Using Facebook for your Business

Facebook is a giant on the web, and with over 2 billion members it would be unwise not to consider its potential for promoting your business and advertising your goods and services.

Having a Facebook page for your business is easy and FREE to set up. It is separate from your personal Facebook page and you can choose to keep it that way. However, if you have many personal followers, placing a post on your personal page with a link to your business page can be a great way to kick-start traffic to your Facebook business page.

Create a Facebook Business Page

To create a Facebook Page for your business, you first need to have a personal Facebook account. If you do then you can get your Facebook Business Page here. Facebook guides you through the steps needed to add your business details and create an account name for your business.

Choosing a Facebook Page Name for your Business.

Ideally your Facebook business page name will be the same as your actual business name. If the name is already taken, you can consider adding something to the end of your name related to your location or your product or service, e.g. facebook.com/mybusinessuk or facebook.com/mybusinesslondon or facebook.com/mybusinessyoga.

Whatever name you choose, it’s worth keeping it consistent across other social media accounts, whether or not you will use other social media initially. So when you’ve chosen your Facebook business page name, check Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and any others you may use to see if that same name is available. If it is then register the name with those social media platforms too. You never know when you may use them (Instagram is already becoming as popular, if not more so, than Facebook within certain groups of social media users.)

Adding Content to your Facebook Business Page.

On your Facebook Business page you can post information about your business, or about anything, just like you can on your personal page. Instead of a personal profile photo, you can add your business logo. And your cover photo (the one at the top of the Facebook page) can be a photo of your shop, or some of your products, or anything that stands out to show off your business.

Additionally, you have some other options on your business page which vary depending on the business type you entered when you signed up for the page (you do this when you use the link above to get your business page). For example if you are selling products, you can have a Shop link to list some or all of your products, and a Shop Now button that goes to your Facebook shop, or to your website. If you have an E-commerce store, it is possible to link your Facebook shop to your store and keep the product list up to date.

If you are only trading through a bricks and mortar location, you can add opening times and a map to your business.

Whatever business you are in, there are options in Facebook to make your business page fit your type of business. Under Settings | Templates & Tabs | Templates, you can choose a default template for your business, which puts a range of links on the left side of your page. You can then re-order or remove the links to suit.

Look at Facebook pages of other businesses in a similar trade as yourself for ideas on what to include on your page.

Creating Posts for your Facebook Business Page

Creating a post for your business page is the same process as for your personal page. However, because it’s your business page you obviously want to post information about your business!

Here’s a tip which most successful businesses follow when posting on their business pages – do not ONLY post about your business. Instead, you should also write posts relating to your business. For example if you sell pet accessories, you can post photos of customer’s pets. That’s an easy one. It may be a little harder to find business-related content to post about your business that isn’t direct selling. But it’s not impossible.

Think about your customers and what they like. If your customer base are into keeping fit or outdoor pursuits, create some posts about places to visit, about your own fitness routine. If you’re offering technical services, post some interesting articles about the type of technology that you and more importantly, your customers are interested in.

The general rule is to create 3-4 posts a week, to show that you’re active on Facebook. Only one in every four posts should be directly related to your business, like advertising a new product, or a time-limited discount on your services.

More than this and your potential customers won’t feel they are getting value from your page. Visitors like information, ideas, something to make them smile, feel good or feel motivated. Happy visitors are more likely to become happy customers.

If you know what a ‘#hashtag’ is, you can include them on your post. #hashtags haven’t had the same impact or use on Facebook that they have on Twitter and Instagram. For those who don’t know, a #hashtag is a word or phrase that your audience is likely to look for, and maybe add to their list of favourites to get a page feed from Twitter or Instagram. On Facebook it is only used for searching topics.

A #hashtag may be a brand name, e.g. #nikeshoes, or an event #adayattheraces, or one you make up yourself. #hashtags can be effective on Facebook for marketing and promotion posts. #cybermonday, for example, is used by many businesses with sales offers on Cyber Monday.

Advertising on Facebook

To advertise using Facebook, you need to sign up for a Facebook Business Account at business.facebook.com. It’s free to sign up and you log in using your personal Facebook account details.

An advert you create using Facebook can be published either on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or through its ‘Audience Network’ (non-Facebook partner sites). You can choose a target audience for your advert to match your business customers – filter your audience by gender, age, location and interests.

If you have a local shop, you could advertise to people within a 30 mile radius of your shop, or just your town or city.

There are hundreds of blog articles and YouTube videos showing how you can make a fortune with Facebook Ads. However, don’t believe all the hype. Facebook Ads are primarily extremely lucrative for Facebook!

Sure, many businesses have profited well from advertising with Facebook. However, many small businesses who see Facebook Ads as a get-rich-quick start for their business are nearly always disappointed.

Facebook Ads, like all forms of marketing, take time and experimentation to find the right approach to get a return on your investment in advertising. It needs quite a lot of investment to start up and many businesses stop advertising when, after a few months, the ads have only generated a couple of sales, or no sales at all.

Facebook is still primarily a website for communities, for friends and societies and social-based businesses to interact with like-minded folk. It’s not the first point of call for shoppers. Google with its Search Engine, Image Search and Maps, still reigns as the first point of entry for shoppers, with Amazon being the main online shopping mall for products.

If your business is in a particular social sphere, especially if it has a community based around the types of products or services you sell, then Facebook ads can be worth experimenting with.

Watch this Advertising with Facebook YouTube video by Darrel Wilson. It covers in lots of detail (1 hour 20mins) how to set up a Facebook Business Page and Advertise using Facebook. The video is from 2017 and Facebook has made some changes to its processes, but most of this video’s content is still relative. We’ll post an updated link when one is available.