7 ways to use Facebook for small businesses and creators
Discover how to use Facebook for small businesses and creators. Learn optimal page setup, content calendars, and strategies to grow your business.
Using Facebook strategically can expand your business to new heights
Facebook offers creators and small business owners a world of possibilities for marketing and building an audience. Here are seven Facebook best practices to help you reach your goals:
- Optimize your Facebook business page
- Grow your audience (the organic way)
- Create a plan for posting content consistently
- Use a scheduling tool to save time
- Engage with your audience to build connections and offer customer support
- Share videos and host Facebook Lives
- Consider investing in Facebook ads
If you want to build brand awareness and grow your business, head to Facebook. All you need is a solid page, a thoughtful game plan, and your marvelous, creative self.
Facebook. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no getting around the fact that this platform can be a powerful tool for small business owners and creators.
On Facebook, you can share information about your business, promote your products and services, and most importantly, connect with your audience in a place where they already hang out.
As of 2021, Facebook has an estimated 1.93 billion daily active users and 2.89 billion monthly active users. With those kinds of numbers, it’s safe to assume that your target customers spend at least some time on Facebook. Why not meet them where they are?
In this guide, we’ll look at how to use Facebook for small businesses and online creators. We’ll cover page setup, content calendars, ads, and everything in between so you can create a strategic Facebook game plan that serves you. Let’s get started.
#1: Optimize your Facebook business page
The first step to using Facebook for your small business is creating an optimized Facebook business page.
Think of your business page as your virtual storefront. It should draw people in, make them feel welcome, and offer helpful information about your brand.
If you already have a personal Facebook page, you can create a business page by clicking the “Pages” tab in the left-hand sidebar. (If you don’t see it straight away, click the “See more” dropdown arrow.)
You’ll be taken to a screen where you can manage all your existing pages and create new ones. Click the blue “Create new page” button to get started.
Next, you’ll fill out basic information about your business. Add your business name, category, and bio.
Click “Create Page” to save your work, and you’ll be taken to a new screen to add additional details.
Scroll through the options in the left-hand sidebar to add your profile picture, cover photo, contact information, phone number, location, and hours. You can also add an action button, which we’ll talk about more in just a minute.
Click “Save”, and your page is ready to go.
If you need to update this information in the future or refresh an existing page, click the three dots next to the “Promote” and “Manage” buttons.
Select “Edit Page” to make changes.
Now let’s look at some tips to make your page stand out from the crowd:
Use a strong cover photo
Your cover image is prime real estate on your business Facebook page. Use this space to tell potential customers more about your work and products.
Launching a new online course ? Let your followers know with an eye-catching banner advertisement.
Offering a free lead magnet for new email subscribers? Show a preview of what’s inside to build excitement.
You can also include your mission statement, tagline, or an explanation of what makes your company unique.
This cover image will likely be one of the first areas a potential customer notices on your page, so use it to your advantage.
Include keywords in your bio
Your bio is more than just a description of your business; it’s a way for your page to be found in Facebook search results.
It’s best to avoid cutesy language or euphemisms here. Stick to keywords that people are likely to search related to your business or products.
This makes it easier for new customers to know exactly what your business is about, and it helps Facebook understand when it should display your page in search.
Stick with consistent branding
Consistent colors, fonts, and messaging can showcase your personality and make your business look more professional. When choosing profile pictures, cover images, and post graphics, make sure your visuals look cohesive.
Unsure of how to create these visuals?
Pay particular attention to your action button
Your action button is a blue button displayed prominently at the top of your page. You can customize it to meet a specific business goal.
Encourage visitors to check out your website, send you a message, join your email list, and more using this handy tool.
Update your username
When a new page is created, the default URL is a random string of numbers and letters. You can change this to reflect your business name, which makes it easier for customers to find you.
And, if we’re being honest, it just looks better.
To change yours, click on your account profile circle in the upper right corner. Click “Settings & privacy” in the dropdown menu and then choose “Settings”.
In the “Business Name” section, update your username. What you type here will be displayed in your Facebook page URL.
Now you’ll have a page address that looks great and is easy to remember.
Use “Features” to highlight your products and services
Facebook’s “Feature” tool is a great way to call attention to your best offerings. To use this, start by making a graphic for each product or service you’d like to highlight.
Size your images for Facebook stories, 1080px by 1920px. If you’re creating graphics in Canva , you can use the “Story ad” size template. There are tons of free designs you can use to spark your creativity.
Then, head to your page and select “Edit Featured” in the left-hand sidebar. Click “Add New” to upload photos and create a featured collection.
I arranged my featured images into three categories: online courses, digital downloads, and services. You can organize yours however it makes sense for your business.
Now that your page is optimized and ready to go, it’s time to get your first followers.
#2: Grow your audience
Building your audience is a crucial step on your Facebook journey. Here’s how to get more eyes on your page so you’re not posting into the void.
Leverage your existing connections: To start, ask your existing network to join your page using the “Invite to follow” button.
Click on the three dots underneath your business description. In the dropdown menu, go all the way to the bottom to find the invitation option.
You’ll get a pop-up dialog box explaining how to invite friends from your personal page to like your business page.
Feel free to cast a wide net here. You never know which of your friends might be looking for the exact thing you offer.
Promote your page on your other social media channels: If you already have a following on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, let your audience know that you’ve created a Facebook page too.
When you promote your page, emphasize the value people will get by following.
Will you share exclusive tips and advice to help them reach their goals? Will they be the first to know about deals? Will there be opportunities to connect with others who share their interests?
Highlighting these attributes will make people more likely to join and engage with your content.
Invite your email list: Likewise, you can invite your email subscribers to join your Facebook page. You can even include a link to your profile in your welcome email to encourage new subscribers to follow along.
By the way, if you need an easy place to manage your email list and sell your awesome products, Podia can help. Start your free 14-day trial now.
Collaborate with bigger brands and influencers in your niche: By working with other creators in your niche, you get access to a larger audience.
Here are some ways you can work with influencers and other businesses to grow your Facebook presence:
Interview them and share the final product on both of your pages.
Write a guest blog post for their website and include links to your Facebook page in the content or author box.
Collaborate on a Facebook Live event so their audience can get to know you.
Host a giveaway or contest: A giveaway or contest is an easy way to grow your page fast. Tell your social media and email followers that they could win a prize if they follow your Facebook page within a certain timeframe.
The prize should be relevant to your industry. You could even give away one of your best-selling digital downloads or a free coaching session as a reward. Once the deadline passes, randomly draw a name from the pool of new followers to receive the prize.
Be active on the platform: According to Facebook , one of the best ways to grow your following is to simply use the platform. Participate in groups about your niche topic, answer messages quickly, post consistently, and offer helpful advice to followers when needed.
To summarize, here are ways to grow your audience on Facebook:
Ask your existing connections and in-person network.
Promote your page on your other social media platforms.
Invite your email list and include a link in newsletters.
Collaborate with bigger brands and influencers.
Host a free giveaway or contest.
Actively engage with followers on the platform.
The strategies above will serve as a launchpad for growing your audience, but it’s important to note that, for most brands and creators, building a significant presence online takes time.
If your follower count is growing slower than you hoped, remember that a smaller number of engaged followers is more valuable than a large number of lukewarm ones.
Especially as you’re starting out, try to focus less on numbers and more on providing consistent value.
Speaking of value, it’s time to fill your page with some fabulous content.
#3: Plan your Facebook content
Your posts are the meat and potatoes of your Facebook content marketing efforts. They’re how you connect with your audience, promote new products, and encourage discussion.
The nice thing about Facebook is that you don’t have to post a zillion times per day. In fact, a Hubspot study of over 13,500 respondents found that, for most small businesses, you’ll get the best engagement rates when you post once per day or less.
Wondering what type of content to share on your news feed? Here are some fun ideas:
Inspirational stories or quotes
Quick tips relevant to your niche
Tutorials that can benefit new and existing customers
Questions or polls
Behind the scenes content
Articles you read and enjoyed
New blog posts
Business news and updates
New digital products you’re launching
Sales and promotions
To stay organized, we recommend creating a content calendar or schedule for more consistency. No need to wing it when you can plan it, am I right?
Let’s pretend that you sell online courses about personal finance. Here’s a sample schedule you could follow:
Monday: Share tips and advice related to your niche. These could be bite-sized lessons about saving money or investing.
Tuesday: Show your audience how to do something. You could demonstrate how to make a budget or use your favorite personal finance app.
Wednesday: Promote your products. Tell your audience about your courses or highlight a free lead magnet they can snag if they join your email newsletter .
Thursday: Take your followers behind the scenes in your business. Show them what your workspace looks like, visit your favorite coffee shop, or share your schedule for the day. You can also show new products you’re working on and ask for feedback.
Friday: Use this as a fun day to ask your audience questions, share funny memes that are relevant to personal finance, or post interesting articles.
By systematically planning your content, you give your brand a cohesive feel and simplify your planning process.
Now, if all this posting feels overwhelming, don’t worry. Here’s how you can manage your Facebook content calendar without being chained to your computer for hours a day.
#4: Use scheduling tools to save time
Social media scheduling tools are a must for busy creators. They allow you to post on a consistent schedule, even when life is anything but predictable.
When you schedule posts, you can use a time-saving strategy called “batching”.
Batching means that, instead of coming up with one Facebook post and graphic every day, you create several days of content in one sitting.
Then, you can upload everything to your scheduling tool and space the posts out so they’re shared consistently over time.
Here are some scheduling tools that can save you hours:
Using a scheduling tool ensures that your social media presence stays consistent without becoming a huge time sink. The result can be significantly more engagement and conversions.
I saw this first hand when I started using a scheduling tool for my blog’s Facebook page. Before, I shared blog posts a few times a month whenever I remembered. To say there was no system or consistency would be an understatement.
But then I started using a Facebook scheduling tool to post something new every day. I shared a mixture of my own blog posts, news articles, entertaining stories, and promotions for my digital products.
Not only did traffic to my blog and shop increase, but friends and followers even reached out to tell me that they enjoyed seeing what I was up to.
The moral of the story? Consistent posting can improve visibility and brand awareness, which can translate into more connections, clicks, and sales.
#5: Engage with your audience
In addition to sharing your work with the world, use your Facebook page to meet and mingle with prospective customers.
When people ask questions, send messages, or leave comments, try your best to respond quickly. This gives potential clients a great first experience with your brand and can indicate to the Facebook algorithm that people like the content you share.
On a similar note, the messaging features on your Facebook page are an excellent way to provide quick customer support to your clients.
90% of consumers believe that customer service is important when choosing which brand to buy from. A supportive Facebook presence can differentiate you from your competitors.
Facebook also offers some advanced communication tools, like automated replies and chat responders.
To set these up, click the “Manage” button under your business description. In the left-hand sidebar, scroll down until you see “Business Apps”.
Select “Inbox”, and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can configure your automated responses and the chat plugin.
This is also where you can check all your inbox messages and messenger notifications in one place.
Up next, we’ll cover how videos and Facebook Live streams can work in your favor.
#6: Use videos and Facebook Live
Beef up your Facebook digital marketing efforts with videos and Facebook Lives. In a Wyzowl study of video marketers , 86% said that video increased their website traffic, and 78% said videos helped increase sales.
These videos generate lots of comments, likes, and, most importantly, shares. When your followers share your content, your page will likely grow organically.
No need to reinvent the wheel here. Repurposing video content from other channels is a great way to get clips for your Facebook page.
Facebook Live is another way to incorporate videos into your business marketing strategy. Live videos are a way for you and your audience to communicate in real-time.
According to Facebook, Live videos get six times more interaction than regular videos.
Here are some topics you could talk about in your Live:
Product release or sale announcements
High-value training sessions or tutorials
“Ask me anything” sessions
Interviews with experts in your field
Discussions about industry updates
Simply put, videos and Lives can be a powerful addition to your small business’s Facebook content plan.
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#7: Consider investing in Facebook ads
Last but not least, let’s talk about Facebook advertising . All social media platforms are becoming more “pay to play” nowadays, and Facebook is no different.
Facebook ads are a good choice for some small businesses because they tend to be more affordable than other social ads, and they offer super-specific targeting.
While you certainly don’t need to use Facebook ads if you don’t want to, it’s worth discussing some implementation tips should you decide to go this route.
Tip #1: Always run ads with a specific goal in mind. First, get crystal clear about what you want to achieve with your ad. Your end goal will impact what you promote, the language you use, and who you target.
The Facebook sales funnel consists of three phases: awareness, consideration, and decision.
Think about where your ideal customers are in this process, and target your campaigns based on their needs.
This ad by WordStream , for example, is intended to build brand awareness by providing a valuable free download for customers in the early stages of the buying cycle.
This Allbirds ad, on the other hand, is targeted towards Facebook users who are ready to make a purchase.
Before doing anything else, think about what you want your ad to accomplish for your business.
Tip #2: Create visual ad elements. You only have a split second to make an impression. Stick to clear, bright, uncluttered designs with easy-to-read fonts to ensure your message gets across.
In your copy, don’t just describe your product. Talk about how it can make life better for your target customer by solving a problem.
Tip #3: Choose the right audience. Not every ad is suitable for every person. Think about who you’re trying to reach with each individual ad you run.
Facebook lets you get very detailed when selecting your target audience. You can specify your ideal viewers’ location, interests, demographics, and even recent life events. Try to get as specific as possible when you’re setting these parameters.
For example, if you sell an online course about interior decorating, you could target people who like home improvement and people who have recently moved.
The more detailed you can be in your ad targeting, the more likely you are to reach your ideal customers.
Bottom line: whether you’re launching your first business or you’ve been at it for years, a thoughtful Facebook strategy can get your creations in front of more eyes while building meaningful connections.
Post consistently, stay true to your voice, and have fun out there. As always, we’re rooting for you.