Now before we look at Facebook and go over why you should absolutely be using it as a marketing vehicle for your business, I want to first touch on the Facebook Newsfeed change that happened at the start of 2018 (that changed the Facebook game forever).
In a nutshell, Facebook made a change to their algorithm that impacted the organic (non-paid) reach of business pages. And while it’s true that many business pages are no longer achieving the organic reach they once did, this change does not mean you should neglect Facebook in your social media marketing plans – far from it!
I actually published a blog post shortly after the change was made – The Facebook news feed is changing: what it means for your business – in which I outlined what businesses need to do going forward.
The bottom line is that many companies have given up on Facebook, which means there are more opportunities for savvy businesses to get ahead on the platform. As you’ll soon realise from this Facebook guide of mine, real results come from creating engaging content and having genuine conversations with your audiences.
Facebook Is a Monster!
There’s one aspect of Facebook that should never be overlooked and that’s the platform’s immense user base. Right now, at the time of writing, Facebook boasts an incredible 2.2 billion monthly active users.
To put that into perspective, it’s more than Instagram (one billion), Twitter (336 million), LinkedIn (294 million) and Pinterest (200 million) combined. For some, this fact alone is reason enough to maintain an active Facebook presence. In fact, if your audience is hanging out somewhere on social media, there’s a very good chance it’s on Facebook.
However, Facebook is a noisy place and it’s one of the more difficult platforms from which to get results right now. It’s cluttered and that means small businesses sometimes struggle to get heard. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means it’s a little harder and more time-consuming.
Facebook Basics – Personal accounts, privacy & marketing
First and foremost, to use Facebook you need to have a personal account, but this isn’t the account you should be using to promote your business or connect with your customers and prospects.
Important note: Facebook only allows (in theory) you to create one account. If you get caught with more than one account, there’s a good chance your second account could be deleted. This could cause a massive headache if said account is the only one with admin access to your business page/groups.
So, my advice is to only create one Facebook account – the “real” one you will use going forward for both personal purposes and for managing your business page(s)/group(s).
If you’re worried about privacy – something that is, quite rightly, a huge concern for many people today – let me provide you with a little peace of mind by telling you that changing your privacy settings on Facebook is a very straightforward process.
Simply log in to your account and click the small question mark symbol towards the top right of the screen:
Then complete the ‘Privacy Check-up’ first followed by the ‘Privacy shortcuts’:
You can also get here by going directly to https://www.facebook.com/privacy/
Open the Facebook app on your smartphone, tablet or similar and click on the three horizontal lines towards the top right of the screen:
Then select ‘Privacy shortcuts’ towards the bottom of the list:
And you’ll be presented with the Facebook mobile app privacy shortcuts wizard. From here, you can review all of your important privacy settings and change them accordingly:
Business marketing via your personal account
Now, remember I said that you shouldn’t use your personal account to market your business and connect with your customers and prospects? Well, that’s a very broad statement and while I stand by it, there are actually a few ways you can subtly help your business marketing efforts using your personal account.
For example, if you have posted something on your business page there’s no reason you can’t share it on your personal account too. This helps boost the organic reach of the post and also shows a level of care. After all, who wouldn’t want to see their business posts do well?
Just be careful though not to turn your personal account into an unofficial fan page for your business. While your friends and family will almost certainly be supportive of your efforts, they are there primarily to catch up on YOUR latest news, pictures and experiences, not your business’s!
It’s also important to have your profile bio properly set up and have your business page listed there. This way when people come across your personal profile in a Facebook Group or somewhere else on Facebook, they’ll know who you are and what you do and it’s easy for them to find your Facebook Business Page.
Creating your first Facebook business page
As with most things on Facebook, you create business pages from the small drop-down arrow towards the top right of your screen on desktop and via the three horizontal lines in the mobile app.
You will be given two choices once you have selected to create a new page: a business/brand or community/public figure. For the purposes of this post, we will be using a business/brand.
What’s in a name? Quite a lot, actually, when you’re deciding on one for your business page. That’s because it is the primary way in which people will find your page and so it needs to be relevant, intuitive and uncomplicated.
Also, it’s worth noting at this stage that changing your business page name in the future can be a real headache, so really take some time to think about your choice as you could end up losing lots of hard work and followers if you have to create a new page in the future.
You also need to select the best category for your business page. The easiest way to do this is to input a term relevant to your business – something like ‘marketing’ and selecting the most appropriate option from the list that appears.
Next, you’ll be prompted to enter your business address, postcode and telephone number. While there is an option to hide the full address, you should think twice before doing this. That’s because your address and telephone number – especially if you have a brick and mortar store – are standard pieces of information many of your customers will want to know.
Tweak and optimise your page
Once your new page has been created, Facebook will give you a few pointers to get it setup in a basic way. For example, you’ll be prompted to add a profile picture (definitely do this), followed by a cover photo (definitely do this too).
Now the fun part begins… tweaking and optimising your page!
As a minimum, I recommend adding the following to your business Facebook page:
- A short description of your business – what you are all about in terms of mission/vision, ethics, as well as products/services and what visitors to your page can expect to gain from it.
- Your business website and other contact details (phone number and email)
- Your business hours (including holiday opening times)
- A call to action button – Book Now, Contact, Learn More/Watch Video, Shop Now/Make a donation or download your app/play your game
You might not be able to set up your Facebook Page username straight away (you might need to get a handful of likes and post a few updates first), but you should do that as soon as possible.
You may also want someone else, in addition to yourself, to help with the management of your business page. This is especially true for large companies that have bespoke marketing departments, organisations that have outsourced their digital marketing to professional agencies and even small businesses where more than one person might have a need to post.
To add new page admins, moderators, editors, etc. simply click on ‘Settings’ at the top of your business page and then select ‘Page roles’ from the list of options that appear on the left.
Finally, I encourage you to play with the various page templates that are available to you. They’ll allow you to add different features to your Facebook Page – like Reviews, Services, Offers and others. Have a look around and see which template will suit your business the best.
For example, if you run a restaurant or café, the ‘restaurants and cafes’ template will likely be more suitable for your business.
As stated, it’s “designed to highlight photos and important information about your menu, hours and location.” Have a look through the templates and layout options that are available and choose whichever you think is the most appropriate for your business.
Go to ‘Settings’>Edit Page to see the templates and layouts that are available.
Invite your friends and attract followers
While your business Facebook page is now technically setup, it won’t actually have any ‘likes’ in the beginning. Likes are a show of how many people are interested in following your page.
When someone ‘likes’ your page it creates a connection between your business and them. Status updates you post have a chance of appearing in that person’s News Feed and they can choose to interact and engage with the ones that strike a chord.
Ideally, you want to attract as many genuine business page likes as you can. I say “genuine” because there are unscrupulous companies and individuals out there who will get you likes if you pay them. Don’t do this. Ever. Not only is it ethically wrong, but the likes you do get will be of zero value because the people either (a) don’t exist (fake profiles) or (b) don’t care whatsoever about you or your business.
The number of likes is a vanity measure that many business owners pay too much attention to. The bottom line, however, is you will afford far more value if you have a business page that has just 500 followers, all of who are engaged and interacting, than if you have one with 5,000 uninterested followers.
A great place to start when you have a brand new business Facebook page is to invite your friends to like it. While they might not be interested in your products and services, their support and the fact you’ve got some likes will feel very welcome at the start.
Do you have a Facebook Page for your business? Let me know if you have any questions about setting up or optimising your Facebook Page.
In part two of my Facebook for Business guide, we’ll explore some more advanced aspects of Facebook business pages, talk about groups and how they can complement your business page, and look at your Facebook strategy, including content vs. engagement and utilising Facebook Live.