How to make the most of Facebook for your small business
Setting up a Facebook Business Page can be a great way to promote your company – and it’s completely free.
Here’s how to do it right:
1. Make sure you're setting up the right type of account
You will need to create a Facebook Business Page for your business, which is different to a personal Profile that you may already have for yourself. Pages look similar to personal Profiles, and you can still use it to send and receive messages, post updates, get notifications, and share content in the same way as you would with your Profile. However the big difference is that with a Business Page, followers only have to ‘like’ your Page to start seeing updates from it on their newsfeed – they don’t need to wait for you to be friends with them.
2. Make it look nice
You can include two photos on the main section of your Business Page – a cover photo and a profile picture. Make sure you use good quality images and choose photos that best reflect your business – a picture of your products, a photo of your premises, or a logo, for example. Your profile image will be displayed as a thumbnail image next to all your Facebook Page updates, so choose something that will be appropriate for this.
3. Provide useful information
Potential customers will visit your Facebook Page to find out information about your business so make it as easy as possible for them to find out what they need. Depending on what type of business you have, you might want to include a description of what it does and where it is located, a phone number, email address, opening hours, directions and website address.
4. Sort out your tab options
Facebook Business Pages enable you to create different sections which are shown as tabs across the top of the page – much like a website. Some of these are shown automatically but you can change the order and add others by clicking on the ‘More’ tab and choosing ‘Edit tabs’. Optional ones you might want to consider are:
- Events – here you can add details of any events you are holding, both online and in real life.
- Reviews – this enables customers to write reviews and say whether they would recommend your business.
- Offers – any special offers you are running can be listed here.
- Shop – you can include details of products and services here which customers can buy directly from your Page.
5. Start writing interesting posts for your followers to engage with
Your Facebook Page is not a static digital noticeboard – you need to continually engage with your followers and attract new ones by posting regular updates on it. These posts might tell them about new products you are launching, or special offers; you might hold a competition for people to enter and win prizes; you might share an interesting photo or video about your business, or share the latest news about your market or industry. The golden rule is to keep your posts short and snappy and relevant to your target audience.
6. Be responsive
Being on social media is like having a conversation rather than making a speech, so make sure you are listening as well as talking. That means engaging with any comments that people make in response to your posts and replying promptly to customers who message you directly through Facebook Messenger. There is a double incentive for responding to these promptly – as well as making your customers happy, quick responses can earn you a "Very responsive to messages" Facebook badge which people will be able to see on your site. You'll need to have a response rate of 90% and a response time of 15 minutes over the last seven days to earn one of these.
7. Post often
It's important to post new content regularly on your Facebook Page otherwise people will not bother to engage with it, so make sure you are doing so at least two or three times a week. If you find that you're spending too much time on Facebook each day, you can schedule multiple posts in advance, although it is still important to respond quickly to any messages you receive.
8. Make use of your analytics
Facebook Insights is a free analytics tool that provides you with lots of data to help you understand which of your content is – and which isn’t – interesting to your followers. It will show you how many people visited your Page, what actions they took, how many people liked your posts, and so on. It can also split this down by age, gender, location, and type of device they used to give you a better idea of who your audience is and which things you should be doing differently. You can access the Insights by clicking on the Admin panel on your Page.