It can no longer be denied that social media is an asset to any business looking to expand its marketing efforts. However, this marketing must be executed well otherwise it will become white noise in our busy, content-heavy world.

Facebook has proven to be the king of the social media jungle. In fact, if Facebook’s community was a country it would be the most heavily populated country in the world! With over 2.13 billion users, 1.4 billion of those using the channel daily, there can be no doubt that Facebook is an incredible tool to utilise.

4 reasons to use Facebook marketing for small business

1 – You can build a community

After all, this is what social media is about! Facebook has the unrivalled reach to help you build a community who will be interested in you, your brand and your product.

It doesn’t matter if you bake 7-tier cake masterpieces or operate as a fully licensed cat psychologist – there will be a community for you on Facebook (you’ve just got to reach them).

2 – You can share all kinds of content

While most other popular social platforms specialize in a certain type of content, – YouTube and video; SoundCloud and audio; Flickr and photography – Facebook can facilitate lots of different media types.

This is important because stats are showing that “native” videos on Facebook (videos uploaded directly to the platform) are receiving up to 10x MORE views than videos shared by link (i.e from YouTube or Vimeo).

This gives Facebook a remarkable edge as a highly desirable platform for users to consume content and should help inspire different creative angles for you to market with.

3 – Helps you understand your community

Building a community on Facebook is a top start. The next level from there is better understanding them through engagement and analytics. This is all very possible with Facebook, especially using inbuilt tools like Insights to help guide your findings.

Once you can get your head around the information Facebook helps you collect, you can begin to refine your marketing and drive more effective content to your community.

4 – Make your company feel more personable

A difficult thing to overcome for many businesses is shaking that corporate, money first image people often have of them.

Using a channel like Facebook, and sharing great content that entertains and engages your community will help promote a more “human” feel about your company.

Creating the perfect Business Page in 8 simple steps

1 – Sign up

The most obvious thing you will need to do before you can start your journey is to actually sign up for a Business Page! This can be done simply by going to facebook.com/business and clicking Create a Page.

2 – Add profile image

This will become one of the first things that people see when they search for you on Facebook or land on your Page. Make sure it is good quality (resolution) and properly on-brand.

Having a picture of your face is nice, but not much help if you are a small business with a branded logo for example. People will respond far more to an image that is indicative of your organisation.

The complete opposite is, of course, true if the brand is you, a celebrity or public figure, for example, so lead with an image of you.

3 – Add an AMAZING cover photo

The cover photo is an area where your Page can really shine. It is often the first thing people will see when they hit your Page, so it should be visually awesome and make viewers go “Wow!”

Think about how it can tell a story, as this will prove the most engaging way to communicate what you are about to your community, and do not rehash the branding you put into the profile image. These are two very separate pieces.

Did you know: you are not limited to just an image now? Facebook has updated its cover photo to allow video and 360° video/images. This means more options to really make this an attention-grabbing asset for your Page.

A cover photo will display at 820 x 312 pixels on a desktop or 640 x 360 pixels on mobile. The image must be at least 400 pixels wide and 150 tall.

4 – Add your business short description

An exciting, short snippet of your business goes here. It should be quick to digest (no more than 300 characters at a push) and contain enough information that people know who or what you are instantly.

5 – Populate the rest of the About section

Begin to fill on the other details that make up your About section. These are the small details that give the bigger picture, and cost you nothing but a little bit of time.

6 – Pick your username

Your username is what will form your URL (web address) so you’ll need to be clear on what you want (and see what is available). Shorter usernames will serve better, as they are more memorable. A username is limited to 50 characters.

It is also worth noting the difference between a Page account name and a Page username. The account name is required and should reflect your business name fully. The username is optional but highly recommended, as it means you can customise your Page’s URL.

7 – Optimise your menu

Surprisingly, this is something that gets missed by many businesses. You can actually customise the menu headers that run down the left-hand side of your Page.

If your business is a restaurant, for example, having Reviews is important and will be one of your greatest marketing tools (word of mouth always has been and certainly remains the most powerful marketing tool). However, having Services does not really fit the picture.

To change these, go to: Page Settings > Edit Page and either use Facebook’s own templated options or pick the ones you want yourself.

Here is a rundown of what options you can select:

  • Events: Lists your upcoming events.
  • Reviews: Shows reviews on your Page and allows people to write reviews.
  • Jobs: Lists job openings for your business.
  • Live videos: Shows live videos on your Page.
  • Notes: Gives you a space to highlight notes on your Page.
  • Offers: Lists current offers for your business.
  • Services: Gives you a space to highlight the services you offer
  • Shop: Shows the products you want to feature.

8 – Create your call-to-action

Your call-to-action button can be regarded as your ultimate goal for driving people to your Facebook Page and can be customised to a specific end goal.

  • Do you want people to Learn More by going to your website or watching a video?
  • Do you want people to Contact Us (you) by sending an email, or Direct Message, or giving you a call?
  • Do you want people to Make a Booking?

The options are there. You just need to define your goals to decide which call-to-action will best achieve them.

To change your call-to-action button, click on it and select Edit Button from the options.

The changing face of Facebook’s news feed

With your Page up and running, you’ll want to know how to best take advantage of the algorithm that prioritizes what posts people will see in their feeds.

In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg and his team wanted to ensure that the “time you…spend on Facebook will be more valuable”, so posts are now rated higher if there is more public interaction.

This, in short, means that engagement should lead your content marketing efforts. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Can the content you want to share create conversation? Is it meaningful? Is it funny? Will it be regarded well or with offense?
  • Will it be shared? Is it easy to share? Is it quick to digest or require time to appreciate?
  • Does it offer some level of emotional value? Is it touching/endearing? Does it entertain?

An alternative idea to help grow your business is to also run a Group, which can be easily linked to your Business Page. In fact, recent statistics suggest they are trending on Facebook, as more than a billion users actively engage in Groups.

Since social interaction is deemed as more “worthy” on Facebook, with its updated algorithm, Groups are proving an invaluable area for businesses to encourage discussion among members.

This, of course, can lead to word of mouth insight and feedback on your product and business. Additionally, it gives you an insight into your customers on an incredibly personal level, which can very much help guide your marketing.

Running a Business Page and Group side-by-side is certainly an investment in time. But the outcome and ROI that can be reaped by a successful operation can be incredible.

Social media has truly thrown open the doors of what can be done in terms of marketing, it is just a matter of knowing how to evolve. The golden rule is, adapt with your audience and never be afraid to try something new! You never know just how powerful a short video or beautiful image or quote can be…

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