Facebook has made the news quite a bit this year — between its algorithm change in January and the nearly 87 million users who had their data accessed by Cambridge Analytica. The former has meant that you, as a small business owner, may need to improve your social media know-how. The latter has left some consumers concerned about keeping their information secure — and some business owners under the gun in terms of how they handle customer privacy.
But that doesn’t mean you should hop onto your Kinetic Business Internet and get rid of your small business page. Facebook is still a valuable marketing tool, after all, especially if that’s the platform that your customers and potential leads use.
So, in the wake of all this, what are some best practices for using Facebook for small business? Here’s a deep dive from our Windstream Small Business team.
1. Engage Your Target Audience
Before engaging your target audience, it would be prudent to know who they are. Who are your main consumers, and who do you think you could reach through marketing and advertising?
Once you know those, try out Facebook Audience Insights, which compiles aggregate data from people connected to your small business page, people in your Custom Audience and people on Facebook. Some of the aggregate data includes demographics, interests and lifestyles — all ways to learn more about the content those three groups in particular are interested in seeing.
The latest change in Facebook’s news feed algorithm prioritizes content from friends and family rather than from businesses or brands. There are a few ways around that, one being that users can choose to see certain pages “first.” Another way is if your small business’ posts have “meaningful” interactions, including comments, reactions and shares.
2. Mix Up Content
Diversify your content library and assets. Try out different types of media, from blogs with images to quick hit videos to even GIFs and memes. Try out graphics versus images to best identify what works with your target audience.
Note that the Facebook algorithm also prefers videos, especially live videos that typically have higher interaction rates. And remember that Facebook autoplays videos without any sound, so feel free to add some closed captioning.
Building out your digital assets also means having paid advertisements or promotional posts. Did you know you can set a budget, a schedule and different audiences for your ads? Read more here about creating and optimizing your small business ads on Facebook.
3. The Numbers Game
Look at your data regularly to see what is resonating with your target audiences and what isn’t. From there, you can experiment with different types of posts, ads or other content to see what your following responds to the most. Check out this primer on how to read your results on Facebook Insights.
4. Good Customer Service Can Go a Long Way
Have someone respond to each and every comment left on your page — and do so in a timely manner. Include Facebook Messenger as part of your small business’ points of contact.
Be sure to set expectations. If you’re only going to respond Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., make sure that is listed clearly on your page in an easy-to-find spot. You don’t someone waiting all weekend just to hear from your business.
5. Transparency is Key
Post-Cambridge Analytica, Facebook users want to know what information the social media site is collecting from them and how it’s being monetized. You’ve probably noticed that many other companies — and social media platforms — quickly sent out updated privacy policies to their users or consumers. Small businesses should follow suit. Here are some other actions your small business can take to be transparent with your customers.
Try out these tips to improve your small business’ Facebook presence. And be sure to follow Windstream Small Business on Facebook for more deep dives into other social media platforms this month!