Facebook for Small Business 102: Get Noticed
Now that we’ve discussed why your business should be on Facebook (see this post), you are either ready to dive in and create a page for your business or step up your game with the one that you already have. In this post, we’ll cover the ins and outs of Facebook for small business and make sure that your page stands out!
We’re going to focus on 3 easy steps to put you on the right path: Introduce, Engage, and Do More. You can do all of this at once, or work through the steps at your own pace. Let’s get started!
What does your page say about you and your business? Remember that your Facebook page is your virtual storefront, and provides customers or potential customers with an immediate first impression. As with a physical storefront or office space, you want to be sure that you are showing a clean exterior and interior with positive words and images.
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Are all of the gaps filled? Make sure your name and URL are clear and easy to remember. Include your address, phone number, website link and any other pertinent information. Complete your page information; be brief yet thorough, so even the quickest skim of your page provides the full picture. Update your profile and cover photos; these can be changed at anytime, but remember that your profile picture pops up in viewers’ newsfeeds and therefor they associate this picture with your business. Consider utilizing your logo and/or a photo of your physical location.
2. What can they click? Spend time actually ‘clicking’ through your page, and be sure that everything is cohesive and leads to a working link. Use the Call to Action button to encourage users to book now, call, shop or sign up. You want to urge the user to take action that will meet your business needs and goals. For example, the Chamber call to action button leads users to the membership application landing page. Again, be sure photos are included and updated frequently; people love photos, so make use of this. Create upcoming events, and utilize the other tabs available at the top of your page. You can rearrange these so that people immediately see your 3 most important tabs.
3. Would your mom want to spend time on this page? Spend time adding to your page and filling it with content. This will develop over time, but you do have to be consistent. Make sure that your page is user friendly and interactive. Solicit input and advice from friends, family or clients/customers you trust. What are they looking for you on your Facebook page, and have you provided everything they could need?
Now that you’ve got your ducks in a row, it’s time to take some action and actually introduce your page. Invite your friends to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your business page; the initial audience helps to establish credibility and spread the word. Share your page, and be sure to ‘like’ it yourself. You are a spokesperson for your business, so don’t be afraid to show your affiliation. Lastly, invite business contacts to interact on your page. You can do this by uploading an email list (click “suggest page” on Facebook), or by sending your Facebook page URL through an email. Spread awareness by including the hyperlink in newsletters and emails. (If you receive any type of Chamber of Commerce correspondence, you’ve likely seen this modeled with a blue Facebook icon that redirects to the Chamber Facebook page.)
Now that you have an active and complete page, it’s time to engage your audience. As you post updates, photos and more, think about what your customers find interesting and inspiring. Experiment with different kinds of posts. Does your audience love photos or prefer when you share useful links? Remember the following points:
1. Be authentic. Share what you are genuinely excited about and your customers will be excited too. Try not to sell, but to tell, explain or show and be brief but interesting. (Remember that people are likely scrolling quickly, so you only have a snippet of time to grab their attention!) A great strategy for engagement: ask questions that elicit a response! For example, a temp agency could ask their followers for their most embarrassing interview experiences; sure to generate a response! The agency could then follow up with a post of 3 quick tips for a successful interview.
2. Be responsive. When people comment on your posts, show that your business is listening and that you care. If you need more time to answer a question, let them know that you’re looking into it. And yes, even negative comments often require a response. Handle online interactions in the same professional manner that you would in person. Remember that these interactions are public, and showing a helpful response to a negative comment or critique can go a long way!
3. Be consistent. The more regularly you post, the more opportunity you have for connecting with people and building trust. Setting a schedule for your posts can also help to maximize your time. Check out the scheduled post feature under ‘Publishing Tools’.
4. Be social. This is the most important step! Remember that this is social media and dust off your social skills. Comment on other posts in an authentic way (don’t mention yourself or your business unless it makes sense). ‘Like’ and ‘share’ other pages, and offer praise for business nearby or who you do business with. Interact by tagging people or pages any time you can. Remember to be authentic; people can tell when you’re doing something just for the ‘clicks’; they don’t like it and will likely stop following your page.
5. Do what works. Eventually, you’ll find which posts are successful and which aren’t. Replicate your successes with posts that get more engagement. Remember, your recipe for success is to create page posts and ads that are interesting and valuable, and to target your messages so the right people see them. The “Secret Recipe” for a great post:
– Have a mission for your post
– Include photos or videos if it makes sense, and include people when you can (remember that this is social!)
– Write an interesting but brief post; people scan quickly
– Tag other people or pages to boost views, and be social
– Include a link to your site, a relevant article or an upcoming event
– Add a location; your post will show up in more feeds this way
You’ve got a working Facebook page, a growing audience, and your posts are gaining traction. Now what? There are many next steps, but we’ll quickly touch on a few.
1. Explore page insights. Analytics provides valuable information on your audience. Look at gender, age, geographic location and more for your fan base. This will help to drive your decisions as to what to post, when, and why.
2. Boost your posts. Utilizing Facebook ads is a very low-cost way to spread the word. Ads look just like a post, but can be sent to people beyond those following your page. You have the option to target your audience (see analytics), choose the duration, and determine the message. A great first step- turn a successful post into a successful promotion. When you notice that a post is getting a lot of engagement, promote it to reach even more people. When more people comment on or share your posts, their friends are also eligible to see those posts in their news feeds.
3. Promote your page. This is similar to a boosted post, but you are simply promoting your Facebook page to garner more followers. Experiment with this to see if it meets the goals of your business.
Using Facebook is a fun, yet effective way to promote your business in a social setting. Think of it as networking in an online setting and a more organic form of advertising. Imagine if you could talk to each of your customers on a daily basis; that’s Facebook!
If you are interested in more informative sessions on advertising, human resources and more, consider an upcoming Chamber workshop. A complete listing is available online or by contacting the Chamber office.