If you own a business, you need a web presence. First and foremost, that means you should have a great website. There’s no way around that. But what about social media? Is it necessary to have a Facebook business page?
Let’s see. In December 2019, Facebook had an average of 1.66 billion daily active users, according to its fourth quarter results. So, if you own a business, you want a Facebook page. The trick is to do it right.
Here’s how to make one that will not only start some social chatter but will create new customers for your business.
Building Your Facebook Business Page
The first thing you need to do is to create your Facebook business page. While it’s not difficult to do, you should be thoughtful about how you put it together. Here are a few tips.
Make a Professional, Not Personal Profile
You don’t want to just sign out of your personal Facebook account and then create a new one. There is a separate starting point specifically for businesses and professionals. On this page, you’ll see two buttons. One says, “Business or Brand” and the other says “Community or Public Figure.” For a business, you want to click the first one.
The reason this matters is that the business profiles have a lot of options for you that you won’t find on a personal profile.
The next step is to name your page. Don’t get cute here. The name of your page should be the name of your business. You also get to pick a category such as “publishing” or “grocery store.” You can always change the category later on if you’d like, but you cannot change the page name.
Create a Vanity URL
Once you’ve created your page, you may notice that your URL is absurdly long and is filled with odd characters. That’s not ideal.
Luckily, you have the option to create a vanity URL. You want to keep this short and sweet like Facebook.com/YourBizName. Having a vanity URL makes it easier for people to find your page as well as making it easier for you to market it.
Try to secure the same URL (aka handle) across all social media accounts. Having the same handle on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and anywhere else, makes it easier for customers to find you.
Have a Great Cover Photo
Your cover photo is the large, banner picture at the top of your Facebook profile. It’s also the first thing that most people will see when they open your business page, so you want it to be visually striking yet relevant to your business.
To optimize your cover photo, you need to have one that is the right size. For computers, it should be 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall. On mobile devices it should be 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall. If your photo is too small, it will get stretched and appear pixelated, and if your photo is too large, portions of it may get cropped out.
The number of mobile users is greater than desktop, so aim to make the cover photo 640 pixels by 360 pixels so your picture doesn’t get cropped for phone and tablet users.
Set Your Logo as Your Profile Picture
Your profile picture is smaller than your cover photo, but it’s just as important. This is where people will look to identify your business. You want them to be able to instantly recognize that, yes, this is the business they are looking for.
Choose a profile picture that is highly recognizable. If you have a logo, use it. If you don’t, choose a picture that clearly shows your business or yourself.
The profile picture should be 128 pixels by 128 pixels to be optimized for mobile devices. Facebook changes up these dimensions frequently, so keep an eye on it.
Go Deep in Your “About” Section
The “About” section on your business profile page is the place where you can give people a snapshot of what your business is all about. There is nothing more frustrating for a potential customer than to find a business page but not be able to get basic information like your address or business hours.
Some must-haves for your “About” section:
- Your company’s mission statement or at least a simplified version.
- Physical address
- Phone number or contact information.
- Links to your business’s other social media sites (Twitter, Instagram, etc).
- Business hours.
You can also add company milestones like your founding date, significant awards, or new product launches. These can help to round out the profile.
Add a Call-to-Action Button
Facebook gives you the option to add a call-to-action button. This is an opportunity to turn potential customers into paying customers. Something simple like “Get a Quote” or “Book Your Reservation” can start them on the buyer’s journey and take them to your website.
Customize Your Tabs
There are a number of tabs that can help visitors navigate your Facebook business page. Add or remove them to customize the experience. For example, if you don’t really use videos much, remove that tab.
Best Practices for Posting Content
Now that you’ve built an awesome Facebook business page, you need to use it strategically. That’s right. Your work isn’t done. Here are a few tips to help your social media game.
Only Post Your Best Content
While it may be tempting to start posting every little idea you have on your page, you want to restrain yourself. This page is a snapshot of your brand so you want to put your best foot forward.
If you have a blog, choose the most successful and significant pieces to share. The same goes for photos. You want every post you put out there to have a “wow” factor that helps move your Facebook visitors from potential customers to paying customers.
More is definitely not merrier. Posting too often can alienate your followers. No one likes to be bombarded with new posts from one company that don’t have anything to offer.
What should you post about? Consider the 80/20 rule where 80% of your posts offer value to your followers and only 20% involve a promotion or offer. You can find more tips like this in our guide to social media best practices for small businesses.
Plan Your Days and Times for Posts
You can optimize the number of people who will see your posts by choosing your timing strategically. Learn when your audience is most active and aim for the beginning of that time slot. If you aren’t sure, do a quick Google search for “the best times to post on Facebook” and you’ll get plenty of advice. As a rule, people are the most active on Facebook during typical work hours. You’ll see less engagement after 5 p.m. and before 9 am. (People don’t look at Facebook while working, do they? Scandalous.)
As you think about what and when to post on your Facebook business page, keep your audience in mind.
“When posting on your Facebook page, it’s important to test and learn what schedule works best for you and your audience,” said Michelle Klein, vice president of global business and customer marketing at Facebook provided some guidelines via email. “As you schedule content, you should consider when your target audience is most likely to be online, when will you be most available to monitor responses and answer any questions and what days and time are consistently optimal to post.”
Nix the Link in Your Post Copy
So you’ve written a quick blurb and attached a link to your latest awesome blog piece. Once you do that, Facebook should create a thumbnail for the blog post that people can click on to read it. Because the thumbnail is there, you don’t need that long URL link in your copy anymore. Removing it won’t remove the thumbnail.
This allows you more characters to devote to your copy. It also cleans up the look of the post.
Optimize Your Size for Shared Images
Yep, you guessed it. Just like cover photos and profile pics, shared images have an ideal size. For Facebook posts, you want to shoot for 1200 pixels by 630 or bigger. This will give you great image quality.
Videos are a great way to establish your personality online. They can also give people a sneak peek behind the scenes at your business. These videos play on Facebook users’ news feeds and can help draw people into your page.
If you really want to up your game, do some live videos. With Facebook Live you can pop up a video any time you want and give your fans a live look at an event, a talk or just a quick message.
Get a “Very Responsive to Messages” Badge
People will reach out to you via Facebook Messenger to ask questions or to make comments or even complaints. This is a golden opportunity to shine. Respond to each and every message you receive and do it as quickly as possible.
To earn the “Very Responsive to Messages” badge towards the top of your page you need to respond to 90% of all messages within 15 minutes over the past week. If you don’t quite make those numbers, Facebook may still put something on your page telling visitors that you “Typically respond within 1 hour” or whatever the case may be. These badges are important because they invite people to communicate with you and give them confidence that you will answer them.
As you engage with Facebook users on your Facebook page, remember to treat them the same way you would treat someone inside your business. Be helpful, courteous and friendly. If you dismiss people too easily just because they are “just” on social media, you’ll damage your business’s reputation pretty quickly.
Promoting and Managing Your Facebook Business Page
So you’ve set up your page and you’re posting on it and engaging with your audience. Great! Now it’s time to really start building that audience and creating brand recognition. Here are some tips on how to handle marketing for businesses on Facebook.
Invite Your Friends and Employees
The last thing you want is a new Facebook business page with just one follower (you did follow your own page, right?). Use your personal profile to reach out to your friends, family and employees to like and follow your page.
Add The Facebook Button to Your Website
Make it easy for Facebook users to find your page by adding a “Like” button on your website. Don’t hide it way down at the bottom of your page, either. Put it somewhere easy to see, yet out of the way. With one click Facebook users can go directly to your Facebook page and start following along.
Promote the page in other marketing materials, such as your email newsletter.
Utilize Facebook Insights
Some of the most useful information you can find for optimizing your Facebook business page is handed right to you by Facebook itself. Facebook Insights is a tool that any of your listed admins can see.
Page insights can show you how many people are visiting your site and when. This can help you identify the best (and worst) times for creating new posts. It will also help you figure out which kind of posts are generating the most traffic so you can duplicate them.
You’ll also be able to dig into the demographics of the people who have liked your page. Where do they live? Are they male or female? How old are they?
Knowing your audience is key to creating great content. If your Facebook audience is not matching your target audience for your products, you might want to reevaluate your content.
Automate Some of Your Posts
Why go through the hassle of trying to remember exactly what you want to post and when? There are a number of third-party social media management tools like Hootsuite, CoSchedule or Buffer that can make it easy.
By using a social media management tool you can plan out and schedule your posts for the week. You still want to interact with your visitors and add some impromptu posts when opportunities arise.
Facebook offers virtual training and materials to help business owners improve their marketing. Facebook Blueprint is a series of free online trainings in digital marketing, and Boost with Facebook is a suite of tools and training programs aimed to help small businesses navigate the digital economy. Take advantage of the resources you’ll find on Facebook and anywhere else to keep learning and make your page better and even more effective.
Good luck. Have fun. Get social!
Tyler Omoth is a contributor to Codetic.