Facebook is one social network that has always really aimed to be applicable for businesses. When it comes to marketing potential they managed to do things right. But when they moved into more direct forms of business engagement, such as storefronts, the result was less than stellar. We watched Facebook checkout services crash and burn, even with small businesses.
Now the focus is once more on marketing and business to consumer communication and customer service. Which brings us to the latest incarnation of Facebook Business Pages and how they work. What can they do for a small or medium sized company that has to compete with the major corporations dominating social media today?
How Does Facebook For Business Work?
There are two different categories of Pages on Facebook. The first is a Community Page, which is usually used for blogs, fan groups and anything not listed as an “official” company or organization. The second is a Business Page, which is an official company or organization. Everything is separated to for search purposes, but really it just gives companies willing to pay for exposure priority in the auto-fill results.
When you create a page it is technically free. Setting up the page, using your logo, getting a memorable URL and profile name, putting up a cover photo and interacting as that page doesn’t cost you a dime. But while you can get a certain amount of exposure that way, it takes time and it limits your reach.
Promoting Your Page
Once you have created your page it is time to start promoting it. This comes down to two different categories: free and paid.
The first is easy enough but takes time. Every few days – or every day if you are a blog – you should post a couple of times on your page. Engage your followers, ask questions, chat with them, share posts you find around the web or from other groups. You should also go to established groups and comment (with relevant posts!) on things they share.
To post as your official page go to the gear under your cover photo and select to post around Facebook under the name. You will be able to create a separate feed from your personal account that includes groups you follow.
Of course, you should also have buttons to join your page or share content all over your official site. Don’t neglect this step.
Your second form of promotion is going to be paid advertising. On your Admin Panel there will be a promotion button. This will give you a sponsored ‘like’ button that shows on user’s feed that have interests related to your own. You select your daily budget as $5, $10, $15 or $20, which will get you increasing increments of possible ‘likes’ each day it is spent. That starts at 4 – 17 for $5 and goes up to 17 – 66 at $20.
For smaller daily budgets you can make an advertisement, or do it in addition to the sponsored promotion. This allows you to choose the daily budget outside of allowed increments. You can go as low as $1 per day, though that only gives you a couple of potential likes per dollar spent.
The benefit of this method is that you control exactly what is spent every day without fear of your advertising or marketing costs suddenly skyrocketing.
So, to recap, you start by creating a free business page. You regular post engaging, relevant communication as you build an audience. You share high quality content for people to enjoy. You also post to other groups and pages to widen your visibility. Then you dedicate some cash to a daily budget for advertising and promotion.
In the end, Facebook has made it easy and affordable for anyone to do this. Now all that is left is getting your page up and running.