Facebook on phone and computer screen
Not only does Facebook provide a means to promote your business, it can also help boost your customer service and website SEO ratings. — Getty Images

Facebook has dominated digital marketing for more than a decade. By some estimates, Facebook’s 2.3 billion monthly users spend an average of one hour a day looking at content. Small businesses can realize new sales and loyal customers by mastering Facebook marketing; yet it’s become quite complicated to figure out the platform’s many bells and whistles.

Nearly 60% of small business owners reported wanting to increase their investment in Facebook marketing – but many aren’t sure how to go about doing so. Whether you are already using Facebook or are just starting to create a Facebook profile for your business, here’s what you need to know about marketing on this platform.

Use Facebook to provide basic information

More often than not, Facebook pages are how new customers discover a business. One study found that three out of four shoppers seek helpful, local information online before they visit a store in-person. A Facebook page can provide your hours, contact details, and store location. In addition, having a Facebook presence improves your SEO. Posts, links, and other content from your public Facebook page will help search engines boost your presence on the internet and help customers find you faster.

[For more information on social media, see: Creating Social Media and Online Profiles.]

Understand Facebook’s algorithm

Facebook has been making headlines for the way their algorithm decides what to display in a user’s newsfeed. The algorithm has implications for small business marketing, and it’s worthwhile to understand some of the basics of how your posts get sorted and seen.

In an effort to combat “fake news” proliferating the platform, Facebook changed its algorithm in early 2018. For a post to be seen by your target customers, it must meet the conditions of four key metrics:

  • Inventory. All the available content on Facebook. Content is ranked against posts from a user’s friends, family, groups, and pages they’ve liked.
  • Signals. This includes things like engagement (comments, likes, shares, replies) and some of the more qualitative stats, like how informative a post is and how much time a user spends reading your post.
  • Predictions. Facebook deploys a user’s profile and historical actions to decide what to show them again. The algorithm tries to “predict” what a user will likely be into and filter out the rest of the noise.
  • Score. Each piece of content gets a value that will determine its relevance to the user.

There are a number of factors that influence how Facebook decides how, when, and by whom your content will be seen. Most experts recommend diversifying your content distribution to make sure you show up on your followers’ feeds.

There are a number of factors that influence how Facebook decides how, when, and by whom your content will be seen.

Use Facebook as a customer service tool

Many small business owners use their Facebook page to respond to and interact with customers. A study by Accent Marketing showed that 82% of consumers “expect great customer service from brands on Facebook.” Be prepared to respond to direct messages and public posts from customers looking for information or seeking to resolve an issue with your business.

[For a full guide, see Marketing Your Business Using Social Media.]

Create a content strategy

Last but not least, create a content strategy for your Facebook page to keep your brand consistent with other parts of your marketing efforts. Start by deciding what you want to promote on your page — products, news, events or a combination of all of the above.

Think about your target customer and how that person matches the profile of your Facebook audience. Then, choose high quality videos and photos to share. Steer away from over-posting, avoid using jargon and stick to what makes your brand great in person. Experiment with different types of content to see what works. By keeping an eye on what type(s) of content your audience responds best to, you’ll gain a better understanding of what to continue creating.

CO— does not review or recommend products or services. For more information on choosing the best social media management tools, visit our friends at business.com.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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