Do you own a small business that you’re trying to grow? For nearly all small businesses, a modern marketing strategy is essential. And part of a modern strategy should always be social media, especially because of its value for local SEO, relationship building, and word of mouth. However, especially when you start out, using all the major networks might not be practical. For many businesses, Facebook is the first choice.
Nearly 2 billion people use Facebook, making it a powerful marketing tool for small businesses. If you’re not taking advantage of all that Facebook has to offer, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers. In this post, we’ll give you 15 tips for success when using Facebook for your small business. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been using Facebook for a while and want to improve your results, these tips will help. So let’s get started!
The Basics: Set Up Your Page for Success
Successful Facebook marketing all begins with setting up your Facebook Page for success. All elements of your page should be geared towards making a good impression and presenting a compelling brand story. However, this is accomplished differently for various business types. For instance, an accounting firm will make this impression differently from a coffee shop or auto mechanic.
1. Take a Peek at Your Competitors
Since so many small businesses are already using Facebook you can learn a TON just by looking at your competitors. For instance, does your competition present employees as its best asset, or a nice ambiance. Is the product itself their best selling point? As you view each competitor’s page, think about how they’re presenting themselves to the public. Is this something you can count on? Or is it just a suggestion you can learn from, such as showcasing your professional staff?
If you don’t have a lot of local competition, then check out larger competitors or those from another area. This is a relatively common problem in rural areas, or in places where you’re introducing a new product or service for the first time. While you’ll obviously adapt those insights to your area or company size, there’s still a lot to learn.
2. Fully Set Up and Optimize Your Facebook Business Page
Make sure you choose the right name, and category, and completely flesh out all available content options. You don’t want your Facebook for a small business profile to look like you just threw it together. In addition, the information on your business page is something that the Facebook algorithm can use for customer targeting, content suggestions, and other features that’ll help your business page or advertisements get more views. And for advertising, full and accurate information helps ensure your ads are seen by the RIGHT people. Plus, you’ll likely get more likes in the process.
Further Reading: 15 Ways How to Get More Likes on Your Facebook Business Page
3. Use a Strong Cover Photo
You’ll want to make a great first impression with a strong cover photo. While you’ll typically use a logo for the profile photo, the cover photo on your Facebook Business page is a place to show some personality. For many professional services firms, a photograph of staff is a common choice. On the other hand, a restaurant would likely showcase a particularly nice part of their dining area or bar. No matter what you choose, make sure it reflects your business, what it stands for, and why viewers should do business with you. That’s one way to maximize Facebook for small businesses and its free features.
4. Customize Your CTA Button & Link Your Ecommerce Catalog
The most strategic parts of your Facebook Page are going to be the Call to Action button that you can define as well as importing your eCommerce catalog to create your own Facebook Shop on your page. Obviously, you might not include an eCommerce catalog if you’re a non-shopping business like professional services, but if you sell even small-time merch (logo baseball caps and branded coffee mugs, for instance), then be sure to give people a chance to buy it.
Facebook Content Strategy
Now that your page is set up you need to think about what content you are going to publish to engage your growing number of fans. After all, part of the reason for running a Facebook Business page is to have a community around your brand. These communities aren’t as large using Facebook for small businesses as they would be for MNCs, but they are still important. Brand affinity is critical to ensure that
5. Know Your Content Types
On Facebook, many but not all content types can include a branded hashtag. If possible, you should have one so that your followers and fans can share stories about your company in such a way that new people will check out your page. There’s a list of these content types on Facebook’s website.
6. Create a Content Calendar
One of the best ways to ensure you consistently present your brand message is with a content calendar. This is a behind-the-scenes schedule of what you want to say, how, and when. You won’t necessarily have everything ready from the calendar upfront (I get it, we small business people are busy). But it’s critical that you have a plan. As they say, a failure to plan is a plan to fail.
7. Post on Facebook Consistently with Intent
Related to the need for a content calendar, be sure to post intentionally and consistently. Everything you post should have some sort of purpose, from presenting products and services to humor that helps build rapport with customers. Choose a posting frequency (ideally each weekday) and stick to it because you want your customers to expect, even anticipate, your next piece of content.
Further Reading: What are Facebook Instant Articles and Should My Blog Use Them?
8. Be Relatable, Not Salesy
No one wants to be sold to on social media, so don’t treat your Facebook Page like an advertising channel. One of the great things about social media is that it’s built on interpersonal relationships. In turn, the best way to sell using Facebook for small businesses is by building relationships while also telling people what you have to offer. In the process, you will find new fans and customers for your business and, hopefully, increase revenue.
Facebook Engagement Strategy
Facebook, and social media in general, must be a two-way street for success. In other words, it isn’t enough to simply post something on your Facebook for a small business page and then hope for the best. Rather, it’s important to hear back from your fans and customers. This helps provide social proof that you are good at your job. Also, posts and pages that have a lot of engagement are treated more favorably in the Facebook algorithm. Let’s look at how you can maximize engagement.
9. Interact with Your Fans
First of all, interact with your fans! While you can’t return a “like,” you can respond to comments or questions. This way, your fans know that you are responsive to their questions and concerns on Facebook, and not just when they call you. In addition, soliciting engagement, such as by asking a question, boosts interaction. I call this technique writing engagement posts.
10. Go Live on Facebook
Another great way to get engagement is going live. In this case, you’ll produce content and stream it in real-time. Your fans can interact with you, and with each other this way, so it’s a great opportunity to build rapport. This is a great way to take people behind the scenes at your business, answer their questions in real-time, and build a brand community. Consider an influencer collaboration for a fun, effective marketing tool.
11. Consider Starting Facebook Group
One of the drawbacks of Facebook for business pages is that people have only a limited ability to post on your profile. They pretty much have to respond to your business’ photos or posts, instead of being spontaneous. In addition, they can’t ask industry-related questions very easily. Facebook Messenger chat helps for individual inquiries, but this doesn’t help with engagement and means you have to answer the same questions over and over again.
One of the easiest ways to solve this problem, boost engagement, and gain brand community is with a Facebook group. In this case, literally an affinity group for people who like your products or are interested in your niche somehow. For example, I could start a Facebook group about marketing, and geared towards executives who might need some help with strategy. In addition, you could consider a group that’s related to your community. Either way, you get both engagement and a level of control over your topic of choice.
Further Reading: 5 Ways To Use Facebook Groups For Business Marketing
Facebook Ads Strategy
Facebook has become pay-to-play, so Facebook Ads have become an essential tool in a small business Facebook Page strategy. While another Facebook for small business tactics is relatively simple, any kind of paid ads strategy requires careful retargeting and audience planning to maximize ROI.
12. Consider Investing in Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads allows you to hyper-target specific and lookalike demographics and give you the ability to advertise to audiences on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and even click-to-WhatsApp ads. In many cases, you can even target people who live in your market area, not just demographic and interest-based audience segments.
Further Reading: 9 Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Ads ROI
13. Structure Your Pixel Strategically
You have Facebook Pixel on your website, right? If not then you’re missing out on one of the best Facebook for small business tools because it helps you with site analytics and Facebook ads optimization.
After you install the Pixel code to your site, you’ll need to configure it. While other parts of Facebook Ads Manager deal with demographics like age and income, Pixel focuses on Standard Events. These include customers placing something in their shopping cart, going to the purchase page, or even specific browsing. Then, when a customer does one of these triggering events, they can be retargeted on Facebook.
14. Create Custom Audiences
The Meta Pixel will help you create a retargeting audience, but don’t forget to upload your email database or customer list to create a custom audience to market to. After all, these are people who have expressed interest in your products or services at some point in the past. Rather than being “cold” prospects many of the people on these lists are warm or even hot prospects who you might be able to see repeat business from.
Optimize for Best Results
Social media marketing requires you to always look at your analytics and find insight on how to grow. You never know when analytics will show you some missed opportunities or areas where you’re no longer relevant. Then, you can avoid spending too much money on prospects or audiences that are unlikely to become customers.
15. Review Analytics
Leverage Facebook Insights to understand more about your audience and content and look for hints as to how to improve. Improvements can include free Facebook for small business features, adding other content like social media influencers, or fine-tuning your advertising spend.
However, analytics are useful for more than just advertising. In some cases, you’ll find some gems of information that can shape your product line, such as a less expensive version of something for college students. And finally, analytics will show you which pieces of content were most effective so that you can fine-tune future content.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to take into consideration when marketing your business on Facebook. But with the right tools and tips in hand, it’s definitely doable. Even though it’s become highly pay-to-play, Facebook for small businesses remains useful even by leveraging free tools. If you want more detailed instructions on how to execute any of the tactics we mentioned today, be sure to check out our other blog posts on Facebook marketing. In the meantime, start putting these 15 tips into action and see how your small business thrives on one of the world’s most popular social media platforms!
Hero Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash