Social media is a cheap and effective way to market your business. And despite some negative press, Facebook is still king with more than 2.23 billion monthly users.
Using Facebook for business may seem difficult, because its rules and algorithms change frequently, which makes it hard to keep up with best practices.
However, when Facebook is used correctly, it 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 how you can use it to your advantage.
Create a Facebook Page
It's critical to create a Facebook page – not a Facebook profile. A profile is a personal Facebook account that's for sharing personal information and photos. Pages are public profiles that let businesses and public figures connect with fans. 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 creating your page, Facebook will ask you some questions, such as a category to describe your page, business name, address and phone number. You'll also have the option to upload profile and cover photos.
It's important to include all the information you can so your customers recognize your page and can find the information they're looking for.
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There are multiple sections you can feature on your Facebook page, but not every section will be a fit for your business. Here are the sections you can add.
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: On the left-hand side of your page, you'll likely see a list of tabs, such as Home, Services and 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.
Services: You can showcase your services on this page. You can add a photo of the service, its name, pricing, description and duration.
Shop: You can add your inventory on this page, and users can buy your products directly from Facebook. Your sales are sent to your bank account.
Tips for using your Facebook page
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. Remember to check and respond to messages.
With Facebook massager, you can reply to your 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.
2. Use insights to determine the success of your campaigns.
Facebook Insights is an analytics tool. It's free to use for all pages, 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 determine the success 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 here.
It's important to post regularly – at least a couple times 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 scheduling and creating multiple posts take some 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 ideal audience.
Facebook has excellent targeting tools. It can help you target specific demographics, locations and interest groups. You need to know who you're trying to sell to first, of course. Once you have a mental picture of your ideal audience, utilize the targeting tools Facebook offers.
5. Be personable, not just salesy.
Though you've created a business Facebook page to gain more customers, your audience won't respond well if you're only trying to sell them your product or service with every post. Try to be personable in your Facebook posts. Help your audience feel comfortable with you by sharing more than marketing content.
6. Do giveaways and contests.
It can be difficult to get organic traffic on Facebook, but regularly running giveaways and other contests can help. You can use services such as Rafflecopter to offer an incentive for liking and following your page.
However, before you post a contest or giveaway, make sure you understand 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. You can save time and effort by curating and sharing relevant content from other sources that your audience would also be interested in. Networking with these other sources might benefit you in other ways as well. For example, some of these sources might share your content in return, which can help you connect with a wider audience.
9. Have conversations.
Don't just publish a post and then be done with Facebook for the week. Create and share posts that will engage your audience while responding to their 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.
Remember the good times and celebrate anniversaries by highlighting company milestones such as your first 1,000 followers. These posts usually engage your audience and make you 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 targeted 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.
"Facebook Live is one of the most powerful yet underutilized tools a small business can use to engage with their market," said Elizabeth Giorgi, founder and CEO of Mighteor. "In today's mobile-first world, live video serves as a way to connect directly with the followers you have acquired on your social channels instantly."
With Facebook Live, you can have real-time conversations with your 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.
Some source interviews were done for a previous version of this article.