Facebook Marketing 101: Basics and Best Practices for Small Business

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Facebook Marketing 101. Basics & Best Practices for Small Business by Robert Sharp & Associates.

It’s nothing new, but somehow there are business owners who do not utilize Facebook as a tool to build their business, despite the potential to benefit significantly from doing so. And certainly, even more business owners aren’t using Facebook to its fullest potential to build their business.

As Facebook evolves and more features are added, it can seem overwhelming to know where to focus your efforts. That said, there are some essentials that every business, no matter their industry, can prioritize to ensure they’re utilizing the world’s largest social media platform to their advantage. Let’s learn more about those essentials so you can accelerate your business growth with Facebook.

Why should my business use Facebook?

Because, statistically, that’s where your audience is.

Facebook is the most popular social network in the world.

A few more stats you might be interested in knowing:

  • 69% of total US adults use Facebook.
  • 73% of Facebook users log in at least once a day.
  • 78% of consumers have discovered retail products to buy via Facebook.
Where do I start?
It can be difficult to know where to start in your business's Facebook journey.

Like all new skills, the best place to start is to dive right in. Chances are there’s one person on your team with a little bit of Facebook/social media savvy, or at the very least, has the desire to learn. That person is probably the one you ought to have administrate your business’s Facebook page.

If they’re already savvy, then great! You’ll hit the ground running. If not, it’s important they devote some time to Facebook each day in order to learn the platform. 
While familiarizing yourself with the technical aspects of the platform will help you, your greatest success will come from a thorough understanding of your business goals.

Do you want to–

  • Build awareness?
  • Sell and promote products?
  • Boost website traffic?
  • Increase event attendance?

These are only a few examples, but you’ll need to have your goals established in order to craft an effective strategy.
Once you’ve figured those out, you’ll want to start planning and creating content, while keeping in mind a few best practices:

How often should I post?
Your Facebook strategy should include a pre-planned posting schedule that you stick to.

The key here is consistency. You’ll want to be posting at LEAST three times a week. If you have time, you’ll want to write your posts and schedule them in advance. This will help you stick to your chosen post schedule.

You should spread your posts out by a few hours (around three hours between posts) if the subject matter isn’t extremely time sensitive. This will help you avoid sounding like you’re spamming your audience with excessive content, which is a great way to get somebody to click the unlike button in a hurry.

Spamming your followers with too many posts will make people want to unfollow you.

That said, there are circumstances where you can amplify your posting frequency substantially and overall see more positive metrics than negatives. One of these situations is during events you’re either hosting or attending

Of course, you need to make sure the event is relevant to your audience before you go hog wild posting  something every 45 minutes. If it’s of great interest and your audience can’t be there themselves, this is a prime opportunity to cover what’s happening and tell the story of the event. 

One of the best ways to do that is via Facebook Live. This allows you to live broadcast from your smartphone and bring your audience into this event so they can see and hear what’s happening in real time.

What should I say?

If you spent the time to thoroughly define your business’s goals, then you’ve laid a lot of groundwork toward figuring out what you should say. However, the way you accomplish those business goals isn’t by saying you’re probably thinking at this point.

For example, if your goal is to sell products, you might think that making a sales pitch is the route to take. However, you’ll quickly discover that making hard sells consistently will get you nowhere fast. 

Instead, you’ll need to think about how you can provide value and utility to your audience through your content. Whether that value is through being informative or entertaining, you’ll want to make sure most of the content that you’re posting is providing value rather than asking for money. 

A good ratio to follow is to have 70% of your content provide value and only 30% of your content be sales driven.

The majority of your social content should provide value rather than be a sales pitch.

If you’re still not sure where to start, start at the beginning. Tell your story. Let people know the things that make your brand special. Humans are a storytelling animal. It is how we build community and bring each other closer together, which also happens to be Facebook’s mission statement. 

Facebook’s algorithm rewards content that keeps people engaged with their platform, so be engaging! Start conversations. Respond to questions, comments, and private messages. Be involved in the community you’re building. 

If you’re struggling with this, take inspiration from these brands who’ve mastered the strategy of telling a compelling story to their audience.

How should I say it?

More specifically, what types of posts should you be making. Facebook allows you to create posts in many different formats, including plain text “status updates,” images, live broadcasted and pre-recorded videos, as well as sharing articles and links and much more.

Facebook allows the posting of multiple types of content.

You should experiment with all these options, but one you will want to focus most on video. Why? Here’s a few stats:

  • According to Cisco, online video will account for 82% of online traffic in 2021.
  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch a video, compared to 10% when solely reading text.
  • 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by watching a video.
  • Video posts have an engagement rate of 6.15%, whereas status updates are 1.3%.
  • Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.
  • 85% of video views are with the sound OFF.

How to best use video is too big of a subject to cover in full, but a little knowledge can go a long way.

Here’s a brief overview of some things you’ll want to keep in mind when using video in your social media strategy:

  • Make sure your video CAPTURES ATTENTION! Don’t take forever to get to the point.
  • Both highly produced videos and videos straight from your phone’s camera roll can be engaging.
  • You don’t need a bunch of expensive equipment to benefit from video.
    • A smartphone is all you need.
    • Adding some inexpensive accessories that will upgrade your lighting, stability, and audio, will increase your production value without breaking the bank.
Adding a microphone, tripod, and lights to your smartphone can be cheap and massively upgrade your production value.
  • Add captions to your videos.
    • Remember – 85% of videos are watched with the sound off.
    • The Autogenerate captions feature can work but be sure to double check them.
  •  “Go Live” and broadcast live video during events with Facebook Live.

Utilize Facebook Live during events to capitalize on the interest in the event.

If you’d like to learn more about how to best use Facebook to promote your small business, sign up for the Robert Sharp & Associates newsletter! 

We frequently post marketing tips like these, as well as let you know when you can attend our in-person bootcamps that cover topics like how you can utilize Facebook, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn, and other digital marketing tools, platforms and concepts to boost your business!

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