Getting started on Facebook as a small business owner can be tough and the constant evolution of social networks can make it even more difficult to stay on top of the best practices. You’ve heard the importance of using Facebook to grow your business, but actually doing it is a whole other story. Below are the 20 Dos and Don’ts of using Facebook for your small business.
- DO: Use a Recognizable Profile Picture
Being recognizable is a crucial part of being found and “Liked.” Pick a profile picture that will be easy for your potential fans to recognize. Your profile image is pictured at the top of your Facebook Page and is also the thumbnail image that is displayed next to all of your Facebook page updates, posts, shares and likes.
- DO: Choose an Engaging Cover Photo
Choose an engaging cover photo that is high quality and engaging to your visitors. To help you create an attractive cover photo optimized for the right dimension, make sure to use the correct Facebook dimensions.
- DO: Add a Call-To-Action (CTA) Button to Your Cover Photo
Facebook allows you to add one of many pre-made call-to-action buttons to your Facebook Page’s cover photo, such as “Sign Up,” “Contact Us,” “Book Now,” “Use App,” “Watch Video,” “Learn More,” “Send Message” and more. Customize the CTA button with a destination URL of your choosing. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website.
- DO: Optimize the Descriptions of Your Profile Picture and Cover Photo by Adding Links
Adding links in the descriptions of your profile picture and cover photo gives your interested fans a way to get to know your company better. This is a great opportunity to generate leads. If you decide to add links to the descriptions of your photos, make sure they are shortened links with UTM Parameters. UTM Parameters are tags added to a URL – when someone clicks your link, the tags are sent back to Google Analytics and tracked. This helps you gauge the effectiveness of your campaign and identify the best ways to drive more visitors to your website. By using UTM Parameters, you can find out how much traffic came from a particular Facebook post and tailor your content strategy to post more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
- DO: Use Facebook Targeting Tools
Facebook has a number of targeting tools that enable you to segment your organic posts by age, gender, education, etc. Use these to engage the right audience with the right content. Get specific about which audience you want to reach with your Facebook Ads. Here is a useful tool to create targeted ads to reach the people who you think would be interested in your business.
- DO: Post During Strategic Times of Day
Research shows that posts published between 1 and 4 p.m. have the best click-through and share rates.
- DO: Leverage Facebook’s Publishing Tools
Facebook allows you to schedule posts either through external publishing tools like Hootsuite and HubSpot or through Facebook’s interface itself. Scheduling posts saves time and helps you balance the types of content you share. This feature can be managed via the ‘Publishing Tools’ tab at the top of your Facebook page.
- DO: Make Facebook a Specific Person’s Responsibility
Identify who will take on the role of managing your Facebook Page. The easiest way to lose momentum on Facebook is assuming “someone” will take care of it. When you stop posting new content, you become invisible to your fans. If they’re not seeing your updates in their News Feed, they will forget you exist.
- DO: Pin Important Posts to the Top of Your Page
If you have a specific post that you want to stay at the top of your page even after you publish new updates, use the Facebook “pin” tool for that post. This gives you the ability to keep your post at the top instead of it getting pushed down on your Timeline. To pin a post, click on the drop-down arrow at the top right corner of the post and click ‘Pin to Top.’
- DO: Promote Your Page to Generate More Fans
Make sure you are constantly promoting your Facebook Page. Add social media widgets and “Like” buttons to your website and email signature so it is easy for people to find and connect with you. Embed Facebook “Like” and “Share” buttons to your articles, blog posts, pictures, videos and more.
- DON’T: Leave Your Company’s “About” Section Blank
Don’t forget about one of the most important sections of all – your ‘About’ section. A preview of your ‘About’ section lives on the left-hand side of your page and is one of the first places people look when they’re scanning your Facebook Page. Make sure it displays relevant information about your company, like what you sell, your website, your store hours, etc. This will help FAQs right off the bat.
- DON’T: Post Too Often
Don’t overwhelm your customers by posting more than a few times per day. Instead, spend more time crafting high-quality Facebook posts.
- DON’T: Be Slow to Respond
Did you know that 42% of consumers who complain on social media expect a 60-minutes response time? Whether your audience posts negative or positive comments, ignoring them only creates possible anger or disappointment. Social media is about engaging with your audience, and if you aren’t responding to questions or comments from your fans, you risk losing valuable interactions with potential brand ambassadors.
- DON’T: Delete Negative Comments
Acknowledging negative comments shows that your company is proactive in resolving issues and that you aim to serve your customers.
- DON’T: Always Sell
It’s tempting to sell on your Facebook Page, but try not to. Facebook is a great tool for conversations and building relationships with customers and prospects. Users aren’t spending time on Facebook because they want to be sold to. Use Facebook to talk to people who care about your business, and use Facebook ads for your selling messages.
- DON’T: Ignore the Data Facebook Collects for Your Business
Make sure to check your Facebook insights to see what is working, or more importantly, what is not working. See what types of posts are performing the best, what your fan reach is, what your engagement looks like and much more.
- DON’T: Like Your Own Posts
Don’t “Like” your own material. Encourage your employees and friends to share and like the posted material.
- DON’T: Forget to Post Photos and Videos to Your Timeline
Photos and videos are proven to be the most engaging types of content on Facebook, according to a study conducted by Quintly. Your content can generate up to 94% more views if you add compelling visual elements and graphics.
- DON’T: Automate Too Much
If you schedule all of your posts and automate too much, you will lose the personal touch with your customers. Humanize your brand to make the engagement experience with your customers more personable.
- DON’T: Post on the Hour
When scheduling posts, most people post on the hour. Instead, try posting at quarter after or quarter of, like 2:15 or 3:45. This will help you beat the competition by not having your posts compete with others on your fan’s Newsfeed.