Social Media marketing is becoming one of the key ways to connect with your customers, especially with millennials. Traditional forms of marketing don’t work for this generation. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center 61% of millennials use online streaming to watch television. Reuters reports that 67% of adults are relying on social media platforms to get their news.

This means that what was once considered the standard for advertising (commercials, newspaper ads, and circulars) are no longer effective forms of advertisement. This is great news for small business. 

Not only are Facebook business pages free, but with a strong social media presence you don’t need to pay for advertising. It’s not surprising that some small businesses start with a social media page before they create a website. Social media pages, especially Facebook pages, give your business a voice to interact directly with your customers, and give your business the authenticity that it needs to survive in these times.

  1. The first step to creating your Facebook business page is log in to your Facebook account. (You’ll need to have a personal Facebook account in order to create a business page.) Once there, look for the drop-down arrow in the top right-hand corner. Create page will be the first option. Choose create page, which will take you to a page where you will need to select your page type. Once you select your page type, you cannot go back and change it. Be very sure before you make your selection. It won’t be too difficult as you will only have two options:
    • Business or Brand: Choosing this page type will give you options to highlight your brand as well as provide the means to showcase your products. You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with your customers, which is one of the best features of social media. (This is the option to select for a small business)
    • Community or Public Figure: This is typically for public figures, community organizations, church groups, non-profits, groups, and clubs. (This option typically does not apply to small businesses)

  2. Once you’ve selected your Business page type, Facebook will ask you to upload a profile picture. If you have one prepared go ahead and upload it at this time. Don’t worry, if you aren’t prepared to upload a profile picture or header at this time, you can always do it later. If you need to wait, choose the “skip” button.

  3. The next step is to upload a cover photo, but like the profile picture this step can easily be skipped if you aren’t prepared to upload one at this time. The cover photo is rectangular shaped, and you’ll want to prepare a cover photo that represents your brand, catches the eye, and fits the space.

  4. Welcome to your new Facebook page! While you have technically done all that you need to do to make it live, all anyone can see is your business name and maybe what your logo looks like.

              At this point you need to explore. There are so many different elements to your page that you will need to create, and the best way to discover those is to click through the different features.

Immediately the page will prompt you to include some valuable information. If you haven’t selected your photos, you’ll want to do so. In fact, if you haven’t already done so, this will be the first thing Facebook prompts you to do once you arrive on your page. Your followers want to see who you are, and what you are about. If you have a professional photographer, work with them to create something lasting. While updating your cover photo periodically is advisable, you will want to ensure that your profile picture is fairly consistent. This is what your customers are going to recognize. Once this is accomplished, then focus on rounding out your profile. You still have a few finishing touches to make in order to maximize your business pages potential.

  • Add a short description. A description helps you in two different ways. First, it tells visitors to your page who you are and what you do. As people become more creative with their business names (and creative endeavors) that is not always clear. Your customers want to know who you are. Second, it helps your business pop up in Facebook searches.

  • Choose a page URL. This gives your page a legitimate URL name, instead of the default URL that consists of a series of numbers. Make it easier for your people to find you by choosing an easy to remember page name. (i.e. facebook.com/yournamehere vs. www.facebook.com/123456789) Hint: Typically you will want to use your business name.

  • In the left-hand column choose the “About” feature. This area is full of information that your customers want to have, and you need them to have. Don’t leave it blank, because it comes across as unfinished (and unfinished looks too much like unprofessional.) Plus, the new feature “Our Story” turns your history it something special for your customers. Everyone loves a good story, and the history of your business is yours. Use your story to reach your customers.

  • Add action buttons. Without buttons your page is just another way for you to interact with your customers. In order to give your customers actual options for doing business with you, you’ll need to add buttons (besides, who doesn’t love pressing buttons?).

    • Book Now: Gives your customers the option to book an appointment with you. This feature will help you coordinate with your customer to create an online or in person appointment.

    • Contact Now: Select among a variety of buttons to give your customers the option to send you a message directly. Choose from Call Now, Send Email, Send Message, Sign Up, or a generic Contact Us.

    • Learn More: Select from Watch Video or Learn More. This gives your customers an added opportunity to learn more about your business. Hire a team to help you create a professional video to share your business, it’s a great way to create shareable content.

    • Shop Now/See Offers: select one of these to give your customers the option to make a donation or see what products you have available.

    • Download your App/Play your Game: Choose from Play Now or Download App to make it easy for your customers to find your product.

  • Add page roles. Page roles are important. As your business grows there will be a time when you can’t do it all. Maybe you are already there. By assigning page roles you can maintain control of your business page, while still allowing your employees to help moderate the page, post on your behalf, or answer questions from customers. Also, hiring social media savvy employees to manage your page can save you time and energy.

              Congratulations! You have finished your Facebook page. There are a few other things that you can tinker with, but at this point you are ready to start connecting with your audience. To build your audience, invite your friends and family to like your page. (Hint: There’s a column on the right-hand side that lists your friends, and you can select the ones that may be interested.)

Another way to build your audience is to create a community for your audience. In the left-hand column there is a link called community, and one called group. Selecting either of these will give you the option to create a Facebook group specifically for those that follow your business. These groups are an essential part of your success as Facebook algorithms automatically show more information from friends, family, and groups than they do from individual business pages. Creating a group (or community) gets the conversation started and keeps your customers engaged with your brand. With Facebook, once you get the conversation started, you want to keep it going. A group, especially one linked to your Facebook business page, is a great way to do that.

              Having a Facebook business page is a great way to connect with your customers and prepare your business to sell on Facebook. Now that you have this tool, embrace it. You can pay for sponsored ads to expand your customer base, but the best way to grow is authentically. Do this by posting custom content that encourages interaction. Ask advice from your customers  Also remember to post regularly, which is really easy to do with their schedule posts feature. This allows you to schedule out your posts for the next day, week, month all at once, when you have the time to dedicate to it. With the features available, you’ll discover that your Facebook business page is one of the best things to have happened to your business.

 

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