Small business guide to Facebook marketing

Make them want your products

With 83% of Australians over the age of 14 now visiting Facebook at least once a month, Facebook marketing is worth considering for your business.

So many small businesses already have a Facebook business page. But how many of them get any benefit from it?

It’s easy to set up a Facebook page; using it for business is a whole different thing.

But the good news is that the biggest indicator of success doesn’t come down to who knows Facebook better or who understands technology better.

Although those can help, the biggest factor in Facebook marketing success comes down to how well you know your customers and what motivates them.

You already have what you need to win on Facebook

As a small business owner, you’re often better placed to know that crucial information than your larger counterparts. You don’t have a customer service center to take their calls; you talk to them yourself.

Before you get serious about Facebook as a business marketing channel, here are some key items that you should be clear about:

  • Who are the people most likely to pay for your products or services?
  • What would they value from your business page?
  • What is the right ‘voice’ for your posts? Formal, casual, cheeky?

Once you’re clear on those key items, here are five tips to help you start your Facebook business marketing campaign.

Related: What is a target market and how do I find mine?

1. Set your goals and map a strategy

If you want to succeed at Facebook business marketing, you should identify what you want to get from the exercise (your goals) and how you’ll approach doing it (your strategy).

Start by asking yourself: what is the point of launching your Facebook business page?

If you only want to do it because your friend’s business has one or because the competitor down the road has one, I suggest you have a serious re-think.

Man Drawing a Diagram on a WhiteboardThere some very good reasons to spend time and effort on Facebook, including to:

  • Increase awareness of your business and what it offers
  • Build a community around your business
  • Send traffic to your website
  • Actually generate more business

Be clear about exactly what you want to achieve.

Closing the loop

The final task is to figure out how you’ll measure your efforts. After all, you’ll want (and need) to know if Facebook marketing is working for you.

Driving people to your website to buy products?

If your goals are to drive traffic or generate sales, they’ll be reasonably simple to monitor, particularly if you set up relevant goals in Google Analytics.

Building a community?

If you want to build a community or increase awareness of your business, then you should monitor your Facebook Page Insights to understand who you’re reaching and see if you are attracting the community you want.

Now that you know what you want to achieve, you should develop a strategy on how you’re going to do it. It doesn’t have to be set in concrete either. You’ll want to adjust as you test (more on this later).

Editor’s note: Don’t have a website yet? Social media marketing works best when you have somewhere to send your followers for more information. Get a website today with WordPress Websites or Websites + Marketing, both from GoDaddy.

2. Set up your page correctly

You can have your Facebook page set up in no time. It’s really easy.

If you’re going to be serious about it, and I hope you will, set it up as well as you can.

In the initial welcome process, you’re going to be asked to add a profile picture and cover photo. So get professional images ready.

Once you do that, you’ll be presented with your page, ready for you to fill it with all of your information. Here’s what you should do:

Business description

Add your business description, spelling out everything you offer. Mention any awards or local recognition your business has received.

Pick a username

Think about a relevant username that will be easy for your followers to remember.

Decide what you want your readers to do

Example of Call to Action as Shown on Netflix Website
Netflix is clear about what they want you to do next — sign up for a free trial.

Next, you’ll want to set your call to action (CTA). This is a button that invites people to:

  • Contact you
  • Learn more
  • Buy something
  • Get a free estimate

This CTA should obviously be aligned with your Facebook business marketing goals.

Customise your page tabs

You’ll notice that the order of your Facebook page tabs by default are:

  • Home
  • Posts
  • Events
  • Reviews

If this order doesn’t suit you, you can change it.

Consider instant replies

If you don’t think you will be able to respond to messages promptly, you can set up an instant reply. This will make people feel like you’re paying attention.

Start the ball rolling

Invite your friends, family and customers to Like your page. The more, the merrier.

You can learn more about setting up your Facebook page straight from Facebook.

3. Start testing posts

Now is the time to get started. You know who you want to talk to and what you want to say.

Start by posting once a day, then try posting less frequently, then more frequently at different times of day.

You should also test different types of posts to see exactly what they’ll respond to best. Consider:

Evaluate how each type of post impacts your Facebook user reach and engagement. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

The idea is to identify the right mix that will ensure you have the best chance of achieving your goals.

4. Build your community

No matter what your Facebook marketing goals are, having a strong community will help. But let me be clear about this.

Woman on Facebook Via a Laptop

It’s not the biggest number of Likes that wins, it’s the highest engagement level.

 

Engagement is measured by how many people interact with your posts (Like, click, share, etc).

For example, if you have 20,000 people who Like your page but only 1% of them engage with your posts, then you’re not going to have much of an impact.

You’d be much better off if you had 2,000 highly-engaged followers.

So concentrate on targeting your audience for engagement and don’t be blinded by the numbers.

Engagement takes work

You will have to make an effort. Your audience will have many other interests outside of your business, so find out the common interests they share. Then see who influences them, follow those influencers and start liking, commenting and sharing their posts.

You might even want to reach out to these influencers to see if you can do a joint promotion. This could be a contest or something as simple as you giving them a shout-out on your Facebook page and vice-versa.

These sorts of tactics will help to promote your Facebook page elsewhere online (and offline too).

5. Advertising is a must!

Facebook marketing can be deflating at times. For example:

  • When you’re just starting out and you don’t have a large audience
  • You realise that despite having 500 fans, your reach is poor and only five to 10 people are seeing each of your posts
You will likely need to allocate some paid promotional budget.

 

And guess what? You should test this also. You’ll want to test:

  • Locations you target
  • A variety of post types
  • The images/videos you use
  • The messaging

This will help you identify what direct impact your promotional budget is having on your goals.

Seated Man Using a Digital Tablet
Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool once you understand how to use it.

Want to learn more about all of these elements? Check out this small business guide to Facebook advertising.

Is Facebook marketing worth the effort?

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to know for sure if it was or wasn’t before you started? The fact is that it works for many businesses, but it may not work for yours.

The only way to find out is to try it!

 

It’s easy to get started and your business audience is highly likely to be on Facebook already. Facebook marketing is also cheaper than many other forms of promotion and you can easily measure your results.

Make a plan now

Do yourself and your business a favour before you start your Facebook business marketing campaign. Identify:

  • What you want to achieve
  • How you’re going to do it
  • How you’re going to measure your results

No expert in the world can tell you exactly what will work with your audience and your business, so test everything. That way you’ll know when something is working and when it’s not.

And yes, you will need to spend some money from time to time to get Facebook marketing results.