations that partner with outside companies on deliverables
- Livestreaming video capabilities, which are helpful to companies with remote or traveling teams, as you can easily share meetings and announcements with employees at the click of a button
- Video conferencing platforms and collaboration tools (for example, integrating with BlueJeans lets users join meetings from a phone, laptop or tablet while they’re on the move)
Getting started with Workplace
Follow these steps to get started with Workplace:
- Activate and set up your profile. Activate your profile through email or an access code. If you receive an email to join Workplace, click the link and follow the instructions to set up your profile. If your employer gave you an access code, go to Workplace.com and create your account using the code.
- Download the Workplace and Workplace Chat apps. These apps allow you to stay in contact with your teams and be notified of any important updates. Download these apps on iOS and Android devices.
- Join and create groups. Workplace groups foster communication between work teams. When creating a group, you should determine the purpose and privacy setting.
- Communicate through chat. If you want to communicate with someone faster and in real time, the Chat feature will be more beneficial than posting to the group.
- Manage your notifications. You can change your notification settings to ensure you’re getting the ones you need most while muting the ones you may not need to see.
After setting up your business’s Facebook Page and working with the company’s other business tools, it’s time to create content and engage with your followers.
Here are some tips on using Meta’s business tools to market your products and services most effectively.
1. Respond to messages.
With Messenger, it’s quick and easy to reply to customers’ messages. Your inbox is located at the top of your Page when you’re signed in as an administrator.
Messenger is a tool and customers expect you to use it. In fact, the company tracks your Pages’ response rates and times so customers know how quickly they can expect an answer. Messenger is attractive to customers because they expect a fast response, and many people are more comfortable with live chatting than calling.
Facebook recently announced an effort to merge the messaging tools on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. This move emphasizes the importance of using Messenger and these other tools to communicate with customers and answer questions from your followers.
2. Use analytics to determine the success of your campaigns.
Facebook Audience Network is a free analytics tool. It shows data on actions taken, Page views, the number of people you’ve reached and the number of post engagements. This information can help you measure the effectiveness of your social campaigns so you can decide how to improve your posts.
3. Use publishing tools and schedule future posts.
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 crucial to post regularly – at least twice a week. If you find that you’re spending too much time on Facebook each day, try a third-party social media management tool – such as Hootsuite or Buffer. While creating and scheduling multiple posts takes time upfront, it saves you time in the long run.
4. Know your target audience.
Facebook has excellent targeting tools. When promoting a post, you can target specific demographics, locations and interest groups. To have successful ads, you need to know your target audience and use Facebook’s targeting tools to reach those potential customers.
5. Be personable, not just promotional.
Even though you’ve created a Facebook Page to connect with customers and ultimately make sales, your audience doesn’t want to see advertisements. Try to create personable and engaging Facebook posts.
6. Offer giveaways and contests.
It’s challenging to drive organic traffic on Facebook, but regularly running giveaways and contests help. Before you create a contest or giveaway, make sure you understand and follow the company’s rules, or you could get in legal trouble.
Did you know? There are laws and guidelines to follow when holding social media contests and sweepstakes. Check with the social media platform you’re using for specific rules.
7. Create and advertise events.
You can create events as a business on Facebook. Invite anyone to these events, and pay extra to promote them to a targeted audience. 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 benefit you in other ways, and they may share your content in return.
9. Converse with your audience.
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 followers, they’re more likely to become your customers.
The News Feed algorithm prioritizes personal connections and engagement. In short, your posts won’t be seen unless they generate a conversation.
Tip: If you’re looking to track all engagement you have with your customers, consider buying CRM software for your business.
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 special promotions for milestones or anniversaries, promote them on your Page as well.
11. Use Facebook ads.
The best way to reach your desired audience is to run Facebook ads. While these ads cost money, they’re effective because you can choose your target audience based on demographics, behaviors or contact information. Set a daily or overall budget for ads, select the amount of time an ad runs and pick your desired audience. The platform tracks the interactions on each promotion you run, helping you develop highly successful campaigns in the future.
12. Create and post 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 videos is through Video ads, which allows you to broadcast to a large audience for free. With Video ads, you can have real-time conversations with followers and give them an inside look at your business.
Sean Peek, Saige Driver, Stella Morrison and Charell Star contributed to the writing and research in this article.