Facebook is a great place to showcase and market your small business. It is totally free to set up a business Facebook account – you just have to have a personal account first, in order to be able to set it up.
I’m not going to go into the setting up of the actual page in this post, but if you need help with this, there is a great, step by step tutorial by Facebook that is really useful.
If you want your business to really blossom on social media, then Facebook is an excellent place to do just that. It’s a great place to market your business and, according to Facebook,”creating a Facebook page allows more than 2 billion people on Facebook to discover your business – think of your page as a digital shopfront.”
What do I post about?
With Facebook, you can create many different types of posts. Each different type of post has its benefits and can engage your audience in different ways. I always suggest that people use the 80/20 rule. That is to say, 80% posts that are engaging, entertaining, educate or inspire your audience, and 20% sales. Your audience don’t want to just be sold to all the time – they want to engage with you and your business and this also helps your brand. Your social media strategy should include all of these types of posts. Let’s look a bit deeper…
Facebook Text Post
A text post is exactly what it says on the tin – just straight forward text only…just words, no photos, no videos, and no links.
Although this type of post is direct, I wouldn’t say this was great for business – especially if your strategy is to drive traffic to your website or directly speak to your audience to get them to buy or engage with you and your brand. But text posts can be good to share opening hours or availability, but be aware that the Facebook algorithm doesn’t really like text only, so your reach may not be good.
Generally, photo posts see a higher engagement than text posts. You can use photos, illustrations or infographics to catch your customers’ eye, so you need to think about the images you use. There are lots of free image sites out there where you can source photos – PLEASE don’t use google images and just copy and paste. Most of the images on google are not royalty free and you could get into trouble with copyright issues. I use pixabay.com or unsplash.com – these are free sites and when you pick an image, it tells you that the image is free for commercial use, which means you can use it for social media or on your website. Of course, you can choose to also take your own photos – especially good if you sell products.
Photo posts are great for product-based businesses, as you can really show off your products and you can show behind the scenes shots – anything really that will engage your audience.
Videos have even higher engagement rates than photo posts. You can do short and sweet video announcements or you can do longer videos to explain something, or to do a ‘how to’ post.
Video automatically plays in your feed, so you’re guaranteed to catch your audience’s attention.
Facebook Live video is, as the name suggests, a video that you stream in real-time or ‘live’. This is really popular and a great way to show your authentic self and a fabulous way to connect with your audience. Some ideas you could use would be an introduction video so your audience get to know you better; you could do a Q&A post to let people know more about what you do or your products; you can do behind the scenes video or product demos…in fact anything you can think of.
A link post is exactly that – a post that shares a link (or URL) with your audience. This is great to share your website or blog site. You just copy and paste the URL of your website/blog post and paste it into a Facebook post. The link automatically shows your audience a preview of the site with an image from that site.
You can also share links to other sites – interesting articles or links to events that you might want to share. Just make sure that you add some of your own wording before you click ‘publish’, so it’s personal to you and speaks directly to your target audience.
If you’re on Instagram, you’ll know that you can publish stories on that platform. But Facebook stories are also a great way to get the attention of your followers. Just like Instagram, Facebook stories are photo based, or short video posts. The photos appear for five seconds and videos can be up to 20 seconds long. Like Instagram, they disappear after 24 hours. It’s a good way to give a quick sneaky peek at something you’re about to launch, or use it for intrigue for a competition or contest.
You can ‘pin’ any regular post – pinning a post means that it will always stay at the top of your page feed, so it will always be the first thing that people see when they visit your page.
Once you have created the post, simply click on the three dots to the right of your post – you’ll see the option to ‘pin post’. Once pinned, the post will say ‘pinned post’ above it. You can change it whenever you like. It’s good for giving important information or instructions to your audience…or as a temporary announcement.
Facebook Watch Party
You can use this feature to screen a public video on Facebook in real time, so you and your followers can experience it together. It’s a great way to create a buzz for a new product launch – and this is often used to launch a music video.
You can promote your watch party by creating an event.
If you do events, for example if you are a musician and you’re playing in a local bar, you can set up an event to advertise it. Not only a great way to advertise, you can also invite people to your event, you can add photos and information so people know exactly where and when the event is…and what they will get.
You can also post job listings, special offers and you can even use the option to raise money for a charity.
Marketing your business on Facebook
Now you know how you can post on Facebook and the different ways to post, how do you actually market your business? I talked earlier about the 80/20 rule; 80% engaging, entertaining, educating or inspiring your audience and 20% selling your products.
It’s best to plan your content strategy, so you know what you are going to post and when. There are loads of different types of posts that will do all these things.
Engagement – you can engage with your audience by asking questions, or you could give them information about your products/services without doing the hard sell. Talk about the features or benefits of your products/services – what’s in it for your potential customers? What does your product or service do for them? How can it help solve their problems?
Entertaining – these posts could be something funny or interesting to share.
Education – ‘How to’ posts or teaching your audience something about your business or products/services.
Inspiring – this could be in the form of inspirational quotes, or you could include a link to an inspirational article that you like – or one linked to your particular type of business.
The final type of course, is selling – this would include images of your products, advertising what you sell or what your services are.
In a previous blog, I talk about the different types of posts you could incorporate into your content strategy – click here to find out more.
How do potential customers find your page?
This is all about you engaging with your target market. You need to know who your ideal client is and what they like. Join groups on Facebook, via your personal page – there are several that are set up for Facebook to specifically help you engage with like-minded businesses and your target audience. For example, Hike Those Likes Market Place is a friendly group where you can meet other small businesses. They have regular, daily engagement sessions that you can join and leave a link to your business. Other people follow you if they like your business. Once they follow you, every time you post, it will appear on their timeline – and so everyone who has liked their page will also see your post.
You can use the search bar to search for your target audience and engage with their pages. Once you have followed them, you will see their posts. Comment on their posts – a pointer here is to be totally genuine – don’t just comment for the sake of it, but only if you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.
You can also create an advertisement for your business on Facebook. This is all about getting your message in front of your target audience – those that are most likely to want what you sell or provide. There are different types of Facebook ads and targeting options. To find out more about ads, Hootsuite have a great guide.
And finally, measurement
How do you measure whether or not your posts are successful? You can find this out by using Facebook analytics or Insights.
Facebook Insights will let you know which types of posts work best for your business. It measures things such as:
- reach – how many people saw your post
- engagement – how many people liked, clicked, shared or commented on your posts
It also tells you which posts result in people who ‘unlike’ your page.
Facebook is a great platform for small businesses and if you put in some time to understand how it works…and more importantly, what works best in terms of post type and frequency etc., you really can take your business to the next level.
If you need help with your Facebook business page, please feel free to contact me.