Facebook for business – 10 do’s and don’ts

26 August, 2016 | written by John Fenton

Love it or loath it, Facebook has become a big part of the digital marketing mix. Businesses spent 122% more on Facebook Ads in 2015 than they did the previous year and this figure looks like that’s going to continue growing.

facebook-for-business

Used effectively, Facebook can be a major sales channel for just about every type of business. And this can be leveraged on little to no budget. Facebook can provide a great communication tool for you and your customers. You can engage your market organically. You can build your company profile and increase your visibility. Here are some basic do’s and don’ts to bear in mind when setting up and managing your Facebook business page.

Setting up

DO: Use good profile image. 

This is the square image that sits above your company name in the top left hand corner. Ideally, this should be your company logo. This image will sit along side every post you make when posting as your business – so it’s quite important that it’s easily recognisable as being distinct to your brand.  Often your logo will not fit easily into the square shape provided – so you might have to get creative in choosing another image. You can always get your designer (or whoever came up with the logo) to work the branding into a nice square shape so it looks good in this context. This is well worth doing and will give your posts a polished feel.

DO: Use a good cover photo.

This is the larger image that appears as the masthead on the Facebook business page. Again it’s important that this reflects your brand well and should be as attractive and interesting as possible.  You want to make sure that it displays without any stretching or looks grainy or pixelated. You can achieve this by loading  a reasonably high quality image – and then using Facebook tools to naturally crop the section you want to use. The current image measurements are 828px by 315px if you want to control exactly how it will look before you load it in. This is also the image that is used when you do any paid for advertising, so you will want to make sure this image is working well before spending any money.

DON’T: Leave profile and cover images blank or use sub standard images – it looks lazy and only reflects badly on the business.

DO: Fill out the about section

Put relevant information about the business into the about section, including the short and long description. Visitors who happen along to the page will click the about tab to get a quick overview about who you are and what you do.  The short description should be as short and to the point as possible. Include a list of your services into the Product section if you’re a service based company. Include phone numbers and opening hours and of course, your all important website address. Leaving this section blank will result in your page being viewed as not very credible.

DO: Create a ‘Call to action’ button

The latest version of the Facebook business page allows you one blue ‘call to action’ button that sits below your cover photo. This can link to anything and should be set up according to your business type. If you’re a service based business, this could be a ‘contact us’ button that links to the contact form on your website. If you have a eCommerce site, this could be a ‘Shop now’ button that takes visitors through to the shopping page on your website.  It could be a ‘Book now’ button if your business is a travel company.

DO: Invite friends to like your page

Once you’ve completed the above steps and you’re ready for the public to view your page, invite your friends and family to ‘like’ the page. You can do this using the ‘invite friends to like this page’ button on the right hand side of your feed. Facebook doesn’t allow you to send a message with this alert so I would advise you create a post on your own personal profile, alerting your friends to the invite – this will allow them to connect the invite with you and to go ahead and give you a like – as they’ll know it’s your business or the business you work for that they are endorsing.

DON’T: Send out multiple invites.

Send invites once and once only! Doing it multiple times could result in friends unliking you to avoid getting even more invites.

Posting

Now that you’re all set up, it’s time to start engaging with your audience. This is as easy as creating regular posts as a Facebook user – you will be given the choice to post as yourself or as the business page admin.

DO: Use strong images in your posts

Nothing grabs attention better than great images so it’s very worthwhile taking the care to come up with something good. A good image will demand attention whereas a plain text article can be easily missed. Try to make it a ‘real image’, preferably a picture you took yourself,  relating to the post. Avoid the use of bland stock images.

DO: Make your posts relevant and inline with the company goals

It’s a business page, which is distinct to a personal page, so no politics or religion, (unless that’s in line with your business). You don’t want to saturate your page with random posts that you might think are interesting but are not to your customer base. Be careful using humour for the same reasons – what you find funny might not be appropriate for a business page.

DO: Use variety and add value

Post on a number of different subjects and avoid using every post to directly promote your services and products. It could be something interesting about your industry, or something that will effect your customers directly. You could write something nice about one of your clients, or a good cause that your company supports. Projecting some personality into your posts allows you to show off what makes your business different to your competition and allow users to learn more about the people behind the brand. Posts giving free advice and tips and ‘how to’ articles add value for your clients.

DO: Use video 

Video is a very effective way of communicating on the web and works especially well on Facebook. Video’s should follow the same rules as posts – keep them short and sweet and on message. Load your videos into your youtube account and then share on Facebook.

DON’T: Post too often

Unless your have a staff of writers consistently coming up with amazing content, you probably want to stick with the ‘less is more’ adage. Quality is far more important than quality. If you do have time on your hands, you can ‘queue up’ posts and schedule them using the Facebook publishing tools . One of the main reasons someone would “unlike” your business page as they get fed up seeing too many or uninteresting posts in their feed. Obviously this does not apply if the post is time relevant – so it applies to a particular event or promotion. However, you don’t want to run promotions everyday for the same reason. Otherwise you are just spamming your audience.

DON’T: Ignore comments

Comments are one of the best ways of communicating directly with your customers and potential customers. If someone leaves a comment, ideally you should reply as soon as you can – the quicker the better. This builds engagement and provides a positive view of the company – even if the original comment was negative.

Steady as she goes

Now you’ve got a functioning Facebook presence, you can monitor how well you’re doing using the ‘page insights’ section – under your cover photo, click the ‘more’ button and then select ‘View Insights’. This will give you some stats on how well each of your posts have done. You can see how many people clicked on them and how many hits to your website you received as a result.  This should give you a good idea of the type of posts that get a good reaction and allow you to modify your future posts accordingly.

Put a link to your Facebook page on your website – this adds to your credibility with Google and should result in a rankings bump.

Make sure that you monitor your google analytics account to see how much traffic you’re getting directly from Facebook – as often this will be a slightly different figure to what Facebook is projecting. If you’re doing a good job, this number will keep going up.

Summing up

These are just some general do’s and don’t to help you on your way – however, it’s only really the tip of the iceberg in terms of what your business can do with Facebook. Like any of the tools at our disposal, Facebook is only as good as the way in which it’s used. However, if you’re doing all of the above, you’ll be well on your way to getting the most from your business page.

At Inner Circle, we think you can use Facebook and other social media to help build your brand without paying for additional coverage through the use of paid ads. Paid advertising definitely has its place – especially when you want to promote a certain product or service.  However, with a little effort, you can certainly make an impact without forking out extra cash.

Please let us know if we can help you with your Facebook and social media strategy.

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