When you think of social media, you probably think of Facebook first. It is the original social platform and, simply because of its size, is a great place to start your social media marketing efforts. Plus, you are likely familiar with the platform as an individual user. If you already use Facebook, you can easily expand your knowledge base to include Facebook’s business features.

Typical Facebook users (which is a large portion of the population), spend hours a day looking for information, connecting with others, sharing content, reading and watching videos. Creating a Facebook page for your business allows you to be part of the conversation.

Facebook gives potential customers the chance to find your business and to make a personal connection with you and your team. While you don’t have ultimate control over who sees your content on social media, it is still worth setting up and maintaining a profile on sites such as Facebook because of their large user base. While you will not likely be selling directly on Facebook, treat it as an opportunity to get to know a larger audience. The more often people are exposed to you business, the more likely they are to remember it and return to your profile when they need your services.

Take advantage of a free Facebook page for your business by using the key elements the platform has built in to find a larger audience of potential customers and maintain a connection with those who have hired you in the past.

Create a business page

Creating a Facebook business page is free and easy, so it’s a great marketing tool to use. Before you start asking for followers, create a page that looks like it represents a legitimate business. Make it appealing and inviting for those who may be looking for your services. A few quick tips for sprucing up your page include:

  • Pick the right category. If your business is labeled correctly, it will help searchers find you and eliminate any confusion about what your company does, particularly if there are other businesses with the same or similar names.
  • Include your address, phone number, email, website and business hours on your profile.
  • Use your logo as your profile picture. This assures visitors they are in the right place.
  • Pick an eye catching cover photo that reflects your business. You want visitors to know what you do just by looking at the picture at the top of the screen. Make sure it is high resolution and professional looking. Show people doing your profession (laying roof shingles) or a completed project (a completed patio).
  • Write a short description of your company. Get right to the point, letting people who are skimming know exactly what your business can do for them. Save lots of details about your company’s history and detailed offerings for your service page or website. In this area, just write a few sentences about what you can provide for customers.

Attract your followers

Just having a business page isn’t enough. You need to have an audience that “likes” and “follows” your page. These are the people that will see you page regularly and organically (without you having to pay for their views), comment on posts and share your content. Growing an audience is also free, but takes some time. Try gaining followers through these methods:

  • Share it on your personal page. If you are online friends with customers, they will be likely to also follow your business page.
  • Ask current customers. Include your Facebook profile on your business cards, emails, estimates and billing.
  • Post your business in community groups. Check the rules to see if self-promotion is allowed (sometimes groups allow one day per week or only on certain posts). Just telling people you are working in the community can result in followers who know they will be interested in your services in the future.
  • Ask your employees to like and share the business page with their friends and customers.

The more you interact with people on Facebook, the more you will show up in search results and organically in newsfeeds. This will give more users the chance to like and engage with your content.

Share content

The more interaction on your page, the more visible it will be to potential customers. Facebook algorithms filter out pages that are inactive. This doesn’t mean you have to spend all day online. A few posts per week will make a difference. Things you can post on Facebook include:

  • Before and after pictures
  • Customer testimonials
  • Profiles of employees
  • Awards and certifications
  • Explanations of the services you offer
  • Video of your projects
  • Allow you audience to ask questions
  • Industry news
  • Information about the materials you use
  • Tips, tricks and maintenance suggestions

Don’t stop at just sharing your own thoughts and ideas. Interact with anyone who comments on your posts. Follow other businesses and share their content that would be interesting to your audience. Be involved in your community by posting about upcoming events, important news and congratulations for achievements. While you don’t want to stray too far from your area of expertise, keep in mind what would be interesting to your audience that they would expect to see on your page. If your business donates to the local baseball team, a picture of the team would be appreciated by parents and the community. Likewise, your plumbing business may not dig wells, but if there is an especially dry season where water should be conserved, some tips on how to deal with that is still on-brand.

Services Section

If you categorize your business as a local business when setting up your Facebook business page, you will have the option of including a services page on your profile. This will add a tab to the top of your profile that visitors can click (just like they can for Timeline, About and Contact) to get more information. For each service, you can list a price, add a picture and include a paragraph describing the service. For example, if you offered a standard duct cleaning service, create a listing for that service right on your Facebook page. This lets visitors know you perform this work and what it will cost, baring complications.

Your top three services will be shown on your profile page so choose the services you want to highlight when arranging the listings. This can be changed, for example, if you are offering a special price for off-season work or offering a service only at a particular time such as irrigation winterization in the fall.

The services can not be purchased directly from a Facebook page, so be sure to give customers a way to contact you to make a purchase or schedule an appointment.

Facebook advertising

There are two ways to advertise on Facebook. Both are easy to set up and the Facebook algorithms take care of making sure the right people see your posts.

Boosted posts increase the audience that sees an individual post you have created. If you are sharing important information that you want more people to see, consider boosting your post. This is by far the easiest way to advertise on Facebook. You don’t need to design ads or understand the nuances of the Ad Manager. Create your post (just as you would as an individual) and then choose who you want to see it. You can target certain demographics (in a geographic region, by age, gender, occupation, etc.) or simply target those who already like your page.

Facebook ads give you a lot more options for advertising. You will need to design an ad that fits the size requirements for the platform and is eye-catching for your intended audience. You may want to consider hiring an ad designer for this. When placing your ad, you can choose where people will see it (in their news feed, in messenger, on Instagram, etc.) as well as who will see it through targeting.

Facebook stories

Facebook introduced stories recently to rival the interest on other channels like Snapchat and Instagram. Stories appear at the top of the app, giving your business prime real estate on the platform for free. Stories are short (20 seconds), informal and often interactive. You can ask questions, create polls and directly engage your followers through stories.

While it is getting more difficult to reach your followers through organic posts, stories offers you a short cut to get your content in front of your ideal audience more consistently. To produce Facebook stories, you don’t need fancy recording equipment. Your smart phone can take videos perfect for this platform. Your stories disappear after 24 hours so feel free to post new content often to remain in your customer’s regular rotation of videos.

Generally, stories are much more informal that other means of communication. You can talk briefly about a project, show a new material, give a sneak peak of a project or just show off a site you are working on. People don’t view stories to be sold to. They want to learn something or be entertained.

Facebook Groups

Chances are, if you have a Facebook profile, you are a member of a Facebook group. These gated communities give a place for people who are interested in a specific topic to talk and create connections. Groups can be used to promote sales, buy and sell branded items or ask for advice and share experiences. If you want to develop a curated group of people that have an interest in your business and with whom you can have on-going and open dialogue, a Group might be the perfect marketing tool for you. It’s free to open and manage a Facebook Group and can bring new customers to your business.

If your business is built on your outgoing personality and specialized knowledge, you may want to start a Facebook group to build a community that looks to you as an expert on a topic. For example, an interior designer may share in a Facebook group the season's newest trends, information about new furniture lines or conversations starters about design techniques. Sharing this information freely builds trust in your business and seeing your group often on Facebook will remind customers to call you when they start their next project.

Facebook Marketplace

You may think of Facebook Marketplace as a giant garage sale with too many item, but it’s much more advanced than that. If you sell physical products, this is a great place to list your offerings. Your listings on Facebook Marketplace are free and you know that those who see your listing are searching for the products you provide.

While Facebook Marketplace does not support selling services, you can certainly use this feature to sell physical products. If your landscaping business sells tress and shrubs, there is a category for that on Marketplace where those local to you who are looking for these products will be searching. Facebook does the work of narrowing your audience to those who are most likely to make a purchase by giving them categories in which to search.

In addition to a searchable listing, customers will be able to check your business ratings on Facebook, increasing their trust in your business and encouraging them to “like” and “follow” your business page.

Understand how you are doing

Do you wonder if your time spent on Facebook is helping your business? Just like Google, Facebook can also provide you with information about the people who visit your profile, who sees your ads and what actions they take. The Facebook Business Suite gives you a peek behind the curtain of both your Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The information contained in your Business Suite will help you better connect with customers and tailor your content to meet their needs. Some of the insights you can gain from the Business Suite include:

  • Activity on your content (likes, comments and shares)
  • Demographic information about your audience
  • How visitors got to your page (did they type your business name into the search box, see an ad or click from a shared link?)
  • Page views
  • Your responsiveness when you receive messages
  • Orders and earnings (if you sell products through Facebook)
  • Number of new followers
  • When your followers are online

If you advertise on Facebook, you also have access to Facebook Ads Manager that allows you to track how well your ads are performing. Any of these statistics will help you determine the return on investment for the time and money you spend on social media. With this information, you can decide how best to spend you time online and see what your audience finds most valuable.

Facebook is an essential social media site for your business. With the large number of users, your presence there will help potential customers find you, become exited about your work and hire you. At trades.org we know that social media can be confusing and overwhelming. We can help you craft a profile that attracts your ideal customer and shows your skills. Let our team work for your team on social sites so you can spend your time doing what you do best.