Is your small business one of the more than 200 million businesses worldwide using Facebook’s free and paid tools to connect with their audiences or customers and attract new ones?
As Facebook had over 2.85 billion monthly active users as of the 1st qtr. of 2021, it’s most likely that you’ll find people who would be interested in your products or services among those active users on this social media platform. It’s highly probable that your competitors are on Facebook, too.
So, if you are not yet promoting your business on Facebook because you are confused by post options, it’s time to start learning now.
How to promote your small business on Facebook
Business owners have the option to use organic content or paid ways to promote their business on Facebook. If you own a small business with a limited budget for advertising, Facebook has many features that you can use for free.
Paid Facebook promotion includes boosted posts and Facebook ads. Following are some of the ways to promote your small business on Facebook.
1. Set up your business page.
A small business needs its own page not only to have a professional and credible presence on Facebook but also to have a central hub where current and potential customers can find important information about the company and its products or services on their news feed.
Facebook offers six templates for different types of business pages that you can customize to fit your requirements.
In creating your business page, make sure to optimize it with:
- High-quality cover photo or video and profile picture. The cover photo should also be eye-catching because it’s the first thing your visitors notice. Many businesses use their business logo as profile picture.
- Unique, relevant and memorable username. Optimize your page by using keywords on your page description or user name that will most likely be used by people searching for your product or services.
- A Call to Action that is easy to see and clearly specifies what you want your page visitor to do after reading or viewing your post.
- Interesting and informative content that your page visitors would be eager to share with their friends.
- Choose tabs and sections for easy page navigation.
2. Post regularly on your Facebook page.
Posting at least once a day on your Facebook page helps keep your target audience continually aware of your business. You never know when they or people they know will need your products or services.
Also, seeing a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated for some time can make your visitors leave, thinking that you’re no longer in business.
The frequency and type of content you post should be part of a plan to achieve a specific goal. Create a calendar to help you and your staff to stay on track as planned.
Try different versions of your posts to find out what types of posts work best for your audience based on analytics. Do people engage more with photos/videos or text posts?
Organic Post Testing
Facebook also offers Organic Post Testing from its Creators Studio. You can submit up to four different versions of your post. After 24 hours, Facebook will automatically post only the one that got the best results.
Business Manager, another Facebook tool, can make it easier for you and your team to organize and manage your Facebook business page.
3. Promote your business page
Promote your Facebook page to make your posts show up in your target audience’s news feeds by:
- Inviting your personal Facebook friends as well as those of your employees to “Like” and “Follow” your business page. People who have liked and followed your page will get your posts on their newsfeeds.
- Interacting with the Facebook pages of influencers, news organizations and other related businesses with many followers.
- Posting valuable, informative and interesting content that your page visitors would be eager to share with other people.
- Offering tempting prizes for contests and discounts or incentives to existing followers for sharing your page.
- Promoting your page in your physical store or business location. Post notices about your Facebook page that could be easily noticed by people who are passing by, entering or leaving your place. You can also leave business cards with links to your Facebook page near the cashier and exit door.
4. Connect with your followers.
Social media has significantly changed the way businesses promote their products and services to their target customers. Before social media, companies had one-way communication with their target audience through traditional advertising. Then, potential customers who are convinced by the advertisement buy the product or get the services offered.
On the other hand, advertising through Facebook posts allows two-way communication between businesses and their target audiences. Potential customers now want to know more about a product or service offered before they decide to buy. So, the company that gives better and faster responses has more chances of convincing the potential customer to buy.
5. Create and/or join Facebook groups.
Facebook groups provide like-minded people with a platform where they can closely interact with each other. It can be a public or private (closed) group.
For example, a business selling online courses can have a Facebook group exclusive for followers who have bought a course. The group allows its members to post their questions or share how the course helped them. Interaction with the other members can make learning the course easier and faster. The seller may also give tips and extra lessons on the course.
There are more posts on Facebook groups than pages because of the active participation of the members.
Join a Facebook group
You can create awareness about your business by joining existing, preferably well-established groups related to your industry, profession and interests, as well as groups where your target audience is likely to be found
You will gain a reputation as an expert or authority if you actively participate in conversations to offer your expertise on the topic without promoting your business.
Create a Facebook group
A Facebook business page can create and act as admin of up to 200 groups for free. Your own Facebook group would be a great platform to know more about your current and target customers.
By creating your own group, you provide your audience with a way to reach out to you. In return, you learn whether the product or service you offer meets their needs or not.
You have more control over your own Facebook group. However, you will need to spend more time managing the group than when you are just a member of other Facebook groups. You may have to read the various discussions, reply to many questions and make sure members follow your group rules.
Add a “Visit Group” button on your Facebook page to guide your visitors to your group page where they can “Join” or “Invite” other Facebook users.
6. Use Facebook Messenger for Business
There are now more than 1.3 billion people worldwide using Facebook Messenger every month to stay connected for free with friends and family and businesses
Add a “Send Message” call to action button to your Page to start using Facebook Messenger to connect with your Facebook page visitors through text messaging, voice and video calls. You can also send videos, photos, GIFs, stickers and other files.
In addition to being a fast and easy way to communicate, the following are some of the many advantages of using Facebook messenger:
- It is a non-intrusive way to send content to your target audience. The recipients will get a notification but can open the message at their convenience.
- A way for customers to ask questions about your product or services privately.
- You can resolve customer complaints that are better dealt with privately.
- You can reply faster with standard responses to frequently asked questions.
7. Display and sell your products on Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Shop
Facebook offers small businesses two selling platforms – the Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Shop. Facebook Marketplace and Shops have over one billion and over 300 million visitors respectively each month as of Q1 2021.
Your business will be missing a lot of exposure opportunities if they’re not on Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Shop.
Facebook Marketplace allows businesses to sell physical products and services online for free. Currently, Facebook Shop is not recommended for selling services or digital products.
8. Use Facebook for customer service
Two important factors that define great service are fast and easy communication which Facebook users enjoy. Facebook pages can be set to provide notifications for any messages from its followers so the admin can respond promptly.
Just make sure there is an assigned customer service representative to answer messages, field comments and requests from customers. You can also use Chatbots, the automated response tool to provide answers to frequently asked questions.
9. Try boosted posts and Facebook ads
If a small business has the advertising budget it should try paid posts to promote on Facebook. Paid posts on Facebook include boosted or sponsored posts and Facebook ads. Simply look for the blue “boost post” button and click it.
Boosted posts are regular posts that you pay to reach a wider audience than an organic post. This paid post is designed to create more awareness and drive more engagement for the business.
A Facebook ad is a more complex type of post and more expensive ad campaign created based on the various options in Facebook Ads Manager. Facebook ads are designed to reach a more highly targeted audience and generate more leads than organic and boosted posts. .
Is your strategy working?
It is important to know as you move forward if your social media strategy is working or not. Keep track of your results for free with analytics from Facebook Insights, the built-in analytics tool. Facebook Insights is a great and free feature on Facebook. If you don’t use it, you’ll be wasting time and effort in preparing your posts that most of your target audience will just ignore.
Through your Facebook Insights, you’ll know if you’re posting quality content by your post performance in terms of likes, shares, engagement, video views and other metrics. Based on the results, you can make the necessary improvements and choices on the valuable content you post. This includes video posts, image posts and any other single post you make.
See how your Facebook page compares with the competition. Include your competitors’ page to your list of Pages to watch. If you’re getting fewer conversions, likes, shares and engagement, learning from your competitor will help.
It’s important for you or your content manager to regularly review your Facebook marketing strategy and their advertising policies because according to Facebook it will continue to build tools with better analytical and targeting capabilities that it can offer to small businesses for free. Stay updated and take the time to learn how to use the new tools.
Facebook has significantly changed the way people promote their small businesses. If your business is not on Facebook, or you’re not promoting correctly, you’re throwing away the opportunity to attract more customers for your business for free or at a lower cost than traditional advertising.