We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again – social media is one of your main tools in your digital marketing toolbox. And like all tools, you can’t just wield it sporadically and expect to reap the rewards, you have to learn how to use it properly.
Yes, Facebook has the largest user base out of any social media channel (over 2.41 billion monthly active users), it can be an incredible resource to connect you to your target audience, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be an overnight success just by using Facebook for your business.
So how do you turn Facebook to your advantage? What are the dos and don’ts of using Facebook for business? Because believe us, there are some activities that you want to steer clear of, and others that you need to be embracing wholeheartedly.
But first, let’s back up and revisit why you should use Facebook for your business.
Why Use Facebook for Business?
There are so many reasons why you should be using Facebook for your business, but the top reasons, we think, include:
- Build awareness and loyalty around your brand – take advantage of this free platform to spread the word about your business.
- Drive organic traffic to your website – by interacting with your audience, posting links to your site, running competitions and sharing news and company information, you can drive organic traffic to your business website.
- Take advantage of low cost targeted advertising – advertising on Facebook doesn’t need to cost the earth, and if you take the time to discover your target audience, you can create bespoke adverts that speak to just them.
- Gather leads – garnering ‘likes’ might make you seem popular, but unless those likes are converting, you don’t have a sustainable business. Use Facebook to run competitions, giveaways, share newsletters and conduct surveys – anything you can think of to gather your audience’s email address and provide you with a way to contact them outside of social media, in order to direct them to your website, where (fingers crossed) they become customers.
- Provides a platform for direct communication with customers – you can have two way conversations with your customers, rather than just be on send, you can be on receive too. Whether that’s positive feedback or criticism, instant communications mean you can take action quickly to deal with any customer issues.
- Use Facebook’s insights data – Facebook provide stats to enable you to better understand your audience and what they’re after, meaning you can plan your social media content calendar for the future based on what works and what doesn’t.
The 8 dos and don’ts of using Facebook for business
- Do. Use a logo or recognisable profile picture. If you want your audience to ensure that it’s you they’ve found, give them something recognisable to look at. The number of times companies try to mix it up and use different profile pictures for their various social media channels to ‘demonstrate their personality’, only serves to confuse the audience. You want continuity across all of your channels.
- Don’t. Post too often. If you have time on your hands, don’t fill it by spamming your Facebook audience. Save your posts for a maximum of two a day, and instead focus on upping the quality of your posts, rather than the quantity.
- Do. Fill out your business ‘about’ section. Most new visitors to your page will want to check you out, heading to your about section first, so make sure you fill out your about section as thoroughly as you can. Keep the messaging, tone of voice and language consistent across all of your channels, and include your contact details so they can always find you away from Facebook.
- Don’t. Forget that you can play around with your cover photo (the banner across the top of your page) and your ‘pinned’ post (at the top of your page. Take advantage of the flexibility of these in your marketing campaigns. They’re the most immediately obvious and predominant sections of your page, so don’t let them go stale.
- Do. Regularly check in with Facebook Insights. This section of your page is where you will discover what is working for your audience and what isn’t. So don’t ignore the stats, they’re there to help you. Use the metrics to tailor your posts so that you give your audience more of what they love and less of what they don’t.
- Don’t. Post at any old random time. Do your research and figure out when is the best time to post for your audience. Because any time isn’t the answer. Knowing when your audience are most active will ensure you get maximum engagement with your posts. And if you’re taking the time to craft content that they’ll love, you’ll want to make sure they have the time to connect with it properly.
- Do. Share multimedia posts. Don’t just stick to one medium, mix it up. Audiences love visual content – a photo is better than text, a video is better than a photo. So if you want to wow your audience, go visual. Just don’t rely on stock photos, use images personal to you and your business. Your audience want to see the personality behind the brand, not just the branding. This is social media after all, not stock media. Get acquainted with Facebook live and really get intimate with your audience, don’t always copy and paste from your YouTube channel.
- Don’t. Just post for the sake of it. Remember to include call to actions (CTAs) in your posts. Your Facebook account is there to spread the message about your business and drive your audience to your site, where they can convert. Don’t assume they know to do this, give them regular CTAs to encourage them hop off social media and over to your website.
Using Facebook for Business
At the end of the day Facebook is a means to build engagement with your audience and a platform to shout about your brand. The point of it is marketing, to entice potential customers over to your website where they will convert.
So don’t focus all of your attention on growing your Facebook audience at the detriment of running your business, because it’s your business that pays the bills, not your social status.
Finally, don’t try and copy what other businesses do, take the time to figure out what is right for your business.