Facebook Marketing For Small Businesses - 25 Essential Tips That Will Boost Your Page

  • Author: Lauren
  • Lauren Fisher,

We regularly get asked a lot of questions about Facebook by small businesses who are trying to figure out how to use the platform. We can feel their pain because Facebook pages constantly change and evolving, and for a small team who don't always have the time to update their page, it can be a tricky thing to stay on top of.

To help answer those questions and also have a post that we can just refer people to in the future, we've compiled 25 important tips to help improve your Facebook page. We've shared short concise answers with links to posts where we have explained it, or the part of Facebook that will provide additional information.

Scheduling Posts In Advance

When you are a small business, one thing that you don't often have is the time to regularly send out updates during the work day. Luckily, Facebook recently launched a tool that lets you schedule your updates and post them at a time of your choosing. When you post a photo, video, offer, or status update, you will see a little clock symbol below the update that lets you choose the exact time that your post will go live.

This is the perfect tool to schedule all your posts in advance for the week freeing up your time so you can just run your business. The one word of caution we would give here is that interaction is also important so it would be wise to jump back in to answer queries from your fans and customers in your spare time. What this tool will do is allow you to get back to work and possibly even head off and enjoy a day off or the whole weekend properly.

Competition Rules

This is the question we get asked the most often: "What are the rules about competitions on Facebook?" The thing is most businesses see competitions as a way of gathering new likes and fans in a short period of time by offering up prizes and asking people to either like the page or share photos or other content.

However, the rules state that you are "not allowed to use any native functionality within Facebook for competitions." That means that you can't ask people to like, comment, share or do anything else on Facebook to enter a competition. It is aimed at cutting down spam and while it is annoying as a business page owner it does protect the end user from the platform turning in to a giant competition hub.

You are allowed to run competitions on Facebook tabs, but to do that you will have to either build your own app or get an app from a third-party site. To be honest, although competitions can be a great way of getting interaction on the page, for large brands or businesses with a large budget it might not always be the best way of getting new likes on your page. So just to be clear, there is no way of running a competition on Facebook unless you are using an app. It doesn't matter how creative you think you are because if Facebook catch you doing this, it will take your page down. 

Running Competitions

Once you're aware of the rules of running a competition on Facebook, you can start creating ones. You need to make sure that you run competitions within Apps For Facebook, but there are many third-party apps that will help you run one on your Facebook page. The most popular one would be Wildfire which offers a lot of functionality, but apps like Snap AppVotigoWoobox and Strutta are also useful. What functionality they provide will help you determine and shape the type of competition you're going to run.

Once you decided upon the competition format, you need to look at promotion. You will obviously promote it through your own channels, but you need to decide whether you will run an ad campaign to help promote it.

How To Invite Friends To Your Page

This is possibly the oldest (although Facebook did remove this functionality at one stage before bringing it back) way of getting likes to your page when you first set it up. Once you have created your business page and have some content, head over to the top of the page where it says 'Build Audience' and then click on 'Invite Friends.' This brings up a list of your personal friends and if you think the page is relevant to some of them, ask them to like it and they will be sent an invite. 

Add Multiple Admins To The Page

You may have a few people within the business who manage the Facebook page and rather than sharing the one Facebook account, you can actually add multiple admins. When clicking into your Facebook page, click on 'Edit page' and then click on 'Manage Admins.' Once you're there, you can add the new person either by selecting their personal Facebook account or by sending them an email invite. This works great for small businesses with a few admins, but do be cautious when people leave the company that they're not still admins. Also, make sure you don't have too many admins as they will have full control on your Facebook page as a business. 

Managing Roles

Facebook changed how brand pages work so that you could assign different roles to different people.

Where before there were just admin roles, now there are five different roles to fill. Insights Analyst, advertiser, moderator, content creator, and manager. Each role has different responsibilities so, depending on the size of your company, you may not use up all of these roles. However, if you have the luxury of letting employees take up different roles, you can assign them different roles and break up the workload.

Promote Your Updates

Most people think that when they post an update, photo or offer that the amount of people who like their page automatically see that content, but the truth is much different. Facebook uses something that it calls 'Edgerank' to decide who sees your content. This means that people who engage with your content on a regular basis by commenting, liking and sharing will always see your updates at the top of their news feed, while people who are not as engaged might not see your updates at all.

Because of this formula, it would be pretty normal for between 10-15% of people who like your page to actually see your content. What you can do is use Facebook's advertising tool to get people to see your content. Under each status update, you will see a little button saying 'Promote This Post.' Clicking on this and paying Facebook some money will mean that your post gets seen by more people who like your page. You wouldn't do this with every single post, but it is a good way to push out important content and updates that you want everybody to see. 

Change Users

Maybe you want to comment on other pages as your company page, or maybe you feel it's better to respond to someone through your own profile. Either way, you have the option of changing users at the top of your page. When you go into your brand page, you're normally alerted that you are acting as the page and not yourself. To change it, go to voice and it will give you the option to change.

Recommendations Box

While you have a comment box for fans and users to write on, one great place to help build up a rapport is to get a recommendations box. Recommendations are only made available to pages when a page provides a location, so you must provide an exact address in the 'About' section before you gain access to it. You need to provide the full address for this to be made available.

Targeting Posts

When you're sending out an update, you can also target a specific demographic either through language or location. To do this, click on the 'public' icon beside the 'Post' button and you'll be prompted to enter which countries or languages you wish to target. If you want to target multiple countries/languages, just separate them with a comma when entering them. This is handy if you have both a local and international audience and just want to post content locally.

WordPress Blog Posting

If you have a dedicated blog for your company, and you use Wordpress, you can easily tag and post onto your own page and the brand pages you manage

. You can also mention the names of pages and friends when you post to alert them to your latest post. This is useful if you want to help get your posts shared across the site.

Know When To Post

When you're scheduling posts or writing status update, knowing when to post is vital. It makes sense as you want to make sure your status updates reach as many people as possible. So make sure you know your audience by looking at analytics and be sure to experiment with different posting times to find out the best times. A more detailed guide for posting can be found here

.

Optimise Your Page For SEO

Just because it's not your main site doesn't mean that you shouldn't optimise it. Facebook pages appear in search engines too and there are many, many ways to optimise your page. Therefore, make sure you're using keywords in your updates, on your 'About' page, photos, links and updates to help improve your chances. There's quite a lot that you can do to improve your page's chances of appearing on search engines, and you can find out more here.

Activity Log

If you have posted a lot of content and you want to find a specific post, you can activate the Activity log by going into edit page at the top. Here you can see all actions relating to your page from status updates, images, tagged post and comments. You can also filter the log by clicking on 'All' at the right-hand side and selecting the content you want to see. All activity is highlighted in chronological order.

Pinning and Adjusting Photos

If you want to place an older post at the top of your page, you can do so by pinning it. To do this, go into edit and select 'pin to top.' This will prioritise this post so it will be the first thing people will see when they scroll down the page. You also have the option of repositioning photos. Select this option and you can move the image around within the frame. If you have a particularly interesting topic or image, it's well worth pinning it so that it will get more traction. Remember that pinned posts will stay on top of your timeline for seven days so be sure to switch it around regularly.

Take Advantage of Mobile Apps

While there is a main Facebook app for iPhone and Android, the app you want to download is Facebook Pages

. Practically a condensed version of your page, the app lets pages admins manage their account away from their computer. Here you can respond to updates, check out a brief overview of Insights, adjust settings and generally keep up to date with any changes made to the page.

Create Milestones

If you want to add more content on your page and create a more engrossing experience, creating milestones is the way to go. Usually reserved for important moments in your company's lifetime, it's good to highlight these with images of moments like when the company was founded and tell the story of your company.

This way, you add a human touch to the company and those who take the time to go through your page will become more invested in it. Remember that milestones can be presented in one- and two-column formats. This one from Coca-Cola shows a testimonial from 1892, showing that the company has a rich heritage. Your business probably won't go back as far, but it's good to flesh out your page and reward those who explore your page.

Interests Lists & Page Owners

Alongside the numerous other features you have on your page, there is also the option to 'like' certain pages and create a featured 'likes' list. You can also link to the Facebook pages of page owners which can help improve subscriptions for that page. To add likes or add page owners, simply go to Admin Panel, select Update Info and go to the 'Featured' section. You can add more featured likes and featured page owners who will appear on your page.

Remove Recent Posts By Others

If your page is being spammed by numerous users and it's distracting people from your main posts, you can get rid of the box entirely by going into Admin Panel and selecting Update Info. When that's done, click 'Manage Permissions' and untick the box beside 'Post Visibility.'

Merging A Facebook Fan Page & Personal Profile

The line between business and pleasure on Facebook has been blurred for some time now, but users who want to change their personal pages into fan pages have been running into brick walls. However, since March, Facebook has offered users the opportunity to make such a transition. All users have to do is go to the 'Create a Page' page.

You can select which type of page you want to 'migrate' to - business, brand, band, etc. - before you make the final switch. And it will be final. You will no longer be able to use this page as you usually would; your friends will become likes and you will lose all the personal details such as pages you had yourself liked. You'll have to start another personal page if you want to use Facebook normally, but you will have a strong foundation for your business on Facebook if you make the switch.

How To Design Your Cover Photo

A number of cover photo design apps have popped up online since the transition to Timeline late last year and earlier this year; we covered a number of them back in February

. Ideally, your cover image will be 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall, but it has to be at least 399 pixels wide. Anyway, these apps will allow you to crop pictures to size and filter them to your specifications from a range of devices.

Facebook Offers

We told you all about Facebook Offers

just the other day, and indeed, they are a simple way of getting small businesses involved with Facebook and help them to spread the word through easy offers and targeted advertising. Brands can simply create and offer by heading to the offers page and deciding on the type (online, in-store, combo) as well as other specifications, such as a budget/limit and whether it's a discount or a BOGOF, etc. Brands can then decide when to post the offer so as to make the biggest impact and target users who would be especially interested in their business. It's a simple way for small businesses to harness the social power of Facebook.

Facebook Advertising

There are a number of ways to advertise on Facebook, with a mixture of the traditional and the new. The traditional ads focus on desktop and can be found on the right-hand side of the screen. However, with the transition to mobile, sponsored ads have now become the main advertising feature. What sponsored stories do is appear directly within your news feed and come in the form of stories and accounts. If you're thinking of promoting your page this way, but you're unsure as to how these ads will appear, the company has a demo tool

which will show you how your ad will look.

Custom Tabs

Custom tabs are a fun way for brands to personalise and fortify their Facebook pages. You simply have to log in as a developer and click on the 'Create a New App' button. You will then have to create stand-alone content that can then be framed within the Facebook site, so if you have a pre-existing page or site you would like to integrate with FB, you can do that - you just have to make sure it fits Facebook's dimensions and specifications.

From there, the new tab will appear next to the tabs for photos, info, etc. as another tributary of your main Facebook page. It requires some skill at web development, which should not be a worry for many businesses, but custom tabs will help make you stand out.

Get more people to view your updates

Facebook is not unfiltered. Thanks to Edgerank, up to 84% of your Facebook fans may not see your posts and updates. Edgerank judges whether brand posts show up in people's news feeds on the basis of weight, affinity and time decay. So posts that are made at peak hours and that are popular will be more likely to spread across your Facebook network; it also helps if your Facebooks fans regularly use and view your page. By following certain criteria

, you can beat Facebook's algorithm and find that your post is being seen by all.