Even after years of marketing consultation, I didn’t understand the substantial benefits of a Facebook business page until I met Aaron Boyer. Aaron is the founder of Urban Kulture, a company offering workshops on growing mushrooms sustainably. He built an entire company — and even a vibrant community — using this platform. You can, too.
When I met Aaron he was on holiday from Australia. He told me he had traveled around his country in a van, renting rooms in small community centers and teaching people how to grow their own mushrooms at home using kitty litter and plastic bins. I barely believed it until he showed me the 20,000 Facebook followers who were active on his business page.
His loyal customers loved attending his workshops and encouraging their friends to join. He sold mycelium — the roots used to grow mushrooms — and online workshops for people who couldn’t participate in his in-person events. He posted photos of lion’s mane, reishi, shitake, and pink oyster mushrooms — a culinary explosion of edible fungi. To my surprise, there were dozens of comments under every photo.
He didn’t even have his own website when I first met him. His entire business strategy was centered on his company’s Facebook page. While he later developed a more robust online presence, he told me Facebook couldn’t be beat for direct customer engagement, visibility, and cost-effective marketing. Plus, Facebook offers insights on how to be even more efficient in your work.
No matter its size, every business can and should leverage the benefits of Facebook business pages. Yes, Facebook is more than just a place to complain about politics, share cat memes, or post photos of what you ate for breakfast. When you set up a business page, you improve your online presence while finding current and future customers.
It’s surprisingly easy to set up Facebook for business. With the right strategy, you can also optimize it to help your business grow as quickly as Aaron’s mushrooms.
The power of a Facebook business page
Aaron has a personal Facebook page. Like most people, you probably do, too. According to Statista, there are more than three billion active Facebook users every month. Yes, that’s billion with a “b,” almost half the world’s population!
As you likely know already, many Facebook users check into the site more than once a day. They scroll the platform because they want to stay current with everything happening. Facebook users want to check in with friends and family, learn about the latest world events, and connect with their favorite brands and businesses. If the latest thing is a discount for your services or a new product you’ve just announced, they’ll want to know this, too.
Marketing only works when you can connect with your target audience. It requires two strategies: First, to pinpoint the kind of person you want to bring into the customer journey. Second, knowing where to find them. With so many people on social media today, Facebook marketing for small businesses is a powerful no-brainer.
Key benefits of having a Facebook business page
Social media marketing involves planning and time to execute, so it’s worth a deeper look to understand why you should Facebook as a business tool. Facebook business pages provide the following benefits:
- Enhanced online presence
- Direct customer engagement
- Cost-effective marketing
- Analytics and insights
- Access to a wider audience
- Business credibility
- Personalized social outreach
- Search engine optimization (SEO) boost
Enhanced online presence
Aaron, who first had a Facebook business page and then a website, worked backward from how most business owners operate. You need a website because you’ll want long-term control over connections with your customer base. You’ve probably heard the occasional story of Facebook pages getting hacked; while rare, it can happen, so it’s best to enhance an already stable online presence with social media tools.
That said, many customers now expect businesses to have a Facebook page. Many want to communicate through Facebook Messenger. They want to comment on something you’ve posted and expect a reply. Today, a multi-pronged online presence is a necessity.
Direct customer engagement
Direct engagement is the number one benefit of a Facebook business page. Social media platforms are designed to make interaction easy, and that’s true for both personal and business goals. Foster stronger relationships with your potential customers to bring them along the customer journey.
Not only can you comment and direct message your customers, but you can also share your values, expertise, and unique sales proposition. You can highlight what makes your company stand out by regularly appearing in targeted news feeds.
A Facebook business page doesn’t cost a thing. It’s completely free — but you can still spend a good percentage of your marketing budget there. To grow your business page’s following, consider adding Facebook ads as you learn how to develop a social media strategy.
With Facebook ads, you only pay when people see or click on your ad. They are the most cost-effective when you can narrow down the kind of audience you want to reach. That’s why putting thought into your target market is so important. Hone in on the most essential demographics through Facebook ad targeting.
Analytics and insights
Once you learn how to start a Facebook business page, you’ll have access to an impressive insights dashboard. Facebook crunches the numbers for you, providing data to show you the trends of people who visit your site and interact with your posts. You can also see the demographics of those who click on your ads.
This is helpful as you refine your approach to using Facebook for business. You’ll get real-time insights into what resonates and what can be improved. After all, social media marketing plans, like all marketing strategies, are subject to change as you learn over time.
Access to a wider audience
Remember those three billion people who have Facebook accounts? It’s possible for your target audience — or even a tenth of them — to be introduced to your brand for the first time via Facebook. This is done by what’s known as word-of-mouth marketing. Many people trust the recommendations of friends, family, and even strangers more than paid advertisements. In social media terms, word-of-mouth marketing means seeing shares, comments, follows, etc. organically in a user’s Facebook feed or inbox. When you leverage Facebook in your marketing strategy, you benefit from this organic outreach.
People expect businesses to have a Facebook business page. Likewise, when they search for you on Google, they expect your social media platforms to appear. Some customers are so used to interacting with friends on Facebook that they prefer to interact with businesses there, too. Meeting your customers where they are gives you credibility — and makes you more likely to earn their business.
Personalized social outreach
Facebook allows you to truly personalize your interactions with people who want to form a deeper connection with your business. For example, Aaron always replied to the people who would comment on his photos. He could check personal profiles for locations in order to share upcoming events they cared most about. Even knowing everyone’s name is a step toward better personalization.
Which site do people use even more than Facebook? Google, of course. Yet the two connect when your Facebook business page comes up in an organic Google search. When you integrate well-researched keywords into your social media profile, you’ll reap SEO benefits on search engines, too.
When learning how to promote your Facebook page, start the same way you would with a business website. Always focus on your audience so they can find you when they search on and off Facebook.
How to create your Facebook business page
You must have a personal Facebook page to open a business page. If you’re one of the few who don’t yet have a Facebook personal profile, create one with your email address first. Whoever owns it doesn’t have to be the business owner, but it’s a good idea for the creator to be unlikely to shift careers anytime soon.
Then, you’ll want to get to a desktop to start building your page. The process is relatively straightforward:
- Look for the Pages section on the left and click “Create a new page.”
- Add the name of your business as the page name and pick a category.
- Begin filling in the information in the bio section, including your contact information, location, hours, and photos.
How to optimize your Facebook business page
Since you’re using Facebook for business purposes, maintain a consistent brand identity among different platforms. For example, if you already have a Google Business page, you should use the same/similar description for both. Again, think of your customers’ questions and answer them on your About page.
Use your company logo, if you have one, for your profile picture. Cover photos have specific dimensions of at least 400 pixels long by 150 pixels tall. Remember that Facebook design uses the profile photo to cover a large percentage of the bottom-left corner of your cover photo. Ensure your images aren’t too large, or you may have a problem uploading them.
As you set up the page, weave in the keywords you researched earlier. Think of the profile as a digital representation of your company’s values and vision. The online experience should transfer in feel and message to your website and even your physical presence if you have a brick-and-mortar storefront.
Use a consistent content strategy
Even if you are still learning social media for beginners, you’re ready for a marketing strategy. Facebook as a social network is easier to navigate for your business when you have a plan to execute. Otherwise, you may scramble to find something to post when you’d rather focus on other parts of your business.
Start by thinking of your end goals. Do you want to increase your brand awareness? Do you want to increase your sales by 10% during the next quarter? Do you want more return shoppers? A measurable goal will make it easier to create a strategy — and measure its success — to meet those goals.
Then, create an online marketing calendar. Set realistic goals of how often you’d like to post on your Facebook business page. Create a list of topics, blog posts, and curated content your customers will want to see in their news feeds. Delegate someone to make the posts and begin to work on your plan. Most importantly, remain consistent.
Leverage Facebook Insights
The backend of your Facebook business page is intuitive. One of the best sections is the “Insights” tab on the lefthand menu. Make a habit of checking your metrics, especially concerning the goals you’ve set in your strategy. These numbers provide clear trends in your results and reach, especially if you use Facebook ads for small businesses.
Remember, if a strategy isn’t working, try something else. Creativity is an integral part of optimizing your business presence on Facebook.
Get started with your social media marketing strategy today and boost your ROI
Not every business will have the same bottom-line success Aaron had with his mushroom-growing company, but that’s not the point. The benefits of a Facebook business page include a more robust online presence and the ability to interact on a meaningful level with current and potential customers. Over time, that focus on personalized attention for your customer base is sure to pay off.
If you haven’t yet, log on to Facebook and follow the steps to create a new business page for your company. Once it’s set up and ready to launch, invite your friends to like the page. You can also ask all your team members to do the same. Soon, their friends will get exposed to your page and your business will start to grow with the help of social media.