Marketing your business on Facebook is a great first step for businesses that want to promote their brand and generate sales leads with a social media marketing process. While many marketers view Facebook as a B2C social media network, the sheer reach of Facebooks audience make it a target-rich environment for both B2C and B2B lead generation. In October 2012, Facebook surpassed the 1 billion active user mark. Most Facebook users access both business and personal information through the network, so you shouldn't overlook the opportunity that Facebook's massive audience provides.
How to Create Your Facebook Business Page
The first step in marketing your business on Facebook is to create a business page. Here is a 5 step process to create your business page.
- Choose a page name and a category that represents your business. Make what you do quickly understandable by visitors to your page.
- Choose a consisted, branded image or logo to represent your business. Your profile picture will appear in your posts, profile and advertising. People will associate the image with your brand, so make sure it's memorable and will scale from 180 x 180 pixels to 32 x 32 pixels.
- Write a brief description of your business so visitors know what you do. This servers as your electronic elevator pitch - be brief and to the point.
- Choose a cover photo that represents your business identity and promotes your products and services. This image should be 851 x 351 pixels. It's the first thing people will notice when they come to your page, so choose an image that represents your brand or products and services.
- Choose a customized URL for your Facebook page. Choose a URL that includes your company name or tagline and use it to promote your page on your website, business cards and other social media channels.
How to Grow Your Facebook Audience
So you've created your Facebook business page and your ready to get your social media marketing process rolling. Before you start posting to your new page, think about how you can grow your audience. The way that someone is able to see your posts on their Facebook timelines is by "liking" your page. Here are some suggestions on how to grow your audience:
- Reach out to friends, family and colleagues. What better way to get "likes" for your Facebook page than to ask people who already like you? Reach out to people you know via e-mail or phone call and ask them to like your page. Don't forget to ask them to share your page with their friends and colleagues.
- Send an announcement e-mail to your existing marketing database. Are you already using e-mail marketing for your business? If so, send out a dedicated e-mail to your list announcing your Facebook page and asking your audience to like your page. Don't forget to mention what's in it for them. Are you offering discounts through your Facebook page? Educational content that will help solve your audience's problems? As with all communications, be brief and let your audience know why they should take the action (liking your page) that you are asking them to take.
- Promote your Facebook page on your website. Make sure you have "follow" buttons prominently displayed throughout your website. They should be above the fold (viewable without having to scroll down the screen) and included in most, if not all, of your website pages.
- Include follow buttons in your email signature. Make it easy for customers, prospects and vendors to like your page. Putting a button that links to your Facebook page is a great way to spread the word.
How to Engage Your Facebook Audience
Now that you've created your Facebook page and invited people to connect with you, you're ready to start sharing content to promote your brand and engage with your audience. Let's cover a few best practices for posting content to your Facebook business page.
- Start with the basics - answer your customer's questions. You need to make your posts "click-worthy". They need to be something that entices your audience to want to go deeper. The best way to do this is to address those topics and answer the questions that you come across in your day-to-day dealings with customers.
- Post consistently, but don't spam! It's a bit of a fine line to walk, but you want to reach your audience consistently with great posts without overdoing it. We suggest you start by posting 3 times a day -post once in the morning, once right before lunch and once in the afternoon. Then use your page insights to measure the success of your postings. Experiment with timing and frequency to find what works best for your business. Don't forget - unlike other social media networks, weekends are a great time to post on Facebook!
- Be brief in your posts. Facebook finds that posts between 100 and 250 characters get about 60% more likes, comments and shares. You can include links to your website and other people's content for those that want to go deeper.
- Be visual with your posts. Facebook finds that photo albums, pictures, and videos get 180%, 120%, and 100% more engagement respectively.
Tips for Posting on Your Facebook Timeline
"Pin" posts that you want to highlight. Facebook lets you promote a post by pinning it to the top of your timeline for seven days. This displays it prominently for the people that come to your sight.
Highlight posts that you want to promote to your audience. By clicking the star icon on your post, you can make that post span your entire Facebook timeline. View the highlighted post below, noting the two regular posts beneath it.
Share milestones and events. Include important dates in your company history on your Facebook timeline. See below for an example.
Facebook's massive subscriber base and its appeal across all demographics make it a network that should be included in your social media networking process. This article provides information on how to create your page and to grow and engage your audience. Our next article will focus on using Facebook to generate leads, using Facebook advertising and measuring your results for continual improvement.
I wouldn't be a good Facebook marketer if I didn't ask you to like my Facebook page! Please share your Facebook page in the comment section below and I will "like" it.