Facebook is the most popular social media channel in the world with 2 billion monthly active users globally. It’s no wonder there are so many questions surrounding using Facebook as a marketing tool for business. We’ve taken a look at 5 of the most common questions asked, and after mulling over them for a bit provided the best answers possible.

what is the most popular social media website?

(Source: Dreamgrow)

Why choose Facebook for my business?

Probably the most common question asked, and with good reason. Is Facebook the right social media channel to market a business? The answer really depends on the type of business you own.

Facebook is predominantly a B2C (Business to Consumer) platform, meaning if your market is predominantly consumers you will see more value than a B2B (Business to Business) on the social media channel. The reason for this is the way the channel operates. Everyone who uses Facebook requires a personal profile, and unlike other channels you’ll have to use this personal profile to access your Facebook business page. These business pages can be managed by multiple Facebook personal profiles, allowing several team members to operate the same account. Facebook is great at allowing personal profiles to interact with business pages, but getting your business page to interact with other business pages is a lot more tricky (although not impossible).

Before investing your time on building a Facebook marketing strategy ask yourself the following questions:

Are my customers actively using Facebook?

If you are B2C focused then the likely answer is yes, however younger audiences appear to be less active than older generations on the platform, and you may find more effective channels for marketing your business to under 18s.

Are similar businesses/competitors on Facebook?

If so, how popular are they? If you notice a competitor with thousands of followers on their business page and an active community then you can be certain your business can thrive in a similar way.

Do I have the time to manage my Facebook page properly?

Your Facebook business page is a live contact point for your customers to reach your brand. They might ask you questions about products, require after-sales support or simply want to know what’s new with your business. An inactive Facebook page could be more damaging to your business than not having a page at all. Just like when people phone your business, they will expect a response. A business page that looks abandoned will have your customers questioning whether you’re still operating. If you don’t have the time to manage it yourself then think about hiring someone who can.

If you can confidently answer these 3 questions then you should be able to make a clear decision as to whether Facebook is right for your business.

Why is Facebook marketing effective?

There’s a reason Facebook is popular with marketers; the data that Facebook has on its user base allows businesses to reach their intended audiences far easier than almost every other marketing channel. Alongside this Facebook has made it easy to share a wide range of content. This means you can get creative with what you share and then make sure it is reaching the right people. Unlike traditional broadcast marketing channels (think print ads, TV, and radio), with Facebook you’ll have access to in depth analytics – so you can see what is working and what is failing, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Marketing data on Facebook

(Source: Facebook)

How much does it cost to set up a Facebook business page?

The great news here is that setting up a Facebook page yourself is completely free. Facebook makes its revenue from adverts, and has invested serious amounts of time into making this as profitable as possible.

The bad news is if your business is not spending money on adverts your posts will not reach many people (about 2% of the total people who like your page will see your posts organically). What’s the point of creating a Facebook page if nobody is going to see what you have to say? If you’re new to Facebook your best option is to invest a small budget into Facebook advertising to help boost your profile and start getting your message in front of the intended audience. You can create extremely niche audiences within the ads platform based on the demographic data Facebook collects on all its users, allowing you to reach people with similar interests in the right location.

Our recommendation would be to invest at least £50 per month on ads to boost your engagement and help your page get in front of your customers much faster.

How do I create a Facebook page for my business?

This is something we covered briefly in our video ‘5 top tips for using Facebook for business’. Creating the page itself is incredibly easy, simply head here to get started: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/. Once you’ve chosen the type of business relevant to your brand you can begin filling in the details of your page. Here are a few elements to focus on:

  • Profile picture and cover photo/video: The profile photo should be your logo ideally, as it’s easy to recognise when your content appears in somebody’s news feed. The cover photo/video shows up when people visit your page. This could consist of a range of popular products, or simply your business tagline. If you have brand guidelines make sure you follow them so people can quickly identify your business if they are searching for you.
  • About section: If you have a brick and mortar store be sure to include address and opening hours. Give new customers an idea of what your business is about, and a link to your website.
  • Call To Action button: This button appears just under the cover photo, and provides an easily accessible link to one of several actions such as calling your business, signing up to a mailing list or shopping on your site.

Once your page is set up you can begin to populate it with content, but to succeed you’re going to need to create an effective business marketing strategy for Facebook.

What is a Facebook business marketing strategy?

A Facebook marketing strategy is your plan of action for your business on Facebook. Be sure to create a document that outlines your plan so that you and your team can refer to it throughout your campaign.

When it comes to developing your strategy asking yourself the following questions will help you to create an effective plan of action.

What needs to be in a Facebook business marketing strategy?

Your marketing strategy should outline your current business situation, goals and objectives, how you plan to reach those goals using Facebook and how you will measure results. Try to tie in your Facebook marketing objectives with your overall business objectives. Here are some good examples of objectives to set:

  • Increase website traffic by 10%
  • Increase brand awareness by achieving 100,000 impressions on Facebook per month
  • Increase sales of new product by 15% using the link to a Shopify account
  • Acquire 300 newsletter subscribers

With your objectives set you can now begin to plan what activity will ensure success, which leads us on nicely to the second question you should ask yourself.

What content should I post on my Facebook business page?

Before you start posting you need to think about what content your audience will find most engaging. Take into account your core customer demographics and think about the content they might enjoy seeing.

One mistake many businesses make is to only post about their own products. Your customers will quickly grow tired of this approach, ignoring your future posts and possibly even going to a competitor instead. If someone turned up to a party and only talked about themselves wouldn’t you get bored too? Apply that thinking to social media to keep your posts exciting. You’re trying to find things in common with your audience, not bore them by throwing product after product at them. As an example, if you own a food manufacturing business you could post related recipes, interviews with chefs, and how to videos on the best way to use your products.

Remember to ensure your posts reflect your business’ tone of voice. A good way to do this is to imitate the style of your website copy. Be sure to brief everyone else managing the page on this, as getting it wrong can make your business look unprofessional, inconsistent and potentially alienate your customers. The House of Fraser ‘Emojinal’ campaign is a great example of a social media marketing strategy that seemed to get the brand’s tone of voice so wrong it drew confusion and ridicule from its followers.

Many people felt the ‘Emojinal’ campaign from House of Fraser was off brand. (Source: The Drum/House of Fraser)

You can share a whole range of content to your Facebook business page including:

  • Text
  • Photos
  • Recorded video
  • Live video
  • 360° photos and video

It’s worth experimenting with different content and keeping it varied to discover what your customers love most. If you’re stuck for ideas you could get an agency to help you with your Facebook marketing content, alleviating the pressure.

When should I post to my Facebook business page?

To plan your content effectively think of your strategy on a monthly, weekly and daily level:

  • Monthly: Use a calendar to plan what content themes would work best at different times of the year. Where possible tie your content in with popular or seasonal events to make it even more relevant to your audience (Christmas, Valentines Day, Summer Holidays etc.).
  • Weekly: Try to post at least 3-5 times a week, but don’t post for the sake of posting. Ensure you have something worthwhile to offer your customers with your content.
  • Daily: Test to see which times of day work best. Typically weekday evenings tend to see higher engagement, however every business is different. Try to think of when your customers are likely to be browsing Facebook, and schedule your content accordingly.

The most efficient way to schedule your messages is to use a social media management tool. Buffer, HootSuite and Sprout Social are three of the most popular, and any of those three will allow you to schedule your content in advance, freeing up time for other activities.

You will now be able to create an effective strategy and can start growing your fan base and making the most of Facebook as a marketing tool.

Need support with using Facebook for business?

If you’d like more support for using Facebook for business then why not take a look at our other blog posts about Social Media. Alternatively get in contact and we can help you with every step of the process, from face to face or online training to social media strategy development and management.