Facebook Marketing for Small Businesses

In 2017 it was estimated that more than two billion people were using Facebook. The last count for business pages was well over 65 million, a number that is rapidly increasing every day. If you don’t have a Facebook page for your business, now is the time to set one up. If you already have a business page, are you using your page to its fullest potential? A Facebook page can be a great marketing tool that works together seamlessly with your website—and yes, you need both ( Website vs. Facebook page).  In fact, according to eMarketer, 41% of US small businesses now use Facebook as part of their online marketing strategy. There are a lot of things you can do on your Facebook business page that will to drive traffic to your website and in the process, drive sales. But before we get started with the different ways you can market your business through Facebook, let’s make sure your business page is set up for success.

3 Business Page Essentials

1. Category.
First of all, make sure you have chosen the correct category for your business. If you typically have walk-in traffic you will want to choose the Local Business category so that people can “check-in” at your business. If you don’t have too many visitors and most of your business is done online, then the Companies & Organizations category may be more appropriate.

2. Description. Describe your business and products using keywords that customers might use when searching for your products. Always include your website URL in your description. This facilitates click-throughs that bring visitors directly to your site.

3. About. Think of the About section as your movie trailer—a quick overview of what you are about. Whatever you do, don’t leave it blank. It is one of the first things a visitor checks out on your page, even before your timeline. Make it interesting and to the point. Tell your story, the condensed version with honesty and transparency. Show people the person behind the curtain, or in this case, the business.

Find your people and break the ice.
Now that your page is set up, you need to connect. Finding people who share a common interest through a Facebook group is a great start.

Facebook groups can increase engagement and authority for your business. It can also be a great source of traffic and page likes. Visit and join a few groups within your industry and become part of the day to day conversations. Then find a relevant topic and start your own group.

Posting basics. Before you start posting, think about your brand and how you want to portray your business. Make a plan. Focus on quality posts that provide value to your audience. Keep in mind that Facebook is all about relationships and connecting with others.

A few words about frequency and timing-
  • Don’t post too often. You want to engage your audience and keep a social connection with them. But don’t overdo it. Respect their time and don’t clutter their news feed. Somewhere between 5 and 10 posts per week is a good place to start.
  • Schedule your posts. Post during strategic times. Although there really isn’t a “one time fits all” approach, there are times that are better than others. Some research has shown that Thursdays and Fridays between 1 pm and 3 pm can result in higher engagement. However, do your own research, because this may be different according to your audience. Use Facebook Insights to help determine your course of action.

My fans aren’t seeing my posts!
Growing the number of people who “like” your page increases the number of people who are likely to see your posts. However, there is still no guarantee. What shows up in a person’s newsfeed on Facebook is primarily determined by two factors. First of all, due to the high volume of content being shared on a daily basis, there is not enough room to show every single post. Secondly, Facebook is designed to show the most relevant content to users. Some things that determine relevancy are:
  • how a person has previously interacted with a page’s posts—likes, comments, and shares
  • the type of post being shared—video, link, article, etc.
  • the popularity of a page among all users  
These factors make for stiff competition for a coveted spot in users’ feeds, which results in decreased exposure for organic posts.

Stirring things up—Boosting vs. Promoting.
Boosting is a quick and easy way to extend the reach of your posts. It is fairly simple and allows for some general options as to who will be targeted by your post, such as:
  • just fans
  • friends of fans
  • excluding fans
  • other geographic, demographic and interest targeting layers
If the "Boost" button is used, the boosted post will be shown as a "sponsored" message.

Promoting will also extend your reach but with detailed targeting and control. Even though it is a bit more complicated, promoting will get you more bang for your buck. Whichever you choose, the goal is the same—to make your business visible, create engagement and ultimately drive people to your website.

Paid Facebook Ads. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time, and a Facebook Ad will greatly increase your odds of that. Once again, you have to be clear on what you want to achieve with your ad.

1. Determine your target audience. With the amount of personal information in Facebook’s database, the ways to target your audience are limitless. Anything in a user’s profile can be used to filter your ads including age, sex, location, education, interests, politics, job title, marital status, likes, etc. Here are a few examples:
  • You can show your ad only to people who have previously visited your website or who have liked your page.
  • You can select a custom audience according to demographics like, 30-year-old married women who work from home and love to cook. Or, 50-year-old men who live in Huntsville, listen to the Rolling Stones and like classic cars—you get the idea.

2. Give a clear call to action. What do you want them to do? Spell it out. This is the perfect time to build your Email list. Provide a button for them to “Sign up here and receive special offers.”

3. Set your budget and schedule. Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to switch your ad every two weeks.

4. Create your ad. You can either promote an existing post or create a new ad. Choose your ad format (carousel, single image, video, slideshow or collection), then enter the text and media components for your ad. We cover these in detail in our article  Why Use allySites For Your Facebook Marketing?

A word about Google Adwords.
Although they may have similarities, Facebook Ads and Google Adwords utilize different marketing strategies. Google Adwords help businesses find new customers via keywords, whereas Facebook Ads help users find businesses based on their interests. For a more detailed discussion check out our article Google Adwords.

Find out what’s working and do more of that.
Your Page Insights contain a wealth of data. Regularly review this information to see:
  • What types of content elicit a response from your audience.
  • What format works the best—is it a video, slideshow or an image?
  • What days and times are working best?
  • Is your audience who you thought they were or do you need to adjust who is seeing your ad?

As you can see, managing your business’s Facebook marketing can be time-consuming and can easily take a back seat amidst the other day to day responsibilities. Although it is important for business owners to understand which strategies and practices are worth the effort, it can be of value to delegate that responsibility to a professional marketing team. allySites is here to help you with the details. Whether it’s narrowing down your target audience, creating ads that are fresh or getting your ads and posts seen, we are here to help you make the most of all your social media marketing efforts.