Make Facebook Work for Your Small Business

So, today’s Thursday Thoughts is a bit different than usual. I hear people complaining all of the time about how posts on their Facebook business page aren’t reaching many of their followers or that they have to pay to boost posts to get things seen. I have learned a lot from experience these past few years (as well as some research). And I feel it is time to share much of what I’ve learned with you. So, stop complaining about your reach, and make Facebook work for your small business!

First of all, stop complaining about FB and it’s algorithm! Really! The algorithm is set the way it is for a reason. Imagine this… You go to your Facebook feed and as you scroll through, you see tons of advertisements and posts with people trying to sell you stuff. Mixed in occasionally is a post from a friend. Are you not annoyed? Be honest here! Do you really want your news feed filled with ads? No. Nobody does! So, Facebook has worked its algorithm to prevent that. Just because you “like” a page, doesn’t mean you’ll automatically see everything from that page. (Of course, you can make sure you don’t miss a single post from a page by changing your notification settings). FB shows you posts that you want to see based on how much you and others engage with it or similar posts.

 

Yes, the ultimate goal of having your business is to promote and get people to buy into whatever product or service you are offering. But there are ways to go about it that aren’t overly sales-y and push people away. THAT is what you need to aim for in your business page. So, how do you do that? Read on!

 

Link Your Biz in Your Personal Profile

A great way to show people you have a small business, is to link it in your personal FB profile. You should add it as a workplace and add your website and any social media links you may have. This way it makes your business easier to discover. This is something many people forget to do.

To add it as your workplace-  from your profile, simply click the “About” tab. On the left side, look for “Work and Education. ” You’ll see there to the right that you can add a workplace.

 

So, while you’re already under the About section, add in your website! On the left, click the “Contact and Basic Info” section. Look down on the right to where it has the place for Website and Social Links. You’ll be able to add them there.

 

 

 

Posting on your FB Page

People want to see great content! And great content is NOT just sharing links to products in your shop. In fact, pages who just posts links to products are the type people unlike or unfollow most of the time!

So, here is my advice for posting:

  • Be consistent!
  • Use visuals!
  • Lose the links!
  • Engage your followers and Have FUN!

Now, let me explain…

Be consistent! 

You need to first decide your target audience. This way when you create your posts, you’re marketing to them. Part of this is figuring out what times are optimal to post. This can take some time and can be trial and error. Keep an eye on your insights too and that will help.  Start with thinking about when your target audience will be online. For example, if you’re marketing to teachers, you wouldn’t want to post during the school day since they won’t see it. You’d want to catch them early in the morning or shortly after school.

Once you figure out the best times of the day to post, you need to stick with posting around those times for the best visibility. But don’t
go a week or two (or longer) between posts. People will never see your stuff. You need to create a regular posting schedule and stick with it. Posting daily is a good idea, but don’t over do it!! Once or twice a day is all you really need! You don’t need to post something 10 times a day! People will eventually get tired of seeing too many of your posts and unfollow you. So, figure out what works for you and stay consistent!

 

Use Visuals! 
People these days want information fast and don’t feel like reading lengthy posts. This is a major reason why visual content gets more visibility and engagement. Videos are by far the best content to share, quickly followed by pictures. So, if you want more visibility, use more visuals and less words!

 

Lose the Links!


THIS ONE IS KEY!!!
 I’m not saying to never use another link in your posts. But, they shouldn’t be the center of what you share. Believe it or not, FB limits the reach on posts that contain links. And do you know why? Because they see it as being promotional. Again, do you really want to see nothing but promotional things showing up in your news feed?

So, how do you get people to your items without using links in every post? Use the Call to Action button on your page! Have your website link visible and apps that are easy to access with your sites. Tell people where to click (such as using that call to action button)! Put the url in the visuals you create. Or even, put the link in the comments! There are SO many ways not to add links and still get people where you want them to go. But if you are always posting links, less people are going to see the things you share.

It’s ok to still share links in your posts on occasion. Share that new item in your shop or other links! But just don’t do it all day every day.

 

Engage Your Followers and Have FUN!!

This one is just as important as not using so many links! Don’t just post and let it be. You need to let your followers know that you are a real person who cares. You want people to see you as a person who is authentic and not just someone pushing them to buy stuff.

Have fun and post unique content! Post pictures of what you’re working on, images about things that go with your brand,  silly or interesting things. And you know what? It’s ok to do some personal type posts too! Followers want to know you are human. Ask for people’s opinions for things you are working on or thinking about! Ask engaging questions in your posts! And when people answer your questions/comment on your post, respond to them (preferably sooner than later)! Get to know your fans. If you invest time in them, they will invest the time in you and your business!

Check out this post by our friends at Kiser Krafts Handmade for example:

She not only picks a picture of a coming product, but asks an engaging question about it. You don’t think of this as a sales post, now do you? But she subtly slips it in that it will be available soon to drum up interest. See what she did there? This is not the only post of hers that I find to be wonderful. Check out her FB Page here to see more great examples!

Here’s a recent post of mine where I was just having fun!

My followers have gotten to know that I’m addicted to yarn, and some of them can really relate to this! But not only is this a fun thing, but since I create a lot of crochet items, it still relates to my brand. (Click here to visit my FB page for more posting examples.) These are the types of posts you want to post daily to get people engaged!

I read somewhere of a 70/20/10 rule for posting. 70% of what you post should be something relating to your brand (not links to products!), 20% should be sharing about other businesses, and 10% is promotional. Yes, ONLY 10% promotional (this means those links to products in your shop)!! Or I’ve even seen/heard of an 80/20 rule- 80%  social, 20% sales.

It’s not about pushing sales. It’s about getting people to trust you as a person. Getting to know their wants and needs and catering to them. It’s about marketing to them without them realizing that’s what you’re doing (like in Kiser Krafts Handmade’s post above)! Show them your stuff without doing the whole “Here, buy this” thing.

I’m not saying this is easy to do, because it’s really NOT! It is a lot of work! But to see the results you are looking for, you must put in the effort! Over time it gets easier, but some days will still be a struggle.

To help make the journey of growing as a small business easier, it’s also good to find a group of like-minded individuals who you can network with (other small business owners). There are tons of FB groups you can join! They will encourage and lift you up through the process! And sometimes, some of those people become your biggest fans and customers! Don’t just find groups you can post a link to and run. You won’t see much out of those because everyone else is there to sell to you too. You may get lucky, but don’t count on it being a main source of sales. Plus, again it’s about creating that trust with your buyers.

And while I’m on the subject of groups, I’ve found that  many people are turning to creating groups instead of pages (or moving their pages to groups) because of the limited reach, but there really are advantages to having a page over a group. If your content sucks, it doesn’t matter where you post it. It won’t get much visibility! Put in the extra effort to make your content rock!!

 

So, here’s the bottom line. FB is limiting your reach because you aren’t posting enough engaging posts. You need to think like a customer and post things consistently that people WANT to see! Post things that make them feel involved, valued, and allow them to get to know YOU. Once people see these things, they will start engaging in your posts and your reach will naturally go up. And I’m willing to bet, so will your sales! You don’t have to directly sell to people for them to buy. They will come to you when they feel comfortable with you and your brand!

 

10 thoughts on “Make Facebook Work for Your Small Business

    1. You’re very welcome Kelly!! It’s a perfectly balanced post and deserved to be in the spotlight! 🙂

  1. I will note that though I have a group, it’s definitely not a move from one to the other – I just like the added benefit of being able to sell some things exclusively to fans that I otherwise only sell at in person sales. It lets me give a little “bonus” to the close followers that other people don’t get. I can’t see ever abandoning my regular Facebook page. You’re absolutely right – frustrating though the “throttling” can be, it is the way it is for a reason, and there are plenty of ways to up engagement.

    1. I like having the group exclusively for fans too! I think it’s a nice extra! 🙂 I’ve got one as well (although I’m bad about keeping up with it). 😉

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