Second, only to Google, Facebook is the most visited website in the world, with over two billion users and growing. Facebook can help you reach all the people that matter most to your business and who are interested in the products and services that you provide. Your customers are there. Period.
Based on Facebook’s own recommendations here is a quick guide showing you how to use Facebook to help your business grow and give you an advantage over your competitors.
The first thing that you need to do is set up your Facebook page. Facebook makes it easy with step-by-step instructions.
There are lots of advantages to having a Facebook Page. It makes your business:
Discoverable: When people search for you on Facebook, they’ll be able to find you.
Connected: Have one-on-one conversations with your customers, who can like your Page, read your posts and share them with friends, and check-in when they visit.
Timely: Your Page can help you reach large groups of people frequently, with messages tailored to their needs and interests.
Insightful: Analytics on your Page will give you a deeper understanding of your customers and your marketing activities.
When you set up your Page, you can request a web address like facebook.com/yourcompanyname, which makes it easy to find.
To maximise the impact, include this address on your business card, website and all of your other marketing and promotional materials.
Remember: your Facebook Page is an extension of your business. It’s an easy way to share updates and more with the people who matter most. It’s ready to help you engage your customers on desktop and on mobile.
Identify Your Audience
The next thing you want to do is identify your audience. You can do this by thinking about the people you’d like to meet, and introduce yourself and your business to. Try to create a persona of your ideal customer.
Not only can you reach more people through Facebook, but you can also reach the specific people who are most likely to become your customers.
To help you connect to the right people, think about:
- What do your ideal customers have in common?
- How old are they, and where do they live?
- How can your business help them?
To build your audience, encourage your current customers and supporters to ‘like’ your Facebook page. They are the people most likely to see your posts in their News Feed. Also, explore the options under the ‘Build Audience’ option.
Invite your friends and family. Let the people in your life know about your Page so they can support you and your business by liking it. Although you won’t be relying on them to become your customers, this initial audience helps you establish credibility and popularity and will help spread the word right away.
You will also want to invite your businesses contacts. Upload a list to send people an email so they know about your new Page.
Remember to keep in mind that it’s not about the number of likes your page has. It’s more important to genuinely connect with the people you engage with on Facebook. If you do, they’ll help tell your story and be a loyal advocate of your business.
Make Your Mark
Make your business come alive on Facebook with compelling and engaging content.
As you post updates, photos and more, think about what your customers find interesting and inspiring. What do you want to consistently communicate about your business?
It will take a while to ‘find your voice’ on Facebook so experiment with different kinds of posts. Does your audience love photos or prefer when you share useful links? You’ll find out quickly what they like. You don’t have to guess because Facebook has a very useful tool called ‘Page Insights’, which allows you to see which posts are performing the best.
Tips when posting on your Page –
Be real: Share what you are genuinely excited about and your customers will be excited too.
Be responsive: When people comment on your posts, show that your business is listening and that you care by replying. If you need more time to answer a question, let them know you’re looking into it and haven’t forgotten about them or not bothered.
Be consistent: The more frequently and consistently you post, the more opportunity you have for connecting with people and building trust. Setting a schedule for your posts can also help, particularly if you are sharing the Facebook posts between yourself and members of staff.
Do what works: Replicate your success on posts that get more engagement. If it works, don’t stop.
Make successful posts into successful promotions: When you notice that a particular post is getting a lot of engagement, promote it to reach even more people. When people like, comment on or share your posts, their friends are also eligible to see those posts in the News Feed. It will spread the word even wider and make people more aware of your brand.
Facebook advertising is the perfect way to reach more of the people who matter most to you.
Once you’ve started connecting with your customers on Facebook and have got the hang of it, you’ll want to find other people who are likely to be interested in your product or service. You can use Facebook ads to send targeted messages to the right people, just when they’re most open to discovering your business.
You don’t even need to have a big budget (test with a daily ad budget of $5) and you are in total control. You set your advertising limit. There are no nasty surprises or bills.
Creating Ads are easy. You simply create an ad right from the admin panel of your Page to engage more people, or you can use the ad create tool.
Be specific about the audiences for different ads. You can create sets of ads to connect with different target audiences. People are more likely to respond to a message crafted just for them.
Measure Your Results
It is important to find out what’s working well, so you can maximize the impact of every post and ad. After all, this is not a hobby and every second count, so you want to make sure that your efforts are worthwhile.
Facebook has a lot of different tools to help you measure how you’re doing.
Visit ‘Page Insights’ regularly and look for trends so you can develop more of the best-performing content and engage with your followers.
Use ‘Page Insights’ to understand who responds to your messages. Make sure to look at the gender, age and location of the people who are the most engaged with your business so you can continue to engage them through targeted ads and promoted posts. It is a very useful tool that will help you to get the right message across to the right people.
It is worth experimenting and split testing. When you create your ads, try out different images and headlines to see what works. Facebook will automatically optimize your campaign so that more of your budget goes to the ad that is performing the best.
Now that you have your fans and followers you want to convert them into customers. How do you do that?
Turn Clicks Into Customers
When people click through to your website from Facebook, you want them to become loyal customers. Here are some steps to make sure you’re engaging all of the people who matter most to your business.
Again, compelling content is vitally important. You need to have content that engages them and excites them. Post pictures of your products and encourage your followers to visit your site.
Focus on posting about your products or services, and link directly to your site.
An engaging image is one of the main things people respond to in an ad. So with that in mind, collect pictures of your products that you can use for advertising. Test multiple images to learn which ones work the best.
Another excellent idea is to bring the people behind your website to life. Introduce your staff members. Show pictures of them at work. It makes you, your staff and your business real. When visitors feel connected, they are more likely to choose your business over others.
Remember to make sure that your posts are linked to the right pages on your website. There are few things more frustrating online to be clicking on a link for more information about a particular product or service and it takes you to something else entirely.
Get The Word Out
When people feel connected to your business, they’re more likely to choose your product or service.
So let people know who you are, what you offer and what makes you and your business different.
Your Page is your opportunity to introduce your business on Facebook. It’s the first place people on Facebook will discover you, and it’s where you’ll connect with your most engaged customers.
With that in mind, you need to make sure your Page has all the information people need to understand your business. Edit your short description in the ‘About’ section. Add at least one, and up to three Page Categories so your business will appear in the appropriate search results. It helps more people to find you.
Don’t forget to include your website URL, street address, phone number and business hours. Pick a cover photo to showcase your environment or products in the best light, and add a clearly legible logo as your profile picture.
Regularly upload photos and videos that bring your business to life. As we mentioned earlier, these can be product photos or even photos of your establishment and the people who work there.
If you want people to talk about your business and spread the word, you need to make a lasting impression by sharing photos, videos and anything else that you think is relevant to your business.
Publishing great content is about creating posts that strongly represent your business. When people like, comment on and share your posts, their friends may also see your Page content in News Feed. It all goes towards spreading the word and getting your business noticed.
A very good tip is to map out the major events and promotions you have coming up over the year so that you can plan your Page posts in advance.
Make it a habit to develop a library of great images and videos that you can use for posting over the months. Don’t be afraid to share photos or videos you’ve taken of an event, product or service. The more images you share the more visitors will connect with you and want to share your content.
Word will also spread when visitors know you are passionate about your business and genuinely care for your customers. You can show this by responding when people comment on your posts.
Don’t assume that your customers know about your Facebook page. Tell them and remind them so you can continue to reach them with your posts even after you make the initial sale.
If you have a brick and mortar business put a sign on your door or business counter with your Facebook web address.
You can also encourage people to like your Page through other mediums such as your email newsletter, in your adverts and on your website.
Integrating Facebook Marketing In Your Business
It is true that not all business owners have time to run an online marketing campaign. Some even find it a little daunting because of the commitment involved. If that is you, then get someone to help you grow your brand, engage with your fans on Facebook, capture qualified leads and convert them into sales whilst allowing you to get on with what you do best.