How to Use Facebook Marketing for Small Business

February 25th, 2018 .
Authored by Ronnie Brown .
5 min read
A women on her mobile phone and laptop

Facebook’s enormous popularity comes from what it does so effectively: enabling people to share content with each other, on the web. This makes it a great platform to get word-of-mouth recommendations for your business – as long as you give people interesting or remarkable things to share and talk about.

Facebook doesn’t charge businesses to have a page, but just because your page exists doesn’t mean people are going to flock to it or be active on it. Indeed, many businesses struggle with making their activity deliver results – all the more frustrating given that Facebook has a huge base of more than 2.27 billion monthly users worldwide[1]. Yet, used in the right way, Facebook can be very effective.

Not sure how to use Facebook for small business? Here are our Facebook for business tips.

Setting up your Facebook page

Getting the basics of your page right will stand you in good stead. So, consider the settings carefully as you create your page.

When selecting a category, make sure it’s appropriate for your business. If you are a local business, choose this category for your business type to enable customers to ‘check in’ geographically[2]. But if you don’t have walk-in traffic, then ‘company’, ‘organisation’ or ‘institution’ may be more suitable.

The ‘About’ section is also a crucial part of your Facebook page. Describe your business in an active and interesting way, using keywords that your target market might use. In your description, include your website URL and contact details to encourage visits and enquiries.

Once you’ve posted a bit of content, invite your friends to like your page. Asking close friends and family to like the page first will give it some initial credibility before you spread the word more widely.

As well as seeing your activity feed, visitors to your page can choose to see specific things like your photos, videos, events or likes – simply by selecting a tab on your sidebar[3]. Make sure you add relevant tabs or manage the ones that appear there. For example, if you promote regular events, you could move that tab up to the top of the list. You can even add a shop section to sell via Facebook.

Facebook marketing examples

When you start out on Facebook, you shouldn’t expect massive engagement from the get-go. There are a few ways to use Facebook for marketing, but the key thing to consider is what content will be most interesting and useful to your audience. Experiment and learn.

Facebook is an excellent place to gauge reaction to content and fish for opinion and viewpoints, while communicating your brand values in a natural way. It can also help to attract customers who might never have found you, through the power of recommendation (posts liked or shared by people in their network). Organic reach is typically low, however, so don’t obsess over the number of ‘likes’ your post receives.

When sharing content, keep it full of personality, as you need to create communications that can attract attention within a very competitive feed. Types of content that typically attract a high level of engagement are competitions and short videos. 

If you have uploaded a video to YouTube, upload it separately to Facebook rather than just sharing the YouTube link. The Facebook algorithm will prioritise native content much higher than a shared video from another platform like YouTube, because Facebook wants to be the host of the content[4].

How to engage your Facebook audience

Posting content on Facebook is, of course, only half the story. It’s critical to follow up your efforts with the tools and actions that will make sure the widest audience are finding and engaging with it. As mentioned above, competitions can be an effective way of encouraging engagement with your content.

For the best results, make sure they are relevant to your business and invite interaction that will create content that promotes what you do – for example, photos from your venue.

With organic content only reaching, approximately 6% of your fan base, you may to boost your posts with ads to get them seen even by your fans. So growing your fan base through ‘similar posts’ style ads can be a good idea.[6]

Facebook ‘Groups’ can be hugely effective too. They give you the opportunity to offer useful advice and tips and build credibility and trust among a community – which will attract more engagement than a post on your page. You may even want to start your very own group, but only do this if you have the time to manage it well.

How to measure your Facebook marketing

Once you’ve put the effort in, you’ll want to gauge how people are interacting with your page – looking at what people are posting – and of course how they’re responding to it.

There are some excellent tools to help you set KPIs and measure the success of Facebook activity. Use the Google URL builder to create custom URLs and then review Analytics on a regular basis to see what traffic is being generated.[7] Facebook Insights[8] gives you lots of data and you can compare the engagement on different posts.

Every small business should be on Facebook - a solid presence can help you engage potential customers and grow your business. By committing a bit of time to maintaining your business page and sharing quality content that communicates your values, you open yourself up to a whole new market.

For industry specific inspiration, check out your competitors pages for further ideas on ways to use Facebook for marketing.

As your business grows, it’s important to be aware of any risks you may face. By having business insurance, you will be protected if things don’t always go entirely to plan.

Download our PDF Guide:

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Ronnie Brown

Ronnie Brown is Chief Digital Officer for Hiscox, DirectAsia and has been a member of the IAB Social Media Council for the last 5 years.