Facebook for Business - 23 Actionable Tips for Success
Last updated on 27/11/18
Facebook is the biggest social media website and an incredible source of opportunity for businesses. Some companies have seen amazing results from their Facebook efforts - Oreo, for instance, created a campaign that earned them over a million fans, 433 million Facebook page views, and 231 million media impressions (Source: Best Marketing).
Not bad, huh?
In this post, I give you 23 tips to get up and running with Facebook for business. I will cover multiple topics, from creating your Facebook page to setting up a Facebook Messenger autoresponder, and getting started with ads.
The advice comes from the cumulative experience of everyone at ubisend, and I will keep this post up-to-date whenever we learn something new.
Navigate this guide
As a business owner or marketer, you can use Facebook in many ways. Since this is a relatively comprehensive list, I have broken it down into three different sections. Some of the first tips are for beginners. If you want to skip ahead feel free to do so.
Section 1: Beginner - Setting up your page and best practices. This first section is all about putting you on the right track. We will talk about setting up your business page, crafting a publishing schedule, and engaging your fans.
Section 2: Intermediate - Developing your presence. In this section, we dig deeper into your Facebook strategy. If you already have a Facebook page, you may skip the first section, and start from here. We will talk about conversational marketing, the new Messenger for business trend, and effective targeting.
Section 3: Advanced - Mastering Facebook and growing your business. In the final section of this guide, we will go through some advanced tactics to help you grow your audience, reach your customers, and which metrics you should monitor.
Section 1 (6 tips)
Setting up your Facebook page and best practices
1. Set up your Facebook for business page ASAP
If you are a new business, make sure you grab your Facebook for business page as early as you can. Names go fast, so you want to secure a name that is your exact business name to avoid having to find an alternative.
If you cannot secure your exact business name as a Facebook page name, you will have to pick something close to it. Try obvious variants by, for instance, adding your city (if you are a local business) or your type of business (such as cafe, restaurant, tech).
The Red Lion had to add "norwichnorfolk", its location in the UK, at the end of its name.
Thankfully, Facebook has made it super easy to create a business page. Their onboarding process will take you through each step.
I recently wrote an in-depth section on how to create your first Facebook page, as part of a bigger guide about setting up Facebook Messenger for business.
I am going to give you a shorter version here, if you want to read the full text of the guide with illustrations and images to help, go to Setting up Facebook Messenger for your business - Your Facebook page.
The short version:
- Select your page type according to the business you run.
- Give your page a name. Make sure it relates to your actual business name!
- Choose the category that best suits your business from the drop-down menu.
- Go through the four steps of the guide (About - Profile Picture - Add to Favourites - Preferred Page Audience).
Make sure you fill everything with as much information as you can. It may seem a bit of a tiresome process, but trust me, it is going to be worth it.
Alternatively, you can skip some of the steps and come back to them later.
Congrats, you have just created your first Facebook for business page!
Pst, like us on Facebook!
2. Make sure you update all your information
Facebook allows you to write quite a bit about your business. It is important you fill in all the information you can.
It not only helps ensure your page is found through the Facebook search but also in Google search. Write a unique answer to each section on your Aboutpage.
Matt Cutts, former head of spam and search quality at Google, pointed out that Google does crawl Facebook to a certain extent.
Although a Facebook Page's impact on SEO is not necessarily clear (nothing is with the Google algorithm), it shows the importance of filling in all the information on your page.
Get a more in-depth look with Mr Cutts himself in this short 4-minute video.
3. Updates are good, but a schedule is better.
You are all set. Your page is ready. You have filled all your information. You are now ready to start sending your content out into the world.
One of the biggest mistakes business owners who are new to Facebook make is to share content erratically. They start sharing content every day, then for some reason give up (perhaps because they lack content, interest from the audience or time).
The fans become disinterested and unfollow the page because the business stopped sharing.
How to avoid this?
First, make sure you have a clear Facebook plan. The same principle applies to any other social media. How many posts do you intend on sharing per week? Where are these posts coming from? Do you write them? Do you have the time to write articles just to share on your Facebook page (they have to be unique!)?
Second, make a sharing schedule. Once you know what you are going to write about and how often to post, create a schedule. For example, you might decide you are going to post every Monday and every Thursday. Make sure you can stick to the schedule. Fans just love regularity.
The best thing to keep in mind is to be realistic. Sharing a new article to your Facebook page about your products or services every day sounds great, and it would be great, but is probably not realistic for a small business.
Choose regularity and quality over quantity.
4. Use attractive images in your blog posts
Whenever you share an article on your Facebook page, you will see Facebook automatically generates an image from inside the article.
You can choose to use that image, or switch it for another one - even an image that is not in your article.
The trick is to use the best image you can find to illustrate your article.
Humans are visual creatures, and we are significantly more attracted to images than text. Back in 2012, HubSpot shared a study that showed Facebook posts with an image generated 53% more likes than text-only posts.
Although the guys at Hootsuite pointed out that this trend is slowly fading, having a beautiful image to illustrate the topic of your article is still beneficial.
If nothing else, it makes your page look nicer to anyone who stumbles on it for the first time.
5. Find the best time to post
On social media, timing is everything. You could share your post at any time of the day and night. Facebook never sleeps. However, it makes sense only to share when a significant percentage of your audience is online to see your update.
Timed correctly, your post will be seen, clicked, and interacted with. Timed incorrectly, your post will disappear into the dark abyss of your fans' Facebook feed.
Bonus: we are going to talk about this further down the article, but here's a quick preview. Facebook's reach has drastically shrunk lately and it is one of the reasons why having a Facebook Messenger presence has proven to be so effective. At the very least, you should set up an autoresponder on your Facebook page.
How to find the best time to post?
Start with the obvious: post when your audience is awake. If you work in a local business and trying to sell b2b, your posting range should probably be between 8 am and 6 pm.
Now refine that range a little bit. Do you work at a coffee shop? Chances are your customers drink coffee in the morning on their way to work. Perhaps adjust your posting range to 6 am-9 am, when your customers are awake and most likely craving coffee.
It's all very logical. You know your business better than anyone else, you know when your customers are active. There are many studies online with great tips regarding this very topic, just remember to test for yourself. Just because the infographic below says that 3 pm is a great time to post doesn't mean it is going to work for you.
Test, measure, learn.
6. Engage your audience with images and videos
I touched on the power of images earlier in this article. For tip No. 6, though, I want to specifically talk about engaging images that are not tied to a blog post or an article.
Sometimes, the best way to engage your customers is to share a beautiful picture of something they love or relate to. Use imagery to get a reaction.
(source: Grammarly's Facebook page)
Do you work for a pub? Share an infographic on how beer is made.
Do you work in a pizzeria? Share a photo of your chef throwing the pizza dough up in the air.
Do you work in the fashion industry? Share a "who wore it best?" picture of celebrities.
Whatever your industry, remember: the point of these types of posts is to engage and connect with your audience, and for them to connect with you. You are not selling anything; you are building rapport and talking the language of your fans.
Section 2 (9 tips)
Developing your business' Facebook presence
7. Be conversational
For the first tip of the intermediate section, I want to dive into a topic that fascinates me, a topic often overlooked by businesses.
(source: KFC's Facebook page)
Your audience wants to talk to you. They have liked your page (or followed you on Twitter, it works the same for either) for a reason.
They like your product; they like your services, or they like what your brand stands for.
The best way to pay them back is to be conversational. To do so, make sure you:
- Engage the conversation (see tip no. 6);
- Reply to any comment on your page or posts (see image above);
- Reply as soon as possible whenever someone contacts your page via a private message.
Learn more about your customers' mindset towards conversations from our 2016 mobile messaging report.
Advanced tip: You may not get any comments. Your fans will like some of your posts, but not comment on them. Don't panic; there is still a way for you to be conversational.
Each time someone likes one of your posts, write a comment below and tag that person, thanking them for his or her appreciation of your content. Try to strike up a conversation. At worst, you will appear like a very caring and grateful business. At best, you will start the engagement with a fan.
8. Integrate Messenger for business. Be available.
Be conversational. Be available. Be on Messenger.
Recent studies have shown your customers want to interact with you through messaging applications. 63.9% of the people we interviewed said they expect a business to be available and contactable via a message application (Download our 2016 mobile messaging report for more stats)
Download the full 2016 mobile messaging report for free.
Thankfully, being available on Messenger is now super easy. Since you already have a Facebook business page, all you need to do is integrate your page with the ubisend platform.
Once you have integrated, you can start offering an amazing experience.
Here is one idea.
- Allow them to contact you through Messenger for basic questions about your business (opening hours, location, latest promotion, etc).
- Send them your latest article, straight to their Messenger application.
- Set up auto-responders, for an entirely automated experience.
How to integrate your Facebook for business page into ubisend
It is super simple. Here are the steps:
- Go to your ubisend account (book a tour if you don't have one yet).
- Go to Integrations.
- Find the Facebook Messenger integration.
- Connect your Facebook page with ubisend.
- Once redirected back into ubisend, select your Facebook page in the drop down menu.
- Congrats, you are done!
You can now start using ubisend, for free, to build a Messenger subscriber list. Message them at the time that suits you (but be aware of their time zone!) and deliver an amazing and unique experience.
9. Exclusive discounts/promotions
One of the best ways to engage with your Facebook fans is to offer them exclusive content. After all, we all like to feel special.
To take advantage of this, perhaps create an exclusive discount for your Facebook fans only.
(source: Sephora's Facebook page)
By doing this, you increase the loyalty of your fans and make them feel special.
10. Create contests
Contests are also a great way to engage your Facebook audience. Creating a contest sounds like much work, right? Wrong.
A Facebook contest can be super easy. The most common type of contest, one you probably have already seen, is a "Like to Win".
Share a beautiful promotional image of one of your products, and ask your fans to like and share the post for the chance to win it.
It is straightforward and effective. You will drive engagement, and reach potential customers when your product appears on your fans' friends' timelines.
(source: Good Spa Guide's Facebook page)
There are many other types of contests too. This is where creativity and knowing your audience well makes a huge difference.
If you are out of ideas, here are eight Facebook contest ideas courtesy of PostPlanner.
PS: One of my favourite contests is the "Caption this". Even if I am not actively participating, I often find myself reading the comments and liking the best ones. It is a win-win for the business!
11. Make your fans feel special
There are arguably three top social media networks out there for every industry. They might vary depending on your business, but for b2b, they are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn most of the time.
Why should your customers become your Facebook fan? Why should they follow you on Twitter? Why should they keep up with your business on LinkedIn?
One of the reasons to nudge them to do so is exclusivity. Everyone likes to feel special. Everyone wants to know things before anyone else. Everyone loves to be up-to-date with a topic, or brand.
Make your Facebook fans feel special by sharing Facebook exclusive content. Make it super obvious they and they only are "in the know".
Want to double-down on this strategy? Run a "Facebook only" campaign for a week, then take on one of your other social media accounts (Twitter, for example) and share the same info. Mention that your Facebook fans knew about this before anyone else, and link your Facebook page.
12. Put advanced post targeting to good use
Targeting your Facebook posts could make sense, depending on the type of business you are running.
Facebook allows you to target your posts based on gender, relationship status, educational status, interests, age, location, and language. There are plenty of options to work with.
Advanced post targeting will be useful to promote content to specific segments of your fan base. By narrowing down your target audience, you are making sure you keep a high engagement rate on your post which means more likes, more comments, and more clicks.
How to enable audience optimisation for your page's posts
By default, your posts are shared to your entire fan base. To allow audience optimisation, you have to activate the feature in your settings. Don't worry; it is easy.
- Go to your Facebook page
- Click on Settings in the top right
- In the General tab, find the News Feed audience and visibility for postssection
- Tick the box that says Allow News Feed audience selection and post visibility options for this Page.
- Don't forget to save the changes.
Next time you type a new post on your Facebook page, click on the earth icon drop down menu and select "Demographics".
There you will find all the advanced targeting options.
13. Include fans in your narrative
As we have seen, making your fans feel special is critical. One great way to do this is to include them in your posts.
Writing about a particular product? Ask one of your customers if they would be ok with you sharing their experience, their thoughts, their story.
If you get approval (imperative you do), name them and tag them in your post. Even better, if you have implemented a Facebook Messenger strategy make sure you send them a private message to let them know their story has been used and ask them to share.
14. Use ads to grow your fan base
Good old ads. We cannot have a list of tips without at least mentioning them, can we?
Ads can be a powerful way to grow a fan base. Some of the tips above are great ways to interact with your fans, however, if you do not have anyone to communicate with you are going to feel very lonely.
Facebook ads are also a relatively cheap way to grow your business, compared to, say, Google PPC. In this great infographic, Business.com showed, that on average, a Google ad costs 2.5 times more than a Facebook ad.
It is, of course, worth noting that each ad network has a different intent (broadly, Google for sales and Facebook for growth in brand awareness).
To earn fans, use the Promote your page ad on Facebook. Our good friends at Buffer have created a massive guide on Facebook ads, which you should read to get started. (Skip straight to the Promote your page section using this link)
15. Facebook Insights - Measure everything
As with anything in business, you need to know if your effort is paying off. Thankfully, Facebook makes that relatively easy through their Facebook Insights portal.
In your page's Insights section, you will find data that shows the engagement of your posts, reach, likes, demographics, people talking about you, check-ins (for physical places) and much more.
Stay on top of your Facebook strategy by keeping an eye on the data. Are your likes growing steadily? Has your reach suddenly changed? What types of post brought the most engagement?
Section 3 (8 tips)
Mastering Facebook and growing your business
16. Resharing - Piling on the success
The first tip of the advanced section is one that you can apply right now, with very little effort: resharing your content multiple times.
By now, you are probably in the habit of sharing each piece of content you create. You habitually share via each of your social media accounts and hope they reach as many people as possible.
The thing is, you will not reach all your fans every time you share something on your Facebook page.
Some may not be on Facebook at the time you shared. Some may be asleep (different time zone). Some may be too preoccupied with the latest picture of their baby nephew to pay attention to you.
Whatever it is, you are leaving some valuable clicks on the table if you share only once.
Venture Capitalist Tomasz Tunguz ran a test by resharing his content three times on Twitter. As you can see in the chart below, his tweets gathered, on average, 4.9 then 3.7 then 2.7 retweets for each consecutive share.
Although this test was ran on Twitter, you can imagine how that would apply to your Facebook posts.
17. Define your one true goal
What is the single purpose of your Facebook page? What do you aim to achieve? Is it to increase sales, to raise brand awareness, to bring visits to your website, to create the largest community or something else?
Decide what success looks like. Then find the metric you are going to track to measure that success.
If it is website visits, you are going to want to keep an eye on "Actions on Page".
If it is brand awareness, you are going to want to keep an eye on "Reach".
If it is creating a community, you are going to want to keep an eye on "Likes".
Track your progress in a simple Excel document, or a Google sheet. Set yourself a goal to reach, and the actionable steps you are going to take each week to reach it.
At the end of the week, write down how you performed, what you learned, and then write next week's plan.
18. Segment your Facebook Messenger lists
I previously pointed out the benefits of targeting your posts to specific audiences to keep your engagement rates as high as possible.
What is the next step? Applying the Messenger tip No. 18 and merging it to the targeting tip No. 12!
Instead of creating one massive list of Facebook Messenger subscribers, create multiple, very targeted, lists.
For example, if you are running a clothing store you could segment your lists based on gender and age groups.
Once your lists are created, write a Facebook post for each list using the advanced targeting tools explained in tip No. 12 to target the right segment of your Facebook page.
Highly targeted lists will have an increased open rate, click rate, and engagement rate. It is a win-win-win! Don't forget to benchmark your results before starting.
Remember to still be attainable to your non-targeted customers. Some people will simply want to ask you a question. For these people, put a Facebook Messenger autoresponder in place.
19. Grow your Facebook Messenger subscribers with ads
Back to the ads, but this time concentrating on Facebook Messenger.
Facebook only recently made this option available. With this type of ad, you can send people straight to their Messenger app and invite them to talk to you. It is incredibly powerful and untapped.
How to: Facebook Messenger as an ad destination
Before we get into these steps, make sure you have your ubisend account setup and your list(s) created. All set? Let's go.
- Go to the Facebook ads creation section of your Ads Manager
- Under the Consideration panel, click on Send people to your website
- Click continue
- Write your ad copy, like you would any other Facebook ad
- Choose the Facebook Page you want to advertise from.
- Under Destination, choose Messenger
You can choose between Message Text or Structure Message (JSON). If this is your first Messenger ad, focus on creating a Message Text only as Structure Messages can be a bit more advanced.
- Review your ad, and click Place order whenever you are ready.
You are all set. Use this to drive people to your subscriber lists, and deliver your amazing content!
20. Use real-life objects to grow your page
This age-old technique still works wonders. Simply add your Facebook page URL to anything you give to your customers or have around your place of business.
The most common use case is a business card. Make sure you have your Facebook page URL printed on the business card you hand to your customer.
21. Create and use your Messenger Code
Just like you can use real-life objects to drive people to your Facebook page, you can use real-life objects to drive people to talk to you on Messenger.
Since Facebook implemented the Messenger Code, growing your Messenger subscriber list has been made even easier. The Messenger Code looks like a fancy QR code: a seemingly random set of dots and dashes circling your Facebook profile picture.
The ubisend Messenger Code is this.
This code is scanned by your customers from their Messenger app contact tab.
Scanning your code will direct them to start a conversation with you through Messenger. Print your code onto objects to prompt people to scan it and join your Messenger list. Easy!
Create your Messenger Code
Before you create your Messenger Code, make sure you have your Facebook page integrated to ubisend, and your list created. If you need to, have a look at tip No. 18 for the steps to get there.
Ready to create your code? Let's do this.
- Go to your Facebook Page
- In the top menu, click on Messages
- On the left-hand side of the page, you will find a list of the people you recently interacted with through your Facebook page. At the bottom of that list, find the small "i" icon.
- Clicking this icon will open a prompt. Wait a few seconds for your Messenger Code to appear.
- Download your Messenger Code with the dimensions you need (depending on where you plan to use it).
You are ready to go!
Print the Messenger Code on menus, business cards, posters, banners, or anything else you like.
22. Find and share the direct link to your Facebook Page's Messenger
UPDATE: Seems this doesn't work anymore. Facebook have moved the "Message us" button to the right as a main CTA. The link example below still works, though! Simply take your page name and add it after messenger.com/t/YOURPAGE.
Your Facebook Page's direct Messenger link will look something like this: messenger.me/t/yourbusiness.
For example, the ubisend Messenger link is messenger.com/t/ubisend
In some cases, having a direct link might be easier than using the code. For instance, you could send that link straight via email to your entire email list, or link it from a button on your website.
To retrieve your Messenger link:
- Go to your Facebook Page
- With your mouse, hover over the "Message" button under your cover picture
- A drop-down will appear. Click Copy Messenger Link
- A pop-up will let you know your link has been copied.
You can now paste that link anywhere you need to.
Final thoughts and useful resources
You have gone through quite a long piece of content. The goal of this article was to make each tip as actionable as possible so please, take action.
Before you go, don't forget to grab these two free PDFs mentioned in the article. The first will help you understand your customers' mindset regarding social media and messaging, the second is a step-by-step guide (super actionable again) to setting up your first autoresponder on Facebook Messenger.
Like I said at the start of the article, I am going to keep this post up-to-date. If you find anything that doesn't work anymore, has changed, or needs a quick update, let me know.
Now, it is time for you to go and apply these tips. Enjoy!