As a small business owner, you wear a lot of hats: finance, sales, customer service, marketing and more. Some of these hats will fit you better than others, but they’re all important to the success of your business. Social media is no exception. Use this guide to build a solid Facebook foundation.
Facebook is one of the best ways to connect with and grow an audience online, and that makes it pretty indispensable for businesses, both big and small. If you’re a small business owner who doesn’t have a background in marketing, starting a Facebook page for your company may seem daunting. You may not feel like you have the skills or expertise to do it yourself, but you don’t yet have the resources to outsource it to someone else.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed about the prospect of tackling Facebook if you look at the profiles of large, established companies. But the important thing for you at this stage is just to establish your presence and start building personal connections with your followers, and that is totally doable!
Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started on Facebook for small business owners:
1. Build out your Facebook business page.
Of course the first thing you have to do is set up your Facebook business page. You can create a page from your personal Facebook account. Once you get the basics of the page set up with your business name and info, it’s essential to fully complete all the elements of your page.
The information on your Facebook page will not only help users find your page in search, but will help establish branding and answer key questions (such as: “What does this company do? Where are they located?”) when people come across your page.
The essential elements for your Facebook for small business page are as follows:
- Profile picture (probably your logo)
- Cover photo
- About section
- Call to action
Optional page elements, depending on what assets you have at your disposal and what kind of business you are:
- Intro video
- Link page to partner apps for booking service, requesting appointments, etc.
- Link Instagram profile
- List upcoming events
- Add a “Shop” tab
- Add a “Services” tab
2. Start posting content.
Content is the most important element of your small business Facebook page. Posting content to your page is how you build your brand, connect with your customers, and reach new audiences.
Done well, Facebook content is like free advertising for your business. If people really respond to content you post, they might share it on their own page, exposing your company to hundreds of new eyes.
The possibilities of content you could share on your page are endless. Here’s a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Behind the scenes content
- Photos/videos of your products in action
- Blog posts on topics relevant to your customer base
- Tutorials or demos
Remember that not everything you post on your page needs to be promotional. Think of your Facebook page as an ongoing conversation with your audience. That means it should be a two-way street. Some portion of the content you post should be purely entertaining or educational, content that either delights or helps your followers. If it’s all sell all the time, people will be turned off and you’ll see your engagement plummet. Plan to give your audience something they won't get from you anywhere else so they have a reason to keep checking back in.
Basically, you want to give your followers something to react to. You know when you hover over the Like button and different reactions pop up? Aim to give people a reason to click something other than just “like.”
3. Share your page.
The philosophy of “If you build it, they will come” does not apply on the internet. If you don’t promote your Facebook page, you’ll have nothing but crickets for followers.
The fastest way to build an initial following is to let your real life customers know that you have a Facebook page and encourage them to follow it for updates and insider info.
Not sure how to get the word out? Try these strategies:
- Link to your Facebook page from your website
- Add the link to emails you send
- Put it on your business cards, direct mail, etc.
- Put a little sign by the register in your store
- Share the page on your own personal social media accounts
It might feel uncomfortable at first to be promotional about your Facebook page, but don’t worry too much about it. People are used to it by now. In fact, they’ll appreciate that you made it so easy to find your page!
4. Set up reviews.
This could have been included in step number 1, setting up your Facebook for business page, but it’s so important that we thought it deserved its own step. To add reviews to your page, go to Settings → Edit Page → Tabs → Add a Tab.
Why are reviews so important? Because they let you control the conversation about your company. People are going to talk about you online either way, so you might as well host the conversation on your home turf.
But wait, you might be thinking, what if people leave bad reviews? That’s okay! Bad reviews are an opportunity to demonstrate customer commitment. How you respond to a bad review says as much about your brand as a 5-star review. Apologize for the bad experience, provide an explanation if there is one (but not an excuse), and offer a solution.
To tilt the balance of positive and negative reviews in your favor, reach out to happy customers and ask them to share their experience on your Facebook page. If there’s one thing you can count on online, it’s that most people are pretty eager to share an opinion, good or bad!
5. Experiment with paid advertising.
If you post high-quality content, you can make some headway growing your Facebook page just through organic posting. But Facebook has become a pay-to-play platform for marketers. Boosting your post or running a paid ad campaign will help your content reach a much wider audience than organic posts alone.
Not sure what this whole paid advertising business is about? Our post Paid Advertising 101 is a good introduction. Check it out to learn the basic terminology you’ll need to know to navigate the world of paid advertising.
Boosting or running a paid campaign are your two options for paid promotion on Facebook. Which avenue you choose will depend on your goals.
Boosting a post is best for when you have an organic post that performed well on your page and you want to expand its reach by exposing it to new eyes.
Paid ad campaigns are better for when you have a specific offer you’re promoting to a defined target audience. Paid campaigns are typically display ads or video ads run according to a CPM or PPC pricing structure. The campaign will run until it reaches a certain threshold of impressions or clicks.
Paid online advertising (and social media, in general) is a trial-and-error process. Start with a budget of $5 per day and just experiment. Discover what works and what doesn’t. Then refine your content, adjust your offer, and try again.
For even more resources to help you on your social media journey, download our free social media toolkit. In it, you’ll find content ideas, best practices for publishing content, a sizing guide for social media images, and much more.