Facebook works for small business because it is so quick and responsive. Much easier to manage than an entire website, you can easily post ideas, sales, new products, promotions, or general information to communicate with your current and prospective customers. And it is easier for your audience to communicate with you, too. Instead of looking for your website and checking the various pages to find an email address they can use, they simply search for your business on Facebook and type in a comment. If you are thinking about using Facebook to help promote your small business, here are a few things to keep in mind:
• Not all Facebook pages are alike: You might be used to the personal pages people use for Facebook, and there are also groups which are formed to communicate around a specific cause or ideology. But you will most likely want to start a Facebook page for your business. They offer a great deal of help in the start-up phase. Your information will be available to anyone on Facebook, and everybody can “like” your page to receive your information in their news feed.
Initially you will have the option of choosing one of six types of business pages. You will probably choose “local business or place” as a starting point. It then prompts you to input basic information to start creating your site – fill in as much as you can. You can also add a profile picture and cover photo. You might want to use a picture of your business and your logo to establish your brand image. Fill out your preferred audience information so Facebook can help find people who might be interested in your business. You will now have the basic framework for your page, and can customize your administrative settings.
• Get ready to post updates: Once you have the basic format for your business page in place, you can get ready to use it. You will be able to post text updates with your thoughts, add links to your website or other pages, upload pictures, or add videos. Start with a basic welcome, but have a plan for how you will use your page. You will probably need to post something to your page at least three times a week. Add any blogs you publish. If you’re not sure about what to say, check out your competitors or search for other businesses that are similar to yours and pick out things you like about each page.
• Promote your page: Include your Facebook link on your website and all your marketing materials. Ask customers to “like” your page and make sure they tell their friends, too. Provide information they’ll want to share, and your audience will expand exponentially.
Use the audience insights to hone your message to your audience. Make sure you provide information that is relevant, educational and useful, and you’ll have Facebook fans that can’t wait for your next post!