Facebook is a powerful business advertising tool. But it can be a very steep learning curve, especially when you're busy keeping your business going. I've put together my top 7 tips for any small business who plans to build a following, and hopefully sales, through Facebook.
1. Find a mentor
Facebook is a beast. There are sooooooo many different ways of doing anything and there is so much information available on the platform that finding answers to your questions online becomes very, very difficult. And in my experience, almost all instructions found via a Google search are out of date by the time you ask the question as the Facebook platform changes so quickly. The absolute best way forward is to have a mentor, or someone who has more experience than you who can answer all your seemingly dumb questions. I was very lucky to have someone available who was patient with me and always made an effort to answer my questions.
2. Quality over quantity
Pretty much all the social media gurus will tell you that you need to post at least four times a week for each of the social platforms. Now, that’s a lot of posting and a lot of time needed to write content and create imagery and videos. In my experience, one quality post per week is a really good starting point. Also, to save time, you can create a post that can be used on Facebook and Instagram. I’ve had really great results with just this level of posting for our clients. If all goes well, you could increase the number of posts, but starting small is best as it means you’re less likely to become overwhelmed.
3. Tell your story
A quality post is one that incorporates something of you, your business and your story. So, if you are posting, for example, pictures from a recently completed project, you need to give a little background to the job, a little of the ‘who’, ‘why’ and ‘where’. That way, we’re not just saying: “This is a cabinet I made this week” but “Just completed this Tasmanian Oak glass panelled cabinet for a client in Eltham this week. A very happy client who now has the perfect display case for 20 years of sporting memorabilia.”
4. Post regularly
To get great results from your social media posts you’ll need to be very consistent and regular. It is definitely not something you can set and forget nor can you get slack for a couple of months. You’ll need to collect content for your social posts. The best way is to make this a part of your routine. Do little bits often and then regularly sit down and schedule your upcoming posts. Weekly or monthly, it’s up to you. Just make sure it’s regular. Facebook and Instagram have a great scheduling platform called Creator Studio. This is free to use.
5. Video reigns supreme
Quality posting will also need great imagery. The best kind of imagery to post is in video format (mp4). This will give you the greatest level of engagement with your posts. Video is simply more eye catching for users who are scrolling through their feeds at a super-fast rate. Shooting video isn’t everyone’s strong point, so you can always use your static photos to create slideshows. I use Adobe Premiere Rush. This is a super easy tool for creating videos and editing video content. There are loads of other options out there. Again, quality is important when it comes to your imagery. Learn how to take a good photo, or shoot a quality video or find someone with an eye for it who can do this for you. Your engagement levels will go up with better quality content.
6. Cross promote where possible
Almost all businesses will engage on some level with other businesses or with their community. This is something to celebrate and acknowledge in our posts. It’s also a brilliant way of creating another level of engagement and post reach. If you give a shout out to the business who supplied the glass for the cabinet you’ve just completed and use their tag in your post, all their followers will potentially see your post, too. Note that it’s important to get the ok of the other business before doing this as some businesses may have social media restrictions in place.
7. Be responsive
Be prepared to respond to messages and comments quickly. If you have active social media accounts then you will need to check these (possibly multiple times) every day and engage with your followers. This means clicking ‘like’ for positive comments, responding quickly to messages and questions, and addressing any critics and potentially deleting any comments that are damaging to your business. This responsiveness is very important as Facebook rewards business pages that are engaged with their followers, meaning more prominent positions in feeds. It’s also important that your customers feel that they are engaging with the people at your business and that the people are listening.
I hope that these tips give you a little more confidence to begin (or restart) your Facebook campaign. Please talk with us if you’d like more information or further tips on how to begin. We would happily help you get started, or manage your accounts if you need a third party to get things moving.