A Guide to Facebook for Business
Why should you use Facebook for business to promote your brand? Well, the simple answer is wide reach. You have the potential to reach a wide but targeted audience at minimal cost compared to traditional advertising.
In January 2020, the Statista reported that Facebook has almost 2.5 billion active user accounts worldwide. This makes Facebook number one social networking platform in terms of size. YouTube and WhatsApp are in second and third place, respectively. Interestingly, the Facebook messenger app is in fourth place.
There are several methods you can use to reach potential customers through Facebook, but its changing dynamics and algorithms can be challenging. The ultimate goal? Going viral amongst the largest possible number of people who are interested in your post. We’ll get onto that later, but let’s do a bit of a Facebook 101 first…
What is Facebook for business?
Facebook for business is all about using the platform for the purpose of reaching out to potential customers or clients, and either serving them great content and/or influencing them to buy products or pay for the services your company provides.
You can use Facebook in several ways to promote your business, either by generating organic leads or paid leads. However, instant success is hard to come by even if you pay for ad promotions. You cannot be passive when you use Facebook to promote your brand. Like many good things, it takes time, effort and dedication to succeed.
Some ways you can use Facebook to promote your business include:
- Creating a business page – unlike a personal page, a business page (sometimes known as a fan page) doesn’t have follower limits. It could be thousands or even millions. It also provides access to promotional features such as ads and post boosts, as well as very useful analytics. It’s important to note that it does take time and effort to maintain a business page, especially as it’s important to be consistent in posts and updates and be able to respond to any comments or questions.
- Groups – while you could join a Facebook group comprising potential customers if the group is around the topic of something you sell, it might be better to join or even start a commercial-based or online trading group as its members will be more receptive.
- Using your (and your employees’) personal profiles to support your business, especially if you have a wide network of contacts. Facebook does have a limit on the number of friends that you can add – currently 5,000 contacts – but even if you have a smaller number of FB friends, there’s always the potential that some of them could be a customer or client. Just don’t use your personal account exclusively for commercial transactions as you might violate Facebook’s terms of service.
How does Facebook work for businesses
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar business, B2B or purely digital, Facebook can help you establish your brand and find loyal customers or clients. There’s a Facebook for business option if you want to find a specific group of potential customers, which includes the following features:
- Business page
- Post boosting
- Facebook ads
- Video ads
- Messenger ads
The main advantage of using these features is that you can narrow your target audience down. You can specify the demographic profiles like age, gender, location, and education level. Some ads also target specific users based on keywords, likes, and other information they share online.
Aside from reaching out to your target audience, Facebook for business also allows you to analyze the results of social media campaigns based on clicks and engagement. You can interact with your followers in several ways, such as posting quizzes, engaging in conversations, and running competitions.
Tips for using Facebook for your business
When using Facebook for promoting your business, it’s important not to overdo it. Avoid spamming or creating posts that are mere click baits – people can see through it. Think of the process as something similar to a budding romance. You must keep your best foot forward, establish credibility, and earn the trust of your target audience. Here are some tips that can help you navigate the nuances of online marketing:
- Be strategic with your posts – do not post random things for the sake of simply updating your page. You must keep in mind that your post should be useful and relevant in some way for your audience. It should be informative, entertaining and helpful.
- Establish rapport – you might have a brand that’s quite formal or serious, or perhaps your product or service is complex and requires a lot of explanation. That doesn’t mean that your posts should always be really formal – in fact, it’s important to remember to engage with your audience on a very human level. Facebook is a social network, after all. It’s all about people. A dash of humor and lightheartedness will help your followers see the personality behind the brand and help you establish a rapport.
- Plan and schedule your posts – a monthly post schedule really helps in keeping you on track, staying efficient, avoiding duplicating posts, and saving time.
- Use the product catalog features – if you are directly selling from your page, product catalogs can be very helpful to inform, persuade, and guide your customers.
- Optimize your page profile – the information on your business profile page like contact numbers, website, email, and store address are crucial to help your customers contact and transact with you quickly and easily.
Generally, the newsfeed’s algorithm or updates from other users that are visible for individual users is determined by the level of engagement. This is measured by the number of likes and comments over time.
That means the more quickly a post receives likes and comments, the higher its engagement rate. It’s therefore more likely to appear on other Facebook users’ newsfeeds if they’re connected either directly or indirectly to the user who uploaded the post.
If a post has a high engagement rate, it also has a greater chance of being shared and re-shared, making it viral. Of course, the viral status of a post also reaches an inflexion point and eventually stops. Remember the viral post about the “blue-gold” dress? If one of your posts does go viral, you need to react quickly to capitalize on it.
Does your business need to have Facebook?
In many cases, Facebook promotion can be good for business. It helps to establish your brand and reach out to a targeted audience. However, not all types of business need to use Facebook as it’s simply not where their target audience is.
For instance, if you are a private art dealer who caters to an exclusive and very limited group of clients, it would be unnecessary to promote your business on Facebook. Things to consider include:
- Your target customers – are they even on Facebook? This is possibly the first thing to establish before you go any further.
- Your business type – if your business is consumer-focused, such as a retail type of business selling items online, then Facebook might be a good channel to support your marketing strategy. However, if you’re in wholesale with B2B clients, your customers might not be looking for you on Facebook.
Pros and cons of Facebook for business
- Simple platform for driving sales
- Measurable results
- Multimedia compatible
- Ad targeting features
- Difficult to engage with passive users
- Ad bidding mechanics are complex
- Ads are becoming increasingly expensive
- Too much online noise
- Low conversion rates
Examples of businesses using Facebook effectively
Facebook promotions can be particularly effective for small and medium enterprises, especially those that are just starting up and seeking to establish a loyal client base. These are just some examples of businesses that succeeded largely because of using Facebook in their business promotions.
- Ritual Gym – this gym has boosted sign-ups through their mobile-focused video ads on Facebook. They saw an increase of 39% in trial subscriptions, which led to long-term memberships.
- FlatRate Moving – this moving and storage service increased their bookings using Facebook ads and a simple sales pitch: flat rate, hassle-free moving services.
- Ushuaia Tower – this hotel uses innovative means of incorporating RFID (radio frequency identification) with their Facebook page, allowing guests to promote the hotel and its related events online quickly and easily.
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