Home » Columns

Why your business should use Facebook

With over 75% of UK households connected to the Internet and over 30 million people on Facebook, it’s become commonplace for people to use the social media platform to not only stay in touch with friends and family, but to keep up to date with their favorite businesses. However, despite these statistics, there are thousands of small businesses across the country without any web presence, let alone social media accounts.

For the budget-conscious business owner, creating a Facebook page is free. Sure, it’s somewhat limited in style and interface, but it’s still a web presence for your business and a place for consumers to go to for a phone number, address, and other key information.

Best of all, a Facebook page allows you to engage with the people who are interested in your business. You can thank customers for their business, respond to customer complaints, and market your business to the people who are most likely to support your company.

The prospect of creating a Facebook page, let alone maintaining one, might seem like a tall mountain to climb – but it’s really not that difficult, so here are some tips to get you started and to get the most out of your Facebook page:

Make a page, not a profile

Before you get started, you’re going to need your own personal Facebook profile. Some businesses use the main Facebook sign-up page to create their business page, but this is against Facebook’s ‘Terms of Use’. So make a personal page and then create a business page.

Create your page’s URL/Username

Be sure to update your page’s URL as soon as you create your new business page. Initially when you create your page, your URL will likely be “facebook.com/”, followed by a large jumble of numbers, but you can update this to be your business name by visiting ‘Edit Page’ and selecting ‘Create a username for this page”.

Get the important information down

As shocking as it might seem, many businesses with Facebook pages leave out key information – phone number, address, products/services offered, etc. Make sure you include all of the basics of your business before loading photos, videos, and other information – especially if you don’t have a separate website. Even more important is the need to update this information any time it changes. You don’t want to have an old phone number or address displayed to customers who might try to contact you.

Promote your Facebook page to in-store customers

Starting out, the most inexpensive way to increase the following for your business’s page is through word-of-mouth, so if you have a store, be sure to train your customer-facing employees to mention the new page to all customers. Promoting the new page via in-store signage, a sales promotion, and/or on your company’s business card are also effective ways of gaining a following quickly.

Consider placing a Facebook ad

If you have a budget to do so, Facebook offers advertisements that you can target specifically to the people you want to see it, e.g by location, gender, age, interests, etc. With this service, you set your maximum budget and only pay for the number of clicks your ad receives.

Monitor regularly and respond to all posts

Check your business page daily to keep up-to-date with all customer questions, feedback, or complaints posted on Facebook. By checking regularly and responding to positive comments quickly, you can build a rapport with those interested in your business, which will, in turn, build loyalty and an emotional connection. Also, by responding to negative comments quickly, you will prove to customers that you care about their opinions and are listening to what they’re saying.

Post engaging content regularly

To utilise your Facebook page to its highest potential, it’s important to create and post interesting content that your followers will relate to. Whether it be asking engaging questions and stating fun and interesting facts about your business, or offering discounts and competitions to followers, your posts should be something followers look forward to. Don’t post for the sake of posting. Also, remember that people love photos and videos, so try to include one of these with your regular posts as often as possible.

When it comes to posting on Facebook, there’s a fine line between posting too little and too much. It’s important not to overload followers with content, as they’re likely to start ignoring what you have to say. Ideally, you should post once per day or once every other day. If you’re really struggling to come up with content, you should post at least once per week so that you’re reaching your customers regularly and staying at their top-of-mind.

Don’t just stop with Facebook!

Once you have your Facebook page up-and-running, try giving Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or YouTube a go. The more you put yourself out in the world of social media, the higher your return will be – maybe not directly in revenue, but in increased brand loyalty, word-of-mouth, and emotional attachment.