Facebook allows you to reach your audience and engage with them without spending a ton of money on marketing campaigns. So if you're not already on Facebook as a business, you're missing a trick. A big, lucrative trick.
What is Facebook?
Facebook is the ultimate social network. It's a platform primed for sharing every kind of content, from articles and ads to live video, memes and more. With more than a billion active users worldwide, the potential for your business is immense.
Create your content
As with every other social media channel, it's a good idea to put together a plan for your content. Your Facebook activity should link into your wider content (and business) strategy. You can only use Facebook to help you achieve your goals, to help you promote your offers, and to piggyback peak times in your industry if you plan for it.
A strategic approach allows you to batch and schedule your weekly posts in one sitting, which saves so much time in the long run. Buffer and Simply Smart Social are both great for this. Remember to share curated content (ie content from other sources), as well as your own work. This stops your people from feeling sold to all the time.
Keep it professional
There should be a clear boundary between your personal profile and your business page. And yes, you do need a separate business page - without one, you can't benefit from Facebook advertising. Also, you can get in trouble for using your personal profile for business purposes.
Often, if people are looking for your business on Facebook, they'll come across your personal profile first - to point them in the right direction, use your cover photo to send them towards your business page. Just upload a high quality image to a free editing tool such as Canva and add a text overlay.
Do your research
Facebook Graph Search, accessible through the main search bar at the top of your screen, is a fantastic resource when it comes to finding out more about your market.
Find out what interests your target market, other than your specific niche. This data, once compiled, can help you put together targeted marketing messages that will appeal to your prospects. Try searching for:
- posts by people who like [insert your page name];
- posts by people who like pages similar to [insert your page name];
- posts by people who live in [your local area] who like [your page/a competitor's page].
Pages and Groups
There are two main ways to engage on Facebook - through your page and via groups. Pages and Groups have specific purposes and benefits - they're not interchangeable.
A Facebook Page is like a personal profile for your business and allows your fans to follow a brand. It's easy to update, you can post whatever you like and you can personalise it. You also use Facebook Insights to monitor the performance of each of your posts. A page for your business is essential if you want to run ads.
A Facebook Group brings people together. It's an incredibly powerful way to build connections, but it is definitely more about a personal presence than a brand. You will be reaching a narrower audience, but it will also be a more focused one.
Streaming live video is huge - it's a brilliant way to engage with your followers in a more intimate way - they start seeing you as a person, as well as a business, and they have the chance to ask questions, live.
Facebook can be a powerful way to raise your profile and reach your people. Once you have the basics in place, there are no limits to what you can do, including targeted advertising.
Written by digial marketing strategist Gemma Went.