So, your business has a Facebook page – now what?
Social media marketing is great for connecting with customers and reaching new audiences, and no platform is more widely used than Facebook. Roughly 68 percent of American adults have Facebook accounts, according to a Pew Research Center survey from 2016. By comparison, the second-most popular social media platform is Instagram with 28 percent of adults having accounts.
Anyone can start a Facebook account for free. But that won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to use the platform to effectively promote your small business. How should you engage your local audience? What kinds of content should you post? When should you respond to people’s comments – especially when they’re negative?
We’ll answer those questions and others. Read on for seven Facebook tips for your small business.
Tip 1: Use a Social Media Management Platform
Facebook is easy enough to use – as stated above, most people do – but no successful marketing strategy is ever carried out randomly. Same goes for social media.
That’s why you should start an account with Likeable Local, Hootsuite, or some other social media management platform. These platforms let you manage your social media accounts all in one place. Create several posts at once and schedule when they’ll appear online — weeks or months in advance, right down to the minute – or view and respond to comments all on one dashboard. You can even generate analytics reports to learn when your posts are most likely to be seen.
Several management platforms offer limited free accounts. You can pay a monthly fee for accounts with more benefits, but the free accounts are great starting points for small business owners.
Tip 2: Let Your Followers Inside
You can use Facebook to advertise sales, build your brand and even run paid marketing campaigns. But what really makes Facebook remarkable is the ability to get personal.
Use your Facebook page to share what happens in your business each day. Post pictures of loyal customers or of your employees hard at work. Did you just get a big shipment of some in-demand product? Snap a selfie in front of your new inventory. Be creative with how you can share those slices of life that make your small business special.
Tip 3: Show That You Belong
Small businesses thrive when they’re perceived as contributing to their communities. Facebook gives you a chance to show why your business matters.
Does your business get involved in local community events? Do you sponsor food or toy drives during the holidays? Do you donate supplies to charitable organizations? Do you ever manage booths at street fairs or farmers markets? Good small business owners find ways to get involved, and Facebook lets you show how you live among your customers.
Tip 4: Respond Quickly
Most small business owners can’t afford to hire dedicated social media managers. And let’s face it – you’re too busy to be looking at Facebook all day.
That said, you should get in the habit of periodically checking your Facebook page and replying to some of your more recent comments. The more often you respond, the more engagement you’ll get with your posts. Even if you only do this occasionally, you’ll send the message that you care and that you’re listening. You might even encourage others to make their voices heard.
And guess what? This kind of engagement will help build your audience while bringing people back for more.
Tip 5: Don’t Ignore Negative Comments
Sometimes, no amount of creative, engaging content will draw more attention than negative comments from customers. It could be someone who received a bad meal, a defective product or shoddy customer service. It could even be a client who is upset with his bill. Doesn’t matter. If there’s drama on your Facebook page, how you deal with it could either attract people or drive them away.
First of all, don’t ignore negative comments. Respond immediately with a caring, compassionate message. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, even if you’re not at fault. The fact that you’re responding in a civilized, sensitive manner will resonate with your Facebook followers.
Of course, it doesn’t end there. Message people who leave negative comments privately and open dialogues over how you can make things right. Offer a discount, a refund or another kind of olive branch to show you’re sorry and that they matter.
Tip 6: If You Can’t Make Great Content, Borrow It
The best types of social media posts are videos, animations and creative infographics – visual content that tells stories in unique and engaging ways. The more compelling your content, the more likely it is to be shared. That means more followers and a larger audience.
Many small business owners don’t have the in-house expertise to make multi-media content. But don’t let that stop you from sharing interesting content! The Internet is full of content that is relevant to your business – find something compelling and share it! Give credit where credit is due, and explain (if needed) why the content is relevant to your operation.
For example, if you owned a roofing business – and if your region were experiencing unseasonably rainy weather – then you could share an infographic from your local news station’s website to illustrate the importance of getting a roof inspection.
Tip 7: Timing Matters
Do you post to your business Facebook page at the same time every morning? If so, you’re doing it wrong.
According to several studies, the best time to post on Facebook during weekdays is from 1 to 4 p.m. This is when you’re likely to get the most shares and clickthroughs to your Website, according to an analysis by the CoSchedule Blog. Also, posts get more attention when posted on Thursday or Friday rather than Monday or Tuesday. Weekend posts get maximum visibility between noon and 1 p.m. – a much smaller window.
Next time you craft that perfect Facebook post, make sure to save it until just the right time.
Facebook and other social media platforms let you connect with customers on more personal levels. Starting a business Facebook page is free, fast and easy. However, social media marketing is an ongoing endeavor. Sure, you can (and should) use Facebook to let customers know of sales, discounts and other special promotions. To really get the most out of Facebook, though, you need to post about more than dollars and cents. Facebook offers a great opportunity to go beyond sales and actually build relationships.
Want More Help With Your Social Media?
Join me on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at noon Eastern for our live training called, “Introduction To Social Media Marketing: 8 Steps To Get ROI from Social Media”.
During this 90-minute live webinar training, I’ll de-mystify social media by walking through the following 8 steps:
- How to Identify Which Networks To Use
- How to Properly Create Your Accounts
- How to Build Your Audience
- How to Plan Your Content Calendar
- How to Create Social Media Content
- How to Post Your Content
- How to Generate Leads and Sales from Social Media
- How to Track Your ROI From Social Media