Image retrieved from The Times UK
So we’ve talked about YouTube, LinkedIn and, Instagram… now let’s talk about Facebook! For me, before I was spending my time on YouTube and Instagram, I spent all my time on Facebook. Everyone knows Facebook and if you don’t then you’ve been living under a rock! Because Facebook is so popular, they are continually evolving to serve its’ users better. So this week we will talk about how to utilize Facebook for your Business.
Get Started and Build Your Page
To begin with, why use Facebook? Using Facebook makes it easy for people to find information about your business and get in touch with you personally. If you or your business don’t have a Facebook page for your business. You are potentially missing out on opportunities for meeting and expanding your customer base, which could lead to potential sales or future business (Adams, 2017).
Starting the Facebook page itself is the easy part, remaining active on your active it the part that people may find difficult. Once you go to the Facebook website and start an account you will need to have a logo and secondary picture, a clear business, an idea of who you are trying to target on Facebook. From there, Facebook will walk you through the step by step information on building your Facebook Business page (Adams, 2017).
Once you’re all set up, the options are endless! However, the most important thing is to make sure you add all necessary information any potential customers/clients would be looking for on your page. What is the point of setting up a Facebook page for your business, if people have to look elsewhere for the information they’re looking for? So make sure all the information is on there, and that you update it continually if needed (Adams, 2017).
There are some other extra features such as a call to action that is available for your page. You can do this by going to your Facebook page and setting up a call to action button and link it to a part of your page. Play around with this feature to see how many clicks you get from your clients. And if you’re having some troubles with your page or updating it, you can always unpublish for a period of time until you’re ready for it to be viewed again (Adams, 2017).
Build Your Audience
“The goal of a Facebook page is to have a clear voice and presence for your brand” (Adams, 2017). To begin with, you want to invite your personal friends to like your business. Because what kind of friends don’t support their friends’ endeavors? Beyond inviting your personal friends, you can invite people you aren’t friends with by their emails. Another way to gain more fans for your page is by adding a Facebook Like button to your website (or in our case a blog). When people click the like button, it shows they have clicked, viewed, and engaged with your page. It will also appear on their feed so others are able to see they liked your page. This will help share your page in a way similar to word of mouth. Lastly, you can run ads to promote your page. This does cost a short fee but is definitely effective. By doing this you pay for your ad to appear on your targeted audiences’ newsfeeds (Adams, 2017).
This section here deals with something we have consistently talked about in past posts and will be talking about in this post, which is updating frequently. It is simply not enough to just have the account, but what point is there to have an account if you’re not actually going to use it? So to do this, post a status update once in a while. This can be something related to your business, surrounding community, or even current events. This lets your viewers know you are active online. Next, enhance your posts! Make them interesting by adding visuals. Use pictures or videos to engage your viewers. I know I’m more likely to look through photos than to read a page long story (Adams, 2017).
It’s your page, so ultimately you have the control. You can edit or delete posts when needed. You can even pin a post that may be relevant or useful for a certain period of time. Or maybe you just want to feature a picture or status update for a certain period of time. This is a great way to do so. And because life gets busy and you’re in control of your own page, you can schedule posts too. This means if you know you’re not going to have time to post in the upcoming weeks because you’ll be busy with a project or event, schedule a post to go up during that time so your viewers don’t think you’re ignoring them (Adams, 2017).
Lastly, before we finish up this section I’ll leave you with some of the best practices you can use to make sure your page gets the maximum possible exposure and really resonates with its’ audience.
- Be consistent when posting. (Hint: Use the scheduling feature I just mentioned if you need to.)
- Post timely content: This deals with staying up to date on holidays, seasons and current events. You can use that scheduling feature again.
- Target: Control who sees your posts.
- Review your performance.
- Use high-quality photos.
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Share exclusive content: Give them a reason to stay engaged with your page.
- Use a call to action: Add links or buttons.
- Be authentic: Quality over Quantity.
- Be engaging: Ask for feedback and respond to comments.
Advanced Facebook Page Features
As amazing as Facebook is, it gets even better with all their extra features. First, you can create an event and invite people who like your page to attend. You can also create a Facebook milestone. This could be anything as simple as the day you joined Facebook or the day you got 1000 likes. Next, you can use your ratings and reviews to your advantage. This is where customers/clients have the chance to leave some feedback. If positive, works for great free promotion or your company. If not so positive, you can use it to interact with them and find out what would’ve made it better. Other customers and potential customers love the ratings and reviews feature. Lastly, you can expand your pages reach by embedded posts on your website. Not only does this showcase the selected post, but it also brings your viewers’ attention to your Facebook page (Adams, 2017).
Engage Your Audience
Since Facebook is a social media platform, the important thing to remember is to be social. Comments are a great way to be social and are the most valuable part of your page. “They provide an opportunity for you to hear from your community, for your community to interact with one another, and for you to comment back” (Adams, 2017). Comments are a great way for people to let you know about their experience or feelings about your company. However, they’re not always going to be positive. And that’s okay. Use those negative comments to interact with the poster and have an open dialogue with them. If worse comes to worst, it’s your page and you’re in control so you can moderate your comments and manage who has access to your page (Adams, 2017).
Promote Your Business on Facebook
Promoting your business on Facebook is one of the easiest ways to advertise. This can be a great way to get information about your business out and reach a bigger customer base. Creating ads is one of the best ways to get the name of your business out there, ads can then be shared by other Facebook users. Once you create an ad, you can boost the post. This ensures your ad reaches as many people as possible, whether they’re following your company or not. As always, Facebook gives you the control by giving you many additional settings you can use for your ad including who you would like to target and where you would like to target or for how long you would like your post boosted. Of course, this does come at a small cost. We have already talked about creating events, but did you know you can also boost your event too? Keep that in mind next time you create an invite and want it to reach a lot of people (Adams, 2017).
Understand Facebook Insights and Reports
Ever post something on Facebook and wonder if anyone has even seen it? Or if something you posted is actually making a difference? Similar to Google Analytics which we have talked about in a previous blog post, Facebook also has a way of analyzing your page so you can track the success/failure of your page. This comes in the form of insights and reports. You can track such things including likes, views, reach, and visits. The statistics are shown in forms of graphs and numbers. Using this information, you can gauge your audiences’ engagement with your page and can help you learn a little bit about them too! Use this information to your benefit. Continue doing what works for you, or make some changes to things that aren’t. If you must, or if you need it keep the information for some purpose you can always export the information. You can come back and look at it whenever you want (Adams, 2017).
Advanced Page and Mobile Features
The advanced page is a great page to give you all sorts of extra features to make your page even better and help you run it even smoother. There is a feature to add page admins on Facebook if you need help with managing your business. This is something that is definitely helpful. For example, you can hire a social media manager or they have their own assistants and you can make them all admins to help manage your company’s’ page (Adams, 2017).
Another advanced feature is merging two Facebook pages into one. This is a great feature to help streamline multiple accounts you may have. However, you must be the admin on both accounts, both accounts must have similar names, with matching addresses. No information will be lost, you will simply just have two accounts in one (Adams, 2017).
Lastly, as I’m sure everyone knows there’s an app for everything. Yes, there’s a Facebook app for general use. But did you know there’s a Facebook Pages Manager app? This is exactly what it sounds like, an app for the manager of Facebook pages to use. This app simply streamlines everything into a mobile version so you can continue to do everything that was mentioned above (Adams, 2017).
Image retrieved from Cal Newport
Benefits and Thoughts
Personally, I’ve been using Facebook before any other social media platform. I use it to connect with my family all around the world. This keeps us connected even though we don’t see each other often. So I think that’s pretty awesome. The biggest benefit to Facebook I find is that it is super user-friendly. They have an interface that anyone is able to navigate through. This, unfortunately, means my parents (who are technology dummies) and as well as all their friends and family (who are too old to be on Facebook) are on it. But good for them right?
Well, back to talking about my family’s’ restaurant that you guys’ are all probably sick of hearing about. We have a Facebook page for our restaurant but we probably aren’t using it to its’ full potential. We allocate more of our social media presence to Instagram because we find our customers engage more there. However, the one thing we do find Facebook great for is communicating in real time. If we need to be reached, our profile says we respond within minutes and customers can message us with their comments or concerns there. This is generally true since most of the managers have the Facebook app and are able to have immediate access to it. The app is definitely a benefit of Facebook also. Similar to their webpage, it is so simple to use and easy to navigate through. After watching this weeks’ video I’ve learned there are definitely areas where our restaurant could improve our Facebook page usage. We need to take advantage of all the additional features Facebook offers. Using the insights and reports we can find out what is working or what isn’t working for us and build on that.
Adams, M. (Author). (2017, May 29). Facebook for Business. Lynda Video Podcast Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Facebook-tutorials/Facebook-Business-2016/490656-2.html
Image retrieved from https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/police-ignored-internet-messages-that-cleared-teenage-rape-suspect-cfrcscw5g
Image retrieved from http://calnewport.com/blog/2018/02/09/facebooks-desperate-smoke-screen/