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Home Business Small Business Guide to Facebook Marketing and Advertising

Small Business Guide to Facebook Marketing and Advertising

When I first started using Facebook in 2009, I would never have predicted just how influential the platform would grow to become for businesses.

Gone are the days where Facebook existed solely as a place for you to meet with friends, and get updates on how their days are going. When used correctly, Facebook has the potential to be a huge marketing asset for small businesses.

If you have been looking for an affordable way to kickstart your digital presence, Facebook advertising can be a great option. Even with the growth of other social media platforms, Facebook is still at the top. This platform can be great for increasing your visibility and interacting with your audience.

However, the process of actually setting up a Facebook marketing campaign can be confusing, as there really is almost too much information out there.

How do you know what to post? How often should you post? Where do you even start?

This guide exists as an attempt to simplify that process. During the course of reading this post you will learn:

  • What research you should do before you get started
  • How to create a Facebook Page for your business
  • How to grow your audience
  • What and when to post
  • How to track whether or not your marketing campaign is successful

It can feel overwhelming, but after reading you should have a clear sense of the steps you need to take to create a Facebook marketing campaign for your small business. So, let’s get started.

1. Paint A Clear Picture Of Your Existing Customer Base And Target Audience

Before you dive into Facebook marketing, spend some time getting a clear picture of your existing customer base, and establishing an idea of the ideal customer you did like to target. Having a sense of who your customer is will help you tailor content to suit them specifically.

Getting To Know Who Your Customers Are

To get to know your customers, you will need to do a little market research. Who are your customers? What is their average age range, gender, location? What do they like, what do they hate, what are their interests?

You have probably done a lot of this legwork already during the startup process, but make sure to revisit it before you continue. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your social media marketing is failing to take the time to get to know your audience. The clearer sense you get of who they are and what they are like, the easier it will be to create content that resonates with them.

Creating An Ideal Customer

In addition, you will want to spend some time coming up with a buyer persona, if you haven’t done this already during the process of getting your business up and running.

Ideally, the new Facebook marketing campaign you are initiating will bring in new customers and fans. Just as knowing your existing customer’s helps you tailor your content to suit their tastes, creating a persona based on your ideal customer will help you create focused, targeted content that feels cohesive and unified. If you are interested in diving deeper into the topic of marketing personas, Check our previous post on how to create them .

2. Create Your Business Facebook Page

To start, you will need to get your Page ready to go. Here are the steps you will need to go through before we move into the finer details of your Facebook marketing strategy.

Setting Up Your Page

First of all, you will need to actually set up your Facebook Page, if you haven’t done so already. For this, it’s best to go directly to the source: Facebook itself has information on how to set up your business’s Facebook Page, including a video tutorial. This step is very easy and should take you not more than 10 minutes to complete.

Add Basic Information

Don’t even think about setting up your Page and leaving key areas blank! The first step to a solid Facebook marketing strategy for your small business is to make sure your Facebook Page itself is well detailed and complete.

You will want to do the following:

  • Complete your “About” section.
  • During this step, you will also select a unique username for your business page.
  • Upload a profile picture (of your storefront, product, staff, logo, or similar).
  • Add relevant information about your business such as hours, location, and so on.
  • Create a cover photo (I did recommend using Canva for this, if you are not working with a graphic designer).
  • Optimize your cover photo with a call-to-action like ‘Learn more, Sign-up, Call-now’

At this point, your Facebook Page is functional and ready to go, although still pretty bare-bones. From here, you will move on to actually creating unique posts for your Page, and onto creating a strategy to gain followers.

3. Help your Facebook Page find an audience

So, your Facebook Page is all set up. Should you create content first, or try to find an audience?

Ideally, you will be working on this step and the next step simultaneously, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation.

However, for the purposes of this guide, we will focus on finding your audience first.

Tell your existing customers about your Facebook Page

This tactic is fairly intuitive, but it’s an important one. Here’s how to make sure your existing customers interact with your new Facebook Page.

Add “Like” buttons to your website.

You will want to add these buttons to your existing business website so that customers can “like” you on Facebook. You may also want to look into adding social media buttons to your website. Broadcast your new Facebook Page across your other social media channels, and add it to your email signature too.

Have a Twitter or Instagram account already? Tell your followers that you just started a Facebook Page, and include the link to your Page.

If you are sending out an email newsletter, add a mention of your new Facebook Page to your next one with a link to your page, or create a newsletter specifically letting your customers know you have started a Facebook Page.

Put up signs or small flyers in your business if you run a brick-and-mortar store

If you have a physical location, create a display, flyer, or card that invites customers to find and “Like” your Page on Facebook. Make sure to place these items prominently, and bring them to your customers’ attention. If you run a photography studio, for instance, you could place a small stack of cards at the reception desk where clients can grab one as they pay, and you could ask your receptionist to hand them out as well.

Grow Your Audience Base

Now that your existing customers have found you on Facebook, it’s time to expand your reach.

To grow your Facebook audience, you will need to develop a strong content strategy. Posting high-quality content that your customers want to see will be key to building a following.

We will get to what to post on your Facebook Page in the next step, but here are some strategies that will help you grow your audience beyond your existing customers.

See Also: Three Steps to Content Creation Framework with a Social Media Content Manager

Cross Promote With Other Brands

Building relationships with other local small businesses can be a great way to get your Page in front of new customers. By establishing a reciprocal relationship with another local business, you both gain new exposure.

Once you have found a business to partner with, you can develop a cross promotion strategy. Share each other’s posts, mention each other, or consider collaborating on a project (a video series, an in-store event, or similar). To continue our photography business example from earlier, perhaps the studio might reach out to a recruitment firm down the block with a similar clientele base.

Encourage Your Employees To Post About Your Facebook Page

Make sure that everyone’s personal account is linked to your business’s Facebook Page. Ask your employees to add their place of work, and perhaps occasionally share content from your business’s Facebook Page on their own timeline as well.

Add Your Facebook Page To Your Email Signature

You probably send countless work-related emails every day, and your email signature offers valuable marketing real estate. You can take advantage of this by adding a “Like” button to your signature, or a link that takes readers directly to your Facebook Page.

Use Facebook Ads To Promote Your Page

If you are interested in paid marketing, Facebook will put your Page front and center for a potential audience by use of paid promotion. However, you may want to hold off on paid promotion until you have built up the content on your Facebook Page a bit more. We will Talk more about paid advertising later on in this guide as well.

See Also: Three Steps to Content Creation Framework with a Social Media Content Manager

4. Develop A Content Strategy

This is the important part; creating content that will resonate with your audience, it will help you gain new followers, and make them want to follow your Facebook Page and share what you post.

This section will be broken down into a few different subsections, as there is a lot to cover here.

Create a mix of different types of content

To an extent, the type of content you post will depend on what kind of business you are running. However, for the purposes of illustrating some of the things you could create, we will stick with the photography business example.

Image-Based Content

Images reign supreme, and there is really no question about it. In a study carried out in 2014, posts with images had an 87 percent interaction rate, with all other types of content achieving four percent or less.

So, plain and simple: You need to post images. But, what kind of images should you post?

Let’s use our photography studio business as an example. They could post:

  • Before and after images of a corporate shoot within the studio or a photoshoot of a corporate event.
  • Photos of photo albums
  • Shared images where clients have tagged the business (maybe encourage customers to upload a photo and tag you after using your product or service?)
  • Images of staff members at work, or fun photos of staff accompanied by a short bio
  • Photos of events held at the studio

Video Content

Video content can go one of two ways, either you share outside content on your Facebook Page, or you create your own. We have post with valuable Tips On How To Promote Your Business With Videos, but here is a brief look at a few types of video content you could share.

The photography studio could share:

  • Behind the Scene from their favorite studio sections with an online influencer and more
  • Small video clips showing a well edited and finished product photography, as a video version of the before and after
  • Viral videos that resonate with their particular audience, and fit their brand image

Short clips of text, gallery updates, or other promotional content

Posting updates on Facebook is a little different when it’s for your business as opposed to your personal account. While you won’t be posting personal updates, having some short, text-driven content is still a smart part of your posting strategy.

Here are some suggestions for short text updates from our photography business example:

  • Posts that let customers know about a special promotion or sale
  • Posts welcoming new staff members
  • Fun posts for customers to answer (true or false, fill-in-the-blank, and so on)
  • Posts detailing any change in operating hours or need-to-know information (it’s not all fun and games when it comes to Facebook content—don’t forget this info!)

Links To Long-Form Blog Content

If you have a blog, you will also want to share content from your blog on Facebook. It will encourage customers to engage with you in a variety of spaces, and drive traffic back to your blog. It goes without saying that I couldn’t possibly list all the strategies for Facebook content creation in this article; Facebook is a social media behemoth, and more than any other platform lends itself to varied types of content.

The biggest piece of advice? Keep your content offerings varied, and make sure your choice of content and tone of voice is in keeping with your audience.

Cultivate A Tone Of Voice To Suit Your Audience

If you have read any of our resources on branding, you will know that creating a brand tone of voice is essential.

However, if you are thinking the impact of brand tone ends with your website, employees, or the product itself, think again. Your brand’s tone of voice is equally important, if not more so when it comes to your social media presence.

Think about your favorite brands. How do they sound? Now, think about how jarring it would be if they suddenly did a complete 180.

The tone of voice you choose to use should be a reflection of your products and services, your employees and company culture, and your client base. Cultivating a consistent brand tone may take some time, so make sure you keep it in mind while you develop your content strategy.

5. Time Your Facebook Posts Strategically

Now that you have an idea of where to take your content strategy, we will get into the finer details of posting content to Facebook.

You don’t want to post at random, especially when you have a wealth of knowledge at your disposal on how to get your Facebook posts seen by as many of your followers as possible.

How often to post on Facebook

By looking at the posting strategies of top brands, it has been found that the average is one post per day, with the sweet spot between “enough to engage” and “annoying” falling somewhere in the range of five to 10 posts per week.

In terms of posting multiple times per day, there is a noted drop-off in engagement after the first post, but not enough so as to suggest that posting, say, two posts in a day is necessarily a bad idea. However, it isn’t necessary.

Ultimately, your strategy for how often you post will depend not just on industry data, but also on your audience. Depending on your business, you may have more success posting multiple times a day; but you will never know unless you plan strategically and track your results. We will go over how to track what’s working and what isn’t in step eight of this article.

Also read: How to build a Social Media marketing funnel that Sells

What times to post on Facebook

As with how often to post on Facebook, when to post on Facebook will, to an extent, vary based on your audience. Ultimately, this may mean posting at a variety of times to start, and tracking which posts receive the most engagement (in the form of likes, comments, and shares).

It’s important to keep this in mind as your audience will vary a bit from the overall average. So, pinning down exactly when your audience is most active on Facebook may serve you better than simply relying on current best practices.

However, there are some findings that may be a good starting place for your business; for instance, Thursdays and Fridays from 1pm to 3pm have been found to be more active times on Facebook for businesses.

Automate your Facebook posting

You might be sitting there thinking, “There is no way I will have time to get on Facebook several times a day to post updates and play around with different posting times!”

If that is the case or even if you simply want to streamline your social media processes, it’s time to look into automation. Essentially, automating your Facebook posting means that you can create and schedule all your Facebook posts at once, and they will post at selected times throughout the week, without you having to log in each day to do it manually.

When it comes to posting automation, there are several options. Here at Techynista blog, we like Hootsuite and Hubspot. Your needs and budget, however, will largely determine which SaaS automation tool you choose.

You can read more about 12 tools to help you increase your content marketing gains

7. Dive into Facebook Ads

Facebook ads were, at one time, a great strategy for businesses; whether they are still worthwhile is a point of contention.

Generally speaking, the common consensus seems to be that Facebook ads are a fairly expensive means of advertising and that effective Facebook marketing strategy is, realistically, fine without them. As there are so many free ways to expand your audience and use Facebook to market your business, paying for advertising on Facebook should be fairly low on your priority list.

However, if you are interested in diving into the world of Facebook ads, it is possible to get something out of it on a fairly limited budget. This article from Buffer details what $5 a day can produce, which serves as a good starting point if you’d like to test out a low-cost Facebook ad campaign.

8. Track Engagement Metrics And Refine Your Strategy

Throughout the process of establishing your Facebook marketing campaign, be aware that you can’t just set it and forget it. To really get the most out of a marketing campaign, you should be tracking key metrics and getting a clear sense of what works and what doesn’t.

This means getting a sense of what metrics you’d like to track for your Facebook marketing campaign (are you focusing on increasing followers? Do you want your posts to be shared more? Are you trying to get more likes per post? Are you interested in seeing how Facebook actually increases your leads, sales, and so on?) and then tracking how you are doing. Start by getting a sense of what social metrics matter, determine what you’d like to focus on, and find a tool that will help you track it.

We use several different tools to track social metrics, including True Social Metrics, Google Analytics, Buzzsumo, and Sumome. What you use will largely depend on your budget and needs.

Closing line…

The important thing to keep in mind here is that for your Facebook marketing strategy to be as effective as possible, it’s important to keep track of what you are doing, and whether or not it’s working. This way, you can continue to refine and revise your strategy, to make it as effective as possible.

Clearly, the process of creating a Facebook marketing campaign for your small business is fairly involved. However, if you follow these steps, track where you are successful (or not), and adjust your plan accordingly, you’ll have a Facebook marketing strategy that brings in customers and helps establish a strong social media presence for your brand.

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