When most online entrepreneurs think of promoting their business on social media, the first platform that comes to mind is Facebook (and for good reason). It still reigns as the platform with the most users worldwide (over 1.7 billion). Easy to see why people run to Facebook first, right? Kendra and I spend a lot of time in online circles where new bloggers and entrepreneurs are eager to get started on Facebook, but they aren’t sure how. In this post, we’ll discuss how you can use Facebook for business by taking a look at the most common features that bloggers and business owners use.
Create a Facebook Page for Your Business
Soon after you launch your business (or even before your launch), it’s a great idea to create a Facebook page. Please learn from our mistake (launching our page months later) and do this as soon as possible. Here are a few reasons why having a Facebook page is integral to using Facebook for business:
1. Protection for you and your account. Whatever you do, do not use your personal account to conduct business. This goes for you whether you’re a creative business owner, an independent distributor, or a blogger (especially if you plan to write sponsored posts or promote affiliates). If you’re caught conducting business from your personal account, it could be shut down for violating Facebook’s terms of service.
2. A page acts as a virtual business card. Once you create your page, you can link it in your profile. Kendra and I have each done this with our personal profiles. Anyone who encounters us through Facebook can see that we are social media strategists at Humble & Whole.
This is helpful because when you’re interacting in groups or other pages, people can hover over your name and determine whether to check out your page.
3. Ability to showcase your best content. A Facebook page is a great hub for you to link your best blog posts, opt-ins, videos, etc. You can drive traffic to your blog and grow your list by simply adding calls to action within your posts and videos. Take a look at how we encourage new visitors to opt-in to our mailing list by taking advantage of the “pinned posts” feature.
4. Access to paid advertising. While Kendra and I have decided to grow Humble & Whole organically, we realize that some people like to supplement their organic efforts with paid advertising (there’s nothing wrong with that). When you create a Facebook page, you’re able to boost your posts (a cheap way to get your page in front of people currently outside of your network) or run an entire ad campaign. With the help of Facebook’s ad tools, you can target exactly who you want depending on their location, age range, web history, interests, etc. When done right, Facebook ads can help you continually get new traffic or leads to your blog and mailing list.
Participate in and host your own Facebook groups
We were able to drive traffic to our blog with Facebook, even though we didn’t start out with a Facebook page for Humble & Whole. How was that possible? Through Facebook groups! Facebook groups should definitely be part of your strategy in using Facebook for business. Here are a few of our favorite reasons for entrepreneurs to use Facebook groups:
- Multiple networking opportunities. Participating in Facebook groups makes it easy-peasy to connect with other business owners both inside and outside of your industry. The connections that started in Facebook groups for us have led to collaboration opportunities that greatly impacted our business.
- Takes the guesswork out of finding your target audience. As we’ve said many times before, Facebook is hands down the easiest platform to find your tribe with. Once you find a group that aligns with your target audience, you can easily conduct market research and participate often to build your reputation as an expert in your industry.
- Take advantage of free promotion. While pages are great for paid advertising, Facebook groups are perfect for promoting your brand’s content and start gaining traction (which is exactly what we did with Humble & Whole). We talk more in depth about promoting within Facebook groups in Why You Should Be Using Facebook Groups Like, Yesterday.
- Build a thriving community with your own group. Facebook groups present you with the opportunity to create your own community of raving fans. In your own community, you can nurture your relationship with your tribe, post exclusive content/challenges, and market your products and services. This is also an awesome way to be seen as an expert in your industry. A quick word of caution: a group, even an engaged one, does not substitute an email list. You can make it a rule that someone must join your list to be a member of your Facebook group. Should anything happen to your group, you would also have those contacts on your email list so that you can continue your nurturing or marketing efforts.
When using Facebook for business, an excellent strategy would include both Facebook pages and groups (whether it’s participating in a group, starting your own, or both). Because Facebook is the most popular social network, it would be extremely beneficial to interact with your audience on this platform. We want to hear from you in the comments! How do you use Facebook for business?