20 top Facebook tips

Contributor - Sarah Orchard

Woman in glasses sitting down using Facebook on her phone

Ever since the big brands realised the value of engaging with an audience via social media, Facebook has honed what it has to offer businesses. It continues to be one of the top marketing tools and it offers the small business owner a very cost-effective - or even no-cost - marketing option

If you haven't yet taken the plunge, or even if you have but are yet to reap the benefits, here are my top 20 tips for making Facebook work for your business.

1. Create a business page

It's absolutely crucial that you set up a business page as opposed to a personal profile. The pages may look similar but business pages feature unique tools that you'll want to use, plus promoting a business from a personal profile is against Facebook's rules.

All that said, you'll need a personal account first in order to create your business page.

2. Choose the right category or type of business

When you start setting up your business page, you'll be able to choose a category for your business, whether you want to promote yourself as a local business, a public figure, charitable organisation or a brand selling a specific type of product.

3. Go public

Make sure you set your business page privacy settings as Public. Whilst your personal page privacy setting is likely to be Friends, you need to ensure that your business can be discovered by anyone.

4. Choose your username (your vanity URL)

Once you've created your page, Facebook will generate a random number and URL - it's anonymous and far from memorable. So you need to create a vanity URL (although Facebook refers to it as your username) that relates to your business, most likely your company name. There’s a great guide here on how to change your Facebook URL if you ever need to.

5. Add a cover image that will provide visual impact

The image at the top of your business page acts like a magazine front cover, so you want it to add punch. Make sure you optimize your cover photo for the right dimensions for it to look good on all devices. The ideal image size for your Facebook cover photo is 851px by 315px. For best results, make sure your image is JPG format, with RGB colour, and less than 100 KB.

If your uploaded image is smaller than these dimensions, Facebook will stretch it to fit - it's not a good look! If you lack design skills, you can create eye-catching covers, posts and ads, using Canva with pre-made templates.

6. Add a profile icon

Make sure it reflects your brand and is easily recognisable. It makes sense to use your logo, or if your business is very much about what you offer as a service you might want to use a decent headshot.

Make sure you prepare the image to the correct size – it should be 170x170px to upload. Again Canva can help you get this right!

7. Complete the About section

So many people forget to do this, yet it's one of the first things people will look at when visiting a business page for the first time. Write a succinct description of your business, and don't forget to add a link to your website!

8. Use the Call to Action button

People are visiting your page. So now they need to be encouraged to interact further with you. Facebook knows this and wants to help you achieve your business objectives - hence the very useful call to action button. There are several call to action buttons (these change over time), like Sign Up, Book Now, Watch Video, Send Message or Shop on Website. Pick the action you want your audience to take next.

9. Get to know your audience

Facebook Insights is a really handy analytical tool that will help you understand who is visiting your page and what content is of most interest (or not!). Over time, it will help you develop your social media strategy for greater engagement with your audience.

10. Watch your competitors

Still in Facebook Insights, you can add your competitors under Pages to Watch. This is such a valuable thing to be able to do - you can analyse what they are up to, how people react to their posts and, most importantly, learn important lessons for your own Facebook activity.

11. Invite Likers to Like your page

Someone has liked one of your posts - great! But don't just give yourself a pat on the back. Take it one step further and invite that person to Like your business page - it will boost your Facebook community numbers, and that person will see every post you add in the future.

12. Harness the power of visual content

Images and video content are far more engaging - attracting up to ten times as much interest as a post that is purely text. But please don't ever compromise on quality because you feel you need to post a picture - blurred or shaky pics are not a good thing! You can also add a slideshow of images or video as your cover image if you’d prefer.

13. Optimise your images

Get your image sizes right for the feed or ads to get maximum impact, and to provide the very best user experience.

It's easy to forget how many pixels you should be working to, so use Hubspot's useful guide - it has guidance on optimising images for Facebook, as well as any other social media platform you might use.

14. Post on a regular basis

A business page that has tumbleweed floating through it (you get my drift!) is not a good advert. If you're going to use Facebook, use it proactively. You should be aiming to post two to three times a week - the inbuilt Facebook Business Suite publishing (scheduling) tool makes life easy.

15. The golden rule is quality, not quantity

How Facebook's algorithms actually work are, like Google's, something of a mystery to us lesser mortals. However, it's clear that Facebook rewards quality posts by making them more visible in people's news feeds, whilst the dross gets shoved well down the feed. So concentrate on relevant and interesting content.

16. Have a chat!

Social media is social so have a chat! Show your appreciation when someone comments on your posts. It could be as simple as liking that comment or responding to a question. Those simple actions provide a 'feel good' factor, and will encourage greater loyalty amongst your Facebook followers.

17. Shares and comments beat likes

Engaging with your audience earns a reward. Facebook now responds more positively to Shares and Comments than to Likes (it's those algorithm changes again!), so you'll boost your visibility the more you actively engage with people on your page.

18. Get your advertising right

Know when to boost a post or run an ad. You can boost a post to make sure it reaches more news feed – simply getting eye balls on your content. There will be a fee and the ROI will depend on how many people engage with that post.

With Facebook ads, you can make them work towards different objectives such as video views, website visits (traffic ads) or conversions. Think about what you want to achieve before going down either route.

19. Bring your business to life with Facebook Live

The gulping is almost audible! Yes, it may sound a daunting prospect, it probably will take a bit of practice, but you may come to really enjoy it - Facebook Live is a fantastic feature to use and ideal for giving people a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your business, Q&A sessions, unveiling a new product or service and so on. Try it!

20. Integrate your social media accounts

Link your Instagram account to feed to Facebook to amplify your social efforts. It will also be a more efficient use of the time you spend dedicated to social media activity.

Written by Sarah Orchard.

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Sarah Orchard

Sarah Orchard is an award-winning marketing expert and holiday business owner, who helps fellow owners confidently move from being invisible online to maximum visibility, free web traffic and direct bookings. She is the founder of GET-FULLY-BOOKED.COM and the creator of her own unique seven-step

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