We’ve already covered a broad spectrum of best practices when it comes to utilizing social media for your small business; now let’s take a deeper look inside the heaviest hitter of social media -- Facebook. 93% of all small businesses say that social media is an effective marketing tool, and on top of that, 47% of Americans say that Facebook has a greater impact on their purchasing behavior than any other social network.
Last time, we laid out the basic best practices of Facebook for small businesses - this time, we will:
- Dig deeper into the social media rule of thirds
- Highlight Facebook features you may not realize you can (and should) take advantage of
The Rule of Thirds
- If you’re active on social media, you can attest to the fact that promotions tend to flood most of your news stream. Although promoting your business’ services & products is important, it’s also vital that you do not overload your followers with strictly promotional content. You don’t want your followers to think you only care about making profits - this can be distasteful and make your brand lose value. Birchbox has a great handle on the rule of thirds on their Facebook page. Although many of their posts focus on engagement amongst their followers, below is a good example of how to promote products & services:
- The key behind social media? It’s in the name. Be SOCIAL (aka - make conversations happen). On top of promoting your business, it is important to engage with your followers. This gives your business personality, value, and accreditation. Ask your followers questions, answer their inquiries - and above all, always provide good customer service. Looking for a way to increase engagement on your page? Try creating a recurring ‘themed’ post that your followers can look forward to each week. Birchbox posts weekly videos where they have influencers answer questions about Birchbox’s monthly subscriptions. You can see that they not only start a conversation with their followers, but they also respond to and engage with them.
Sharing relevant content from people in your industry shows that you care about content outside your own brand. You can share posts from influencers, customers, industry products, news articles and more. This example from Birchbox, shown below, proves that you can promote your brand while also sharing content that is not yours (talk about killing two birds with one stone).
What?! I can do that on Facebook?
- Boosting your posts is a simple way to reach a larger audience than just the people that are a fan of your page. Give yourself a small budget ($10, $20, $100, etc.) and target specific people you want your post to exposed to. We recommend boosting posts that have a call to action or a link to your online booking, products page, etc.
- Managing your business AND social media can be overwhelming at first. That’s where Facebook's scheduler tool comes in to save the day. Choose the date and time you’d like your post to go live (you can schedule days or even weeks ahead of time). Simple as pie (or three clicks of the mouse).
- Facebook Insights is an incredible tool to track how well your posts and page are performing in terms of engagement, reach, likes, etc. (oh, and it’s free). You can easily access your insights from your homepage, and can also export this data for your records. Tip: If you download the ‘Pages’ app on your mobile phone, you can check insights on the go.
- All business owners know that much of their success would not come without the help of their customers - and that is why excellent customer service is so important. Facebook is another outlet to assist your customers with any inquiries, complaints or reviews they may have. Be sure to reply to customer reviews that are left on your page (good or bad), and to promptly respond to any direct messages/comments you receive (kindness is key).
- Customizing and adding different tabs to your business page is a fantastic feature because these are amongst the first things visitors see when they come to your page. All pages have an 'About' section, Photos, Videos, etc. But, did you know you could add tabs that link to your other social accounts like Instagram and Twitter? You can also add a tab that will direct your followers to an online booking page - right from Facebook!
- Reach your customers where they spend most of their time by adding a Book Now tab on your Facebook page. Customers like convenience - and not having to switch to a different screen (or not having to leave Facebook!) will make their experience a positive one. Happy customer = happy business.
About the Author
Aly Owens is the Social Media Marketing Associate/Ninja at Booker Software and has a passion for engaging with the small business online community. From growing up in a small business family, she has a comprehensive understanding and appreciation for the SMB world. Before joining Booker, she managed social media at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, another one of her great passions.Follow on Twitter More Content by Alyson Owens