How to grow your business with Facebook
Many big brands and small business owners choose Facebook to promote their products and services. They create Facebook business accounts for several objective reasons. Firstly, it is one of the oldest social networks on the market, and its business promo tools are well-tested and solid. Secondly, it’s the most popular social media platform in the world, with billions of potential customers. See for yourself, Facebook has over 2.9 billion users, which equals 36.8% of Earth’s 7.9 billion people. Impressive, isn’t it?
What is Facebook Marketing?
Facebook marketing is aimed at establishing your brand on the platform and building a community around it. Explore Facebook marketing strategies, nurture your followers by giving them the content they want, and advertise your products and services to them.
Business benefits of Facebook Marketing
The best thing about Facebook is that the platform has lots of time-tested tools and assets to help you grow your business. But why choose Facebook for your business?
- First of all, people shop on Facebook quite regularly and numbers prove it. Facebook Marketplace for business has 1 million monthly buyers, making it one of the most effective shopping platforms in the world.
➡️ Learn how to create a Facebook shop in our guide.
- It provides business owners with in-depth audience insights about their page views, post reach, likes, ad reactions, etc. It helps you study your audience to give them exactly what they want.
- There are certain Facebook features that allow you to spy on your competitors to see how they are growing on Facebook – stat of their reach, average minutes between mentions, weekly engagement on their pages, time since the last mention, etc. Thrilling and helpful!
- Facebook dissolves language barriers between you and your customers. In 2020, they announced that FB developers teach AI to translate 100+ languages in real-time. So, if you want to expand your business into the world — Facebook is a place to be.
- FB has a handy Facebook Business platform (Now, Meta Business) that contains all the information brand owners need to learn about business opportunities. Register there for pro marketing and content tips, detailed guides, case examples, ad management, etc.
- And last but not least, FB offers many free tools and solutions for organic growth so you don’t have to spend thousands on your promo campaigns and ads.
The fundamentals of Facebook for business
We’re done with the basics! 🎉 Let’s sum up the essentials:
- Meta is interested in helping you to grow your business on Facebook. They have plenty of helpful information for small business owners in their Facebook Help Center and even provide you with free Meta eLearning courses.
- Facebook knows if you’re fishing for likes and shares using clickbait posts and watchbait tactics for videos. The platform hides such posts from the feed in favor of unique content.
- Facebook has handy metric tools that allow you to analyze your target audience and their reactions to your posts.
- The platform is oversaturated with brands and offers. The best way to boost brand recognition on Facebook is to create a branded design for all the visuals: Facebook profile image and cover, as well as develop recognizable style for posts and videos.
🚀 Pro tip from VistaCreate: Don’t be too formal with your users. Remember, you’re not just selling products here (there are specialized markets for this) — you are building a community around the brand. Therefore, define your message and make sure that all your Facebook marketing strategy and visuals correspond to it. Be sincere with the audience and encourage people to have a dialogue with you and each other.
So, could Facebook be the right fit for your business goals? This comprehensive Facebook marketing guide will walk you through set up, content creation, and growth for your business using Facebook.
Steps to grow your business with Facebook
- Identify your strategy
- Set up your Facebook business account
- Create and publish your content
- Manage your growth
1. How to build a successful Facebook Marketing strategy
Simply put, a marketing strategy is a master plan that defines what content you should use and how to manage it to attract your target audience.
Your Facebook marketing strategy must align with your business goals, brand image, and mission. Here are some basic tips on Facebook marketing for beginners that might help you develop a roadmap:
Clarify your business goals
You should clearly see your final destination to plan the route, right? Think about tangible goals, the exact numbers that will help measure your success. For example, “By the end of this campaign, I want N number of new followers, N PR mentions per month, N website visitors”, and so on.
Identify your audience
Before going on Facebook, think about who your customer is, analyze your sales statistics, and define the buyer persona — their age, occupation, interests, needs, and so on. This process is the foundation of any Facebook marketing strategy, it’s the key to creating a solid follower base on Facebook. A Facebook guide on identifying your target audience can help you with this.
Make sure your audience is on Facebook
To reach your target audience, make sure customers actually use the platform. Check the demographic data about the people who like your Facebook Page here and compare the info with your business’ customer persona. This will help you develop the SMM strategy tailored specifically to your customers. Learn more about growth strategies in our article.
Outline the type of content
Make the most of Facebook! Use the type of content that matches your business brand and your Facebook marketing strategy. You know there are photos, videos, and text but it’s all about how you use them: storytelling, tutorials, how-tos, behind the scenes, Q&As — the list goes on.
2. How to set up Facebook for your business
Apart from the technical steps of setting up a page, such as creating an account on Facebook and choosing a profile image, there are some more in-depth things for you to consider.
For example, think about who will get access to your Facebook Business manager. Since this tool contains all the data about your security, statistics, and money, it’s better to entrust it to reliable team members or manage it yourself.
Note: You can create only 2 Business Manager accounts.
Once you’ve settled all the administration issues, follow this step-by-step instruction to set up your Facebook page.
Facebook Business Page tips
Once your Facebook business page is ready, your journey on the platform begins. Here are some basic and non-standard tips to attract more followers to your page and grow business on Facebook:
1. Add an FAQ to your Facebook profile
“What are your working hours?”, “How to pick the right size?”, “What’s your return policy?” Help users find the answers to these basic questions right away so that they don’t have to wait for your reply and can flow smoothly through the sales funnel. The FAQ box is at the top of your page, and here’s how to set up FAQ messages.
2. Update contact information
Since it’s a business page, make sure it has all the relevant info your customers might need to reach out to you: email, phone number, website, business address, areas serviced, and hours. Don’t forget to put a link to your Instagram page and other socials.
3. Set up the Send Message button on your Page
“Send Message” is a CTA button that encourages FB users to communicate with you instantly. Customize the button by choosing one of the 7 options (“Sign Up,” “Shop Now,” “Contact Us,” “Book Now,” “Use App,” Watch Video,” and “Play Game”). Now, link it to any website page you want. Here’s a short guide on how to add the Send Message button.
4. Ask followers to turn on notifications
As you’ve probably noticed, the Facebook algorithm does not always show your posts in the feed for mysterious reasons no one can explain. The most effective way to make your followers see your updates is to be straightforward and ask them to turn on notifications from your page.
🤓 Pro tip: Interaction is key to productive relationships with your customers. Don’t be shy to ask them to turn notifications on, share their opinion, give feedback or even give advice. You’ll be amazed by the results!
5. Share the history of your success by adding Milestones
Milestones add interest to your business page as they highlight the most significant accomplishments of your brand — award wins, product releases, and big events. All the recent milestones will be posted to your timeline and appear in your “About” tab. Display your achievements to get more credit from potential buyers. Learn how to add a milestone here.
6. Create a moving cover video for your Facebook page
A moving FB cover is the best way to grab customers’ attention from the very first seconds — it’s right on top of your page and is much more captivating than a static image. Use a video of your manufacturing process or other mesmerizing footage to make potential buyers remember the brand and want to try your product right away. Making a cover video is easy if you use pre-made templates.
3. How to create effective content for Facebook
It’s the content that makes people follow your Facebook page (or unfollow it, if they don’t like what they see). To grab their attention, study their tastes and make posts that meet their expectations. Experiment with types of content to keep them interested and be committed to post regularly so that they get used to communication.
Brainstorm ideas for your Facebook content marketing strategy
Having a solid strategy with clear goals and posting schedule helps you navigate your social media marketing and achieve more. The best advice on how to create a сontent strategy is to see it as an ongoing process of developing brand-customer relationships through socials. So, sit down with your team, outline your goals and exchange ideas on what content can help you achieve the results you want.
Create unique content
Although cross-posting your articles from your website blog is fine, however, you also need to make unique Facebook content — posts and stories with photos and videos, live video streams, instant articles, quizzes, and polls.
Ask for feedback
All in all, you make content for people, so ask them to share their opinion on it. Give followers more freedom with their answers by asking open-ended questions. Not just a simple “yes or no” but something more engaging — “How do you like our new design?”, “What do you love about our menu?”, “Any ideas on how we can improve this feature?” and such.
What to post on Facebook
Here’s a short overview of types of content you can post on your Facebook business page and how to create it.
- Сontent types. Facebook allows you to publish text posts, images, videos, and GIFs. When posting on Facebook, remember that it doesn’t allow mixing videos and images in the same post. One publication should include only one type of visual content – images go with images, and videos with videos. [Text Wrapping Break]
- Tools to create content. You don’t have to be trained in graphic design or hire a designer to make visuals for your socials. VistaCreate online graphic design platform helps you design excellent Facebook content based on pre-made templates. All you have to do is pick a template and customize it — edit the background, add photos, videos, graphic objects, change text, and animate your design.
How to post on Facebook
Facebook marketing for a small business may seem tricky because you don’t have much time to publish your posts regularly and manage them. If this is your case, try posting tools such as FB Publisher, Buffer, SocialPilot, Tailwind, or IFTTT. These services can help you manage your content automatically — publish posts on time, repost them to other platforms, save published photos to cloud storage, and so on.
VistaCreate also has a social media planner that you can use to schedule your posts in advance or instantly publish them to Facebook business pages and groups. The tool is a part of VistaCreate functional, so you can design posts and plan them within one platform — this way, you don’t waste time switching between various editors and tools. All you have to do is to create and schedule a bunch of posts in advance and go back to your business tasks knowing that your content will be posted automatically on time.
When to post on Facebook
To make your content strategy work and get more users to see your posts, you need to know the best time to post on Facebook for business. Follow these rules for effective posting:
- According to this study, the best time to post on Facebook is between 1 pm – and 3 pm on weekdays and Saturdays.
- The worst times to post on Facebook on Sundays or every day, either before 7 am or after 5 pm
- The best amount of FB publications is 1-2 posts a day
Content tips for Facebook Marketing
Now that you know more about Facebook content formats, it’s time to learn shortcuts to get more engagement with your posts. Here are some simple and easy tips for you to try:
Make your own #hashtags for promo campaigns and contests
Personalized hashtags bring more recognition for the product and brand and help boost coverage for campaigns. Do you research on how other brands use hashtags and you’ll see how easy-to-use and effective they could be.
Let customers co-create your marketing campaigns
Encourage them to post photos and videos of your product or services. Consider user-generated content (UGC) as not just a promo activity but a way to communicate with customers and learn their tastes and needs. Getting people involved in content-making is also one of the best tips on how to increase Facebook engagement since your users’ followers see their posts and stories as a recommendation to explore your products and services.
Optimize your links
The secret to why people can’t see your posts with links is this: FB prioritizes fast-loading pages in the Newsfeed and shows them first. So if you want to be seen in the feed, optimize your links and improve website speed using special tools and add-ons. Check Page Speed and YSlow.
Publish Instant Articles instead of sharing a link to an outer source
When you publish links to blog posts, it takes, on average, up to 8 seconds for users to load the link. We all know that not everyone is willing to wait that long. Therefore, Facebook introduced Instant Articles — the article format that loads faster on smartphones. It also offers a zooming option for illustration materials to help people consume information even better.
Take the TLDR (too long; didn’t read) effect into consideration
Sadly, many people don’t read long posts. However, they can respond to the same message if it’s presented as a picture with a short, compelling copy. Look at this Facebook post where a brand enhanced their long FB publication with a striking image and text that is super eye-catchy and on point.
Avoid engagement bait and manipulations
Facebook reduces and bans your organic reach if they catch you manipulating users to get more engagement. Don’t use cheesy clickbait titles or posts like “Tag a friend who hates Mondays,” “OMG!!!!! YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!” and such. Give people unique content instead of fishing for engagement, and Facebook will support your publication.
Content formats that work best for Facebook
Apart from posts with images and videos, try other formats that boost engagement and help you grow Facebook groups and pages — Stories, Live videos, Reels. Use them to add interactivity and fun to your Facebook marketing.
50% of buyers say they want to discover new goods through Facebook Stories, so give them that! Stories are fun and fast to make, and you can create engaging ones even with zero budget. [Text Wrapping Break]Moreover, according to this research, homemade DIY videos are up to 2x more effective at capturing viewers’ attention than polished “instagrammish” stories. Here are two videos from the research side by side to get a picture.
Pro tip: You don’t always have to make new content for Stories. Sometimes you can repurpose relevant images/videos that you already have by creatively editing them.
Reels is a creative and fun way for brands to connect with their customers through social media. These are short vertical videos with music and AR filters, basically META’s analog of TikTok. You don’t have to be serious with Reels format — make interesting and funny videos that a broad audience can understand, experiment with ideas, and explore your creativity. Here’s a great guide on how to use Reels on Facebook for business.
Live videos help brands create personal connections with their customers through engagement and shared experiences. This is where you can be authentic and show your personality behind products and services — bring your clients behind the scenes of your business, answer their questions, and ask for their opinion. You can find helpful tips on filming live videos in this Facebook article.
How to use video on Facebook to grow your business
Before posting any video on your Facebook business page, ensure it meets the appropriate technical specifications — here’s a checklist to help you. Once you’ve sorted that out, it’s time to learn the ways you can boost engagement with your video:
✔️Choose a memorable and catchy title. A short captivating name that also contains main keywords helps people find your video online faster.
✔️Make your videos mobile-first. According to the research, 81.8% of users only use Facebook on their mobile devices, so create vertical videos they will enjoy watching on their smartphones.
✔️Сut to the chase. Due to the short attention span, people get easily bored watching long videos. So make sure, your video hooks viewers within the first 3 seconds.
✔️Tag others. This is one of the best Facebook tips for networking. Tag people, businesses, or brands that contributed to your Facebook video or are mentioned in it. First, it draws their attention to the video and gets them interested in your brand. Secondly, if they accept the tag, the video will be shared on their page and feed, potentially bringing new customers to your Facebook business page.
✔️Add a call-to-action. Include CTAs to encourage engagement, drive users to your website and sell your products directly. Write a CTA in the post copy — invite people to click on the link, ask them to like, share and comment on your video. In the video, mention the CTA if you are talking. If there’s no voiceover, add text overlay or an image with a CTA on top of the video.
✔️Don’t post Watchbait. Watchbait tactics push people into watching a video by withholding information, sensationalizing content, or misleading viewers. Watchbait can be in any part of the video — the name, thumbnail, or content. It may seem like a good idea to lure people into watching your content with clever tricks, but this may lead to a limited ranking and overall negative reactions from viewers. Thus, it’s simply harmful for your Facebook engagement strategy.
✔️Upload videos on Facebook directly instead of sharing YouTube links. Due to the ongoing Facebook vs. Google battle, platforms don’t support each other’s content. For instance, Google has no interest in showing Facebook videos in its search results, and FB is not eager to show content from outside of Facebook (your website, other video platforms, news sites, etc.). As a result, YT videos look less attractive in the feed and on the page than Facebook content.
Here are 3 major problems with YouTube videos you can have on Facebook:
#1. Facebook video previews are larger than YouTube ones;
#2. Facebook breaks YouTube thumbnails and simply doesn’t show on the page and in the Newsfeed. Like this.
#3. In the Newsfeed, Facebook strips the play button from the thumbnail. But on your page, they leave it.
Solution. Uploading video directly on Facebook may give you better results in showing it in the feed. However, if for some reason you have only a YouTube link, try the next trick. Upload not just a link to a YouTube video, but add a screenshot or an eye-catching YouTube thumbnail to the post. This trick helps you get more attention to your publication. Note: a picture doesn’t lead directly to the video, users will still need to click on the YouTube link to watch it.
Examples of winning content for Facebook Marketing
GoPro used the hashtag #GoProMillionDollarChallenge for their contest. They encouraged fans of the brand to share their best unedited GoPro videos on FB with the hashtag. As a result, GoPro collected the most exciting footage into one video and posted it on Facebook, where it was viewed more than 670 000 times. In 2021, 28,000 people from 131 countries joined the competition. It means that the hashtag was posted 28 000 times!
Clothing brand Adore Me centered their Valentine’s Day campaign around self-love and self-care. They asked customers to create artistic looks with lingerie, then posted pics with customized CTA and product page links to match the content.
4. How to grow your business on Facebook
Research platform-specific tips
The Internet is full of helpful articles and videos on Facebook marketing for small businesses. Some of them are more focused on an advertising aspect, while others explain design, SEO optimization, and managing content.
Browse blogs and vlogs
Do your research on bloggers who have expertise in your field and social media marketing. Find YouTube channels, podcasts and ebooks on growing your business on Facebook. When wondering how to increase engagement in 2022, check out only the latest guides, articles and videos. The older recommendations may simply not work as Facebook introduces new features and formats and changes its policies with time. Check out this article on the hottest digital trends 2022.
Explore Meta platform
Honestly, Facebook Business is one of the best sources for Facebook-related information. It provides you with tons of educational articles explaining Facebook business tools and social media marketing solutions. Meta even has free online courses for small business owners! Click here to explore Facebook Business platform.
Build your audience
Building relationships with your followers through communication is an ongoing process and one of the best ways to grow your business on Facebook organically. Follow these tips to establish a strong connection with your audience.
Engage and interact
Base your relationships with the audience on the fact they are not buyers but people who want to be entertained and heard; this is why engaging content works so well on Facebook. So go live, answer their comments, ask for feedback.
Treat your audience as a community
Think about what unites you with your customers and values that you share. State your mission on Facebook and strategize around that idea. Let’s say if you make or sell pet products, then taking care of them would be a main priority both for you and your audience. Developing a Facebook marketing strategy, keep your message in mind and create content that amplifies it.
Track your results
To navigate Facebook marketing better, monitor Facebook metrics and use this data to improve your content strategy and overall approach.
Use your Facebook Business account to access statistics on every aspect of your business page — the demographic, engagement, reactions, conversions. Experiment with post formats, look at how people react to them, and outline what type of content makes a bigger impact on your customers.
Tailor your content accordingly
Don’t be afraid to make changes to your content based on new information you learn about your clients. If you see that your audience gravitates towards a specific format or visual aesthetic, give it a try and monitor the results.
On the one hand, Facebook ads are quite easy to create, and you don’t need a huge budget to get effective adverts. However, as a business owner, you probably want to understand how Facebook advertising works so that you don’t waste money on bad experiments.
- Start with a step-by-step guide. If you’re completely new to Facebook for business, read our full guide on Facebook marketing for small businesses before investing money in advertising. Learn the difference between boosted posts and Facebook ads, and use this guide to design effective ads.
- Explore Facebook ad tools. With a Facebook Business account, you also get access to Ads Manager where you can create and edit your campaigns. Browse through Facebook Business Help Center and you will get answers to all your questions about advertising, and learn some tips and tricks as well.
Common mistakes on Facebook
Many SBOs will tell you that Facebook marketing is all trial and error. The mistakes, however, help you learn to navigate the platform better and understand what type of content is best for your audience. We made a list of the most common mistakes businesses make on Facebook to help you prevent those from happening:
❌Too much text in the post. Keep in mind that the customer’s attention span is short so be concise and on point with your texts. Start with catchy phrases and work your way up — remember, the goal is to keep users interested in reading until the very end.
❌Slow reaction of customers’ feedback. As a business owner, you have to pay attention to all the complaints and provide customer support. Otherwise, you lose clients. Also, don’t leave unanswered comments pile up – this may give the wrong impression that the page is dead.
❌ Using the same type of content. Boredom and monotonousness are the biggest enemies of social media. Try new content, experiment with your aesthetics to find out what type of content strikes the chord with your customers.
❌Low content quality and wrong format for Ads. It seems like an easy thing to do — post images and videos for people to like, comment, and share. However, often, brands lack information about proper formats and dimensions for their advertising content. Read on the Facebook Ad guide to make sure your ads meet the requirements.
Pros and cons of Facebook Marketing for business
Being a massive social media platform with so many tools, Facebook can help you grow your small business, but it also has drawbacks some SBOs find significant. If you’re thinking about whether you should use Facebook for your business or not, here are some pros and cons you should consider before making the decision.
✅ Facebook marketing is affordable
The coolest thing about the platform is that you can use Facebook tools for business for free and grow your business organically without paid ads. It allows you to freely share any links — to your catalog, product pages, online shop, etc. But even going for boosted posts and ads, you can get impressive coverage for as little as $5-10. Not to mention that creating a Facebook business page is free.
✅ Results are easy to measure
The Facebook business manager provides effective metrics to monitor every aspect of your business. You can see how many people visit your page, who likes it, and how many clicks and shares you get. Tracking all the data allows you to see how your audience and its tastes change with time. By analyzing this data regularly, you can timely adjust your content strategy to grow your business online smoothly.
✅ Detailed targeting
Facebook collects a lot of information about users, which may be suspicious in terms of privacy, but it helps businesses to target their Facebook ads precisely. You can advertise based not only on locations, age and genders but also on people’s tastes, hobbies, and behaviors. You can find all the options for advertising on Facebook here.
✅ You can stop marketing on Facebook at any time
Creating a Facebook business page, you don’t sign any contracts, so you have no obligation to continue your presence on FB if you don’t want to. Also, there are no paid annual subscriptions that automatically charge money from your account even if you’re not using the platform. So, if you don’t find Facebook helpful, you can simply stop using it and come back if you want to try Facebook for your business again.
❌ Connecting with users who don’t engage with your page is difficult
According to Facebook rules, only those users who have actually subscribed to your Facebook page can see your updates. So there are few chances for you to engage with people outside your follower base. Moreover, users can unsubscribe from your updates and still remain your followers. Therefore, it’s difficult to know whether your posts reach your target audience or not.
❌ Growing business on Facebook is time consuming
Facebook is an oversaturated platform with constant activity, literally 24/7— someone left a comment, another person tagged your page, a user asked a question in Stories, and so on. You also have to regularly open Facebook for business chat in the messenger and to reply to your customers’ questions and requests. Surely, some processes can be automated and there are a lot of Facebook tips on how to grow a business using special tools. However, you still need to be ready for the fact that Facebook will take up your time on workdays and even weekends.
❌ You don’t have full control over your Facebook page
When you register on Facebook, you are subject to their rules and privacy policies. As they change, you still have to follow them in order to use Facebook for business. It all seems fine, but the problems start when you violate their terms and conditions, perhaps, unintentionally. In such cases, Facebook can ban you or even delete your page without your permission.
Remember, Facebook is oversaturated with offers; it literally never sleeps — there’s always a comment waiting to be answered or a competitor who is luring potential customers from you.
One of the biggest perks of Facebook is that the platform provides you with a TON of information, tips, and solutions for business and marketing. With these tools at your fingertips, it’s much easier for you to navigate the Meta universe and grow your business on Facebook.
So, jump right in; the water is fine!