Are you a small business owner who still hasn’t jumped on the Facebook train? Does it seem too complicated or technical for you? Or unnecessary, since you’ve gotten this far without it?
Facebook has a growing audience of over 700 million users — can you really afford to miss out on that? Using Facebook as part of your overall marketing strategy doesn’t need to be overly complex or require a degree in Computer Science.
We’ve put together a basic (yes, really) Facebook for Business guide to get you started.
Step 1: Create your Business Page
If you’re not already a Facebook user, the first thing you’ll need is a personal profile (anyone with an email address can sign up). You don’t have to use your personal profile, but you need to have one in order to get a business page.
Profiles are for people; pages are for businesses. Once you have a personal profile, you can use it to create your business page.
Facebook will walk you through the steps for this — make sure you complete all of them, so that your page looks neat and professional.
When creating your page, you’ll tell your audience what kind of business you are and details like your hours and location. Add a link to your website, but don’t make them click over to it for basic info.
You’ll also choose two different images — a profile picture and a cover photo. You might use your logo, a photo of your staff, a product label, or anything that helps your audience visualize who you are.
Step 2: Make Your Business Page Known To Your Audience
Your page is ready to go; now let people know about it! Add a “Like” button to your website.
If you send out a newsletter, encourage your readers to like your page. Put it in your email signature. If you have a physical location, post signs, and remind customers in person.
Step 3: Start Using Your Facebook Business Page To Connect To Your Audience
Now that you have an audience, you’ll want a good mix of content to keep them interested. Images are extremely important, as they tend to get the most interaction.
You can also use videos (make your own or share someone else’s) to boost engagement. Text snippets can let your audience know when you’re running a special or if something is changing (i.e., you’re closing early for a holiday or special event).
In addition to providing information, use your page to get to know your audience.
Ask questions; create polls. If you have a blog, link to it on your page and encourage your audience to interact with it. Keep the type of content you offer ever-changing, but keep your tone (serious, humorous, friendly) consistent.
How often does your audience want to hear from you?
In general, we recommend posting once per day. Less than that and they may forget you’re there; more than that, and you run the risk of being annoying.
Five to ten posts per week is ideal. And note that engagement usually drops with the second post of the day, so if you’ve got something important to say, say it first.
The best time to post will vary based on your audience and their schedules (working moms are on Facebook at different times than, say, college students). Use what you already know about your audience to try out a few different posting times and see what gets the best response.
You can create posts in advance and tell Facebook when to post them, so you don’t have to be at your computer every time a post goes out.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, there’s much more to be learned! Facebook ads, cross-promotion with similar businesses, and engagement metrics are all things to look into in the future. There’s no time like the present to get started — 700 million users are waiting for you!