Facebook Marketing for the Small Business
Facebook is currently the leading social media platform with about 2.7 billion monthly users as of the end of the second quarter of 2020. That’s about 80% of the total social media users.
Huge, right? But what does it imply for your business?
There are millions of potential customers you can connect with on Facebook. Not only does the platform provide a huge organic reach for your business, but it also cuts across wide demographics. People use Facebook to discover and engage with your business which, consequently, is the first stepping stone to converting them into customers.
Facebook provides a platform for your target audience to connect with your business, receive your business ads, promoted content, and more. But you can only tap into these potentials by creating a smart Facebook marketing strategy.
Not sure how to go about that? Here are the detailed, practical steps you can apply for you small business:
1. Create a Facebook Business Page
It may go without saying, but the first step is to create a business page. You must be logged into a personal account to do this. Choose the right page type for your business account, i.e. Brand/Business or Community Page.
You can create your business page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/create. Make sure to enter all your business details such as the name, address, opening hours, and contact details.
For a fully functional Facebook business page, make sure to also take care of the following:
- Create your Facebook Username/Vanity. Use a name that properly represents your business and that is search-friendly.
- Upload a profile picture that represents your business well.
- Add a good cover photo.
- Complete your About section.
And there you have it! You now have a Facebook Business Page.
2. Identify Your Main Facebook Marketing Goal
What do you want to achieve with your Facebook marketing? Brand awareness? Lead generation? Prompt customer service? Or sales? Be specific on your main goal, as this will define your content and engagement strategies.
Make sure your goal is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. For your Facebook marketing to be effective, you need clear goals that are tied to some of your business objectives.
Your goals may change from time to time to accommodate new ideas. For example, your marketing goals might change from brand awareness to sales or lead generation. It’s okay to do that; just ensure that your content and engagement on Facebook is largely geared towards that.
3. Increase Your Organic Reach
Your organic reach plays a big part in the number of people that see and engage with your posts and ads. Organic reach is currently at an all-time low, and it continues to decline. That means you’ve got to put in more effort to generate organic reach for your business page.
Optimize your content to generate attention and shares. Facebook news feed algorithms reward engaging content. So, the more people like, share, and comment on your post, the more visible that post becomes.
Remember to also engage your audience as much as you can on your post. When a person leaves a comment on your post, take your time to respond, and spark a conversation if necessary. Like and comment when people share your posts — don’t be invisible.
4. Create a Custom Target Audience
Your custom target audience is created from the data of your existing customers. Creating such sub-groups is known as the process of audience segmentation. It is useful when posting content or targeting users through ads.
As a small business, you might be tempted to reach all the Facebook users because you want to increase your organic reach. But that will rather reduce your organic reach — even make your business content look a little spammy. Create a custom audience and target them to increase your organic reach with content designed specifically fo them. If the content is well thought-through, then these users will promptly engage with it.
5. Create Relevant and Useful Content
The content you post on your business page should be engaging and geared towards your marketing. Avoid using formal business style and tone. This will put people off and prevent them from engaging with your posts.
Furthermore, don’t make your posts come off as too promotional. Facebook is all about building relationships and forming connections that matter. Posting promotional content alone will not do that. Instead, follow the 80/20 rule; Let 80% of your posts educate, entertain, and inform. Only 20% should be promotional.
Your audience will be attracted to your brand if you give enough value with your posts. They will also be open to learning more about your product and service in the future.
When unsure, why not use the social media rule of thirds as your compass:
“One-third of your content should share stories and ideas. One-third should be interactive with your customers. The remaining one-third can be used for business promotion.”
6. Aim for Content Variety
Apart from the usual text post or status post, there are other Facebook posts you can utilize to engage with your customers such as:
- Photo Posts: As the name suggests, photo posts contain photos and captions. They tend to receive higher engagement than text or status posts and are great components of any engagement strategy.
- Video Posts: Video posts play automatically in the newsfeed and usually get higher engagement than photo posts. Short, compelling videos can capture your audiences while longer videos are a great way to share your business story.
- Live Video Posts: These are basically live video broadcasts on Facebook. They are a great way to engage with your audience and give a behind-the-scenes of what is happening in your business.
- Linked Content Posts: A linked content post is a post that links to content outside of Facebook. This is the easiest form of content to create as all you need to do is copy and paste a URL into your page’s text box. Facebook automatically generates a photo and description for the post.
- Poll Posts: A poll gives your audience a chance to vote between two options. This is a great way to engage your followers and audience (everyone loves to share an opinion on social media).
- Facebook Stories: This new and trending Facebook feature is a very different type of “post”. Positioned on top of the news feed, it’s the first thing your followers will see, however, it will disappear after 24 hours! This may be a photo or short videos that, for whatever reason, is not something you want hanging around your feed indefinitely. About half a billion people view Facebook stories each day.