Facebook is more than just a portal into the lives of the rich and famous and a way to keep in touch with far-away friends. It can also be a powerful marketing tool for small businesses. Here is everything you need to know about effective small business Facebook marketing strategy so that you can use Facebook as a way to grow your business instead of a distraction.
Why is Facebook marketing good for small businesses?
With 2.9 billion users, Facebook is currently the most widely used social network. As a result, more than 90 million small businesses leverage Facebook as a cost-effective way to reach a large pool of new potential customers. Since a Facebook business page is free and relatively easy to set up it is very easy to create a Facebook presence for your company. Some small businesses even launch their products or services with nothing more than a Facebook business page until they can afford a professional website.
Once your Facebook business page is up and running, you have access to several useful tools like:
- Customizable call-to-action buttons.
- A response assistant that sends automatic replies to messages.
- The ability to host live online events and share real-time updates.
If you already have a website, a Facebook business profile can help boost your website SEO by linking to and from the page. If you create high-quality Facebook posts that people like, comment on and share, you can leverage that social media buzz as free advertising, drawing new potential customers to your business.
Whether you are a local business or an online company, Facebook can be a useful digital marketing tool but even with all the perks, Facebook isn’t a golden ticket to business growth.
Do all small businesses need to use Facebook?
In short, no.
You can run a successful small business without a social media presence. Your small business should be on Facebook if you want to be on Facebook, not because you view it as a necessary evil.
We recommend using social media as a supplement to your other marketing efforts and a way to draw new potential customers onto your email list. Email marketing gives you direct access to prospective clients and more control over your interactions.
If you do want to use social media to grow your business, you definitely shouldn’t try to be on all the platforms.
Although you can use scheduling tools to replicate content on all of the different platforms at once, just posting regularly is not going to automatically lead to business growth. You have to be willing to dedicate the time and energy to interacting with people on each platform to grow your reach.
Instead of spreading yourself too thin, pick 1-3 social media platforms where you are most likely to encounter potential customers. Focus your energy on fine-tuning your social media marketing strategy until you are successfully drawing prospective clients into your sales funnel from those platforms before joining any more.
How does Facebook marketing work?
Many small business owners believe that the only reason to have a Facebook business page is to run ads and make sales. Although increased revenue should be the end goal of all your marketing efforts, that isn’t all there is to Facebook marketing for small business owners.
A large piece of Facebook marketing is using your Facebook profile to organically draw potential customers to your business and build relationships with potential and existing customers.
You can do this by:
- Posting high-quality content that your target market finds helpful and will want to share.
- Interacting with other Facebook users using your business profile.
- Answering questions in Facebook groups.
- Commenting on posts you enjoy.
- Responding to comments and questions left on your own Facebook page.
The main goal of social media is to show up and be social. Think of it as an online cocktail party: the more people you interact with, the bigger your network grows.
What is Facebook advertising?
To stretch your advertising dollars the furthest, consider creating ads for a free lead generator that places prospective customers into a proven sales funnel, instead of advertising a paid product or service.
Most people are scrolling Facebook for light entertainment and maybe a little social interaction, not to make a big purchase. Downloading a helpful freebie isn’t a huge jump from that mindset. Purchasing something from a company they have never heard of before likely would be.
With an email address, you can tell this potential client more about your product or service over time, while building a trusting relationship. When they are in the frame of mind to make a purchase, you will already be in their email inbox waiting for them.
5 Facebook Marketing Tips and Tricks for Small Businesses
Now that you know why Facebook marketing is a good option for small business owners and the difference between Facebook marketing and Facebook ads, here are a few additional Facebook marketing tactics to help you succeed with social media.
Tip #1: Know Your Audience
This is the #1 tip for all small business marketing. Your success rides on knowing your audience well, being attuned to who they are, what they want, and how your product or service can uniquely meet their needs.
Knowing your audience well equips you to create content that they enjoy, ads that convert, and products or services that genuinely solve their problems. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you figure out what Facebook content resonates best with your audience.
Tip #2: Focus on Your Ideal Customer, Not Your Company
Instead of posting whatever comes to mind or the latest company news, your social media profile should be primarily focused on your ideal client’s wants and needs.
Everything you post should have a purpose and a goal. Each post should be related to the problem your business solves for clients and provide value to the people seeing your posts (i.e. your ideal client). Your posts could:
But they should not be all about you.
A prospective customer doesn’t care what you made for dinner yesterday (unless you are a home chef) but they do want to know how your company can make their lives better.
Share organic content that provides value to your target audience far more than you ask them to do something for you (buy a product, click a link to read your blog post, take a survey). Instead, try to provide as much value as you can on the social media platform to make it easy to access and consume.
By giving more than you take, you are building a trusting relationship. The more you give, the more likely followers are going to want to give something back to you, by clicking that link when you ask, signing up for your email list or buying your product or service.
Tip #3: Visuals Speak Louder Than Words.
Gone are the days of long blocks of text going viral and getting shares. If you want to make a splash on any social media platform, you need to use compelling visuals like graphics, videos, and images in your social media posts to capture people’s attention.
Posts with images or videos get higher levels of engagement. Plus, since 65% of the population are visual learners, we are more likely to retain the information we see presented visually. By combining visuals with written content, you can communicate your message more effectively and get better results.
That doesn’t mean you have to become a professional photographer or videographer to create a winning Facebook post. Programs like Canva, Adobe, and Envato Elements all offer stock photos and videos you can use to complement your text.
Tip #4: Analytics Are Your Friend
Often, posting on social media feels a bit like shooting at a moving target with a blindfold on. Instead of fumbling in the dark and trying out all the Facebook marketing tactics until something sticks, log into your Meta Business Suite or look at the professional dashboard on your Facebook business page to review the analytics. This data can help you understand which content format works best, what topics generate the most engagement, and when to post for maximum reach.
Look at the posts that got the most likes, shares, and comments. Do they have anything in common? Try to determine what might have made them more successful than other posts. Instead of falling for each new social media trend, figure out what works for you and stick with it.
If you are running an ad campaign or paying to boost a post, analytics can also help you determine if your strategy is working or not. It is important to track and measure the results for all of your marketing efforts so you aren’t wasting time or money on activities that don’t drive ROI.
Tip #5: Know How to Convert Followers Into Sales
This might be the most important trick of all. It does you no good to grow a huge Facebook group or following if that isn’t translating into sales.
If you need help setting up a sales funnel that will convert those followers into happy customers, schedule a call with Guide MKTG today. We will help you clarify your business messaging so that potential clients know exactly how you can help them and then set up an effective sales funnel that can practically grow your business on its own.
Facebook marketing and advertising can be valuable tools to help you bring in new potential clients and grow your business. The key is to stay focused on what works, use the platform to bring potential customers onto your email list, and then rely on your sales funnel to turn them into happy customers. With that perspective in mind, any small business owner can successfully use Facebook marketing to grow their business.