How to Use Facebook to Grow Your Business

Small Business Life

 

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Facebook… if you’re not using it for your business (or if you’re using it wrong), you are potentially hurting your business. According to Pew Research Center, 68% of the Adult American population is on Facebook. 8 in 10 American Adults who are online are active Facebook users. It’s the most frequented social media channel, by far. And if you’re not using it for business, you’re missing out because chances are, your customers are there. If 68% of the adult population is on Facebook, don’t you think some of them are your customers?

Playing by Facebook's Rules

Did you know that it’s against Facebook’s terms of service to use your personal profile for business? Yeah, it is. This is why it’s so important that you set up a Facebook business page right from the start. Yes, it’s got less reach initially than your personal profile but….it’s important to play by the rules. Facebook knows that people come to the site to connect with the people who matter in their lives, they want to see pictures, video, escape or catch up quickly. They’re not looking to be sold.

I know, you’re probably thinking, but I get 9 billion Beach Body or Norwex or Lipsence or whatever other product a friend is selling every week. And, if you’re like most of us, you do. Some report it, others hide the content, and some people will delete friends over the sales push.

It’s against the rules because it’s not why people are using Facebook and if it gets overrun with sales focused content, people will move away from Facebook. So, at some point, Facebook is most likely going to crack down on those people who are abusing their profiles. And who knows what Facebook’s response will be. If they’re anything like Google, people could end up banned or removed from the site. When Google’s had issues, they’ve de-indexed websites.

Build it Right the First Time

There are over 55 million Facebook business pages right now. It’s imperative that you have a page to use for your marketing program. You can quickly create one via your personal profile. It’s a quick process that only takes a few minutes from start to finish.

You’ll want to optimize your Facebook profile and include:

  • A cover photo
  • A profile picture
  • A call-to-action for site visitors (often a link to your website or blog)
  • Business hours
  • Location
  • Type of business

Think of your Facebook page as your digital storefront. You want your customers to understand who you are and what your company offers to them when they first visit your page. It needs to be clear, concise and engaging to convert visitors into fans and followers.

Creating Facebook Specific Content

Some businesses will re-post all the content from their blog onto their Facebook business page, and that can work, but it’s better to have a focused Facebook content strategy. You don’t have to create TONS of content but having some that’s unique is always good.

Content on social media should be:

  • Snackable – you want bite-sized content pieces that people can read quickly. Facebook isn’t the place to share 1,500+ word in-depth research pieces or 60-minute video interviews.
  • Shareable – people love to share content they find on social media. They want to be the first to find something that will evoke a response from their friends or family members.
  • Emotional – choose the emotion you want to evoke within your audience. Humor works exceptionally well in social media, but it’s not the only option.
  • Engaging – content that engages your audience is more likely to be shared. Video and images work well to capture attention. In fact, research shows that video can have a significant impact on your engagement.
  • Educational (if applicable) – in some instances having an educational component to your content is essential. For example, most of the content we create for Etched Marketing or Etched’s Marketing Academy has an educational element to it. We’re teaching about marketing and sharing tips, tricks, tactics, strategies, and more each week.

Sharing Other Relevant Content

Your content should not be the only content you share each week. It’s important to know your audience and provide additional content that’s relevant to them. As you read your industry updates or news, share posts that are interesting to you. Add a note about what you got from the article or why you’re sharing it. Doing this allows you to be seen as an expert in your field and a resource for your customers. Be helpful.

Listen to Your Customers  

Social Media is not a one-way mass media channel. It’s supposed to be more engaging and interactive. It should be a two-way conversation between you and your customers. You need to engage with your audience. When people follow or like your business page, they’re doing so to show support, get unique content, be part of a community. Help them feel that connection.

Not responding to customers on your Facebook business page is a tremendous missed opportunity for businesses. 87% of posts left on Facebook business pages go unanswered. 87% unanswered. What if you didn’t answer the phone 87% of the time or didn’t respond to 87% of your customer’s emails? Would that hurt your business? It’s the same concept.

Managing Your Facebook Business Page

There’s a time commitment if you’re going to handle a Facebook page for your business the right way, but it doesn’t have to be hugely time-consuming. There are some tools you can use to speed up the process. You can also create and schedule posts right on your Facebook business page and schedule them to publish when you want.

There’s a lot of analytical information available to help you better understand your page’s fans and visitors. In a future post, we’ll dig into the data and explain what the insights mean and how you can use them to boost your business. For now, know that it’s available and tracking. And in time, you’ll want to learn how to leverage that information too.

Business Pages are Just the Beginning

Setting up your Facebook business page the right way is the first step. In the future, we’ll talk about Facebook security - how to protect your business page from hackers. Facebook groups, so you know when it makes sense to add a group to your marketing mix. And finally, Facebook Bots – we’ll talk about automating a bit of the work. If you’re curious about Facebook ads, read this post on the benefits of Facebook Ads.

If you’re interested in learning more about social media marketing, please sign up for our Marketing Academy newsletter, and we’ll keep you up to date as we publish more content and in the future, offer training courses on social media marketing.

Are you ready to chat with us about managing your social media marketing strategy and tactical plan? If so, please contact us here. We’d love to chat.

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