Facebook for small business explained.

With 1.2 billion daily active users, it is more likely than not that some of your target market is on Facebook. Facebook provides a powerful platform for connecting with your customers and building a strong brand presence. In order to optimize your usage, here are some tips to keep in mind when getting started.

Is Facebook right for you?

Always connect everything back to your customers. Who are they? Are they on Facebook? Check out the most common demographics for each social media platform here. If they are, then how are they behaving? It is important to understand how your customers view and use Facebook. In fact, 70% of Facebook users use the site on a daily basis – which means that your business should too.

It’s worth noting that for most B2C and many B2B businesses, customers will check if your company has a Facebook page in order to judge legitimacy. Social proof is easily found in the age of social media and thus even more important than before. An active Facebook profile with engaged customers establishes some legitimacy right away.

What do your customers see when they go to your page?

Compared to your company website, Facebook offers much less space for extra content. One of the first things people will see is your profile and cover photos. It is easy to create a layout that is too cluttered or overwhelming and drive your customers away. Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating and customizing your cover photo.

On the main page, you only get 155 characters to describe your company, so make sure to keep the bio short, engaging, and informative. You can then go to settings and add a longer description to the “About” tab, as well as your address, launch date and contact information. This does not appear on the main page, but provides additional information if someone wants to learn more about your business.

So what about posting?

There are three main factors to keep in mind when posting on any social media platform: frequency, content, and timing.

One of the easiest ways to earn an unfollow or unlike from a user is by over saturation. People have vast networks online and don’t want to be bombarded by the same company over and over again. It is important to remember that most Facebook users are daily however – so you can post content more frequently than on other platforms. The general consensus in the digital marketing world is to post on Facebook a max of 2 times per day. But, if there is a special deal or event going on, a business could post up to 4 times.

So what should you be posting?

It is important to keep your content varied, dynamic, and interesting. This is a chance to build up your brand’s presence and personality, as well as become a thought leader in your field. What are people’s motivations for liking or following your page? Are you providing powerful industry insights? Are you posting funny videos? Are you giving out special prizes or deals?

Generally, there is an 80/20 rule with content – you should aim to post 80% original material and 20% from other sources. This provides a good balance that will keep your audience engaged and receptive. Try to include varied forms of multimedia – experiment with videos, photos, and text. One of the great things about Facebook is that it allows you to use so many different types of content – so take advantage!

When should you post?

Now that you know what to post and how often to post, what is the exact time of day you should post on Facebook? Numerous studies have existed over the years debating the best and worst times to post content. As time changes and Facebook users change, their habits change as well. In 2016, it was argued that the optimal time to post for visibility was between 1-4 pm later in the week and on weekends.

The time when you post will have an affect on what your audience does in reaction to your post- are they viewing it? Liking it? Sharing it? It is important to keep in mind that action item which you hope to accomplish from each post because this will influence the optimal time. For example, if you are a retail company advertising a flash sale, your goal may be to gain click-throughs to your main website so you should post around 3pm. Check out this report on the best time to post on Facebook to determine what suits your business goals.

 

Facebook Small Business

Facebook is about having conversations

Your work is not done after posting! Facebook provides a unique opportunity to share, comment, like, and message all on one platform. It is an extremely powerful tool in helping you talk with customers and building your brand. Make sure to monitor what people are commenting on your posts – and comment back. If a customer complains on Facebook, use the messenger function to get in contact with them and provide direct customer service. Are you part of a business community downtown? Like your neighbor’s posts and engage with them about their own content!

Facebook is a platform that offers businesses prime opportunities to publish content and engage with customers. However, it can be overwhelming at times. Make sure to always keep your customer in mind and you will be on the path to success!

Like these tips and ready for the next step? Stay tuned for our Advanced Facebook Tactics for Small Business coming soon!

Sofia DeMay is the co-founder of Swifte, an app which aims to transform the way communities carpool by matching drivers with extra space in their cars with people looking for rides. She has extensive digital marketing experience including roles at Wells Fargo, GLIDE and Feldspar Studios. She is particularly interested in the intersection of marketing and technology, as well as exploring strategies for social entrepreneurship.