As a business with humble Yorkshire roots, Plusnet has always supported small businesses by helping them get online and stay connected, and now by unlocking the value of the digital pound to help grow their business.
We found that 55% of people aged 23 – 38 only search for businesses through social media. So the power of a credible online profile has really never been more important!
With this guide, we’ll share some tips from experts on how to develop a social media strategy.
Read on and discover how to build your small business through social media for yourself - good luck!
Nick Silverwood, Plusnet Head of Business
About this guide
Contributing their advice in this guide are:
Samuel Lehane - Arts and craft company M.Y.O. co-founder
Faye Morgan - Founder of social media marketing company 365DaySocial
Louise Brogan - Social media consultant at Social Bee
Facebook offers small business owners’ access to a huge audience of potential customers with a massive amount of data to target them. But it's not easy to grow your company’s reach and acquire customers.
There can be a lot to think about, but these tips should make your Facebook future free of fear.
How to Create a Facebook Business Page
To make use of Facebook for your business, you’ll first need to set up a business page on your company’s behalf. If you’ve already done so, skip ahead. If not, you can be up and running in a matter of minutes.
1. Create a Page
From your own personal Facebook account (if you don’t already have one, you’ll need to set one up), click “Pages” on the left-sided menu, then “Create a Page”.
2. Select Business or Brand
You'll be met with a choice of "Business or Brand" or "Community or Public Figure". Select the former, then fill out your business details, such as address and category of service.
3. Complete your Profile
Facebook will then take you through various steps to begin filling out your profile. Add a profile picture and cover photo to complete the setup.
Creating Facebook-friendly content
Content’s crucial to building a Facebook audience and acquiring customers. Creating great content takes time. Content calendars outline the themes you’re going to cover, improve accountability and help generate ideas. It’s important to be consistent and deliver what your audience is looking for - there are no shortcuts!
The business owners we talked to provided six other short tips on creating content that converts.
1. Facebook loves video
Videos are eye-catching way to capture attention and build engagement, although they may not generate as many clicks as images.
“Video on Facebook is effective,” says arts and craft company M.Y.O.’s Samuel Lehane. “Facebook tends to push video more, so it gets more views. My main advice is to practice - just get started and put them out - ask for feedback and include subtitles on videos.”
2. Tools to create great Facebook content
There’s lots of free tools to help you create content that stands out. Here’s a list of social 365DaySocial’s Faye Morgan favourites for working with images and videos.
People love buying from small businesses. Putting personality into your posts is engaging and can be fun.
“Many of us shy away from showing ourselves on social media,” says Morgan.
“But if we’re a small business then it helps to know about the person behind the brand. I want to know why you’ve set up the business. Perhaps a sneak peek behind the scenes to show how much care goes into the product.”
4. Post regularly, but don't sell all the time
It’s important to balance sales messages with posts sharing content like photos, advice and how-to videos. Post sales messages too often and you risk damaging customer engagement - Facebook is a social media tool.
Lehane recommends roughly every fourth or fifth post might be a 'buy this' type of post.
5. Use teaser content to drive website traffic
Social Bee's Louise Brogan suggests keeping original content on your website and using snippets of it on your social media to drive traffic.
She creates a weekly blog or podcast that has five or six main points of advice. These are used as individual posts on Facebook driving traffic to the website to read the full article.
6. Test and iterate - it takes time to make Facebook work </3nt>
Getting traction and acquiring customers through Facebook takes time. Building up followers is difficult and figuring out how to target customers effectively requires experimentation. Try to enjoy the process and the content you create. Don't give up too soon either, everyone struggles to build audiences from scratch.
“The way you need to do this is test, assess and then double down on what works with the budget and time that you have,” says M.Y.O.’s Lehane. “There is a class on right now in the studio upstairs that was an enquiry through Facebook Messenger a week after we put it on the website.”
Thanks for reading the Blueprint series of guides to social media. We hope you take some of the knowledge shared here and use it to help your own business reach new customers!