Facebook is the largest social platform, and for most small business owners, that means you can probably find at least some of your target audience members there.
But using Facebook as a marketing tool is not as easy as logging in, posting an update that tells people how great your product/service is, and hoping someone calls you for an order.
There are some basic tips that will help you optimize this platform no matter how its features and interface change over time.
Tip #1: Optimize Your Page & Profile
Make sure you complete the important fields on both your Facebook Page and personal Profile.
Top Page fields and sections include:
Business information – phone, website, address (if a local business), “about” sections that are available based on the category you’ve chosen for your Page.
Visuals – an eye-catching Cover Photo (or Video), a Profile Pic, a featured Video, Photos (uploaded to your Timeline, as they show up first on mobile).
Call-to-Action Button – currently displayed very prominently on mobile, and as a larger button on desktop.
Tabs (Apps) – currently not displayed on mobile, but all tabs are displayed in a left-navigation area on desktop. You can re-order your tabs to place the most important at the top.
Products or Services – you can set up a “Shop” tab for your products or a “Services” section.
Groups – you can now create and/or link a Group to your Page (previously, all Groups were tied to your Personal Profile).
On your Personal Profile:
If you use your Profile for branding or as a “voice” for your business, then I recommend the following:
Visuals – an eye-catching Cover Photo, a professional-looking Profile Pic (or a looping video), a Bio that links to your Facebook Page(s), and featured Photos that show more about you or your business.
Follower Option – make sure you’ve turned on the “Follow” option, so people can choose to follow your public posts, or friend requests that you are not planning on accepting can turn into Followers who see your public posts.
Tip #2: Have a Content Plan & Calendar
Don’t just sit down with your laptop or phone and open Facebook with no plan in place!
Do you know the type of content that would attract your target audience?
If not, do some initial research, make a plan, and then check your Insights on a regular basis to see how different types of content perform.
Are you sharing helpful content or just broadcasting “sales” messages to your Fans?
A few general tips for posting content:
Post consistently. Start out posting a minimum of once or twice per day and then check your Page’s Insights for engagement and reach. Test frequency and timing of posts because every Page is different.
Schedule some of your posts. Take advantage of Facebook’s internal post-scheduling feature or use a third-party app to save time.
**Keep in mind that photos and videos usually result in more engagement than plain text or links.**
Set up Events, do a Facebook LIVE video stream or hold a Question & Answer session…be creative when testing content on your Page.
Consistency is key and sticking to a regular schedule will help your Fans know when to expect posts, which in turn may help your reach and engagement.
Tip #3: Schedule Time for Business Use of Facebook
Schedule Facebook marketing time, like you would schedule any other appointment or task on your calendar.
Whether it’s spending 30-45 minutes every morning on Facebook or 1-2 hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays…create a realistic schedule that works for you.
Don’t stay logged on all day – if your Facebook “Business” time is from 7-8 am every morning, then log off at 8am if you’re done with your tasks.
If you have other things to do online, an open Facebook tab can be a big distraction (especially if the other things on your To-Do List aren’t as enjoyable).
After you’ve spent time on Facebook for business, set aside separate time just for “fun” (for example, I’ll catch up with family and friends mostly in the evenings).
Tip #4: Focus on Good Communication: with Conversation & Relationship-Building
1. Respond to users within a reasonable amount of time
- Answer messages clients or prospects have sent you.
- Respond to comments on your Page or posts that mention your business.
- Set up notifications on your computer and/or phone so you know when someone leaves a comment or post on your Page.
Keep in mind that users expect a fairly quick response (sometimes a little too quick: a recent study found that a majority of customers expect a response time of under 60 minutes)!
2. Stay In Touch With Current Connections
- Touch base with newly acquired Fans/Followers/Friends – visit their Pages and Like or comment on their posts. Send messages for longer conversations.
- Share others’ content or resources that will help/interest your fans, and to build a relationship with new contacts, clients, prospects or colleagues.
3. Make New Connections
- Search for new Pages, new people to Follow or new friends (send friend requests only if you have a mutual friend or already know the person…too many rejected friend requests can get your account frozen).
- Like new Pages. Keep in mind that you should Like other Pages:
First as your personal profile to help their Fan count and visibility.
Then (if you choose) as your Page. This helps with networking or tagging their Page on your Timeline.
Create Interest Lists to make it easier to stay up-to-date on posts of Pages or People. Your List can be private or public (where others can subscribe to it). Once you’ve created a Facebook Interest List, you can then click on it and see posts from accounts on that list only.Unfortunately, Facebook has taken away Interest Lists 🙁
Your best option may be to use the Pages Feed on your own Page to keep up with other pages.
When you like another Page as your Page, the other page’s posts will show up on your Pages Feed.
Tip #5: Plan for the Long-Term
Facebook is a busy, noisy place, and unless you have a pretty big budget for Ads, you will be focusing on long-term strategies and results.
Always test, measure, and then evaluate your content, posting schedule, and Ads.
Keep up with trends and new features (because things can change on a weekly basis). But keep in mind that your business and Page are unique, so as you test new features or recommended strategies, closely monitor the results.
Adapt your strategy as the platform changes. Since Facebook (and really, all other social platforms) are constantly changing, you need to know up front that you must adapt to stay relevant.
Don’t rule out paid advertising. Increasing organic reach is definitely an important goal, but again, since Facebook is so big and so noisy, realize that Ads can help you grow reach and engagement faster.
One great thing about Facebook Ads (through the Ads Manager) is that you set a very low daily maximum budget ($1.00 – $3.00 per day, for example).
So is it worth it to spend $30.00 a month to grow your Facebook Fans/Community with very targeted ads? For most businesses, the answer is yes.
So there you have it: 5 basic Facebook Marketing tips to help you use this platform in your business’ digital marketing strategy.
Let me know if you have questions or would like to talk more about how your business can best use this platform in a Free Consultation (click here).