4 Things Small Businesses Need to Do Right NOW on Facebook
Small businesses and social media make today’s world go ’round. If you’re a small business and you’re not yet on Facebook, you shouldn’t feel like you’re behind. In fact, you should be super excited right now because the opportunity that lies ahead of you is tremendous. Facebook users are almost three times the population of the United States with its 802 million daily active users. It has become so ingrained in the daily habits of peoples’ lives that 30% of Americans now get their news from Facebook as opposed to an actual news organization. And when it comes to small businesses, Facebook recently announced that they have 30 million small businesses with active Facebook Pages. No matter how many complaints Facebook gets, it’s here to stay- and it’s powerful. As a small business, here are 4 things you need to do right now with this social media platform. And for those that dodge technology like celebrities avoid carbohydrates, I promise you, it’s a lot more simple and painless than you think.
1. Stop creeping on people and create a Facebook page
It’s okay. I creep too. But to get the ball rolling, you have to create a Facebook page right now. If that means leaving our wonderful blog for a bit, by all means leave. If you haven’t left yet, allow me to convince you of why ALL small businesses need a Facebook page. First, it helps you reach your customers every. single. day. and reminds them that you exist. It’s not every day that I’m going to visit my favorite hair salon but if I constantly see updates on the gorgeous hairstyles they’ve recently created, I’ll be much more inclined to go there next time I need a touch up. Haven’t convinced you yet? All right, well the second reason is that Facebook helps you become an authority in your field. With the hair salon that I follow, if they’re teaching me tricks on how to prevent bed head, they have my attention. They’re also implanting in my mind the notion that they’re the guru of hair. I don’t know about you, but for me, when I search for a store or brand on Facebook and they’re not there, I often wonder how legitimate they are. In the social media driven world we live in, it has become that crucial for small businesses to have a Facebook page.
2. Be available on mobiles searches- your next customer is (literally) around the corner
Now that you finally have a Facebook page (I hope!), you need to always make sure your Facebook Business Page is available and up to date on mobile. The most effective way to reach people near your store is by being visible on mobile. Not convinced? 95% of smartphone users search for information on their local surroundings and 77% actually contact the business that came up in their search. In the end, 59% visit the store that they they they landed on in their search. 59% can translate into a huge number of customers if you live in a densely populated area. Only once they’re in your store, are you able to do your thing and make some sales. When you update your Facebook page on the web, it won’t look the same on a mobile device so make sure it looks good in mobile format. If you want to be SUPER efficient on your mobile Facebook page, I suggest you download this “Pages Manager” app that lets you manage your Facebook page on your mobile: you can respond to comments, check page activity, and even view your insights. Find it here on the iTunes App Store, and here on the Google Play store.
3. Post according to the “Rule of Thirds”
You have your desktop page. You have your mobile page. But what do you post? I’d like to introduce a little something I call “the rule of thirds.” Okay, okay, I’m not the one who came up with it but I still agree with the premise behind it. You post 1/3 information on your product, meaning details about your product offerings and information that raises the awareness of your brand. It could be photos of your products or snippets about your business. Then you post another 1/3 of advice and content your customers would like to read without hard-selling your products. For example, if you are a hire salon, you might want to post content on which products to use for you untamable bed head (as you can tell, I have bed head troubles!). Once customers think of you as an authoritative voice, giving them advice, they’ll come and buy your products. The last 1/3 is the best: fun content! Post things that your customers will find funny. This will keep them engaged and more likely to come back to your Facebook page, and therefore your store. Of course, it helps if the content is related to your original business. Don’t post a joke about pets if you’re a wine business (unless the pet is drinking wine).
4. Small businesses need to understand the different types of Facebook Ads and when to use them
Your page is up and running and you have great content. Now, you’re ready to advertise like the big boys. Learn about the different types of Facebook ads before choosing which one to use (and spending the money on purchasing them).
First, there’s the Marketplace Ad. They’re located on the right of your News Feed (see on right). The cool thing about these ads is that you can target them to a specific type of audience: gender, age, location, demographic, specific interest. That’s why you always see ads offering to hook you up with an eligible bachelor (or bachelorette) every time you become “single” on Facebook.
Next up are Sponsored Stories. As consumers, we usually are more likely to use a product if our friends have used it (even if they are just”Facebook friends”). Sponsored Stories does just that: They only show up on your news feed if your friends on Facebook have “liked” them, commented about their products, added a photo on their Facebook page, wrote a review, or engaged with them in other ways.
Now meet Page Post Ads. These are the ones that show up right on your newsfeed, getting in the way of other important information such as what my classmate from middle school- who I haven’t spoken to in years- ate for lunch. While the Marketplace Ad only allows a 99px X 72px image, the Page Post Ad allows videos, link, and other types of content.
Lastly, we have Promoted Posts. Basically with these types of ads, the more money you fork up, the more people on Facebook will be able to see your ads in their newsfeed. The nature of the ad will be very similar to Sponsored Stories (in fact, they will look pretty much the same), but the number of people that it can potentially reach will be different. To find out more about Facebook Ads and how much they cost, click here.
How has creating a Facebook page helped your business? Please let us know in the comments!
Image Credits: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock, BloomDesign/Shutterstock