The social media platforms that a business should be active on will vary greatly depending on where the target audience chooses to spend their time. We know that small business owners are incredibly busy, and the phrase “time is money” is never more applicable.
Facebook is still the market leader for social networking sites with 1.4 billion daily active users on average reported in December 2017. If you know nothing about your target audience, it’s probably reasonable to assume that they are on Facebook. In fact, 88% of 18-29 year olds have an account, 83% of adult women, and 75% of adult men. At a minimum, have a presence on this social media giant.
Getting Started with Facebook for Business
- Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create to get started creating a Local Business or Place. It takes a matter of minutes!
- Add the required information in the “About” section and upload a profile picture (usually the business logo) and a cover photo that reflects the business. Check how the image looks on both desktop and mobile as they can look very different!
- Link to the business website.
- Turn on Messenger so that people can easily reach someone at the business.
- Add a call-to-action button. This is found on the page as “Add a button” – and there are several options.
- If there will be more than one person with access to the business’ Facebook page, assign roles within the organization. Do this under “Settings” and “Page Roles”.
- Posts on this page should to be from the business, not an individual. Check this under “Settings” and “Page Attribution”.
- Start promoting the page. Facebook has some some good suggestions:
- Test and determine what type and frequency of posts appeal to the audience and help to build the audience base. It can take some time to get a decent amount of page likes so be patient.
Facebook Posting Tips
- Visual content tends to perform the best, so think images, memes, videos etc. Post about day-to-day activities at the business, feature employees, showcase products, highlight special offers, link to blog posts! Feeling brave? Why not give Facebook live a try: https://live.fb.com/golive/
- Pin anything important to the top of the page. Click on the drop-down arrow in the top-right corner of a post on the page and click “Pin to Top”.
- Try to minimize the sales-y feel of posts and instead focus on interesting, valuable content that the audience (when there is one) will want to see.
- Most people love getting something for nothing, so a contest can drive more traffic to social media pages, the website or the business’ physical location. Make the prize something of value to customers and something that will get them into the business (free dinner, gift card etc). Make sharing/liking/commenting part of the entry requirements as this will ensure more people see it.
Facebook allows segmentation of individual page posts by criteria such as gender, relationship or educational status, age, location, language, or interests. This is done from the business manager page.
Paid Advertising on Facebook
Brands and businesses might once have been able to gain a lot of interest and traction organically on social media sites, however it will prove more difficult in future. Facebook is seeking to maximize revenues from advertising and businesses continue to recognize that advertising on social media is an extremely cost-effective way to reach a very niche and highly targeted audience. This is thanks to all of the audience-supplied data that is entered into Facebook. By 2019, social ad spending in the US is estimated to top $31 billion making up almost 30% of all digital ad spending.
There are many different types of Facebook advertisements that can be created and the range can get quite overwhelming, but they all have one thing in common – they are not disruptive to the user experience like ads seen elsewhere (think mid-video ads in YouTube – how frustrating are they?!).
This article focuses only on how to boost a Facebook post which can be done for as little as $5 depending on the size of the audience.
Facebook ads that work require a true understanding of the target audience. If the target audience has not been identified, the chances are Facebook ads won’t work for the business.
How do I determine the target audience?
A target audience is the demographic of people most likely to be interested in the particular product or service. There can be more than one target audience. For example, the owner of a plumbing company will want to target both commercial and residential property owners. A toy store owner will have a target audience of parents, grandparents and anyone else with children in their lives. A retirement home would have two distinct audiences – the elderly audience who would be clients of the retirement home, and their adult children who could be the ones doing the research.
Boosting a Facebook Post
Once a post that will capture the audience’s interest has been created, boost it to reach more people! It can be a status update, a blog post, an offer, a photo, or a video, and it is boosted from the post itself:
Next, decide which button if any will appear in the ad. The button used will depend on the goals of the campaign e.g. increasing newsletter sign-ups, or encouraging contact via messenger.
Now define the audience. This is where it’s so important to know exactly who you are trying to reach. There are a couple of options for targeting. When trying to get new customers, select “People you choose through targeting” to create a new audience, rather than “People who already like your page”. Target people by location, age, gender and interests. Facebook will show the approximate size of the target audience as filters are added.
With the audience defined, the budget is then set. This is the maximum that will be spent, keeping business owners or managers in complete control.
Once happy with the preview of the post the audience and the budget, click Boost, and the post is live! Look for the results in the Insights section of the business page. If it’s not performing very well, consider stopping the ad and trying something else.
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