Business development · 6 April 2017

A guide to using Facebook as a small business owner

Using Facebook
Facebook has a designated Pages app to help business owners manage their account

Using Facebook insights

Central to your Facebook strategy should be finding out what works and what doesn’t. To assist, Facebook provides insights for each of its tools.

Analytics pages show engagement levels and audience information to help users learn the best times to post and who to target.

For business owners using multiple social media channels, URL trackers can identify where customers have landed on your own website from. For those on a limited budget, trackers can help point out the most successful ads and campaigns.

Facebook live
Facebook Live enables live interaction from viewers

Marketplace – The untapped resource?

At the end of 2016, Facebook rolled-out its newest feature – the Marketplace.

Although Marketplace was designed as a way for people to buy and sell items on a local scale, the social network’s mammoth user base could present opportunities for new entrepreneurs looking for early ways to conveniently sell products.

Using Facebook: Essential dos and don’ts

  1. Quality over quantity

According to one study, business pages with under 10,000 likes posting over 60 times a month receive 60 per cent fewer interactions per post. The lesson here is to not overload the feed of your followers and ensure each post is of value.

  1. Main profile

Your main profile gives potential customers the first impression of your business. Ensure that the profile photo is clear and recognisable, that your “about” section is filled with relevant information, and that any frequently asked questions are answered.

  1. Be responsive

Facebook calculates a response rate for each business page, based on how quickly it answers customer questions.

Research has found that 42 per cent of online customers expect a response within an hour. As the response rate is publicly branded on a page, your reputation could be at stake.

  1. Post strategically

Although it depends on your own audience, there are certain times when a post – paid or organic – will tumble into the ether.

In terms of the best time of day to post, 5pm is considered a sweet spot. However, according to one study, people are most likely to share a post at 1pm, while 3pm also has proven click-through rates.

As a general rule, B2B pages see up to 14 per cent more traffic on weekdays, while B2C brands gain from a weekend traffic boost of 17 per cent.

Fanpage Karma is one tool that allows page admins to gauge when followers are most active.

  1. Find out what works

As in the real world of business, whatever works for one sector might require a different set of rules for your own. Use the built-in analytics tools to gain a better understanding of your audience and when your posts see most engagement.

Meet the three entrepreneurs making a killing through Instagram marketing

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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