Small businesses have a unique opportunity to use Facebook marketing to reach new customers and grow their businesses. And yes, this social media platform is still alive and well.
Facebook has nearly 3 billion monthly active users, so while people like to say that it’s only for the boomers, there are still a ton of people that actively scroll this platform (not to mention the fact that nearly 50% of Facebook’s monthly active users are 34 or younger).
That’s a huge potential audience for small businesses looking to expand their customer base. And because Facebook is a free platform, there’s no reason not to take advantage of it.
But simply creating a Facebook page and posting occasional updates is not enough. To get the most out of Facebook marketing, you need to consistently create content that is going to resonate with your audience, and truly build a following with those that want to support your business.
So let’s get right into what you should and should not be doing.
What Small Businesses Should Be Doing With Facebook Marketing
- Create engaging content by experimenting with it – When a small business owner is tasked to “create engaging content,” it typically goes straight to the bottom of the to-do list. After all, what really is engaging content? Well, it could be anything really. How often have you gotten sucked into a social media rabbit hole of watching pressure washing companies cleaning driveways? Oh, just me? Anyway, the point is this: there’s no blueprint to what “engaging” content is for you and your business specifically, so you need to find the sweet spot. Trust me, it’s there somewhere. Even the most mundane aspects of your business (in your eyes anyway) could be incredibly interesting for your audience. Did anyone really think that the TV show Dirty Jobs was going to take off like it did? If you say yes, you’re a liar. Just keep experimenting with your content and watch the analytics like a hawk. You’ll eventually find what works and what people want to see.
- Post regularly – Why do people tend to remember really annoying, awful TV commercials (looking at you, SVG Motors)? Because we’re constantly reminded of the brand because we see them so often, plus they’re somewhat memorable (whether in a good or bad way). The same thing needs to happen with your small business’s content on social media.
- Post at ideal times – Just because you have some extra time to make a post at 2 pm doesn’t mean that everyone else is available to consume it. You need to be posting at times in which your content is likely to hit the most people. Pro tip for small business owners: pay attention to your “Active Friends” list on Facebook, and note how the list of those that are currently active fluctuates throughout the day. This will give you a good idea of when a lot of your friends, and thus a lot of the people in your local area, are online.
- Be actively engaged with followers – If someone walked into your business and asked the front desk attendant a question, you wouldn’t be too happy if your employee completely ignored the potential customer, would you? The same is true when it comes to social media. Don’t ignore the comments and messages from the people that follow you–especially the bad stuff. Oftentimes, a company’s first response to a negative comment or bad review is to try and delete it. Instead, be thankful for the information and see how you can use it to improve.
- Post organically and don’t share – Facebook doesn’t come out and make this widely known, but sharing content from other pages gets seen by significantly less people in your audience than if you would organically post the content as your own–even if it is the exact same content. Our own analytics tracking with clients here at The Jellison Group has shown up to a 90% decrease in reach with content that is shared instead of posted. It’s easy to hit the “Share” button and say you posted something that day, but your marketing effectiveness will take a hit.
What Small Businesses Should NOT Be Doing With Facebook Marketing
- Don’t post too often – You really have to learn how each of these social media platforms functions. Twitter? Yes, it’s like a bulletin board, and the more tweets you put out, the more likely you are to be seen. TikTok? Again, you need to be posting quite frequently (but not as much as Twitter). As far as Facebook, though, more posts do not equal more visibility. In reality, it’s actually the opposite, because if you post 5 times in one hour, for example, all of your posts are now fighting with each other to be seen. This, in turn, lowers your overall engagement numbers and analytics, which tells Facebook to organically distribute your content less frequently.
- Don’t invite your entire friend list to like the page – I cringe every single time I get a notification that a friend has invited me to like their Facebook page. Here’s the fact of the matter: your friends and acquaintances don’t truly care whether your business succeeds or not. Yes, they’re rooting for you to win, but they’re not as invested as you think. But why am I mentioning this? Because getting those non-engaged people to like your Facebook page actually hurts your analytics and lowers your page’s engagement rate on the platform, which in turn causes Facebook to distribute your content even less to other people. As I’ve said in a previous blog… “At the end of the day, I’d rather have a page with a super engaged audience of 500 likes than a non-engaged page with 5,000.“
- Don’t post text-only status updates – You’re not sending a text message to a friend when you’re posting on your company’s social media accounts. You’re trying to create content that is going to be seen, and simply posting a text status makes it that much easier for users to scroll right on past. At the very minimum, you should be attaching a picture to all posts, although we all know that video content is the way to go.
- Don’t forget who your target audience is – Yes, all of the testing and adjusting when it comes to your content is going to allow you to learn more about those that consume what you post, but don’t lose sight of what you already know (or should, anyway): your target audience. While this audience hopefully expands through your marketing efforts, don’t forget about them.
- Don’t rely too heavily on paid advertising – Facebook and its artificial intelligence aren’t dumb. If you’re paying to promote (or “boost”) your content on a regular basis, it’s going to tell them that you’re not afraid to spend some money to get your brand out there. And you know what’s going to happen? Your organic (or “free”) reach is going to decline because they know you’re likely to pay to promote. We here at The Jellison Group always recommend a very organic form of posting on Facebook with our clients.
Facebook is still an extremely effective form of marketing whether people want to believe it or not, and we at The Jellison Group pride ourselves on having a thorough understanding of how this platform functions and how to get the most out of it for our clients. We are experts at content creation and know how to distribute content as well–just look at Crappie Masters, a client of ours that is on pace for 3 million video views this year without a single dime paid in advertising on Facebook.
Small business owners have enough on their plate, so social media marketing often ends up on the back burner. If you’re serious about harnessing the power of these platforms for brand recognition and lead generation, contact The Jellison Group today for a free consultation on how we can help you level up your online marketing.