Facebook Small Business Strategies
Small business owners often have a love – hate relationship with Facebook. Often the problem stems from using Facebook like a personal user rather than implementing effective Facebook small business strategies.
Some business owners find their organic reach has plummeted over the past few years on Facebook. In addition, it seems like Facebook has a new scandal every other newscycle. After hearing reports of people deleting their accounts, you may even wonder whether you want your brand associated with Facebook! We often encourage clients to use more than one platform for their content marketing strategy, afterall, you wouldn’t want to build your business on a platform where you have no control.
On the other hand, Facebook is still the largest social media network and growing. More than 2.23 billion people use Facebook each month. If your ideal customer is on the internet, the odds are high that they use Facebook. Also, Facebook offers the broadest content options and most sophisticated targeted advertising options compared to other social media networks.
Depending on your target market, Facebook is still an effective means to amplify your long-form content and to publish short-form native content. A Facebook business page is an important asset for most businesses if for no other reason than to meet some of your customers where they spend time. With over 65 million business on Facebook, chances are your competitor is there if you are not!
The foundation of your Facebook presence is your business page. Consider this an SEO activity as well as a social media tactic, afterall, Facebook pages are indexed by Google and Bing. Consider the following tips for a strong Facebook page:
- Verify your business page if you can, the easiest option for a small business is the gray check mark that comes from verifying your listed phone number.
- Complete all relevant information in your about page. Keep the copy concise but include your brand’s keywords.
- Coordinate the look of your feed by using well designed images for your profile avatar, cover graphic, and your “Our Story” page. If you offer products or services, consider images to reflect those as well for the products and services sections.
- Craft a compelling “about us” style story for your “Our Story” page. Think of this as a mini-feature profile. You may benefit from hiring a writer to specifically create this page.
- If you offer products, services, or a menu then consider completing the relevant sections and uploading an attractive image to represent each.
- Edit your page template, along the side Facebook lists all the possible sections. Remove the sections you won’t use and reorder the sections to make the most of your content. For example, if you produce many events then you may want to lead with the events section. However, a more visual brand like a photography studio may prefer to lead with the photos or video sections.
- Consider associating key staff in the “our team” section for improved credibility. If you have a social media manager, consider featuring that person as well.
- View your profile using the “See your page as a visitor” because it does look different. Also ask at least one other person to proofread your page.
How to Drive Engagement on Facebook
Engagement is one essential key to organic reach on Facebook. If your content engages people, Facebook’s algorithms reward you with more reach. In early 2018, Facebook announced plans to shift to prioritize meaningful interactions to return to the platform’s roots as a place for friends to connect.
As a brand, this means content that users engage with is more likely to be featured in your followers feeds. Even more importantly, as a brand you want to engage your existing and potential customers in meaningful interactions.
Keep in mind that some engagement is public but some is more private. For example, Facebook allows publishers to encourage direct messages to your page via messenger. Only you and the user will see this engagement, but it is in these one-on-one interactions where most small business professionals excel.
Utilizing the friend network
Mobilize your network of friends, employees, and loyal customers to engage with your content. This in turn expands the reach as Facebook rolls the content out to more of your followers and also the friends of those who engaged in the content.
Everyone Loves a Contest or an Offer
Promote special offers on Facebook to attract engaged customers to your page. For example, if you own a restaurant you could offer a free side dish to people who opt in on your promotional offer. Contests are another fun option to promote engagement. Just be aware that Facebook has very specific requirements surrounding contents promoted on Facebook, but sure to brush up on these rules since they change frequently.
What type of Content is Best on Facebook?
- Quizzes, polls and games — People enjoy mini-activities they can participate in.
- Inspiring or motivating stories — these types of posts do especially well as short videos but photographs and text also can be used to tell engaging stories.
- Videos are among the top-performing posts according to Facebook. The platform counts time watched as a form of engagement, ideally create videos that your viewers will watch until the end for the best reach.
- Humorous content works well on Facebook and other social media.
- Photos and engaging images also inspire engagement to a lesser degree than quality videos and polls, according to BuzzSumo.
Content Strategies for Facebook
If your page followers do not engage with your content, then only a small proportion of your followers will even see it. For that reason, focus on quality content that engages your audience. Not only is this type of content more likely to lead to more business for you it also leads to more reach on Facebook.
When possible, strive to create shareable content. The New York Times did a 2011 study on what inspires people to share content online. The results vary by the type of person but a few common themes emerged. People share information online because:
They share content they believe their friends will find entertaining or helpful.
Sharing is often part of the sharers personal identity and they share content that reinforces the image they wish to project.
They share to strengthen their relationships.
Sharing provides a feeling of self-fulfillment to the sharer
It is their way to support their beliefs, causes, community and even brands they believe in.
Finally, advertising is an effective content strategy option through Facebook. Many brand managers find that if they boost posts that their audience organically engages with then they also reach a paid audience beyond their existing followers. This can be an effective method to grow a business page following. Engaging and helpful content is still key and the content also needs to support your business goals.