Facebook has undergone multiple transformations since it launched in 2004. What started as a social network exclusively for college students is now a gold mine for marketing professionals and a user-friendly storefront for businesses and freelancers. Turn Facebook’s 1 billion users into potential customers by creating a thoughtful business page and setting up a Shop tab, then start churning out content, interacting with followers and putting together targeted ads.
Learning the ins and outs of a Facebook business page
When you’re constantly reading marketing tips like “make your business feel like a friend!” and “create a brand that seems like a real person!” it might seem like a good idea to create a personal Facebook profile for your business, with the intention of coming across as more approachable to leads and potential customers.
That’s a mistake.
You can have the same level of friendly engagement using a Facebook business page and the bonus of getting access to Facebook’s array of content creation tools, advertising opportunities and analytics. In fact, business pages make it easier for followers to engage with you because they don’t have to send a friend request to start a conversation.
Facebook makes setting up a business page a breeze, but here are some tips to get you started.
Create a vanity URL to make it easier for followers to share your page and for customers to find you. When you first sign up for a business page, you’ll get a randomly assigned number added to the URL. Go to your general account settings and follow Facebook’s instructions for setting a more streamlined, memorable link.
Choose a recognizable profile picture. A company logo or your professional headshot keep your online presence cohesive and make your brand image stick in customers’ minds. Image dimensions also matter, which is why Facebook is constantly updating them to align with the latest technology’s screen sizes. Check Facebook’s photo dimension guidelines to see what the current recommended image sizes are before you upload.
Incorporate a call-to-action (CTA) button on your page and update it depending on the campaigns you’re running. Facebook gives you the option of choosing from multiple types of buttons that link to any URL of your choice. You can also track how many clicks the CTA gets with Facebook’s Insights tool.
Spend as much time fine-tuning your About section copy as you would a cover letter for your dream job. Make sure every word fits your brand voice and incorporate a smattering of keywords that describe your business niche. Don’t go crazy stuffing keywords in the description—if you’re honestly describing your brand, the most relevant keywords will naturally work in the copy.
Utilizing the Facebook Shop tabs
The Shop tab lets you display products you’re selling with photos and descriptions, and group the products into categories for easier browsing. You can also track how popular your products are using Facebook’s Insights.
To add a Shop tab:
- Go to your page settings
- Click “Edit Page”
- Click “Add a Tab”
- Locate the “Shop” tab and click “Add Tab”
Although Facebook launched the first iterations of its shopping and marketplace features in 2015 and 2016, being able to check out on-page didn’t start rolling out until 2017. If you’re in the United States, you can use the feature if your location is in a specific geographic area and your store’s products fall in line with Facebook’s policies. If you aren’t currently eligible for the feature, you have two possible choices: a redirect that sends people to your online store to check out, or a messaging option.
To find out what options are available to you, open your Shop tab, agree to the terms and policies presented, and then:
Choose Check Out on Facebook to allow users to shop directly on your business page. You’ll need to add your business information, determine which payment method you want to use (PayPal or Stripe) and follow the prompts to finish setting up the checkout process.
Choose Check Out on Another Website to redirect people from your Facebook Shop tab to your e-commerce website.
Choose Message to Buy if you need to discuss purchases with customers before they place orders; you don’t have an e-commerce site set up; or, you aren’t eligible for the other two checkout options.
Marketing to (some of) Facebook’s 1 billion users
Facebook’s Ads program allows businesses of any size to create targeted marketing campaigns for a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. In addition to using Facebook Ads strategically and creating shareable content for your followers, there are plenty of other ways to leverage Facebook to market your products and services.
Photos and written content are fantastic, but video will get you the most traction, and Facebook Live gets the most views out of anything. Give your followers a real-time look at how you work, what you’re creating or how you use the products you created. It saves you on editing time, and gets bigger results.
As with all social media, when you post matters almost as much as what you post. Save time by taking advantage of Facebook’s “schedule post” feature. Take care of an entire week, or even a month, of content in just a few hours. Just be sure to post content based on current events as opportunities present themselves.
Facebook tracks how quickly you respond to messages, and timely responses improve your overall reputation on the platform. Monitor comments left on your page and respond accordingly. Tracking and responding to comments is a prime means of interacting with and engaging customers and leads, but it also lets you stay ahead of any social media crises or issues with products. You don’t have to respond to every public comment, but you should know what types of conversations are happening on your page.
When done correctly, marketing and selling on Facebook can catapult your business to the next level; but take care to stay up to date on Facebook’s changes, which occur with a startling level of frequency. From new feature rollouts to changes in best practices, the platform is constantly evolving—to get the most out of it, you’ll have to constantly evolve, too.