As a small business owner, it’s a struggle to run your own Facebook Business Page.
Correction: It’s a struggle to run your own Facebook Business Page properly.
In fact, there are a lot of local Ohio Valley and Wheeling businesses that don’t even get the first step right (creating an actual business profile).
Business owners, be sure that people can Like your page – not ask to be your friend.
Regardless of your industry, you should be aware that Facebook is a platform that allows brands, SMB’s (Small And Midsize Business), and personalities to have a professional page. When you create a Facebook page, you get access to user analytics, engagement metrics, and an assortment of online tools to help manage your profile. On the surface, a personal account and a business page seems similar but there are differences. Some good. Some bad.
I’m Too Busy to Manage a Facebook Page
I’m right there with you. I have used the Shoemaker analogy far too often in the last twelve months. My job is to create detailed digital marketing plans for clients, update websites with relevant information, and do strategic keyword research. Posting “Happy Holiday” graphics on Facebook is probably not my best use of time. This is coming from a guy that is on the computer each day.
I personally get anxious at the thought of waking up each day and having to create a new Facebook post – from scratch.
Since I was too busy to post online, I would just give up the entire process. I would let the business page sit dormant with month old posts. This was probably not the best look.
I wasn’t the only business owner dealing with this same problem. In fact, search for a few of your favorite local establishments. Find their Facebook page and allow yourself to be underwhelmed with the fresh content. I’m a sure a quarter of the pages you find have top posts from 2019.
But…there are others that are doing it right. Fresh content every day (or week).
What are they doing? Are they less busy? Did they pay for help?
Maybe they have the answers.
Does Having a Facebook Page Help Bring You Leads?
People use Facebook for community. They pull out their phones and hit that blue box with a white F to see what friends and family are doing. They want to see quick videos or funny images. Occasionally they want to read an interesting suggested article.
They almost NEVER want to learn about your latest promotion and big sales event.
Users also know that today is a holiday and that you wish them the best holiday ever.
Even though your latest television commercial is highly informative and professional, they don’t really want to see it on their timeline.
It’s no wonder that the algorithm changes over the last few years have negatively impacted Facebook Business Pages. At one time your business post was on an equal playing field with your high school best friend’s status update. This is no longer the case.
Truth be told, I would much rather talk to my friend Chad about our old school days than watch your business infomercial.
Facebook has it right and understands that.
Why Post on Facebook When No One Will See It?
Here is the biggest dilemma:
- I don’t have a ton of time to be dedicated to my Facebook Business Page.
- The easy ideas (sales, holidays, commercials, etc…) are not what Facebook users want to see.
- Facebook doesn’t want to show my content to my audience.
So you want me to spend more time working on something that will likely not work, right?
That was my thought.
Give up Facebook altogether. Keep the page and make small updates, but make it an afterthought.
If I can’t sell my services on the platform, what’s the use?
Facebook is Free Media Coverage
Imagine your local television or radio station reaches out and offers you airtime. There’s no guarantee of an audience, but the time is yours if you want it.
With over 100,000 Ohio Valley households within reach, this could be a huge opportunity.
You create some compelling content and create a local buzz. You’ve developed an audience and they will keep coming back if you keep producing high-quality content.
Now take that 100,000 Ohio Valley households and morph it into 2.7 billion users from across the globe. That’s Facebook in 2020.
Facebook is giving you the free airtime. You just have to decide what you’re going to do with it.
Change of Philosophy – Forget Leads and Gain Followers
I have received zero new leads for websites from Facebook in 2020.
Granted, I wasn’t focused on leads from Facebook. I was more active than the next guy and if it was a lead magnet I would have received at least one, right?
I ran a ton of tests on my Facebook Business Page during 2020. Most of these tests will be used in a series of blogs talking about Facebook. I’m well aware of what works to gain leads, what you should/shouldn’t do to gain followers, and most important – what Facebook is best at.
Remember when I semi-online-yelled (used bold and not CAPS) about what businesses post that users don’t want to see? Holidays, sales, commercials, etc… It’s not hard to fix these faux-pas and accomplish your real goal – gain brand followers and advocates.
Who Do You Buy From?
How do you get someone to know, like, and trust you? This usually takes some face time, in one form or another. If we learned anything from 2020 and the COVID pandemic, we know that face time doesn’t have to be sitting across from someone at a Wheeling Coffee Shop. We are getting to know people everyday.
Honestly, one of my favorite people online is someone on Facebook that posts funny MEMEs. I worked with her years ago and probably couldn’t pick her out of a lineup if she was presented right in front of me. Yet, I have a good understanding of her personality based on the content she is providing. This same person reached out and bought popcorn from my daughter when we posted her sale on Facebook.
I know, like, and trust this person from her online activity.
Use Your Facebook Page to Get People to Know, Like, and Trust Your Business
It would be no surprise that I find myself buying from a ton of Podcasters. Podcasting has a unique way of creating a connection with the listener. You almost feel like you know the person on the other end of the microphone. Podcasting, vlogging, and blogging all have this affect if used correctly.
Guess what? Facebook is sometimes called a microblog.
If you utilize the platform as it’s intended (for community), you can get users to know, like, and trust you and eventually buy from you.
It may be a very long sales cycle.
How Do You Get People to Know You on Facebook?
Getting users to find and know your brand can be a bit tricky, but there are several things you can use to get in front of your audience and build rapport:
- Go Live on video with Q & A.
- Highlight members of your team – sharing pictures and stories.
- Show behind the scenes footage of your team, business, or life.
- Join and comment in community groups and forums.
The biggest problem you will face is visibility. Your organic posts (anything you are not paying to post) will be near invisible to most of your audience. This a topic that is too big for this blog, but will be covered.
For now, focus on producing content users want to see.
How to Get People to Like You on Facebook?
Getting people to know you is hard. Getting people to like you is even harder.
What makes a person likable? Inc.com has an interesting article explaining the 6 Qualities of Extremely Likable People. You can use many of these traits to make your brand, business, or personality likable on Facebook:
- Ask Questions and engage with your users.
- Inspire with quotes and positive stories.
- Support others in your community. Share good causes and events.
- Be human. Address feedback (positive and negative). Own mistakes.
If you are running a business with multiple employees, find that employee everyone gravitates towards and hand them the camera. Going live on video with a likable person can bring that same energy to your brand.
How Do You Get People to Trust You on Facebook?
Some people are easier to gain trust than others. It may take a month or it may take a year, but you can help users trust you on Facebook. Some tips include:
- Following up with all reviews and taking ownership.
- Greet or thank users for comments, suggestions, or even liking your page.
- Educate. Share stories, experiences, and tips.
- Remain consistent on Facebook. People will lose trust if you disappear for weeks or months.
If you are selling a product or service, gaining their trust is very important. Small things you do (or don’t do) on Facebook might actually kill your potential sale. Think before you invite all of your friends and family to your Facebook page.
Easier Said Than Done: Facebook Requires Time and Skill
Facebook is free media that we can use to gain tons of eyeballs on our brand. We have a better understanding of what we should post, but we still didn’t tackle the time commitment.
And let’s face it, it’s easy to say “post these things”. Coming up with the time and content is far more difficult.
Going live might be easy for a former news personality or teenage gamer. What if you are an average small business owner?
Don’t Over Complicate
Don’t over complicate it. Being human is part of being likable. Videos don’t have to be amazing. Your graphics don’t have to be Rembrandts. You also don’t have to post every minute of every day.
Start posting and ask for feedback. If your messages are doing your business a disservice, stop and re-calibrate. A few days of mediocre posts will not make or break your business.
If you don’t plan ahead you will stop posting. Content calendars are the norm for social media marketing firms and agencies. They don’t just wake up and say, I need to find five things to post about today. They do that months in advance.
Print out a calendar and just write ideas for different posts. You can go into Facebook and schedule them in advance. Your stress levels will go way down.
If something happens during the day and you want to make a post, great! A bonus post for you! This will, and should, happen.
There are other people that can help. Find someone in your office that wants to take some initiative. Have them read this article and that should help them develop some ideas.
It’s probably helpful that they some basic understandings of spelling and grammar. Grammarly has been my hack for years.
If you don’t want to spend the time, if you don’t like spending the time, and if you don’t have someone in house – hire someone. There are freelancers, firms, and digital marketing agencies that offer Social Media for small businesses. Some are better than others, but you do have options.
Facebook does have a very long sales cycle (remember, we are getting people to like, know, and trust us), so you might not see ROI from your agency or employee for a while. Slowly you will notice more sales if you are doing it correctly.
Does Your Business Need to Have a Facebook Business Page?
If you are running a business and want to be successful in all aspects, you do need a Facebook Business Page. By not having a page, you are giving up access to thousands of your potential customers. You are saying no to free media coverage.
If you aren’t worried about growing your audience, communicating with potential customers, or building trust – don’t bother setting up an account. Having a dormant Facebook page is probably worse than not having one at all.
But odds are that if you made it this far in the article – you care about growing your business.
Facebook is not easy. It’s also not that hard if you get the right people working with you.
Eric Hersey Recommendation: The Facebook Marketing Ninja Podcast
I discovered this podcast when I was searching for Facebook algorithm trends and sample a few of his episodes. Although this episode tends to talk a lot about Facebook paid ads (which we will cover), this still provides a great look into why you should have a Facebook Business Page. Enjoy.