Facebook is a social network that allows it’s user to post content – text updates, photos and graphics, links to other websites and other Facebook pages, as well as tag other users and locations.
Facebook was launched in 2004 and as of 2017 has over 2 billion active daily users, so it really is a superpower in the social media world. It also owns the popular WhatsApp and Instagram.
As some people think they shouldn’t be using Facebook in a business context as it is about personal sharing, it is worth exploring why you might want to.
A Facebook business page helps to keep your business:
Discoverable. Potential customers use more than just search engines to look for products and services. You need to make sure that you people can find you.
Connected. You can have one-to-one conversations as well as group discussions with your customers, who can like your page and posts, read your posts and share them with their friends (usually more than just friends – co-workers, distance relations and acquaintances).
Timely. Updates you post are both ‘in the moment’ i.e. they appear in timelines and they are displayed in other users content stream after the event – depending on the very complex formula that is Facebook’s ‘EdgeRank’. EdgeRank is Facebook’s way of streaming what is considers to be relevant content to users news stream. The cynical might say that EdgeRank is Facebook’s method of getting advertising revenue!
Insightful. Facebook provides you with some excellent analytics on who your audience is and how popular a post is. Information includes page like trends, post reach, post engagement, audience demographics and campaign trends.
If you already have a Facebook profile then creating a Facebook business page is as easy as clicking the ‘Create a Page’ link and then following through the steps as prompted by Facebook.
Your Facebook Profile
Make sure you get and then keep your Facebook profile up-to-date at all times. Follow our guide below for the essentials:
1. Fill out the about section
2. Add your URL
3. Add/upload your profile picture (180px x 180px) and cover photo (851px x 315px)
4. Add your start info (when you started business)
5. Include your address
6. Write a long description and a mission
7. Include a phone number and /or email address
8. Create 5 or 6 updates (including images/photos) so there is content on the page
Image Size Reference
Profile Picture – 180px x 180px (displays 160px x 160px)
Cover photo 851px x 315px
Best shared image size – 1200 x 627
About Shared Images
A shared image is one of the most common forms of sharing on Facebook. These images will always appear on your timeline, and ideally they will show up in most of your followers’ News Feeds.
About Shared Links
Similar to a Shared Image, you can choose to create a shared link with a small square image to the left and text on the right, or with a larger rectangular image on top with text underneath.
About Highlighted Images
A milestone or key achievement is a great time to create a highlighted image. This image is going to be shown on your personal timeline, but it is going to take up a great deal more space than a shared link or image.
Facebook Tips & Tricks
Do post content that is interesting, educational, inspiring, will make people smile and is positive.
Don’t post content that is too trivial, insulting, inflammatory or talks about anyone (including customers) in a negative way. Social media is not a vehicle for you to vent frustrations!
Don’t over promote yourself – mix up your content stream or people will switch off! Talk about others or things happening in the area for instance.
Use great images – don’t pollute your social media stream with poor, out of focus images – it’s a reflection on you and your business. On the flip side, don’t spend ages editing a photo or creating a graphic unless it’s being used as a campaign.
The ideal Facebook update should: grab attention, be of interest, stimulate desire and prompt action
Send the same updates at a later date. What? Yes, you should schedule updates that are saying a similar sort of thing over a period of time. It is estimated that only about 10-12% of your updates will ever be read by your audience (thanks to that EdgeRank formula mentioned before), so if you repeat the message/update then you stand a better chance of it being seen at some point!
Use hashtags but use them wisely – they should contain relevant and interesting words. The ideal is no more than 2 hashtags per update as it enables the most engagement.
Alternate the length of updates – to keep your potential audience interested and engaged.
When you are posting content make sure you are signed in / posting as your page and not as an individual!
Engage with your audience by:
Acknowledging comments – you can “Like” general comments and respond/comment on those that warrant a response.
Building a rapport with other businesses – like and comment on their posts to show your support and friendliness.
Listening to your audience – see what they are saying, not just about you but about other topics and subjects.
Monitor your Effectiveness
As with all of your social media activity you should monitor the effectiveness of your efforts by analysing your Google Analytics for the level of referrals from Facebook, the bounce rates and ultimately the number of conversions/goal achievements from this channel. This gives you the actual data on whether the hours you spend on this particular social media platform is worth doing.
- If you are not already on this social platform, register an account.
- Get your profile fully up-to-date and seeded with 5 – 10 updates or postings.
- Make a genuine commitment to posting good content on a regular basis. Start with weekly and then more than once a week.
- Prepare some good quality photographs and images to use on postings – make it a part of your marketing activity.
- After a few weeks start looking for this social channel in Google Analytics referrals. What are the trends?
- Interact with others – make friends on this channel and expand your existing network.
- Check out your competitors and learn from them. Who do they follow? What sort of content are they posting? Are there any gaps in what they are doing?
As ever, get in touch if you have any questions…