With billions of regular users around the world, Facebook is a valuable tool for any business and the cornerstone of any social media management plan. In fact, 68% of adults in the United States consider themselves to be regular Facebook users.
But for some small business owners, getting started with social can seem like a daunting task. So daunting, it turns out, that only 38% of small businesses have a social media account. That’s a lot of missed opportunities.
It’s true, having an online marketing professional who is well versed in social media in your corner is invaluable, but any business can take the first steps and lay the foundation for a strong, active social media presence that can ultimately act as an additional (and budget friendly!) channel for marketing your business.
Follow these 3 steps to get started right in the world of Facebook for Business.
1. Make Sure Your Profile is Complete
You wouldn’t leave your house with only one shoe on, or without a shirt, would you? The same can be said for your Facebook page. It seems obvious enough, but many businesses neglect to fill out their Facebook profile completely.
Present a finished, professional image by making sure to fill out as many of the profile options as possible. This can include your business name, address, phone number, and email, as well as store hours, price range, parking options, and many other factors. Access these options from the “Settings” tab above your header photo.
2. Use Images & Video on Your Page
According to the developmental molecular biologist, Dr. John J. Medina in his book Brain Rules people only remember 10% of the information they hear. Add images to that, however, and we remember 65% of it.
Add to that the statistic from several marketing studies that at least 4 times as many people would prefer to watch a video about a product or service than read about it, and it’s clear that you’re missing out on potential customers if you’re not using video and at least photos on your Facebook page.
Speaking of photos, fill your page with them! High-quality photos provide the finishing touch to any Facebook page, and a page without stunning photos just doesn’t feel complete. You can organize these photos into albums if you like, or just share to your timeline.
Would you spend your time at a coffee shop with no staff? Of course not. You might as well stay home.The same goes for your Facebook page. Being present means staying active, sharing great content, and perhaps most importantly, responding to and interacting with your customers
Whatever you choose to do, make sure your profile photo and header photo are high quality, colorful, and represent your business well.
Hiring a graphic designer to create a professional header and profile photo isn’t in the budget? Don’t have money for expensive video equipment? That’s OK! Free tools such as PicMonkey, Canva, and Biteable allow you to make professional-looking graphics or videos using your photos & videos or theirs for free or very cheap.
Spending $1.00 for a beautiful graphic from Canva is well worth it. Whether utilizing stunning graphics or simple photos & video clips from your smartphone, images and videos are ways to open the doors to your business and show the world what you’re about from across the internet.
3. Post Regularly, Engage With Customers & Build New Relationships
You’ve built it, so will they come? Ask yourself this: would you spend your time at a coffee shop with no staff? Of course not. You might as well stay home.
The same goes for your Facebook page. Being present means staying active, sharing great content, and perhaps most importantly, responding to and interacting with your customers when they engage with your page.
It also means being an active member of the social community. Share great content from other companies’ pages, and always keep the conversation going.
Staying active doesn’t have to take a ton of time. Utilize free and useful tools such as Hootsuite to schedule your primary posts, and use the time you save to interact and engage!
Bonus Tip: Don’t Make This Common Facebook Faux Pas
Businesses should always establish their presence on Facebook by creating a Facebook Business Page, not a separate Facebook account.
The reason? With Facebook accounts, potential customers interested in interacting with your business will have to request approval in order to view the page’s content and comment, share, and otherwise engage with your content.
If you have to log in using a separate username and password to access your business’ Facebook page, you have the wrong kind of page. Access Facebook Business Pages from your own Facebook account. Don’t worry it won’t share your personal information with your business’ fans!
Now It’s Your Turn
What are some things you’ve done with your business presence on Facebook? We’d love to hear your ideas. Leave them in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July of 2015 but has been revised and updated for accuracy.