Facebook is the most widely used social media platform for businesses and as many as 41 percent of small businesses in the U.S. use it as part of their marketing strategy.

However, a lot of business owners have reported that their efforts are not as effective as they had hoped. This underscores the need to understand which methods should be used when using Facebook to market your small business.

Best Practices

There are key elements that you need to look into when creating your Facebook page. Remember that it is the starting point for all your marketing efforts on Facebook. The following pointers should help you get started on the right track:

1. Pick a memorable and descriptive username.

Your user name is your web address on Facebook. By default, Facebook gives you a random URL made up of numbers but you need to change this as soon as your page receives at least 25 likes (that’s when Facebook will allow you to change it). Your username should be able to convey your page topic or even your full business name.

2. In your About section, use descriptive keywords.

This section is your main text-based real estate on Facebook. So it must accurately describe your brand, company and what you have to offer using keywords that your customers might use in Google. Include your website URL as well.

3. Select the correct category for your business.

This may seem trivial but it really isn’t. In fact, it can lead to serious problems especially if you want your page to appear in Facebook Graph Search. If you operate a local business, then it’s vital that you choose this option so people can “check in” when they are in your establishment.

4. Use professional and high quality profile and cover photos.

These images are the first things people will see upon arriving at your page. Make sure they meet the ideal size requirements: 160×160 pixels for the profile photo and 851×315 pixels for the cover photo so they don’t appear skewed.

5. Maximize on your pinned posts.

Research shows that majority of people who visit business pages only do so once. Once they like your page, they will rarely re-visit your wall even if they continue to interact with your posts. So make your pinned post topics interesting and eye-catching.

Using the Facebook Button for Social Sharing

Your Facebook page and your website should work together. Your Facebook page will drive traffic to your website and at the same time, your blog or website should allow your visitors the option to like and share any posts you might have on Facebook. To do this, you must:

1. Make sure that every piece of content you have on your website has a like and share button.

This can be added manually or you can also use a WordPress plugin or third party service such as Add This so you can make the whole process easier.

2. Install the like and share option in the sidebar.

You can also opt to select ‘Show Page Posts’ when setting up the plugin so that your visitors can get a glimpse of what kind of content you usually share on your Facebook page.

crowd of people walking

How to Get Your Posts Seen by Your Followers

This is a common issue with Facebook business page owners – their followers don’t see their posts. There are two reasons for this, according to Facebook: (1) there’s so much content being shared daily, and (2) the post does not meet Facebook’s algo which shows the most relevant content to its users.

To ensure your posts will be seen by your Facebook fans, the following strategies might help:

1. Use videos.

Videos are great for organic reach. In fact, between October 2014 and February 2015, videos have received 8.71 percent organic reach as opposed to the 5.77 percent organic reach of text-only posts.

2. Check your page Insights to know what kind of content resonates with your target audience.

This feature contains lots of data on what kinds of content appeal to your audience including what post formats (text only, videos, photos, etc.) and what topics they like.

3. Overly promotional posts are being limited on Facebook so make sure you include a relevant backstory and not just a plea to your readers to buy your product or visit your site.


How Often Should I Post?

A lot of business owners are not really sure how often they should be posting and when. Truth is, it really varies when it comes to post timing. Some research suggest that Thursdays and Fridays are the best time to post because it may lead to higher engagement. For times, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. have been found to be most effective. But it’s best to consult your Insights to get an idea of when your followers are most active.

In line with this, you should also strike the balance between posting informative content and salesy content. You don’t want to annoy or turn off your followers. So if you post two times a day, make sure one of them is informative and helpful to your fans.


Using Facebook Ads

It can get really easy to spend a large amount of money on Facebook advertising. But to ensure you get positive results, you need to be aware of the best practices that can reduce the learning curve so you achieve your goals faster.

First off, use audience targeting. You don’t want to advertise to a general audience because you’ll only be throwing your money away. Test a few targeting options to find out which ones get the most response.

Next, put your most vital content first. People will most probably see content near the start of your ad so make sure your link or CTA is at the beginning of your copy.

You should also rotate your ads every 2 weeks or so especially if you are using specific targeting. Change the images and copy as well to prevent “ad fatigue.”

Final Thoughts

Facebook, when used properly, can be a very effective way to drive traffic and increase conversions. Hopefully, the tips I’ve provided here can help you jumpstart your social media marketing efforts.