Facebook 101 for Small Businesses: Everything You Need to Know

When you create a business page, you can find new customers, incentivize your contacts, and make the most of the platform.

Facebook is the best social media platform for small businesses because of its popularity with users. In the first quarter of 2019, approximately 1.56 billion active users logged into Facebook every day, and 2 in 3 users visit the page of a local business at least once a week.

Compared to other social media platforms, Facebook is extremely versatile. You can post many types of content to the network, including written articles, videos, images, events, and more. Facebook’s business pages also provide a lot of useful features to connect your customers with vital information about your company.

Here’s how to create a Facebook business page and simple tactics you can use to make the most of it.

Create your Facebook business page

To create a new page, start here. Follow each prompt and fill in as much information about your business as possible. The more you provide, the better it is for both Facebook users and the Facebook algorithm. You never know what someone may be searching for, such as your business’s phone number, hours of operation, or other details.

Your profile picture and cover photo are important visual aspects of your Facebook business page, so take some extra time to make them stand out. (And be sure to use more than just your logo.) You can even use a video as the cover image to make the page feel more interactive.

Once you’ve finished the initial setup, your page will be created. To complete your small business’s Facebook profile, however, there are other features you can add:

Page Info: Find the “Settings” tab and click on “Page Info.” In addition to some of the information you’ve already supplied, you’ll see a lot of empty boxes. This is where you can include your website, privacy policy, hours, price range, and other important details users need.

Short Description: This is where you tell your audience about your company. Since you can only use up to 255 characters, think critically about what info and keywords to include. (Keywords are words or phrases commonly searched on the internet.) A mission statement can work here, but because this is social media, try to make this section fun and easy to understand.

Username: Right now the URL of your page has your business’s name and a jumble of random characters. To clean it up, create a username for your profile. Not only does a username make it easier for people to discover your business on Facebook, it also changes your page’s URL to facebook.com/yourusername.

Button: As you’re editing your profile, you may notice a long, blue bar to “+ Add a Button.” This is your call to action (CTA). When you start creating one, you’ll be asked what actions you want your customers to take: book an appointment, contact your business, etc. Under each category is a number of prompts you can select from to add a CTA button to your business page.

Templates: Most Facebook business pages follow the standard template that the social media platform provides. But if you want to structure your profile differently, you can select a different template, rearrange the tabs, and make the page’s structure your own.

Your last step is to go through all of the settings, info, and other nooks and crannies of your business profile and make sure everything is correct. You don’t want to mistakenly restrict customers from being able to message you or accidentally make your content only visible to certain people.

Gain followers

Now that your Facebook profile is finished, the next stage is to gain followers. To alert your existing customers that you’re now active on Facebook, you can add an announcement in an email newsletter or even put a sign in your store.

Some small businesses use Facebook-exclusive discounts to further entice customers to follow the page. People like deals, so these offers are a nice perk for your followers.

The hard part is building your audience beyond your existing customers in order to attract new business. This is where your content and keywords come in to play. You can also use Facebook ads to help your business make new friends.

Create content

Creating engaging posts is the key to demonstrating that you’re committed to consistently providing your followers with new content to consume.

Posting content, however, needs to be strategic. People have a lot of other things vying for their attention (and clicks). If your content doesn’t stand out in users’ feeds, it’s not going to add any value to the social media experience you create.

Your strategy needs to include what you’ll be posting as well as when:

What: This is the harder dimension of your content strategies. Your audience can eventually grow tired of an endless stream of how-to guides and lists. To keep things fresh, you need to adopt a diverse posting strategy with different types of content. Sometimes the least common types of content can actually be the most interesting because people aren’t exposed to them as often.

When: Timing is important on Facebook because people browse it intermittently. Share your content during time slots when your target audience is most active so that more viewers see the post and hopefully engage with it.

Check on the competition

If your competitors are on Facebook, take a look at their pages. If you’re not sure what content to post or how to structure your page, gaining some insight from other pages is a great way to get inspired.

Your customers may also follow your competitors, so knowing what types of content they’re posting (and when) can help you adjust your own strategies accordingly. If a competitor’s feed does inspire you, be sure to make anything you post uniquely your own.

Pay attention to data

You activity on Facebook creates data, like how many people interacted with your latest post or checked your page in a day. This data holds key info about their social media browsing behaviors, such as when they’re active, what types of content they like best, and what offers are most relevant to them.

You should also keep an eye on the data that your Facebook page produces. Not only will it help you learn how to use the platform more effectively, it can provide insights about how to run a better business.

Start posting!

With so many active users every day, Facebook is a marketing channel that all businesses should use. While making a Facebook page for your small business is the first step, now you’re ready to strategize and begin posting effective content that connects with your audience.

Written by Ashley Segura for Mailchimp. Ashley is an expert in social media marketing.