6 Facebook Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
I Made a Facebook Page for My Company…Now What?
As a new mom of a one-year-old, I am clearly within the target audience of everything “toddler”. Whenever I scroll through my feed, there is a new must-have item or experience. Due to targeted Facebook ads, my son now owns baby-specific forks and a flotation device, and is currently registered for soccer classes in the fall.
With the rising costs of Facebook ads and a growing number of companies utilizing Facebook for advertising, small businesses often hesitate to launch campaigns. However, as of 2019, Facebook has 1.56 billion active users every day, making their built-in audience one that cannot be passed up. If proper attention and expertise is given to creating your company’s Facebook page and posting content, your company could experience significant growth.
So how do you get your brand in front of your intended audience?
1. Don’t Sell...Connect
An important rule of marketing applies just as much to your social media presence: instead of thinking “sell, sell, sell”, work to establish a relationship with your potential clientele. You need to post regularly to keep your brand at the top of your audience’s mind. But, while creating posts, avoid solely focusing on promoting your brand. Reading such posts may seem tiresome to your current audience and keep away potential new followers.
So what can you do? Update your audience on what’s going on “behind-the-scenes” and share photos of your employees or simply products in development. Pose questions that begin discussions. Make the audience a part of the process.
Though potentially time-consuming, respond to comments. Consumers need to feel heard to feel a connection with your company. They value a quick response time, as it shows interest in what they have to say. According to Sprout Social, consumers expect a response time of four hours or less. Typically, however, brands take around ten hours to respond. By responding efficiently, and at a quicker rate than your competitors, your company is more likely to gain followers.
Additionally, build ads and posts that you believe people will want to respond to or share with others. After all, Facebook is a social site with opportunities for people to like, share, tag others, and comment. Simple self-promotion does not leave room for much discussion, and posting links, though sometimes appropriate and engaging, can also risk losing an audience to an outside page. On top of that, Facebook’s algorithm prefers content built within its walls. Focusing on engagement with your clients--talking with them instead of at them-- ill get you the most return on investment, with committed customers more willing to follow your page.
2. Make Sure the Timing is Right
When posting in order to engage with your audience, consider the time of day. By waiting until the right time, you have the ability to reach a larger audience and maximize engagement. According to sprout social, the best time to post on Facebook is between 11AM and 1PM on Wednesdays. Of course, you will want to post more often than that. Weekdays during peak business hours--9AM until 3PM--are generally times with higher traffic. Conversely, Sundays should be low on your priority list, as it shows the least engagement.
When trying to sell a consumer good, the times differ slightly. In general, weekdays are again the days with the most traffic, Sunday with the least. Wednesday between 1 and 3PM, Fridays between 10 and 11AM, and Thursdays at 5PM are statistically the most effective times for sales. Tech companies find their success on Wednesday mornings, with weekday mornings and afternoons also bringing in more potential customers.
With this knowledge, it is important to schedule posts for a time they will reach the largest audience. That way, you are guaranteed a higher return on your investment.
3. Entice with Visuals
There is no longer an excuse to have a Facebook page devoid of videos, as smartphones have made the creation of video content easier than ever. And it’s important, as visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared than text. After all, think about how much easier and faster it is to passively watch a video or scan an image than read an article. Adding video and images can get your information to potential clients efficiently, giving value to their already limited time.
Creating your own video--maybe an introduction to your staff or an explanation of what you do--or by simply going live, you are automatically increasing engagement. Though sharing a YouTube link may help, your own videos are more personal and create a greater bond with the audience. In addition, Facebook’s algorithm favors videos created through them. Sending your audience to an outside link will not get in front of as many eyes as posting your own content will.
4. Know Your Audience
When creating a Facebook ad campaign, take advantage of the site’s features by sending your ads to specific audiences. The feature enables you to specify the demographic you are targeting. Considering the age your ad will appeal to, the location of your company, the interests your audience might have, and so on, will make a campaign more cost-effective and less time-consuming, ultimately leading to more success.
In addition, continue to remind yourself that Facebook is a social site. Word-of-mouth is a great way to make your business known. Posting engaging content like polls or questions to your known audience encourages users to share the post and tag others. Offering limited time deals in exchange for users to invite friends maximizes your followers and, as a result, increases your audience more organically.
As users scroll through their feeds, they see what their friends have shared, interacted with, or been tagged in. And clearly it works, as that’s how I ended up with my son’s flotation device--his grandmother tagged me in a post.
5. Make Your Page “You”
As you gain followers, take time to mold your actual profile page into something that truly represents the attitude and “personality” of your unique business. Your profile picture is the first thing your audience sees. Make it count, and make it simple. You don’t want to confuse your audience with confusing text they might struggle to read in that format. Instead, choose an interesting and clear photograph of a person or object that represents your company or an engaging and distinct logo.
Your cover photo is another opportunity to show off your brand. As your cover photo takes up a significant amount of room on your page, what you place here should be given some thought. Companies often place their slogans here to remind potential customers of their mission. Calls-to-action are also popular, making it clear to the consumer what the business is about. Cover videos are a new feature, allowing the user to create 20- to 90-second long videos as an introduction. Play around with and explore your options -- this is your chance to be creative.
6. Check In: How Are You Doing?
After putting in all this effort into targeted campaigns and writing posts, you of course want to make sure it is actually working. To help with this, Facebook allows you to monitor the progress your business is making through their site at no cost to you. Through social analytics, users can find out which posts earn the most clicks and engagement.
Awareness of your data helps to strategize more effectively in the future. You can get an idea of what content to post in order to gain more traction, which advertisements resulted in the most actual sales, and if the audience you targeted fits your product or business.
Because Facebook has such a tremendous amount of active users, marketing through the site has become almost a necessity for small businesses. However, if a campaign is run ineffectively or posts are not unique or engaging, a significant portion of your budget and limited time will go to waste. Utilizing these strategies and being intentional about your advertising on social media can help you jump-start your business’ social media presence and tap into the growing audience at your fingertips.