How to Use Facebook for Small Business
As the landscape for social media evolves, it can be hard for business owners to know where to invest their time and money. Is it worth jumping on trends or hiring an influencer to help promote your business? Is it enough to have an online presence or will you need to pay for ads? Here, we’ll focus on Facebook for small business, where growth potential is still significant.
Even if you’ve had personal experience with Facebook, the prospect of using Facebook for small business can be overwhelming. How do you set up a page that people will find? Does it matter if people Like your posts? Are Facebook ads relevant anymore?
We’re here to help answer your questions and set you up for success on Facebook.
Facebook is for Business
Facebook was founded in 2004, with the intention of connecting individuals and groups. From the start, it has made money from ad revenue. As the user base grew, businesses soon realized they could create new, engaging relationships with their target market.
Today, Facebook boasts 2.8 billion monthly active users. It still runs a business-forward model, with three main methods for helping small businesses:
- discover sources for new customers
- find new customers with ads
- engage directly with customers through messaging
Offering both free and paid services, Facebook for small business helps every size of operation, from start-up shops to established corporations.
Facebook 101 for Small Business
When you start with Facebook for small business, you should first set up two free elements: your Facebook business page and your Meta Business Suite.
A Facebook business page acts as your business card on Facebook. It allows you to have an online presence under your company brand, rather than your personal account. Here, you will be able to showcase your products and services, list your hours and create posts relevant to your company.
To set up your Facebook business page:
- Make sure you have a personal Facebook page – while your personal and business pages will not overlap in any way, this is a necessary step, so Facebook can make sure a real person is setting up the account
- Click Create + Choose ‘Page’ — from here, enter your business name as the page name, enter the category and a brief description of your business
- Populate your page — add photos, contact details, hours of operation and more
With these simple steps, your Facebook for small business efforts will be rewarded, with a live page, up and running. You will be able to ask your customers to follow your site and spread the word.
Your Meta Business Suite
When you set up your Meta Business Suite, you will have access to your Facebook pages, any ad accounts and your Instagram account, if you are using one to drive traffic to your page. The Meta Business Suite is accessible from mobile devices and desktops, making it versatile and easy to manage.
While you may not have ads or an Instagram account set up right away, having your Meta Business Suite in place will allow you to organize your marketing efforts from the get-go. It also creates an extra layer of distance, should you decide to have an agency handle your marketing down the road.
Of course, Facebook for small business ultimately runs on content. The most compelling way to build your business presence is to create meaningful posts and stories.
- Facebook Posts — Posts are an excellent way to meet your followers where they are, helping you to stay top of mind. Facebook recommends that you include images or videos to help make your posts more eye-catching.
- Facebook Stories — Stories include images and videos your followers can see for 24 hours on Facebook or Instagram. This is a great tool to help highlight upcoming events or to share a day-in-the-life glimpse of your business.
Naturally, you will need to decide if given content would be better used as a post or a story.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may also want to consider hosting live events through Facebook or Instagram.
When you host a live event, your followers have the chance to interact with you in real-time. If your company specializes in information—perhaps you run an IT-consulting firm—a live event can help you share expertise while engaging in conversations about the latest innovations or where you see technology heading.
If you run another kind of company—perhaps manufacturing products—going Live on Facebook or Instagram can create interest while offering a chance to showcase your products in action.
Join or Create a Group
To deepen your connection with a specific community, you can join or create a group on behalf of your business. You will build brand awareness and community connection when you belong to a group and contribute meaningfully to discussions or offer relevant content.
Keep in mind, when using Facebook for small business opportunities, groups are largely about engagement. The last thing you want to do is join a group discussion and start selling your products or services. Use this space to share your expertise and passion, to help others and join in meaningful conversations.
Consider Facebook Ads
When using Facebook for small business, ads can efficiently expand your reach to new customers.
Facebook and Instagram ads run in partnership with one another. When creating a new campaign, you can choose your objectives, whether you want to increase reach, drive more traffic to your store or funnel more views to your videos.
This targeted approach allows you to spend your ad dollars in a way that makes the most sense to you. One of the most popular campaigns is the Conversion Campaign, which optimizes ads for sales or lead form completions. To run this campaign, you would need to install the Facebook pixel on your site, which will take some research and setup time
As a reminder, Facebook ads are not free. As you set out to use them, start with a budget you are willing to use. As a word of caution, it’s worth exploring the trouble that Facebook ads have encountered over the last two years. Many advertisers have reverted back to using organic content on Facebook, as a result.
Use Direct Messaging
As an engagement tool offered by Facebook for small business, it is worth exploring opportunities for direct messaging. Through Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct and WhatsApp, small businesses can engage with customers by:
- inviting them to chat via action buttons
- close sales with one-on-one attention
- offer automated customer support
There are two options for engaging with your clients this way. You can either invite your customers to chat via Messenger or WhatsApp or pay for a targeted Messages Ad campaign.
Focus on Authenticity
Using Facebook for small business does not have to be daunting. Once you set up your page and your Meta Business Suite, you can decide how to create and share content, whether you use an organic marketing approach or experiment with paid advertisements.
Remember that Facebook users value transparency and an authentic connection with the brands they know. Make sure your business consistently acts in a way that earns the trust of your target market.