Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world with over 1.65 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2016. With all of these members, it is hard for businesses to promote their brand through the sea of personal and business users. Facebook marketing has a lot of potential for small business owners. In fact, according to eMarketer, only about 41% of US small businesses now use Facebook as part of their online marketing strategy.
Many businesses report that their strategies are not as effective as they would have liked. In a survey of over 3,700 marketers, Social Media Examiner found that only 45% felt their efforts on Facebook were working. This means that many business owners do not believe what Facebook is worth the effort. What owners must understand is which digital marketing strategies work based on their budget in order to receive a positive return on their investment.
One of the most common ways businesses can promote their businesses through Facebook is through a business page. The benefits of a business page are immense however, you must know how to use it properly or it will be wasted time and effort.
- Post often: Most businesses post one to three times a week on their page. Usually sales or weekly discounts. Always remember to post pictures, videos and hashtag your posts in order to enhance your posts.
- Post links to your other social media accounts and your webpage: This way you are promoting your events, sales and your personal website. Your website is your main tool for promoting your business online. Without driving traffic to it and updating regularly it becomes a dead resource. All of your social media platforms and your website make up your business’s digital presence. The better it is, the easier it is for customers to find you.
- Facebook Contests: Running Facebook contests, sweepstakes, or promotions is another Facebook marketing tactic that can increase fans and brand awareness.When conducting a Facebook contest, be aware that Facebook can not host the contest itself (meaning you can’t ask for likes as entries, have people write answers in the comments, etc.) Businesses must use a third-party app for creating their Facebook contest, then direct users to the app from their Facebook page.
- Facebook Promoted Posts: Facebook Promoted Posts let Facebook page owners pay a flat rate in order to have their individual Facebook posts reach a certain number of users, increasing a specific post’s reach and impressions. You can run the campaigns on a daily budget of minimum $70. Many businesses can reach over 200 views for their page for about $5 a day.
Some businesses have asked – why should I have to pay to ensure that my post is seen by users who are my followers? If a user has liked my page, they should always see my posts on their news feed, shouldn’t they? The answer to this question is no, because it assumes that users spend every waking moment of their life on Facebook’s news feed.
If a fan of yours happens to be looking at their news feed when you post your story, they are likely to see it, but even then there is no guarantee if their news feed is swamped by other posts. That’s where Promoted Posts comes in – it ups your chances of being seen on a user’s news feed. Facebook Promoted Posts are shown to existing fans, with an added option to reach friends of fans.
Promoted Posts are easy to set up – just click the button beneath any of your page posts.
How do you promote your Facebook Business Page?
Your Facebook business page represents your brand online. Ideally, you want it to be ranking both in Google and in Facebook search for your brand name so your customers and prospects can easily find you. Then, once they’ve found your page, it should be appealing so people will actually choose to ‘like’ you.
- Use descriptive keywords in your About section: Your About section is your primary text-based real estate on your page. Be sure to accurately describe your business and products, using keywords customers might use in search queries. Be sure to include your website URL in your description to encourage clicks through to your site.
- Ensure you’ve used the appropriate category for your business: Too often I’ve seen businesses that have improperly set their category. This can be a serious problem, particularly if you want to show up in Facebook Graph Search. If you’re a local business, it’s critical that you select this as your business type, because this will allow people to “check in” at your business. If you don’t typically have walk-in traffic at your business and don’t have a need for check-ins, choosing ‘Companies & Organizations’ may be more appropriate.
- Optimize your page images: Your cover and profile photos are what visitors will first see when arriving at your page. Your images should be professional quality, and should accurately reflect the look and feel of your brand. Ensure they meet the optimal size requirements so they don’t appear skewed: your cover photo should be 851×315 pixels and your profile photo should be 160×160 pixels.
- Make the most of pinned posts: Research and experience tells us that most people will visit your page wall only once. They will like your page, and then continue to interact with your posts that appear in their newsfeed – but will rarely (if ever) visit your wall. For this reason, your page’s primary function is to get people to click that ‘Like’ button. Facebook allows page admins to pin one post to the top of their page. Ensure that the topic of this post is interesting, unique and contains an eye-catching image.
- Using Facebook Groups To Engage With Your Target Market: Facebook groups allow your business to connect to potentially new customers and like-minded business owners. Groups can be an extremely effective add-on strategy in many industries and niches. When used correctly, groups can be an incredible source of traffic, and can lead to increased engagement and authority for your business.
By participating in other people’s industry-related groups, you can help establish yourself as an authority in your field. Offering useful advice and tips can help you become a valued member of the group; and as people grow to trust you, they’ll want to find out more about you (and your business).
Perhaps the most beneficial use of Facebook groups, however, is to create and participate in your own interest-related groups. Groups give you the opportunity to engage with your audience in a much more personal way, and allow you to become a part of your target market’s day-to-day conversations. Create a group that welcomes conversations about anything related to your industry. For instance, if you’re a contractor, you could start a group where people could ask questions about or discuss home renovations or DIY building projects. For more on this, see this article, How To Use Facebook Groups To Increase Traffic and Engagement.
For more information regarding social media marketing check out my blog at https://cosimocreatesbuzz.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/social-media-for-small-business
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Marrs, M. (2016, November 29). 7 Ways to Use Facebook for Marketing. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/04/15/facebook-marketing
DeMres, J. (2015, July & aug.). The Definitive Guide To Marketing Your Business On Facebook. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/08/20/the-definitive-guide-to-marketing-your-business-on-facebook/#bf34c5c2acfc