Does it always take money to make money?
I don't think so.
Take Facebook for instance - there are ways to advertise your business at no cost to you and leverage their huge user base. Yeah, while paid advertising is the very lifeblood of Facebook's massive multi-billion dollar empire, it's not the only way to leverage their massive reach.
Let's talk about one that doesn't cost money - Business Pages. They're free and they give small businesses a great platform to reach out through the digital ether and interact with their audience directly.
Just don't misjudge the ease of setting up an appropriate and effective Facebook Business page - there are things to consider!
Since businesses are bound by different rules than individual and personal accounts, I'd advise you not to underestimate the difficulty of the task at hand. Too many well-intentioned small business owners make mistakes on their Facebook pages that have a significant negative impact on the business's public image, while other mistakes simply miss out on leads, and ultimately revenue.
So, let's take a look at some of the most overlooked features, best practices and tools that small businesses should incorporate into their Facebook pages.
1. Grab Visitors' Immediate Attention
Your page needs to attract the visitors' attention as soon as they land on your Facebook page. The two biggest things that make the strongest first impression are the cover photo and profile picture, and you need to make sure that these two images really pop. Either consciously or subconsciously, users will immediately form a first impression based on your images.
It is often said that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but making judgments based on first impressions is just part of being human.
You may want to have a digital artist create a cover image for you, or you could use Canva to make your own. Either way make sure it's a high quality image (no fuzzy, rough, rasterized, or blurry images), and put some real thought into it.
The profile picture, by and large, probably shouldn't be a personal photo. Instead, use it as a way to display your branding or logo.
There are some exceptions, however. For instance, if you're a consultant or a freelancer, then it may be appropriate to include a professional personal picture. More often than not, however, it's better to use your logo as a way to reinforce branding.
2. Take Full Advantage of Call to Action Buttons
The Facebook CTA feature has been active since late 2014, and you need to make sure that you're taking advantage of it. Essentially, it's a customizable and optional button that will appear immediately in and below your cover image. You can customize the text to match your specific call to action, too.
Common examples include the following CTA's:
- Like Page
- Call Now
- Get Directions
- Subscribe Now
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Watch Now
It is a missed opportunity to forgo adding these types of CTA's to the top of your Facebook page. You want to make sure users can interact with your business as soon as they land, just as you would with an on-site landing page.
Here's Abra-Kid-Abra's call to action asking people to Call Now
3. Keep Important Posts Pinned to the Top of Your Page
There may be times when you want to make sure a specific post continually surfaces to the top of your page, regardless of whether or not other posts have been made in the interim. Normally, newer posts push older posts farther and farther down the page, until they disappear into oblivion. However, you can pin one post to the top of your page to increase its longevity.
This tool is great for temporal promotions such as limited time offers, seasonal and holiday sales, and local community events. It can also be used to rejuvenate older posts and bring old content back from the dead. This is an especially great tool if your posts link directly to pages on your website or blog.
4. Leverage Video and Image Content
How boring is a social media page that doesn't have any photos or videos? Pretty darn boring, and your visitors will expect that you post at least a handful of related photos of your business. There is a lot of opportunity for creativity here, depending on the niche or industry you're in. For instance, if you're advertising a local restaurant, of course you're going to want to post images of your food.
Naturally, you want to make sure that the images and videos you upload are related to your business or industry. Also, consider that you may want to abstain from tagging workers, customers, and partners in your photos to avoid crossing the line of professionalism.
Experts 4 Entrepreneurs does a great job of using video to set their page apart from others.
5. Target Specific Groups to Pinpoint Your Audience
It's been said countless times before: you simply can't ever please everybody. As such, there are going to be people who dislike or feel apathetic towards your product or service. For that reason, you really need to try to pinpoint potential leads that belong to your target audience while weeding out uninterested groups of people.
Whenever you post content, you can find a small crosshair icon in the bottom row that helps you target certain users based on a wide range of factors including age, gender, physical location, likes and interests, relationship status, education level, and more.
Targeting groups of users who have a genuine need or interest in your product or service can really increase your digital marketing campaign's potency.
Here's a post going to FloatMissouri's fans (notice the popup message when you hover over the crosshairs)
Use Your Facebook Page to Your Advantage
The last thing you want to do is treat your business's Facebook page in the same manner you would treat a personal Facebook account; they are two completely different animals.
If you plan to do any amount of content marketing or Facebook advertising, your Facebook page will be the digital face of your business on the most popular social media platform. Remember these five crucial tips when setting up your small business's Facebook account.