Facebook marketing for small businesses in 2022: The ultimate guide
Ahh, Facebook. The only social media platform that is both nostalgic and current at the same time (do you remember poking??).
TheFacebook, Facebook, Meta—it’s been known by many names. But we all know that when it comes to social media, Mark Zuckerberg’s creation is the original, all-encompassing, record-smashing, has-a-whole-film-about-it, social networking behemoth.
But before we get stuck into things, we want to take a quick second or two here to dazzle you with some numbers.
Facebook currently has a staggering 2.936 billion monthly active users, placing it at the tippy top of the world’s most active social media platforms. And with the global population currently at 7.868 billion, that means that around 37% of all the people on the planet have a Facebook account.
That’s a lot of social networking.
Facebook was originally used to find your old friend Sarah from high school or to let people know exactly what your thoughts were on the “pineapple on pizza?” debate. But the platform has undergone a huge amount of evolution since its humble beginnings in Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room back in 2004.
Nowadays, Facebook has become much more than just a social media platform. With its worldwide reach and billions of users, it has become the perfect place to build, share, and develop small businesses. In fact, a massive 90% of marketers use Facebook to market their products, while 47% of marketers say that Facebook is the most important social platform.
But how exactly can you make use of the most social of all networks and become a Facebook marketing expert? We’ll take you through some of the best tips and tricks in our ultimate guide to help promote and grow your business on Facebook.
Table of contents
- How to use Facebook marketing for small businesses
- Building a Facebook marketing strategy
- How to create Facebook ads for small businesses
- Should you use Facebook to market your small business?
How to use Facebook marketing for small businesses
Getting started with Facebook’s business pages
Promoting a business on Facebook isn’t the same as having a personal page. Instead, Facebook offers what it calls a “business page.” This is a public social media profile that is designed specifically for commercial organizations.
In a similar way to a personal Facebook account, Facebook business pages allow you to create connections online to grow your audience. Brands use their business pages to promote and market their products or services to the audience they’ve built. This is done through media posts, links, status updates, and photos and videos.
Business owners can then connect and engage with their audience through their brand, rather than through their own personal Facebook accounts.
Setting up your page
Getting a business page set up is simple and straightforward—all you need is an existing Facebook account (and if you don’t have one already, it’s just as simple to create a new one).
Once you’re logged into your account, follow these steps to create your own business page:
- Go to your Facebook profile page.
- At the top of the page, click on the Menu icon (the icon with nine dots arranged in three rows). Then under the Create header, choose Page.
- You’ll then be taken to a new page where you’ll be instructed to choose a name, the category that describes the type of business your new page represents, and a description of what your business is.
- Once these sections are complete, click Create Page.
Et voilà! You are now the proud new owner of a Facebook business marketing page.
Completing your page
Now that you’ve added the basics, you can start to dive a little deeper into everything the platform has to offer.
Facebook allows you to have a number of different sections that you can use to bolster the information you have on your page. You can add an “About” page, a page full of your reviews, and even an events section where you can let people know about any upcoming events that your business is holding.
Not every section available will be relevant to your business. But these extra sections can help to split up your page and not have it feel too overcrowded, whilst still getting as much information to your audience as possible.
Building your brand
Once you’ve filled out all of the relevant information on your business page, you’ll want to jazz it up with a profile picture and a cover photo that accurately reflects your business.
There are million-and-one things that need to be considered when creating your brand, but the imagery is right up there as one of the most important. Attractive, eye-catching logos and graphics are an important step in building the visuals of your brand—leading to better engagement and recognition from your audience.
Just to throw out some examples, picture the most famous brands in the world right now.
You can’t think of McDonald’s without seeing that giant yellow “M.”
You wouldn’t picture Nike without the iconic black tick.
You can’t help but associate Starbucks with the green mermaid—for some reason.
Facebook allows you to put your logo front and center—with a supporting cover picture alongside it—so it’s the first thing that your audience will see. That’s why your brand imagery is such a key tool.
For some easy-to-use tools, try our range of design templates.
Once your page is fully up and running, all that’s left to do is be active and engaging. Because let’s be honest, if you open up a business page in 2022 and the last post shown is something along the lines of:
“Wow, what an exciting end! What did you think of the Athens Olympics?”
August 29, 2004
Then you’re pretty much certainly going to close the page and carry on with your day, right?
While this may be a bit of an extreme (and silly) example, it highlights the importance of staying active on your page. Your business is a living and breathing entity, and your audience will want to engage with you in real-time.
By posting regular, quality, and relevant content—as well as regularly replying to comments—you can keep your audience engaged and included.
Building a Facebook marketing strategy
Now that you’ve got a fancy new page that’s fit to burst with the personality of your business and brand, you’ll want to make sure that people actually see it. And that means you have to create a marketing strategy.
One of the main focuses of a marketing strategy is promoting your business, so let’s take a look at how you can effectively promote your business on Facebook.
The most obvious option here is to post quality content that your target audience will want to read. But as with most things, this is far easier said than done.
Facebook is a saturated environment. There are a staggering amount of businesses on the platform—all trying to get their voices heard. Because of this, Facebook has to carefully sift through and choose which posts it will display in a user’s News Feed. This is done through a specially curated algorithm that picks the best, most relevant content to show to users.
We’re sorry to tell you that there is no one-size-fits-all way to create a post that favors both Facebook’s algorithm and your audience. Mainly because each individual business will have its own unique approach and its own style.
But luckily, there are still some universal principles that most business owners can use as a guideline for creating quality content that audiences want to see, and which ticks the right boxes for Facebook.
Our top 6 best tips for creating quality Facebook posts
1. Know your audience
Most business owners will have created a business plan when they were starting out. One of the key sections of a business plan is consumer research, where business owners will study their target market to find out exactly what it is they’re looking for.
Now is the perfect time to put that information to use.
Take everything you know about your audience and use that information to carefully sculpt content that they will want to see. When the right content finds the right audience, engagement levels will soar. And the higher the engagement rate, the more “trusted” the content will become by Facebook’s algorithm. Meaning it will appear on more people’s News Feeds.
2. Keep it short and sweet
There is a time and a place for beautifully written, long-form content that takes the reader on a winding journey.
But Facebook isn’t it.
While Facebook allows you to post up to a huge 63,206 characters, posts that are kept simple and to the point perform far better than long-winded posts. In fact, posts that are 50 characters or fewer have been found to generate a much higher average engagement than posts with 50+ characters.
3. Ask questions
Do you like being asked questions?
Questions are made to be answered. And when a question is asked online, someone is bound to answer it. Asking questions in your posts is a great way to start conversations with your audience, and conversations are a great way to build a relationship.
The key to asking your audience questions is utilizing open-ended questions. People will be far less likely to want to answer simple “yes or no” questions and will prefer to give an answer that they can add their own spin to.
So “Do you like our new design?” can be replaced with the much more engaging “What do you love about our new design?”.
4. Timing is everything
Analysis has shown that the time of day that you post can make a big difference. Quite bizarrely, recent studies have shown that the best time to post on Facebook during the week (Monday to Friday) is around 3 am.
5. Be authentic
People buy from people they trust. And being authentic is the best way to build that trust. Studies have shown that 88% of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support.
Letting your personality and authenticity shine through your posts is a great way to create connections with the reader. You’ll have an easier time creating content and your content will perform better—what’s not to love about that?
6. Work with the algorithm
It might be tempting to try and manipulate the Facebook algorithm to boost your chances of being seen. But everything we’ve listed here is about working with the algorithm, not manipulating or working against it.
There’s a reason why Facebook is so successful—it knows exactly what it’s doing.
That means it can spot manipulation attempts from a mile off. So instead of helping to boost your reputation, Facebook will consider your attempts as spam and you’ll fall right to the back of the queue.
So trust us here. It’s not worth it.
When it comes to Facebook’s marketing services, one of the best ways to promote your business is through the paid ads Facebook runs across its site.
Facebook adverts help you to reach an audience that extends past just those who follow your page. It’s the perfect way to branch out and build relationships with a wider audience and get better engagement levels.
There are two different types of ads to choose from on the platform; boosted posts and Facebook ads.
The boosted post function allows you to pay a fee to “boost” one of your existing business posts to a specific target audience. Boosted posts are a simple, easy way to advertise your business on Facebook. You can choose your target audience, set a budget of how much you want to spend, and then choose how long you want the post to be boosted.
Once you submit this information Facebook will review your ad to make sure it fits in with its guidelines. Once it’s been approved, it will be published and your target audience will see the boosted post in their News Feed.
This is a really effective way to boost your brand recognition and awareness, and drive sales. Only the demographics that you’ve picked out will see these posts, so you can be sure that your products are being seen by the right people.
Facebook ads are a more traditional advertising method where you can create a specific advertisement with more customization options than boosted posts. These adverts can then be shared on Instagram and through Messenger, and you can also choose where the advert will appear, such as on the side of the reader’s News Feed or in the main body of the feed.
How to create Facebook ads for small businesses
Creating quality advertisements is key to connecting and engaging with your audience.
You can create your advert on the Facebook Ads Manager platform. Here, you can fully design your own advert that promotes your business in your voice and style.
To begin the process of creating an advert on Facebook, go to your business page and click Promote, then click Create new ad.
The first question you’ll be asked is what the goal of your advert is. This can be anything from getting more visitors to your external website to getting more likes for your Facebook business page. You can also make a number of choices on who will see it and how they will see it.
It’s here that you can decide whether you want to create an ad or boost an existing post. To boost a post, simply click on Use a post under the “Ad creative” section.
You can target your ads based on a number of different factors such as:
- Marital status
This gives you the ability to really hone in on your audience and pick exactly who will see your advert. Because after all, if you’re selling personalized dog collars, you might not want to spend your money advertising to cat lovers.
You can also detail exactly how much you want to spend on your advert. You can tailor your budget to decide on:
- The overall amount of money spent
- Your daily budget
- The cost per result
This means that you can be charged by specific actions, such as by the number of views or the number of clicks your advert gets. Although it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you’ll only be charged if your advert works, as you’ll still have to pay for running your advert in the first place.
Now, let’s focus on the tips and tricks for actually sculpting your advert.
Building the perfect Facebook ads
Curating creative copy
For marketing on Facebook, copy is everything. Just like a love letter, you need to find the right words to get the reader to fall in love with you…
Metaphorically, of course.
The copy for Facebook adverts is split into two main components; the headline, and the description.
Your headline is critical. It’s the hook that draws the eye and is key to whether the reader will carry on reading. As famous advertising legend David Ogilvy says:
“On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
But that’s not to say that the description isn’t also important. Because once you’ve hooked them, you need your body copy to seal the deal and get the reader to click and engage.
To finish off your copy with a flourish, it’s good practice to include what’s known as a “call to action.” This is a button that encourages the reader to take a specific action, whether that’s “Click here to find out more,” “Visit our website,” or simply “Call now.”
Dazzling them with your imagery
Facebook adverts work best when they’re paired with an image. In fact, Facebook posts that include promotion images see 2.3 times more engagement than posts that are purely text-based.
To make your imagery shine, be sure to use high-quality images that are relevant to your advert. It’s all well and good to find a gorgeous image of rolling mountainsides, peaks glistening with white snow, and a distant storm striking down thunderbolts over the landscape.
But if you’re advertising swimming shorts then your audience might struggle to make the connection.
We know that some of you may be worrying that you don’t have the budget to hire a designer or know that your design skills won’t be up to scratch, but you can easily create your own design content by using a simplified version of more complex design tools with VistaCreate. Our beautiful and easy-to-use templates will get your designs up and running in no time at all.
Creating your own content is a great way to engage your audience. It means that you can ensure that your content is wholly relevant to your business—and that your personality and originality can really shine through. Just remember to keep your designs consistent with your brand, as studies have shown that a consistent presentation of a brand can increase revenue by 33%.
When it comes to adding text to your images, Facebook has a set of guidelines that it’s put in place to help your images perform better. So be sure to give the guidelines a read if you want to add text to your images.
Should you use Facebook to market your small business?
To put it simply, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.
With potential audiences of almost 3 billion, easy-to-use tools, and the potential for exponential growth—using Facebook for business purposes just works. It is a fantastic platform to market your business and to curate and engage your audience.
The one word of caution that we should highlight is that there is a risk of being lost in the crowd. There are roughly 200 million small businesses that are actively advertising on Facebook from around the world, meaning you’ll have to be unique and engaging—and know your stuff—if you want to succeed.
But let’s be honest, that’s the same issue that you’ll face in the wider business world. So don’t let it put you off taking advantage of everything Facebook’s business marketing pages have to offer.