How to use Facebook to build your business
Posted on January 5, 2015 by Nikki Lane
With well over 1 billion people (yes, billion with a B!) using Facebook, it is no surprise that businesses small and large are employing it as a marketing tool, but is Facebook right for your business and how do you get started?
For many businesses Facebook is a brilliant way of connecting with current and potential clients; you can create a community, share news and information, keep people engaged with your business, sell from your Facebook page and offer specials and giveaways.
But Facebook doesn’t work for all businesses so, before you invest hours and hours of your time on it, it is important to think about whether it will work for you (don’t sign up just because everyone says you should).
To help you work out whether it is right for your business here is a brief overview of how businesses can use Facebook and who it works best for…
Facebook business pages
The first step to creating a Facebook presence is to create a business page (click here to see mine). Creating the page is just like creating a personal Facebook page and is a reasonably simple process, particularly if you already have a business website because so much of the content will be the same.
Facebook have masses of information on creating your page and their template makes it easy. The minimum you will need to provide is:
- A square profile photo of yourself
- A rectangular cover photo that depicts your business
- The name of your business
- One or two sentences describing what your business does.
- A couple of paragraphs of information about your business for the ‘About’ section
- Contact details.
The aim of having a Facebook page for your business is to get as many ‘Likes’ as possible. A ‘Like’ basically means a person is now following you on Facebook and will receive updates from your page.
To have a successful Facebook page you need to post on it regularly (at least 3 time per week) and you should always reply to comments.
Although a Facebook page can stand alone (and I don’t recommend this) it is a useful way to drive traffic to your website, for example each time you post a new blog on your website put a link to it on your Facebook page to let people its there.
Facebook advertising can work really well for small businesses – its affordable and very controlled because you are able to set a certain spend amount and once you reach that the ad just disappears.
As Facebook changes the way they do things, advertising via Facebook is becoming more and more necessary to engage in. If you don’t advertise and pay for this, your posts will only be seen by a few people.
You can boost your post to be targeted at certain by demographic & interests and also by location. If you wanted to go the whole way and do Facebook advertising you can use their templates to easily design your own ad. Make sure you are setting up a “sponsored” ad so it appears in the newsfeed area not in the side bar.
The cost you pay for Facebook advertising can be a great investment to your business, make sure you do your maths and keep the activity you do in alignment with your marketing plan.
Who does Facebook work for?
Although it is an easy way to market your business, Facebook can only work for you if the people you are targeting are actually on Facebook.
So, who is using Facebook?
According to studies by the Pew Research Centre the greatest users are women aged between 18 and 29, and the ‘average’ user is a 25 year old woman, with a university degree who lives in a large city and earns more than $75k (US) per year.
But with a billion users there are obviously all kinds of people on Facebook. Bufferap.com have a great summary of the Facebook demographic stats from the Pew Research Centre.
Facebook tends to work really well for businesses which are based around community, where the current and potential clients share interests and beliefs rather than just using the same accountant.
In terms of advertising it works if you have a strong web presence (because they are going to click through to your Facebook page and hopefully your website) and, of course, if your target market is on Facebook
And one final word of advice… make sure everything you do on Facebook (whether your personal page or your business page) is professional. Remember this digital imprint once out is there for the world to see.
Do you use Facebook to promote your business? Does it work for you?