Facebook For the Local Business Owner - The nuts and bolts guide to Growing your Business on Facebook
By Heather Sallee, Salesboxer
There are over 2 billion monthly active users from all over the world on Facebook. Needless to say, Facebook is a must-have social platform for every business, large or small. For those businesses not yet seeing success on Facebook, you will learn through this eBook how to maximize your Facebook presence, grow your audience and tell the story of your business in a way where people will respond.
Just how successful can a business be when they use Facebook? Consider these numbers:
Social media is about entering a conversation with a huge group of people who could potentially buy your product or service, refer you to a friend, or just enjoy the content that you put out there and be your customer five years from now. There is something special and immensely personal about every single company. Use Facebook as your platform to easily communicate the essence of your business with everyone. Imagine every person out there able to come to your water cooler at work. Get ready to unlock the magic of Facebook for your business with our tips and take your company to the next level.
FACEBOOK FOR BUSINESSES 101 – SETTING UP YOUR BUSINESS PAGE
Setting up a Facebook page for your business is free. However, simply setting this up is not enough to get your business noticed on Facebook. Go through these tips to maximize your business Facebook page:
- 1) Ensure that the overview of business is clear and represents the essence of your company's personality and brand.class_selector
- 2) Use keywords that define your business that are easily searched.
- 3) Provide a call to action button for results such as phone calls, emails or likes to your page.
- 4) Enable reviews to be shown so people can interact with your business.
- 5) Connect users on Facebook to your other social media platforms so you can bridge these worlds for them.
- 6) Show accurate and updated details such as contact information, hours, and your phone number.
- 7) Provide a working link to your website and to any pages of your website that are relevant.
Always Remember: Your About Section is your first impression, make sure to make it count.
The basics of your page may seem easy but the devil is in the details. Be sure that everything is accurate, unique, personable, and interesting. You will also most likely want to add a few editors to help you with the content you are putting on your Facebook business page. You can manage users on your settings panel to add others to help manage your page.
FIND YOUR PEOPLE - ORGANIC AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
Content is king, but only for the right audience. If you are going to pay in time and effort to develop your organic audience, you will need to find the right people to initially engage. It is worthwhile to be thoughtful about the sphere of influencers that make up your company’s audience. Consider these elements to first determine your audience:
- 1) Who uses your product or service?
- 2) Who refers you to your ideal customers?
- 3) What are the interests of those who buy what your company sells?
- 4) Is what you sell transactional in nature or more of a long-term lifestyle interest? (e.g moving vs decorating and design)
- 5) What age range is your ideal customer?
- 6) Are your customer more often male, female or both?
- 7) What area of the US is your business target? (remember that local businesses really have an advantage with geo targeting)
Now that you’ve thought about your audience it’s time to start organically generating your audience (or enhancing what you already have) on Facebook. Be both persistent and patient as organic growth will take time but be very worthwhile in the long run.
Consider these elements to establish an organic Audience on Facebook:
- 1) Reach out to your personal network through facebook.
- 2) Place a link on your business website to your Facebook page and consider adding an incentive for liking your business page (like discount or money back with purchase).
- 3) Highlight customers (with their permission) and how much you liked them or the job you did for them.
- 4) Send an email to your list of existing customers letting them know of your Facebook page and any incentive for them to like your page and start following your content.
- 5) Include your facebook page link in the signature line of your emails and your employees' emails.
- 6) Start interacting on Facebook as your business page and both comments on pages and like pages of those who could refer others to your business.
Always Remember: Social media is like entering a conversation at a cocktail party.
CONTENT IS KING - WRITING FOR YOUR PEOPLE
You can have the best business in the world, but if the content that you are posting on Facebook is dull or generic, you can bet that you will not attract an audience. Due to the number of people and businesses using Facebook there are higher quality standards and they do block spam feeds the news feed of those who are on Facebook. If your posts are of low quality or detected to be spam the content won’t help you.
What is rich content? Rich content is going to offer something to readers. It will inform, educate and entertain. Rich content will attract people initially and keep them coming back for more. How can you get it?
Be warned, creating rich content is going to be time consuming. This is not something that most people can churn out a few minutes during the first part of the week and then forget. It requires thinking about the entire sphere of influences around your customers, what your customers really want from you, and being creative so that you are not sharing the same thing that four other businesses in your industry are sharing. Therefore, many businesses turn to professionals for help (that’s what we do at Salesboxer for our clients).
How can you gain attention on Facebook? One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that you are interacting with the customer. Some of the most tried and true methods include:
- 1) Engage the employees who are the most vivacious and fun to help influence your content.
- 2) Remember your water cooler at work and try to replicate this on Facebook - what makes your unique.
- 3) Ask questions to engage with your followers and authentically interact with their answers.
- 4) Post videos and pictures that are authentic to your company's personality and brand.
- 5) Share reviews and link to the person who sent them so they know you are watching and listening.
- 6) Use Facebook Live to do a webinar of something your business does.
- 7) Run a contest or have a giveaway for those who like, share and comment on your page.
Always Remember : Be Authentic
Remember to make your posts visually appealing as social media is an inherently visual form of communication. Here are some tips:
There are several websites where you can purchase stock photos. However, for those who are just starting and have a smaller marketing budget, consider free websites that help with visual posts.
is a free stock image site that is highly popular. Consider a free graphic design platform to help spruce these up. One of our favorites is Canva, as this is free, unless you want to upgrade to the paid version.
is simple to use and will only require a little bit of your time to perfect.
We suggest posting at 10AM, 12PM, 3PM or 6PM for the best traffic.
Use A/B Testing to find Your Best Posting Time
- 1) Develop two posts that are identical with graphics and content and post on different times and days. Wait a week to see which post has more engagement.
2) Use free website
to A/B test your social posts on Facebook.
- 3) Certain content engages with different people at different times. For example, a feel good story may do best around lunch time.
Remember your target audience when posting. What time is your target audience online?
Schedule Your Posts
For those who are using a social media scheduler, they will often allow you to schedule several months in advance.
is a great social media scheduler and if you are only scheduling 10 posts at a time, plus you can get a free version.
- 1) Gauge the interest of your audience and post accordingly. Twice per day may work and twice per week may be okay too.
- 2) Be sure to pay attention to posting times.
- 3) Allow a few hours between each scheduled post to look more authentic.
- 4) Double check that scheduled posts have been posting - even when using reliable method of scheduling.
Facebook Posting Tips and Tricks
We are passionate about helping local businesses get ahead with their social media content. We’ve put together more tips and tricks to create an authentic voice on social media and one that cultivates more clients.
1) Schedule ahead. You can schedule right from your Facebook page. Many businesses schedule ahead by a month. We often schedule posts by the week so that we can catch any huge news breaks that may be relevant to the brand.
2) Use graphics when sharing. A post with just words may get missed. Even if you are using a free picture found online, it is going to gain attention!
3) Keep things real with the 80/20 rule. Don’t always advertise via your Facebook page. People get tired of seeing nothing but posts that are sales pitches. Instead, remember that 80% of your posts should be entertaining, educational or simply fun. While the remaining 20% of your posts can showcase your sales, your business or the like.
4) Timing matters. Remember the best time to post! If you post at an odd time, no matter how great your post is or how much time went into make it, no one is going to see it.
5) Do not over post. Instinctively you will want to post more frequently than you should. Over posting can lead to consumers simply tuning out. We recommend at the most three times during the week (Monday through Friday). Some businesses choose not to post on the weekends, while others may post fun and exciting things their employees are doing on the weekend. For example: if your business is helping with a charity on Saturday, by all means post about it and include some images from the event. This is a great way to create a sense of community within your business.
6) Remember the attention span of your readers. Most people are not going to spend minutes reading a post, they are going to spend a second or two. Be sure to grab them in with your first sentence or headline.
7) Use Hashtags on Facebook. There are those who argue that hashtags are for other platforms. However, as Facebook has integrated well with Instagram, they do work. When you use a hashtag on a Facebook post choose one that is broad, and even add a unique hashtag for your business, as this can be a way to get your content trending and develop your brand’s unique personality on social media.
PAY TO FIND MORE OF YOUR PEOPLE - FACEBOOK ADVERTISING FOR AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
Once you have established a business page on Facebook you will start noticing ways to advertise it. Key questions you’ll have:
- - Is Facebook advertising worth it?
- - Is there a difference between a Facebook ad and a Facebook post that you boost?
- - Do you have to be a marketing genius to make Facebook advertising work?
Advertising on Facebook is easier than what most people realize but like most things, confusing and hard to learn at the beginning.
A boosted post often gets more engagement because it is more natural. However, with the proper techniques you can make boosting your page or a call to action very natural as well. For Salesboxer, we have found that boosting our page is the most effective way to use Facebook advertising but depending on your company’s purpose you might find something else more effective.
The Nuts and Bolts Behind Facebook Advertising
- 1) Be sure to start with a low budget until you find an audience that works. It is best to run an ad for a week on a budget of $10 versus a week on a budget of $100 and find that this does not work.
- 2) Be sure to use graphics that are not text rich. Most ads are approved by Facebook and are not rich in text on the graphic, and if there is too much text on tbis graphic, you will find that Facebook will not approve this, or the ad will perform poorly.
- 3) If you are ever in doubt, do some research. You will find a community of helpful people on Facebook that are going to answer your questions, give suggestions and the like.
What we do not recommend you do: pay for likes and follows on your page. This black hat technique is one that can negatively affect your business.
Is it Worthy of Your Money?
Online advertising can be extremely targeted and effective but you need to be disciplined. Start small so you can experiment with what works best for your business page. If you feel that an ad would work, then by all means do this. Have a post that is doing great? Then consider boosting it. These are tools that Facebook is offering and they are relatively affordable ways to reach more of an audience as long as you take a disciplined approach.
Facebook is not a quick fix for a business and you are not going to see results overnight. This is especially true if you are a local business.
Be persistent yet patient. We suggest that once a month you look at what is gaining the most attention on your Facebook page. Are you seeing some content working better? If so, adjust the types of posts in the future to include more of what works.
Facebook Analytics is a great tool to watch what is working and what is not, especially if you are boosting posts or creating advertisements via Facebook. Do not feel discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Keep providing great content and interacting authentically with your audience. Enjoy entering the ‘cocktail party’ of Facebook and use it to effectively generate more leads and sales for your company.