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Using Facebook to Market your Small Business

Facebook is a powerful marketing tool which can reap great rewards. It is cost-effective, affordable and target orientated. We advise all our website customers to use Facebook to market their business and build relationships with their customers. Below we will give you a quick guide to getting started on Facebook.

Step 1 - Create a free Facebook business page

In order to create a Facebook business page, you are required to have a personal Facebook account.

Now here lies a common problem. A LOT of small business owners shudder at the idea of creating a Facebook profile. They are averted to using Facebook and giving up their details and being contactable through Facebook.

The best way to avoid this is to create a Facebook profile purely for your business. Then as soon as this account is created lock your profile down in the security settings. Change your settings so that you don't show up in search results and change your settings so your information can only be seen by you.

Once you have a profile set-up or if you already have a Facebook profile visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php to start creating your business page.

Step 2 - Flush out your business page

Now that you're set up with a business page you'll want to build it up into a marketing tool for your business.

Add as much information as possible, including address, opening times, about your business text and images.

A good profile picture is a must and ideally will be your business logo. If you need help with any social media graphics such as logos, covers or adverts feel free to contact us at [email protected] and we can provide pricing for our graphic design services.

Make sure to add your website address to your facebook page, this is a must and will help with link building (the more links that point to your website the better your website performs in search engines).

Invite all your friends to like your page to get a quick boost in likes. The more people who "like" or "follow" your page the more people your posts will reach.

Step 3 - Start creating posts

A Facebook post is what you're here for, a post is an update to your page's followers. When Facebook first started it was a "Status update" these have now evolved into posts, which can contain anything from text to links, photos and videos.

Originally when you posted on your business page all of your followers would see your post in their news feed. Facebook has changed this and instead have algorithms in place to decide who to show that news too, and does NOT automatically push it out to all of your pages followers/likes. This is where boosting / sponsoring comes into play, which we'll get onto in a minute.

You want to write a post that is interesting and will catch people's eye. Posts with images perform much better than those without. You should also always include a link back to your website so that they can quickly click to find more information. 

We recommend a news page, portfolio or blog on our customer's websites, which you regularly add content to / updates / articles and then link to from your Facebook page. Or post when any new information is added to your website, such as updates to your opening times, or adding to your product range etc.

Step 4 - Boost your posts

Boosting your post on Facebook is relatively cost-effective and can produce good results. Boosting or sponsoring a post is when you pay Facebook to show your post on timelines of people you choose through targeting. These people don't need to be following or to have liked your page in order to see your boosted posts.

I recommend a budget of between £5 and £20 to get started and see how people respond. You can always add more to your budget and extend the length of time it runs for. A £5 budget targeting your local area will display your post on around 1000 Facebook timelines.

This is where it is key to make eye-catching posts with photos or links to catch peoples attention and what to click on your post to find out more.

Facebook boosts can be targeted by location, age, gender and even down to hobbies or interests. The more filters you apply the smaller your pool of potential profiles becomes, so be careful applying too many filters.

Step 5 - Keep it going

Now that you are all set-up with a business page, you want to keep updating it regularly. You should look to add a new post to your page at least once a month depending on your type of business. If you're a small business I'd also recommend posting no more than 2 posts a week. If you flood customers with posts they may unfollow you as a consequence.

You can also set up autoresponders for Facebook chat, you can turn Facebook chat on or off for your business. You can also list products, services, prices, opening times and more. You can also turn on or off reviews for your business. Play and experiment with your Facebook page and spend some time building it up. A well flushed out and popular business page can add great value to a business.

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