With over 2.01 billion monthly active Facebook users (source: Facebook 7/26/17), Facebook as a social network should definitely be considered as a critical part of your social media marketing strategy. If you are not convinced, FLINT Marketing have a good summary of the pros and cons for Facebook for small businesses here.
What is Facebook marketing?
Sometimes Facebook marketing gets confused with paid advertising and even though this could be one of the tactics you decide to use, Facebook marketing is about building relationships and engaging with others via the social network.
What to focus on?
There are a three key Facebook tools that you can use to promote your business. Essentially, your own profile is one channel to build your personal brand and represent your business. You can market your business via regular updates, content shares and online conversations. To build up your business’ profile on Facebook, consider the following:
1. Facebook page
Your Facebook page represent your business just like your Facebook profile represents you. All pages are free and allow you to engage with your followers via updates, conversations and special events. Make sure your page is visually attractive and with complete information. Don’t forget to include your contact details and post about timely topics, focusing on rich media such as links, videos and photos. If appropriate for your business, consider using Facebook live to share short videos.
To set up a Facebook page:
- Go to facebook.com/pages/create
- Click to choose a Page category
- Select a more specific category from the dropdown menu and fill out the required information
- Click ‘Get Started’ and follow the on-screen instructions
2. Facebook Group
Facebook groups are virtual communities, where like-minded people connect online. Consider it your virtual local pub! Bringing people together and building an active community is a great way to get people talking about what you do, find out what people think and how you can improve what you doing. Groups can be especially effective for small businesses with a compelling story or cause. In addition to creating your own group, you can consider joining an existing community where your potential clients are likely to be active.
To set up a Facebook group:
- Click in the top right of Facebook and select Create Group
- Select your group preferences, enter your group name, add group members and then choose the privacy setting for your group
- Click Create
- Once you create your group, you personalise it by uploading a cover photo and adding a description.
3. Facebook Ads
Just like any other advertising, a Facebook Ad is content that you pay for, shared with a targeted audience in order to get in front of new people. There are different packages to use from – depending on your budget and desired audience reach. If you are looking to test a few content ideas, you can run your day for one day only and then review how it worked before investing more money into paid advertising.
To create a Facebook Ad:
You can create a Facebook ad using ad creation in Ads Manager or Power Editor. To do this:
From Ads Manager, click Create Campaign.
From Power Editor, click Create Campaign.
Note: A box may appear on your screen where you must select “Use Guided Creation.” If not, you will be automatically directed to ad creation.
- Choose an advertising objective. For example, if you want to create an ad to increase traffic to your website or get more people to download your app, select Traffic under the Consideration column. Learn more about choosing advertising objectives.
- Click Continue. In the next steps, you can choose to advertise your Page, business, website, or event and then choose the audience, budget, images and text for your ad before placing your order
- Learn how to create an ad for your specific advertising objective.
What to post?
Facebook live is a new feature that allows you to share short videos which are available for 24 hours. You can create video content highlighting anything that you think might work with your audience. You can also post videos as regular updates and these will remain on your wall for as long as you will keep them there.
People love visuals. If you are struggling with taking photos yourself, there are some great free stock photos available online that you can use for your updates. Have a look at our post 15 great websites for free stock photos for a full list of useful websites.
3. Visual quotes
One of Facebook’s latest features include visual status updates. You can either quote others or come up with your own – you could even pick a sentence or two from your blog or website. A client testimonial is also a great way to tell everyone how good you are at what you do.
Who doesn’t love a good quiz? You can make these relevant to what you do or completely random. Resources allowing, making these a regular thing will make them even more popular over time.
Games and competitions not only create, but keep the players’ interest for longer and they are good fun. It could be a one off “tag someone” competition with a giveaway for the winner or an ongoing game.
How to make it a success?
1. Facebook is a marketing tool
Use it to communicate your message, not to push sales. If people like what they are seeing, they will come to you when they are ready.
2. Know your audience
In order to make your message stick, it needs to be directed at the right people. Pay attention to your audience, be selective and make sure you focus on their interests.
3. Look your best
Focus on the look and feel of your Facebook presence and post only high quality content relevant to your audience. Keep an eye on how well your updates are doing and do more of what works well.
Facebook is a social network and it is all about social interactions – so don’t just share, but also join the conversation. Respond to comments and keep communication with your followers regular.
5. Find the best time to post
Test. Test. Test. Research generally shows that best times to post are Thursday to Sunday around 9am, 1pm and 3pm but you might find other times that work better for your business. So just try different times and stick to those that work best.