Making Facebook work for your business
Here are 10 very basic things to do to make sure your Facebook page is working for you and not against you.
No. 1: Choose a custom username and URL.
Does the URL on your Facebook page include a long string of numbers? Not only does that look unwieldy, it also makes it harder for others to find your business and tag it in their posts. Facebook makes it easy to replace the lengthy default URL with a clear and concise username and URL of your choosing. You can change yours in the “page info” section on your Facebook page.
No. 2: Get your page verified.
Many business pages have a check mark next to their name under their profile picture. Does yours? Facebook will verify your business either through an automated call or through a document — a utility bill with your business address on it, for example — that you submit. That helps your page show up more often in search.
No. 3: Make sure your business information is accurate and complete.
Facebook allows you to provide standard but important information — your hours, your email address, a link to your website, etc. — but also provides a space to tell your story. Spending just a bit of time to make sure you are providing accurate information while also sharing your story is a great idea. So is revisiting your “about us” page on occasion to make sure all the information is still accurate.
No. 4: Post regularly.
Nothing turns customers and potential customers off more quickly than when they check your page in March and see that the most recent post says, “Happy Fourth of July!” Decide on a bare minimum for a number of posts per week — even if it’s one — and stick to it.
No. 5: Scheduled posts for when your customers are online.
Facebook provides all sorts of information via the Insights tab. A click on “Posts” in the Insights menu will show what days and what time of day your followers are online. There’s no point in posting on your Facebook page at, say, 8 a.m. Saturday if that same post would have more impact at 6 p.m. Thursday.
No. 6: Be creative.
Don’t make every post a sales message. Mix things up. Show some personality. Use interesting photos. Run a contest or a giveaway. Try different things, then keep doing the things that work for you.
No. 7: Use video.
Facebook is currently having a love affair with video. Businesses can definitely take advantage of that fact to expand their reach.
No. 8: Engage with customers.
Every time a customer or potential customer comments on a post, your first question should be, “What action should I take?” Almost all of the time, posting a polite, professional response to that person is the right move. Responding to your customers online shows future visitors to your page that you take customer service seriously.
No. 9: Respond to every single review.
We’ve had this conversation with several clients:
Social Sound: “Someone left you a bad review. Can you help us with some background information so we can respond properly?”
Client: “Oh, that guy? He’s an idiot. He’s being totally unfair. That’s not worthy of a response. Don’t bother.”
But every single review on your Facebook page is worthy of a response. Why? Because it’s an opportunity to put your best foot forward for others who will see the review in the future.
The unfair jerk who unfairly shredded you in a Facebook review? He’s done doing business with you. That’s clear. But an honest, professional and forward-thinking response can make a positive impression on those who see the review in the future.
No. 10: Spend a few dollars on Facebook advertising.
Earlier this year, Facebook announced that it was changing its algorithm to prioritize content from friends, family and groups. That means less organic reach for your business posts. But that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. Facebook gives businesses the tools to target customers and potential customers in a variety of ways. A business can reach a large number of people for a small sum of money through properly targeted and executed Facebook ad campaigns.
Bonus idea: Consider getting outside help.
If you are one of those people who can do it all, that’s great! Keep doing it. But most people could benefit from some help. Your focus should be on running a successful business. Having a trained and experienced social media professional handle your Facebook page will free you up to do just that.
— Chris Iott is the founder and owner of Social Sound, a social media and writing agency. Chris spent more than 20 years as a journalist — the final five as a reporter covering the Detroit Tigers — before founding Social Sound in 2016. He manages social media accounts, does email marketing, writes web content and buys and manages Facebook and Google ads for a wide variety of businesses. You can learn more about Social Sound at social-sound.com or at facebook.com/socialsnd. You can reach Chris at email@example.com.