Griffiths web design based in Royston, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

 

A beginners guide to marketing your business on Facebook

Author:   Michael Griffiths

Date created:   06 February 2017

[postpic=fbMarketingBegin.png class=img-responsive title=A beginners guide to marketing your business on Facebook by Griffiths Web Design alt=A beginners guide to marketing your business on Facebook by Griffiths Web Design style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]The world today is an explosion of technology. Everywhere you go you are confronted by the digital age, it’s inescapable. This is especially true in the business world. In today’s business environment it is almost impossible to succeed without a digital presence. The first step for the majority small businesses, especially those who are just starting out, is usually a Facebook business page, and why wouldn’t you when Facebook had 1.23 billion active users on average, per day, in December 2016.[/l] [l]Note: for those who are interested have a look at Facebook company info page. They have some interesting statistics and you can see a timeline of their history which makes for interesting viewing. The Facebook company information page can be found here: [url=http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/]http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/[/url] [/l] [l]So at this point you’re probably thinking, ‘Great I’ll just create a page and the customers will just roll in’. If only this was really true. The enormous user base of Facebook means that it’s one of the most competitive spaces to market your brand. That’s why I’ve put together some tips to help your business thrive in one of the most vibrant market places on earth.[/l] [hdmd]Research, research, and more research[/hdmd] [postpic=research.png class=img-responsive title=Research everything alt=Research everything style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]Before you create your Facebook business page you will need to do some research. By some I mean lots and lots and… well you get the picture. But what are you supposed to research and how on earth do you do it?[/l] [l]Do you already have a business plan in place? If so keep it to hand because it will help you enormously at this stage. If not then I would whole heartedly suggest you write one as soon as possible. This is not something to be taken lightly, writing a business plan takes time and finesse to get right. The Princes’ trust offer some helpful advice on the subject and even have downloadable templates to work from. All this can be found at the following web address: [url=https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/help-for-young-people/tools-resources/business-tools/business-plans] https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/help-for-young-people/tools-resources/business-tools/business-plans[/url][/l] [l]So you’ve written your business plan so you have a good idea on who your target audience is and about your competitors. So now what how do you get from a list of statistics to connecting with actual human beings? Well the answer to this question comes with yet more research. You need to find out where on Facebook your target audience is most active. Which groups do they frequent? Which communities do they contribute to? Which pages do they follow? What do they like to read? What time of day are they most active?[/l] [l]Now you’ve done lots of research on your competitors and your target audience, so much you probably feel a little like a stalker. So now you feel ready to put that research to good use and start talking to people. Hold your horses their partner, there is no sense in rushing into the battle just yet. First you need to optimise your Facebook page so that your audience will take note, which brings us nicely to our next step…[/l] [hdmd]Create your page[/hdmd] [postpic=fbcreate.jpg class=img-responsive title=Create your businesses facebook page alt=create your facebook business page style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]At this stage you are ready to begin creating your Facebook business page. To do that visit the following page:[url=https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php] https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php[/url] [/l] [l]Once you have arrived at the above page then you will be confronted with several page types out of which you need to pick one.[/l] [postpic=fbBusinessCategories.jpg class=img-responsive title=Pick a page type alt=Pick a page type style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]The page type you pick will depend on what kind of organisation you are. But remember that you can come back later and change it if you feel you have chosen incorrectly.[/l] [l]Following the category selection, the next setup screen will ask for a descriptive sentence or two about your page, a URL, a Facebook page URL, and a profile picture. If you’ve selected a local business, you’ll also have the ability to select category tags to further define what your store sells.[/l] [l]About your page – You get 155 characters to describe your page. This description appears prominently near the top of your Facebook page on both desktop and mobile. Be as descriptive and helpful as possible.[/l] [l]URL – The web address for your store, company, or brand.[/l] [l]Facebook URL / username – You may have the option to choose a custom vanity URL for your page, i.e. facebook.com/yourbrandname.[/l] [l](Facebook will ask that you reach 25 fans first before you can unlock a custom Facebook URL)[/l] [l]Profile picture – Upload a main profile picture/icon for your page. This photo will appear as your icon every time you comment on a post or publish in a news feed. Square dimensions are best. Facebook will force rectangular photos to be cropped to squares.[/l] [l]Once that is done you can move onto your cover photo. Your cover photo is a chance for you to show to world your brands creativity. Make it really stand out while being in-line with your brand identity. [/l] [l]When you are creating your page you need to make sure that all of your information is filled in not just the few items in the list above. You need to remember that you are just one page out of millions so remember all that research you did regarding your target audience? Well now’s the time to put that all into action. Figure out what your target audience wants to see and then make sure it’s there. Every brand is different and every target audience is different so you’ll only be able to excel at this if you have done the research first.[/l] [l]You might think setting up a Facebook business page would be a quick and easy process, and to a point you are correct. However, to stand out from the 60 million strong crowd (statistics from this page:[url=http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/facebook-page-statistics/ ]http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/facebook-page-statistics/[/url] ) you will need to fine tune it over and over again until you have reached a point where you have conveyed your brands identity and message to your target audience in a way that your target audience would appreciate enough to visit and maybe even share a post or two. Remember none of your information you save to your business page is set in stone so if you feel as if something is not working for you then change it to your heart’s content. As with everything else in life Facebook marketing requires a fair amount of trial and error.[/l] [hdmd]Content is king, competition is fierce [/hdmd] [postpic=contentking.png class=img-responsive title=Content, the king of kings alt=Content, the king of kings style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]You will hear it everywhere you go online these days, Content is king! Long live the king! Well ok maybe not that last line but I’m sure you get the picture, the most important aspect of any social media channel is the content. It’s your wonderful and unique content that will hold people’s attention. Your lovely optimised profile may get the people to view your page but your content is what they stay for. [/l] [l][b]Do it right –[/b] I see a lot of posts on Facebook that are grammatically incorrect, spelt wrong or just badly written pieces of you-know-what. It’s not terribly difficult to run your post through a word processor to check the spelling and to read it out load to make sure it sounds right. If you have an extra pair of eyes around, preferably with a human attached to them, get them to look over your posts before you get all trigger happy and start slamming that send button.[/l] [l][b]Spread them out –[/b] No one, and I mean no one, wants their timeline filled up with your jun… marketing materials. I almost said junk but I restrained myself. You may get all offended at this point, and that’s absolutely fine. So once you’ve calmed down, and steam stops coming out of your ears, let me explain what I meant. One man’s marketing materials are another man’s spam. Not everyone who follows your page wants to see 10 different posts by you in a row. If you’re lucky they will stop and take note of the first one, maybe even two, but that’s about your limit. People use Facebook to communicate with their friends. Junking up their news feed all in one go is a sure fire way to get your page un-followed in a hurry. Spread your posts out over the course of the day and give a good amount of time between posts. Make sure you post regularly and that you are posting at the time of day that your audience is most active. A couple of posts a day will be sufficient to increase familiarity with your brand.[/l] [l][b]Have something worth saying –[/b] This should go without saying but time and time again I see posts on Facebook that were created just for the sake of posting something. These pages get immediately un-followed as if they have nothing to say they clearly have nothing to offer me so why would I want them filling up my news feed with nonsense which is not anything to do with their brand identity or products. Also I see a lot of pages that only post sales pitches. Facebook is not a Sunday market, there’s no need to stand on the corner shouting ‘Buy x, y and z here’. You’re not special, there are lots of other companies selling the same products or services as you so you need to convince people that not only are you a source of products or services but you are also a source of knowledge. People love to find out new things so provide them with nourishment for their intellect and curiosity and they will reward you with a little slice of reader loyalty.[/l] [l][b]Use images and video effectively –[/b] Lots of blogs and social media guides that I have read have said that you should add media (images, videos etc.) to each and every post. And it is true what they say about posts with media having better results but this is not always the case. I do absolutely encourage you to utilise Facebook live and to upload some videos and pictures but these have to fit in with the content of the post and with your brand image. If you’re not sure whether it conforms to your brand identity then leave it out as consistency in your content is very, [b]very[/b], important.[/l] [l][b]Schedule your posts –[/b] Your posts from your Facebook business page can, and should, be scheduled. That way you can plan your posts for the next few days and you don’t have to remember to post at whichever times your users are most active. Writing all your posts at the same time makes it easier to maintain a level of consistency in the content of your posts.[/l] [l]Tools to schedule posts - Facebook has a built in tool for the job which works great. To find this tool head over to the publishing tools tab on your Facebook business page and you will see a tab titled Scheduled posts. There are an array of 3rd party tools that will do exactly the same thing but allow you to publish to other social media channels as well.[/l] [l][b]Share other people’s content –[/b] This may sound counter intuitive but it really is a great tactic. Not only are you providing your audience information that is of interest you may also be surprised about how many of the people whose content you’ve shared will share some of yours in return and on top of that you are on your way to expanding your audience as some of those content providers may choose to follow your page.[/l] [l][b]Post regularly –[/b] In order to build brand awareness people will need to become familiar with more than just your company name. You need to post regularly, usually 2 – 3 times a day, in order for your audience to gain a familiarity with your brands personality. Your brand is a unique entity and before your audience can trust you they need to understand you. They want to know that if they come to you for which ever product or service you offer that they are making the right choice in getting it from you.[/l] [l][b]Keep it friendly –[/b] Everyone loves a bit of banter, don’t they? Well no they don’t and more to the point who gets to decide what is just a bit of banter and what is downright insulting. People appreciate the informal nature of Facebook but remember you’re not talking to your mates in the pub on a Saturday night, there’s a fine line between being friendly on a professional level and being friendly on a personal level. This is your business and you only want people to think good things about you.[/l] [l][b]Re-asses your strategy on a regular basis –[/b] The world around us changes at a very fast pace. When you step into the digital world the changes happen at hyper-speed. You need to constantly adapt to the change so regular assessment of your digital strategy is essential.[/l] [l]That’s all for now but thank you very much for reading and I hope you found it useful. Also don’t forget to check back regularly for new posts on how to most effectively manage your social media. Please share this article on social media using the buttons at the beginning and end of the post (or however you see fit, the important thing is you share it)[/l] [l]If you have any comments or question then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. And if there is anything you would like me to write about I am always open to suggestions. I look forward to hearing them![/l] [postpic=feedback-1825508_1280.jpg class=img-responsive title=Give me some feedback alt=Give me some feedback style=STYLE][/postpic]

About the author

My name is Michael Griffiths, I am a website designer and developer and the owner of Griffiths Web Design. I am based in Royston, Hertfordshire. Most of my work is local, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Essex etc. but that’s not to say I won’t work elsewhere. One of the wonders of modern technology is remote working. So no matter where the client is located it is always possible to connect.

I specialise in creating ASP.NET webforms applications using C#. I use Microsoft SQL Server for database development and on the front end I use Html, CSS and JavaScript. I am also proficient in the use of jQuery and several CSS frameworks.

One of my greatest passions in life is learning. Which is why I chose to pursue a career in web design and development, technology is in a state of constant and rapid evolution which means there is always something new to learn. I also enjoy writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

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Ahmed


Thank you sir


 
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