Facebook is a massive entity – the 2nd most visited website worldwide, and by far the largest of the social networks with almost 1.6 billion monthly active users. For couples, it often forms a major part of their wedding planning and for businesses it represents a massive opportunity. But many wedding businesses struggle to use it effectively.
Here, Naomi Johnson of Purrfectly Social shares her top tips for getting the most from your Facebook page (and yes, you can post pictures of your pet – but not all the time!).
1. Be Aware of Facebook’s Ts & Cs
Facebook expects businesses to use a page (formerly called a Fan Page) – not a personal profile. Even now, 9 years after the introduction of pages, some businesses are still using personal profiles, and risking deletion without warning, or automatic conversion to a page by Facebook. This is the critical statement: “You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.”. However it’s well worth reading the full document
2. Optimise Your Page
Once your page is set up, make sure it’s fully optimised. Use good quality cover and profile images; jpg format is best. Don’t be tempted to add lots of text to your cover image; it should be relevant to your business but not overly promotional. Go through all the sections of your page dashboard, ensuring you complete all the information, using your keywords where applicable – Facebook pages are indexed by Google.
It’s important to grab a username for your page – this is your customised URL, e.g. www.facebook.com/yourpage. A newly set up page is allocated a default URL which contains a long string of numbers – hardly ideal for adding to printed materials or sharing on social media.
3. Post Regularly
I know this is something many business owners struggle with. They’re too busy running the business to make time for Facebook. However, a neglected page is as bad or worse than none at all, so you have to make the effort to post updates at least daily.
I also hear “I don’t know what to say” on a regular basis. There are plenty of things you can say, and it doesn’t always have to be strictly business. People like to see the face behind the business, so by all means post photos of your pets occasionally, as well as work in progress, new designs, events you attend, staff members’ birthdays, interspersed with industry news, tips for brides and so on.
4. Use Facebook’s Posting Features
When you share an update, you have a few options. You can pin the post, meaning that it stays at the top of your page timeline until you unpin it – ideal for announcements of upcoming events, deadlines etc. Or create a Milestone – this is useful if you have a special event or celebration such as the anniversary of setting up your business. Milestone posts are more prominent in the timeline, with a larger image.
If you have an open day or similar to promote, create an Event for it and share to your personal timeline, any relevant groups, and invite any or all of your Facebook friends. Use the Scheduling tool to schedule posts in advance to go out at intervals over a period of time – very useful if you know you’re going to be busy for several days.
5. Watch Your Insights
Once you have over 30 likes on your page, you’ll get access to Insights – powerful analytics that keep you informed of what’s happening in terms of new likes, performance of your updates, and demographic information about the people who have liked your page. It’s particularly important to be aware of the times when your audience is online, so that you ensure most of your updates are scheduled for these times. (find this information in the “Posts” section within Insights)
6. Mix Up Your Posts
Each page is different. What works for one business won’t always work for another. You need to be aware of the types of content that your followers appreciate the most, so try plain text updates, links to interesting articles or blog posts, eye-catching images, and videos. Keep an eye on your Insights to see which post type performs best.
Generally speaking however, images and videos tend to do better than plain text updates – Facebook (and all social media) is a very visual platform, and anything that catches the eye is more likely to grab attention and entice people to comment, like and share.
7. Make Use of Facebook Ads
Nowadays, it’s very difficult to reach all of your followers organically, so it’s well worth having a strategy for using ads to boost your reach. This should include using the “boost post” options, and also Facebook’s Ad Manager. The latter gives you a mind-boggling arsenal of campaign objectives and targeting options – it’s possible to get very specific and show ads only to your ideal clients and prospects.
You can also send people to specific pages on your website, follow your website visitors with remarketing campaigns, create audiences from your email database and video viewers, and track specific actions such as conversions. Facebook Ads are the most cost-effective method of online advertising – a powerful tool for small businesses.