Facebook for small business: best practices, do’s and don’ts
In this 6-minute read:
- Facebook for business: best practices
- Top 5 do’s and don’ts for Facebook small business content
- How you can know more about your customers
How many times have you been told that your small business needs to post content on Facebook? After all, everyone and their dog is on The Social Network, with half of users checking in multiple times a day. Facebook has 2.4 BILLION monthly active users worldwide, with over 210 million in the US alone. Nearly 75% of users use Facebook at least daily.
So, yeah, your small business needs to be on Facebook. However, just because you have learned how to create and claim your Facebook business page, that doesn’t mean you’re getting any real value out of it—especially if you’re not aware of Facebook best practices for businesses, or you’re just letting your account sit there like the Bombas socks you bought after clicking on their Facebook ad.
There are plenty of sources for general Facebook “best practices” for businesses, and we’ll list a few of the commonly agreed-upon ones here for your info:
Facebook for business: best practices, do’s and don’ts
- Fill out your profile completely
- Use a good, recognizable header image
- Don’t over-post (but post regularly)
- Work out a social media plan/schedule and stick to it
- Try multimedia (video has much more engagement than static posts, and Facebook Live video performs better still)
- Experiment with varying the times of your posts (typically people see the best response between 1-4pm on weekdays and 1-2 pm on weekends but you may find differently)
- Pin your posts to your profile
- Cross-post your Facebook links on your website and other social media accounts
- Don’t overuse hashtags (one or two per post, max, and keep them related to the post)
- Try boosting your posts and/or promoting successful organic posts
- Stay on top of your analytics and track your engagement
There are others, but those are most of the key ones to get you started.
However, we wanted the guts of this post to address Facebook “do’s and don’ts” as they relate to the type of content you should (or shouldn’t) post on your business’s Facebook page. So let’s get to the meat—or soy-based gluten-free tofurkey—of the story.
The top 5 things your small business should (and shouldn’t) post on your Facebook page
Before we get into the do’s and don’ts of business Facebook content, it’s important to note that these are general guidelines. It’s far more important for you to get to know your customers and give them what they expect and want from you in your Facebook content.
You should learn all you can about your typical customer, and develop a definite voice and unique Facebook posting style that fits your business, rather than maintaining an impersonal, generic corporate perspective. We’ll look at some examples of exceptions to the rules as we get into them.
So here we go!
DO post on your business’s Facebook page:
1. Company events and milestones
Community events your business is involved with, company goals and milestones reached, and anniversaries (10 years in business!) are appropriate and beneficial Facebook content to post.
2. General sales
Seasonal sales can reach a broader audience when you blast them out on all your social media channels, including your business’s Facebook page
3. Special offers for Facebook users
In addition to more universal sales events, you can create special offers and coupons or deals specifically for your business’s Facebook followers. People love exclusive or hidden savings, and once you grow a good-sized Facebook audience, you can take advantage of this technique. It can also help you grow your following, because local Facebookers will be excited to share the Facebook offer or sale with their IRL and online friends, and you can make a Facebook “like” from followers a condition of getting the deal. (Facebook automatically adds you as a follower if you like a page.)
4. Relevant content from other sources that is interesting or applicable your customers
Don’t be afraid of sharing interesting, relevant content from other sources on the internet, as long as it fits with your business’s Facebook persona, and attracts productive attention to your page.
5. Celebrations of great employees or featured customer profiles (with permission)
Employee of the month plaques on a wall don’t provide much value to your customers, but Facebook allows you to tell a much deeper story, and people love stories. You can spotlight a department or employee who has been noteworthy, or with permission you can share any unique customers (or customers’ pets, cars, outfits, recipes, hairstyles, nails, etc.) you think tell a great story or highlight your products and services.
So now that we’ve covered the “do’s,” let’s talk about the “don’ts” of posting content on your business’s Facebook page.
DON’T post on your business’s Facebook page:
1. Political or religious rants
The old adage to never argue politics or religion is a good rule of thumb here. Unless your business has very specific political or religious purposes, and/or your customers might expect this kind of content from you, it’s a no-no.
2. Insulting or belittling content about your competitors
Although the internet is often rife with public shaming and groupthink, posting insulting or sarcastic commentary about your competitors will most likely come across as petty or insecure—even if it’s true. Take the high road and let your superior products and services make your point for you.
3. Negative content regarding customers
Along the same lines as #2, you should never rant about bad customers to your Facebook followers. Remember, they are your current and potentially future clientele. Save it for Quora, or if you need a place to vent, join a “worst customers ever” Facebook group. Just remember that your public posts will be seen, and how you act will be a reflection of your business philosophy and integrity. Unless your customers will expect and value negativity and sarcasm from you, it can backfire badly.
4. Irrelevant content
It may be tempting to re-post the current feel-good story of the day or the latest cute cat/baby/llama/puppy/goat video to try to boost engagement, but most people will see through these attempts and it will weaken your position as a business of quality. (Of course, if you run a pet store, veterinarian clinic, or grooming service, a daily “customer pet profile” may be exactly what your audience likes and responds to.)
5. Low-quality cell-phone images or shaky videos
Remember, you want to develop a posting style that reflects your business and personality, and which your customers can relate to. So don’t post poor-quality media if your customers would expect something slick/nice/high quality. Contrariwise, if your business and persona are intended to convey a more personal, homey vibe, you’ll want to avoid posting content that appears overly produced or “too professional.”
Your small business’s Facebook page helps you reach potential customers, but…
Great customer engagement, online and offline, is all about getting to know who your customers are. You can gain some valuable insights from Facebook if you follow the tips above. But for many small business owners, 90% of the battle is knowing who their customers are in the first place, and most don’t have any meaningful customer data at all, other than knowing a few “regulars.”
Womply’s small business software can help you get to know who your customers are, how they spend, when they spend with you, what marketing efforts work best for you, how your revenue stacks up against your past sales periods and your competitors, and much more. Click for a free demo or fill out the form below and you’ll be amazed what Womply’s CRM for small business can do for you.
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