Facebook is an amazing tool for businesses to promote their products and services and build ongoing relationships with customers or clients. However many business owners feel overwhelmed by the idea of using Facebook for business. This article has been created to help and guide business owners through the features of Facebook and how they can be used to help improve business and boost sales.
It is essential to businesses in 2017 that they are on Facebook and begin to understand how it can be used. Facebook has the power to find you new customers and clients, build relationships with current clients and generate public interest on a local or international level. If you are a business owner and you are not using Facebook or do not feel you are using it to its full potential then this article is for you.
Networking on Facebook is one of the most important activities you can do. Like lots of pages, join groups and add friends. If you don’t want to mix business and pleasure then set yourself up with a business profile where you only put your most respectable photos and never post relationship rants! Social media should be social. Talk to people, like things, comment and generally be as active as possible. Don’t constantly post things related to business, post some other stuff to break it up and to help you to build real connections with people.
So who should you network with? Well, the people you really want to be networking with are your potential customers, other industry professionals, competitors, potential partners and anyone else within the wider industry. This is really important because you want to see what everyone else is doing and make sure you are ahead of your game. So like your competitors’ pages and keep an eye on what they are doing to see how you could apply those ideas to your business.
Its also useful to join groups and pages related to business, entrepreneurship, marketing and other related topics. There are so many ideas out there and you should try to make sure you are doing business the best way you can. So why not connect with an entrepreneur who shares his ideas or like a page about marketing and get ideas for yourself?
Your Facebook Page
Your page is like your shopfront on Facebook and so should be clear, clean and tidy as well as visually appealing. This is really important because I see so many people with a Facebook page which has bad grammar and no decent images of their products. I ask them “Why would anyone want to buy what you are selling if you can’t present it in an appealing way?” If you walked into a shop and there was mess all over the floor, you wouldn’t want to buy from there and it’s the same with Facebook. Use a professionally designed logo and banner or a good quality clear image at the top of your page. Make sure all the images you upload of your products are of a good quality and well presented.
Ensure you add as much information to your “about” section as possible. Keep the short description very short and to the point. Used the “story” section to give some background on you as a person to give your business a face. Tell people how and why you came to be running the business. Put your business email, phone number and website links in their proper places so that people can contact you easily.
Make use of the “button”. The button on your page is a great way to get people to act. Whether you want them to call, buy or go to your website, that big blue button at the top of your page makes it really easy. Ensure your links are correct so they take people to the right webpage/phone number.
Keep your followers engaged. People have liked your page for a reason. They want to see more about you. Give people updates and make them smile. If you sell products, why not have a product of the day which you share with photos and a more detailed description? Share things related to your industry or the interests of your followers. For local businesses share local news and events.
Remember, your page is your shop. The shop will remain empty unless you reach out to people and tell them you are there. Get your page to a high standard and then move onto the next stage.
Facebook groups are a great way to get your page seen. You can use groups to make contacts and network, and also to share your page. No matter what your industry is or the profession you are in, there are Facebook groups out there which will benefit you.
Firstly you will need to request to join some groups. I would join as many as possible but be careful not to join too many at once as Facebook can block you. Join groups that make sense for the products you sell. For example, if you are a local business that sells handmade gifts then make sure you join all of your local selling pages, craft fairs, business networking, business tips, local news and community group pages.
Read the information on each page to ensure you are allowed to post products/services and page links etc, as some pages do not allow self promotion. Once you have found some groups which you think may be appropriate then you can start to post in them. Copy and paste your page link into the post box on the group page. Write something about your business or your products and share it. You will need to do this regularly in lots of different groups to make an impact. This will only work if you are sharing to the right kind of groups. Once you start to post in groups make sure you reply to any comments.
Facebook Paid Ads
Paid ads on Facebook are an amazing tool. Almost everyone in the world is on Facebook and that means your customers are too. With Facebook ads you can find your perfect customer and get your products or services right in front of them. This is done in ads manager or power editor which you can access from the home screen drop down, on the top right hand corner (where you would go to log out of Facebook). DO NOT USE THE BOOST BUTTON!! I mean it… seriously, it is a waste of time and money. Use one of the proper ad creators.
When you start your ad it will ask your purpose, so think clearly about what you are trying to achieve. If you are aiming for web traffic conversions you will need to install a pixel on your website. This will give you and Facebook the ability to track how well your ad is doing.
The most important thing you need before you start is a customer profile. Who are you selling to? You can choose to define who sees your ad based on things like: Age, Gender, Location, Interests, Job title, Income and even what groups and pages they are associated with on Facebook… the list goes on! You can literally say I want to target women who are between 30 – 55, who have an income over £30k, who live in England and who like the page “beautiful crafts”. So, you need to know who your customers are! If you don’t know who you are targeting then you will never reach the right people. Once you start to define your audience you will see that there is a little arrow on the right which tells you how big your audience is. When it gets too small it won’t let you create the ad. You need an audience that is big enough but not too big and as well defined as possible.
The next part of the process is creating your ad. Now video is by far the best type of ad but if you don’t have a video then you can use an image instead. You will need to put some text in the “link text” section that will appear above your video or image. This needs to be engaging and I often ask a question eg “Are you looking for a beautiful gift for mother’s day?” Then go on to talk about your product/service in a few lines. Then you will have to create your headline and description which appear below the video or image. These will be your call to action points. Next to these two lines is where your call to action button will be. So if at the start you said you wanted more likes to your page, the button will say “like page”. If you said convert to sales on my website then the button will say “learn more”. The headline and descriptor need to encourage people to click that button whatever it is.
Creating useful, meaningful and shareable content is absolutely key to making a success of Facebook marketing. Facebook will improve the reach of your page (meaning more people will see your posts) if you get more likes, comments and shares on each post. Plus if people share your posts then all of their friends will see it. So what is content? Content is anything you see on your news feed, posts, links, images, articles, blogs, videos etc. Facebook is currently preferring videos over anything else and so sharing videos is a great way to gain exposure.
Write blogs on your website and then share them on your Facebook page and in relevant groups. Answer questions with your expertise or choose a topic and share your knowledge on it. Make a video showing how you create one of your products or make a video talking about the services you offer. Share articles/videos/images relating to your industry. Share funny videos, images, memes – you can get these from a google search. Write daily posts and updates about your business or personal life if appropriate. Respond and engage with your followers.
Using groups to share your stuff is great but they are also really useful for keeping up to date with your industry news and influencers. Make sure you connect with groups who share ideas and take time to look through and read them. You will find things you can use as content to share on your page and you will discover new ideas.
Talk to other people who do what you do. There are so many businesses out there and many of them will have had similar problems before you. If you ask, people will often be happy to help you. Industry influencers are those people who are doing what no one else is and are leading changes within an industry. Or they are people who are having an impact in your industry in some way. Keep your finger on the pulse and learn new ideas.
Facebook Event Pages
If you are a business which can make use of Facebook events, then do so. You will find your events on the left hand side of your main news feed. If you click on it you will be able to “create event”. Lots of businesses who could make use of Facebook events don’t do so but I think what many people don’t realise is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a real life event. You can use Facebook events for new product launches, a live chat group to discuss a particular topic, a closed event page for a private party to promote special offers to selected people or an actual event you are hosting.
Create your event page on a PC or laptop if you can as there are some features you can’t access on mobile. You can choose for your event page to be either private (only you can invite people to attend) or public. You can then choose a theme or upload an image. Write your description, set a date and time and invite people to attend. Once people have clicked attending you can then continue to update the page with content in a similar way you do on your Facebook page, however you want to make it related to your event.
Go Live on Facebook
One of Facebook’s newest and I think best features is “Go Live”. Go live is essentially the ability to go live on camera to your friends or followers. Now, this can seem like a really scary prospect for you if you have never spoken on camera or done a video before, but it is a really great way to connect directly with people in real time. The views on “Go Live” videos are always a lot higher than other videos. People just love to feel they are seeing something for the first time, they want to be sure they aren’t missing out.
There are lots of ways you can go live but one of the easiest is speaking directly to the camera about a product or service you offer. If you are selling a product you could do a product demo, show people how it works, what it does etc. You could speak about something you are an expert about, tell people why they need you but do it in a informative way. If you are less keen to be on camera you could show people a new shop or place you are working in and just speak but not show your face.
To access the “Go Live” feature just go to your home page and where you would type in a new post. Just under there are some options to add photo, video etc and one of them is start a live video. I urge you to try it out.
Use the Facebook Page Shop
People often have products for sale on Facebook but many don’t make use of the shop feature. You can create a shop on your page by going to settings > edit page > add tab. Once you create a shop you can then add a link to your online shop, website of add a button to “message you” then people could message you directly about a specific product.
Generate Web Traffic
Finally, with everything I have laid out here you should be in a position to drive traffic to your website. You can do this in a number of ways. Post your weblink onto your page, post it into groups and share it with people who you are in contact with through networking. You will naturally generate web traffic to your website through blogs which you create on your website and share to your Facebook. People will also naturally go onto your website from your page if you ensure you have the correct web address on your page.
When people ask about your work and what you do in comments, post your link. Put your weblink in the description on all images you share. This will ensure people can find out more about you if all they see is an image with no text description. Share your website to your page and on your personal profile regularly to ensure people can always easily find it.
Over all Facebook is an amazing tool for marketing any business, if you know the right way to go about it. Please feel free to leave comments and questions and any ideas you think I have missed.
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