EVERYTHING Small Businesses Need to Know about Facebook Marketing

Marketing strategies have taken a huge turn since the rise of the internet. Today, more than ever, businesses are using social media for their marketing purposes. Creating a Facebook business page is the most important tool in your marketing toolbox. Facebook supplies businesses with endless creative social media marketing ideas to supply small business solutions. There are six things small businesses need to do in order to effectively use Facebook for marketing.

Via Flickr by marcopako

Via Flickr by marcopako

Offer discounts

The first way is to offer discounts when customers checkout. No matter if you are in a brick and mortar store or online only, when customers checkout ask them if they have Liked your Facebook page. If they have not, have them Like it right there in order to get 10 percent off their entire purchase. Most people will jump at the chance for a discount and Like the page, allowing you to build your Facebook Likes.

Once people have Liked your page, continue offering discounts on Facebook. This is revolutionary because businesses can live market based on the situation of both the business and the customers. For example, if you are a bakery and you have a lot of stock left with two hours until close, put on Facebook you are offering a buy one get one free deal on cupcakes. This allows you to get rid of stock while still making a profit. Or, if it is snowing outside, put on Facebook you will give a free to-go cup of hot chocolate for customers who stop in to the bakery.

Make posts short, mix up media, and be consistent

Facebook posts should be 80 characters or less. The shorter the post, the more people will engage with it and share it. While images are an important part of Facebook, do not only post images on your Facebook page. Most posts should include links or photos, but it is okay to provide text-only posts.

Post content between one and four times a week. Do not skip weeks of posting, or fans will forget about your business. On the other hand, posting too much will make fans un-Like your page. Following the one to four rule will create 71 percent more brand engagement.

Via Flickr by Coletivo Mambembe

Via Flickr by Coletivo Mambembe

Share at the right time

Even if your business is only open 9-5, do not post things on your page during this time frame. This is when most of your customers will be at work and not able to check their Facebook. Instead, post during the 6pm to midnight time slot where people are relaxing on their social media sites.

It is also important to know the best days of the week to post content. Thursday is the best day to post on Facebook. People are anxious for the weekend and making plans on Facebook. Friday is the second best day to post things since people are checking their accounts to see where friends are going. Weekends are the absolute best time to post since people spend more time on Facebook on the weekend.

Put up emotional content

People love sharing content that impresses them or makes them laugh or cry. Post images, links, or stories about things related to your business that hit an emotional nerve. If you are the bakery, for example, you can post a funny cupcake comic. You could also post a story about a bakery giving their leftover cookies to the homeless in the area. Or you could post a little known fact about baking or dessert history.

Engage users and tell them what to do 

Ask your Facebook fans questions and post polls to get them engaged with your brand. As the bakery, you could ask which of the three flavor options you should bake for cookies this week. Or you could ask for their favorite dessert to eat. This information not only engages customers, but gives you insight into their tastes and habits. Don’t be afraid to tell them to Like something, comment on a post, or share a link. Many will follow your instructions with good content, or with incentives to share. This increases your brand awareness.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Be social!

The reason it is called social media is because you need to be social online in order to market effectively. Start conversations in posts by asking questions. Respond to user comments and complaints on the page. Time needs to be spent building relationships with your customers on Facebook. This allows them to value your brand more and become loyal to your business.

What are other ways small businesses can be successful on Facebook? Let me know in comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

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