Imagine that someone created a worldwide marketplace, where almost every person on the planet stopped by once a day to see what was going on. Would you want to have a stall for your product in that market? You could have access to almost the entire world as potential clientele? Come on – of course you would! Luckily, that marketplace has been built (it’s called Facebook), and setting up your “stall” for all of those billions of people to discover, is entirely free and really easy to do.
Chances are if you haven’t yet set up a Facebook page for your business, it’s because you find the whole process overwhelming. Yes, Facebook Business Pages are a little bit different than your Facebook Personal Page. But the differences are minimal (and mainly beneficial – like letting you access Facebook’s advertising platform – for a budget of as little as $1 day), and below we’ve assembled five easy steps that will help you not only get started with a Facebook presence, but will help you get started interacting and successfully marketing your small business to the millions (billions) of people waiting to learn all about you.
1. Check Out Your Competition
Facebook for Business strategies can be overwhelming. If you search the internet to try and teach your self these strategies, you could spend months and months reading blogs, books, articles and more. Entire careers have been built on compiling and dispersing Facebook marketing strategies. So we’re going to give it to you simple and easy (because if you’re running a small business, there are also a million other things you probably think you should be doing right now).
CHECK OUT YOUR COMPETITION. Yup. It’s easy. Who do you compete against. Is there a store like yours a few towns over? Is there a large brand that does what you do? Figure out who your competition is. Make a list of 3-5 businesses that do something along the lines of what you do – and LOOK UP THEIR FACEBOOK PAGES.
- What do they do well?
- What doesn’t work so well?
How will you know what is working well? See which posts have the highest engagement. If posts have no “Likes” you know – that type of post probably doesn’t work with your targeted audience (because come on – everybody’s Facebook Business Page posts should get at least one like from their mom or dad or some loyal friend!).
Now – let’s not re-invent the wheel here. Focus on the posts that work. The posts that engage the audience and (occasionally) pass on important information about the business. You will notice – successful posts are NOT spammy or advertorial. Remember – people are on Facebook interacting with their friends and family. Anything you put into their news feed should be entertaining, or you will quickly annoy them, and they will no longer follow your page.
2. Create Your Page
Facebook makes it fairly simple to set up a basic page. Get that much done and then pat yourself on the back. Now – take it a step further and leverage the FREE AD SPACE that Facebook gives every Business Page owner.
Say what? Free ad space? Yes! The top of your Facebook page – is something that you can customize with any image you want. Take advantage of this space. It really is free advertising – and Facebook gives us very few things that are actually free.
Make sure you also fill out the ABOUT US tab (underneath the Header picture). This tab lets you list information about your store or your product or service, and list your hours, and all other sorts of pertinent information (some of which will help you to be discovered by new potential customers). It’s important – so take the time to fill it out well.
3. Plan Out The Next Week of Posts
I find that companies that are just starting out on Facebook, do best when they create a calendar for their content each week. Once you are used to this, you can move to monthly and even seasonal content calendars – that you revisit and update constantly through the weeks. Think about what is going on in your business over the next two weeks. Is there an event or a product or a service that you want to promote? Plan out how you want to do this.
Think of ways to ENTICE people. Look up articles that have to do with your industry (and that are INTERESTING to normal people NOT in your industry!).
For example: You own a nail salon. You want to find some beauty news to share with your clients because your big pedicure summer special is coming up.
- You may first share an article about the new summer sandal being very strappy (some pictures of beautiful sandals to accompany this would be great).
- Then you share some information you have on baby oil with a secret tip to using baby oil for softer skin on and around your feet.
- Then another day – you mention your summer pedicure special (be sure to use a beautiful photo and to keep words to a minimum).
- Then on Friday you share a special TGIF photo of ladies manicured feet walking along the beach and you hashtag it “#perfectpedi”
These are all ways that you are reaching out and touching Facebook people with information that is potentially interesting to them (sharing the article), information that is important to them (your special), and information that taps into how they are feeling (TGIF post).
Once you know what your Facebook fans enjoy learning about and seeing, you can put together a schedule for your weeks. (hint: patterns make it easy/schedules make it easy). Maybe every Wednesday is “Nail Polish Color of the week”. Or maybe ever Saturday is a contest for your Facebook fans to win a half off pedi if they invite their friends to follow your Facebook page. Once you know what works – you will have an easier time making a calendar that you can follow.
4. Be Social!
We may have mentioned this before, but it is important to be a good Facebook Friend to others also. Think about Facebook like any business/networking opportunity. You do not roll into the event and start steamrolling everyone into listening to your business pitch (or we hope you don’t – nobody likes to listen to “that guy”). Similarly – you don’t SPAM people on Facebook with information about your company.
First and foremost, people use Facebook as a place to socialize. How do you do that as a business? Check your posts and when someone answers or reacts to something, engage with them. Keep things, light, upbeat and fun. Follow other businesses in your area. Especially businesses that you have worked with and that you can lend social support to in sharing their information with your followers as well. Remember to steer clear of religious and political debates. They only get you into trouble (because either way chances are half the people won’t agree with you!).
Don’t be afraid of someone who says something critical about your business. A lot of business owners stay off Facebook because they are worried someone will say something bad on their page. Well – if someone is going to say something bad on your page, chances are they are saying it to anyone who will listen too. At least on your Facebook page, you have a chance to meet it head on, in a public forum.
Think carefully before answering things, and use best practices customer service techniques (mainly: The Customer is Always Right).
5. Use Analytics
Once you get the hang of posting to your business page. Dip your toe into the wealth of information that is offered through Facebook Insights (their name for their analytics reporting). Start by keeping track of how many people have seen your post and how many people have “liked” or commented on posts. Both of these things can be seen on any post in the bottom left and right corners.
Then, you may want to open the Insights Tab (you can do this on your page, at the dashboard on the top). Insights is overwhelming to EVERYONE at first. But, it is a little easier every time you approach it. If you have been following the simple tracking of posts on your page, then you already know which ones have done well and which ones have no. Facebook will list all of your posts – open the ones that you know the information on, and discover that Facebook has even more analysis that it can give to you so that you can make your future posts even better. If you’re new to Facebook and find yourself needing assistance, contact our Facebook experts at Premiere Creative and give us a call at (973) 346-8100!