Utilizing Facebook as a marketing tool for your business is highly effective. In Part One of this series, we discussed why you may need a Facebook group. Here we will discuss why you may need a Facebook page.
Let’s talk about the benefits of having a Facebook page. A Facebook page is different from a group in that it is public and has different functions. I like to think of your Facebook page as a front facing marketing platform. Facebook pages are indexed by Google’s search engine spiders, and they can help you to reach a wider audience. Many consumers turn to your business’s Facebook page almost as much as your website or blog.
Additionally, a Facebook page carries “reach.” Reach means simply how many eyeballs are on your page. So if you have 1,000 people who have liked your page and your reach is 3,000, congratulations! You are way ahead of the curve! The average user’s Facebook page reach is only 2%.
The way reach works is like this. Let’s say you visit the The Awesome Muse’s Facebook page. You have liked the page, and while you are there, you read a few posts, like them, comment on them, and maybe even share one. That is pretty much the perfect type of interaction. Likes are nice. Comments are great. But shares are the gold standard when it comes to engagement.
Anytime you interact on a page, your actions are recorded on the news feed and your friends who are on Facebook at the moment, or even later in the day depending on how Facebook’s algorithm identifies your affinity for each other, may see that you engaged on the The Awesome Muse’s page. They may see your comments, likes and/or shares. Whether they decide to engage themselves is different from reach. However, Facebook’s algorithm will know what they saw and count that toward your reach.
Why Facebook Reach Matters
Why does reach matter if someone saw an engagement but did not engage themselves? Familiarity is important. Your friends and followers may share common interests, so if someone posted a recipe for how to grill a killer rack of ribs, there is a chance that someone they know may be interested in that too. This person may not interact today, but it’s like when you hear a song for the first time. you may have to hear it a few times before you decide if you like it or not. And once your page is familiar, it’s like you have always known it. It’s no longer foreign and becomes part of their experience. And eventually those people may interact with you. You may receive referrals from unexpected places.
Facebook Reach is important because it breeds familiarity.
I like to think of Facebook reach like the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. You may be looking for something in particular. I may not know anything about that subject but may also be interested in learning more about it. If you see that I’ve interacted on a post related to that subject, you’re now 3 degrees away from the person who can offer the solution. And all you have to do to close the gap is to then interact with the page to learn more.
Advertising and Marketing
If you want to promote your business on Facebook, you need to have a page. Advertising is a key part of a Facebook page. Facebook Ads are a highly effective way to draw traffic to your business, whether you offer a product or a service.
There are several types of ads you can launch on Facebook pages. You can:
- Create an ad to attract more followers to your page
- Create an ad carousel to display a handful of your products
- Invite people to an event
- Suggest that your followers (or non-followers) watch a video you have created
- Promote your local business to those in your area
- Target specific demographic groups with a special offer or promotion
- Boost a post that is performing well to introduce it to a larger audience.
Discussing what you can do with Facebook ads is a post, a book really, all unto itself. But you need a Facebook page to be able to enjoy these features.
You can create media sets,live video via Facebook Live has rolled out to some pages and is rolling out to more each day, if you have a strictly local business, you can receive reviews, you can invite people to like your page with their email address so you can’t hold them hostage like in a group. You can like others pages as your page and interact on their page as your own page this getting your name out even more…. There is so much you can do.
One of the most popular ways to communicate with your business’s audience is via live video. Facebook Live is a feature that is available on personal profiles, in groups and on pages, but with pages, you can promote the video to a wider audience. Because live videos on pages are public, you have an opportunity to go viral, because in a group or personal profile, your privacy settings may limit your options.
On your Facebook page, you have access to a tremendous amount of analytic data. You can learn about where your followers are interacting on your page, where they are from, what time of day they are most active, and measure your growth. Facebook Insights are only available.
Other Fun Facebook Page Features
One of the great things about a Facebook page for your business is that you don’t have to do it alone. Pages offer you the ability to allow others to be admins, editors, or manage your advertising and analytics. If you have an assistant or other person managing your social media, you can easily set them up with specific roles depending on how much control you wish to grant them over your page. It takes a lot of the pressure off to be able to have others available to help you when you need it.
You don’t have to manage your Facebook page alone. You can assign roles to others in your organization.
One of the helpful features about Facebook pages is that you can organize the information on your page. There was recently a redesigned layout for pages rolled out. Many people have these already, and if it’s not yet available to you, it will be soon. You’re able to manage your photos, videos, your About page and any other tabs you may have created via a third-party app.
Offers and Events
You can also create custom deals or invitations for your followers. When you post, one of your options is to create an offer or event. You’ll see this when you’re making a new status update to the right of where you can add a photo. This is a great way to have a special discount or invite your followers to a special event.
One of the most handy features of a Facebook page is its native scheduler. You don’t have to be in front of your computer all day, everyday to have an active presence. When you make a post on Facebook, you have the option to schedule it for the future.
I like to spend an hour or so a week planning out my social media strategy for the coming week. I schedule several posts at once so that I can be active on my page without being married to it. I don’t schedule all of my posts because I like to post in real-time as well, but scheduling is particularly handy if I have time sensitive content, want to post something at a time I will be away from my desk, or if I’m posting inspirational or motivational posts.
There are a lot of third-party tools you can connect with your Facebook page. Want to connect your Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest feeds to your Facebook page? You can do that. All you need to do is search on Facebook for Twitter app, etc. to download and easily connect it. There are analytics apps, contest apps, marketing apps, scheduling apps. There is a smorgasbord of applications available to help you promote your business and make your page interesting. And many of them are free or low-cost.
Using Your Personal Profile for Business is a BIG No-No
You shouldn’t be using your personal profile to promote your business. But don’t take my word for it. Doing so is against Facebook’s Terms of Service. Section 4.4 of the Terms of Service States:
You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.
Using your personal profile for business can get your account shut down. However, with a Facebook page, you can share a post you made on the page to your personal profile. Bear in mind that you want to do this on a limited basis to avoid being reported for spam. I like the 80/20 rule. If you post 5 times per week on your personal profile, only one of those (or even fewer) should be a share from your business page that is a promotional or business post.
The downside to pages? There are some functionary issues I would like to see on pages that aren’t there yet. I find that the good far outweighs the bad.
The choice is yours. What fits you and your business the best? For me, I use both and find that they are highly complimentary.