Welcome to Facebook. Here’s your Starter Guide to Using Facebook For Business in the UK
Your Social Media Strategy should be about turning fans into customers – as shown here.
Fan > Lead > Prospect > Customer
And this process starts with turning Facebook fans into leads.
But, in order to do that, you have to build up three important things – just like when you network in the real world.
You can’t just connect and start selling. You should be uploading content to Facebook that allows your fans:
- to get to know you
- to establish that you are an expert in your field
- and, once they like and trust you, they will be happy to buy from you.
No matter what some social media gurus say, making Facebook work as a business promotion tool is not easy. It requires consistent effort to grow followers. And then you have to continue to engage with them as detailed below.
So, how do you get started?
Welcome to Facebook – get a personal profile
Well, the first rule of Facebook is that you can only have a one login and this must be a personal profile.
I know, I can hear you! I want a business page! But you still have to start with a personal profile. You don’t have to have any personal information showing on your Facebook page. You don’t have to make personal status updates.
But you do have to set up a personal account.
First go to Facebook.com. Now add your name, email, password and some other personal info and set yourself up with a personal profile.
Then come back here for some simple instructions on how to make the best of your time on Facebook.
Welcome to Facebook for business
Now work your way through these four posts. They contain simple instructions on how to set up a business page on Facebook. And then some important things you need to get it working effectively.
Welcome to Facebook – Setting up your page for optimum results
Click the following link for the three most important things you need to do to make users feel welcome on your Facebook business page. It’s all in the Set up of posting ability and visibility and the Message button! How to set up a Facebook business page so your fans can talk to you.
So, now you have:
- Set up your page so people can contact you.
- Added another admin in case Facebook deletes your profile.
- Started to get your existing friends to like your business page.
- Worked out how to post as yourself or as your business
Next, you need to start posting content that will encourage visitors to engage with you and your business. To like, comment and share. That’s engagement.
1. Update your Facebook status
Make sure you are posting as your business page. See the image to the left? Hover over the cog and then select your business page. This will change the image in the blue navigation bar so that it shows the profile picture of your business.
Status updates should be relevant to your target audience. Facebook’s UK users really seem to struggle with this. There are two types of Social Media – one that makes you money and which doesn’t.
This is a Business Page, so don’t talk about what you had for lunch. Unless you run a restaurant. Or are a nutritionist!
Having said that, you should still make your fans feel welcome to your Facebook page. And that they are starting to build a relationship with you and your business.
Comment on news events or make a motivational quote or industry specific tip. The majority need to relate to your business niche or things that are happening at your business. Tell a story in instalments – but it has to be relevant. Even if that relevance is a bit of a stretch. Try to find anecdotal ways to connect with your audience whilst still keeping things interesting.
If you’ve got a list of keywords, then try to incorporate them naturally with hashtags. That’s this #. It works especially well if you have your Facebook page linked to your Twitter account.
July Update – In the latest update of Facebook business pages, they have neglected to include the section that allows you to link your Facebook Page to your Twitter account. See this post to find out how you can autopost from Facebook to Twitter.
Having said that, you don’t want to come across as a business automaton. So try to make it fun and always remember not to sell, sell, sell. You’re building a relationship with your updates – engage and be interesting.
Important posts with great images can be highlighted so that they occupy the entire width of the page – across both columns – making them more noticeable.
Just hover your mouse over the top right of the status update and then select the star. They will then spread across the page. Unhighlight to take them back to one column width. So hover over the same place and select the star again to unhighlight.
Pin to Top
New products and events can be promoted by pinning them to the top of the wall for seven days. Again, hover your mouse over the top right of the post and then select the pencil to get the pin it option.
Status updates should include a link to your website or a blogpost wherever possible/relevant. The idea is to get the traffic to go back to your website to see the great content there. But without them feeling as if you’re selling something. Include a call to action in status updates and blog posts. Remind people to like or share. But vary those words. Say things like ‘What do you think?’ ‘Show your friends’.
The current timeline layout allows you to tell the story of your business. You can highlight important events and include pictures and links to big dates in your history. Milestones mean that these can then spread across the whole page.
The founding of your company or the opening of new stores The launch of new products or the success of some of your clients. Even achieving landmark numbers of fans. All will help you to build a relationship with your reader.
Milestones can be accessed via the status update box. They are found under Offers/Events. However, Offers and Questions will no longer be available after the end of June/beginnning of July.
Watch this video to find out more about working your wall with status updates
You should also start making use of the tab app pictures underneath the cover image. These can be linked to landing pages that sell specific products and services and you can also link to these in your status updates.
If you’re doing a product launch or event and pinning it to the top of the page, link to a landing page under one of your tabs. This sends people to a place where they can get more info and have the opportunity to opt in to be kept up to date.
There are four featured apps and photos is compulsory. But the remaining three can be interchanged with another 16 which are hidden behind the drop down menu. You can run competitions or grow your list with an opt in box. However, if you have an out of date image or tab, make sure that you hide it from the page. Hover over the top right of the image and then select Hide from page in the drop down menu.
2. Adding Content – What should I put in my status updates?
New blog posts, videos, photos, etc. should be uploaded to your wall every day. Some studies say that 3-5 times a day can be a good amount for a Facebook Business Page. However, for some business pages, that may be too much!
Use your Insights to see what is and isn’t working for your page. You will find Insights in the dashboard at the top of your business page. It is usually in the centre, just above the cover image.
Remember the consistency rule – try to do the same thing every day at the same time. But only if your Insights show that this type of content at this time is generating engagement.
Think outside of the box and put up content that will encourage engagement. You should not just be trying to sell yourself or your products. Get people to connect with the more personal side of your business.
There are ways of scheduling automatic posting. However, I would always recommend that you post manually if you want to get more engagement. Facebook can penalise third party postings. This means that this content will get seen by far fewer fans. There are up to 100,000 reasons behind their decision about what content goes into the news feed of your fans.
You can also link your YouTube acccount with a custom app – give us a call for a cheap and simple way to do this..
Recent statistics show that more engagement and interaction can be generated by using striking images. These show up far better and are more likely to catch the eye in the feed. They are also easy to share!
Again, try to use keywords in your descriptions and titles for links, pictures and videos – but don’t stuff.
Remember, you can schedule status updates to post in the future – you don’t have to post everything all at once. AND YOU SHOULD NOT. Even if you can only spend time on Facebook once a week, make sure that you spread out the publishing of your content over the following few days.
Social Media Management Tools
Hootsuite is worth downloading. This allows you to schedule status updates as well as showing all the relevant information about your different platforms in columns on one screen.
Having said that, some studies have suggested that third party apps could result in less prominence in your fans’ feeds and, therefore, less engagement. So make sure you also post manually and give your updates intriguing titles that make people want to find out more when they scroll through their news feeds.
Tweetdeck is no longer supported on mobile phones so, although it is still being updated on PCs, I would caution that you might want to investigate Hootsuite as an alternative.
You can create a content calendar so that you are posting the same type of content at the same time each day of the week as this ensures that you’re not repeating yourself or just posting anything rather than nothing at all.
3. Work Your Wall – or Timeline as it is now called
Review comments on your wall and respond to them as soon as possible.
Like responses – you don’t always need to comment.
Remember to add your name to the end of those replies if you are speaking in the name of your Business Page as it helps to humanise the engagement. Give first time users a warm welcome to your Facebook page.
And don’t forget to check for hidden posts that Facebook has filtered out for you.
It’s the interaction that’s important so spend some time here getting to know people who have taken the time to react to your original posts.
4. Review your Newsfeed
Click the Home page for whichever Business Page you are acting for and spend a few minutes commenting on posts and updates from your contacts’ Pages.
Remember who you are – if you have more than one Facebook Business Page, it can be very easy to forget the persona that you are trying to project and speak with the wrong public voice.
Just as with responses on your own wall, if you’re posting as your page somewhere else, it always helps to make things more personal if you sign each entry with your name so people know who they’re talking to.
Hang around for 4-5 minutes here. You’re building trust that you know what you’re talking about and have something interesting to add to the conversation.
5. Don’t forget your Message Inbox
Respond to invitations and messages in your inbox. The current version of timeline allows your fans to contact you direct privately. Whilst you cannot initiate conversations with them, these can be a great opportunity to build a relationship with those who do want to contact you away from the wall, whether it be for customer service or to find out more about a product.
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6. Growing your fan base
Make sure any of your friends or other admins’ friends that might have an interest in what you do have liked your page. There is a place for this at the bottom right of your dashboard. However, just because it says a name there, doesn’t mean that person has not actually liked your page already – be careful. It makes you look silly if you ask someone who has already liked you to do so again.
As a Page you cannot like Facebook Personal Profiles or even comment on their walls any more, so you need to focus on businesses that have liked you. Look at the businesses that are interacting on their walls and who they have liked – this shows in the left hand sidebar. You can learn a lot about what does and doesn’t work – how often are they posting, at what times, what are they posting and what gets the most interaction – pictures, links, videos, questions?
Learn what works and try it out on your Page – Facebook Insights is a great way to monitor what’s working for you and creating engagement and virality. It’s the graph almost in the centre of your dashboard.
When you’re on other pages as your business – check in the blue navigation bar to ensure it shows your business profile pic – like and comment on any interesting posts. Share good stuff onto your own business page. This helps to promote relationships with those businesses. You might even go and like their page as your personal profile in the hope that they will return the favour.
Boosted Posts are status updates that you make on your wall and then pay to promote so that they are seen by more of your existing fans and their friends. Many Social Media Managers say that these are no longer a good use of the advertising budget of a business and that there are better ways to pay Facebook for promotion – the ads are currently being updated so this post will reflect the new options soon.
Get More Likes – an advertising option available in your dashboard. Again, not necessarily the best use of any business advertising budget. Steer clear.
You should also check out Facebook Groups that are relevant to your niche/interest and make join the conversation there. Never try to sell. Just answer any questions honestly and grow trust with people. When they are ready to buy, they will come to you as someone who has proved their value on the subject within the group.
January 2014 Facebook admit that they are deliberately limiting the number of organic posts that reach your fans in their newsfeeds – unless you pay Facebook to pay to promote them.
You could spend all day on Facebook, so it’s important to have your content calendar, your list of what you need to do and stick to it. Then leave.
If you have more time later, you can return to check what’s happening but be careful because it can become a bit like the Hotel California. Welcome To Facebook – You can check out any time you like… but you can never leave!
If you have found this post helpful, it would be great if you could share it with your friends on Facebook by clicking the Facebook Like button in the section below and posting the link as a status update on your page or personal profile. Many thanks.