Facebook is the largest, most active, most popular social media network on the web. With a userbase of 1.13 billion daily users and diverse demographics, 50 million small businesses turn to it as their go-to advertising and outreach platform. But with the changes made in 2016 to Facebook’s business pages, most advertising guides are out of date.
If you’re looking to create (or update) a Facebook page for your service business, here’s a guide that will help you get the most out of it without a headache. This guide will explore everything from account types to administration and show you how to set up an account that will generate amazing leads that turn into customers.
Before You Start: Understanding Account Types
Before you create a Facebook page, make sure you understand how your business fits into the categories on Facebook. Many small business owners create the wrong kind of business account, or even a personal account, and end up severely limiting their own reach by mistake. By selecting the right category Facebook will work for you, not against you.
Service businesses are best categorized as local businesses on Facebook. This business category is designed for small-to-medium-sized businesses with concrete hours, public-facing contact information, and a local address. Local businesses are ranked first in search over non-local businesses when users search on Facebook, and with the proper industry categorization, they’re easily discovered by potential customers. The ‘Company, Organization, or Institution’ option runs as a distant second in terms of on-page features, while the rest of the categories don’t even come close to matching the options most businesses need.
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Within the local business option, business owners can select from a list of business categories to further define their audience and services. Selecting the wrong category here can lead Facebook into thinking that your service business does something completely different from what your name or description might imply, so it’s important to choose carefully. Most service businesses are classified as either ‘Home Improvement’ or ‘Local Business’ in the drop-down menu. If you’re unsure of what category is best, select ‘Local Business.’ There will be more customization options available on the About page.
Building Your Page: Filling In The Right Information
When creating a Facebook page for a business, two objectives need to be kept in mind: including the right information for online search, and encouraging customers to contact you through your page. Many businesses will achieve one of those objectives, only to fail at the other. By doing both, you’ll generate better leads with less effort.
As that relates to filling out a Facebook page, make sure to fill out everything. Businesses without profile pictures, public phone numbers, background information, and at least a handful of posts each week don’t generate leads on Facebook. An incomplete Facebook page is like a half-written sales pitch; it won’t close any deals. Here are the relevant sections you should check out:
Writing an informative company description is an important part of engaging customers. It’s here that you will communicate the identity, history, and methods of your service business. Customers will get a feel for your business by reading this, and, if they can identify with your business they’ll be more willing to schedule an appointment. Facebook allows you to create both a brief description and a long description. Make sure to fill out both as they’re displayed on different parts of your page.
No one likes leaving a voicemail. List the hours during which someone will be available to take a call and schedule an appointment. This field is most important for businesses that deal with foot traffic and on site sales, but it shouldn’t be neglected by appointment-only businesses. Customers are more likely to call if they know someone will be on the other end of the phone.
Without contact information, how can a business reach customers? It’s important to list a phone number that’s used only for the business, and not the contact information of an individual who works for the business. Many small businesses use Google Voice and call forwarding to make sure individual privacy is respected.
Many small businesses that don’t have a storefront omit address information, but doing so can be bad for business. Facebook uses location data to connect potential customers with businesses in their area. By including the address of your office or dispatch center, customers will find you easily in search. This can also help with Google search rankings.
Call To Action:
A relatively new Facebook feature is the large button just beneath the cover photo. This button is used as a call to action, and is typically used to encourage customers to engage with the page. It can be used to schedule appointments, or as a ‘call now’ button, as well as a bunch of other things.
The benefit this button provides is massive, increasing click-through rates by over 200%. For small businesses, this is an amazing benefit provided at absolutely no cost. Used properly, this can be one of the most important parts of a business page. Facebook lets you track the number of times the button has been pressed, and it will provide demographic information about the people who click it. Used properly, this data can help you tweak your page.
Once you’ve created a business page, filled in all of the relevant information, added pictures, added additional information, and set up your call to action (and made a few Facebook posts), you’ll be ready to handle the other side of managing a business page: using the page tools.
At first glance, the number of tools may seem daunting. With messaging features, insights, ad publishing, and all kinds of internal views, charts, lists, and spreadsheets, it isn’t a user-friendly interface. It takes time to figure out how to use these tools, and not all of them are relevant to every business owner.
Many customers will contact businesses through Facebook directly instead of calling a phone number. Without the pressure of a phone call, Facebook messages are an easy way to answer quick questions and handle small issues. Businesses can set whether they’re available for messaging on the messaging page, and those that respond quickly to messages will receive a special badge on their page.
If you have the time — or you have an office employee who has the time — this page can be a powerful lead generator. It’s important, however, to maintain professionalism at all times while engaging with customers through Facebook messages.
Facebook insights provides information about how and when customers visit, like, comment, and engage with your Facebook page. Of all of the information displayed here, the most important things to track are audience size and actions on page. Tracking promotions, likes, and views can be situationally important for businesses, while tracking reach is significantly less so.
Actions on page are important, as this will tell you where and when customers are clicking on your website, your phone number, and your call to action, and similar page features. Combined with demographic data, this information will help you understand customer behavior. Whenever you tweak your page, tracking the information displayed here will help you asses the impact of those changes.
This is where you should be creating your Facebook posts most of the time. Using the Publishing Tools, you can create posts and schedule them far in advance, using tools that will help you deliver content to specific subsets of your audience. That way, instead of taking time out of your day every time you want to post, you can sit down once a week (or even once a month) and take care of it all at once.
There are a lot of features here that can be used to reach potential customers. The important part to remember is that customers are more likely to engage with posts that have pictures or videos. If you have the opportunity to share relevant content that encourages customers to engage, ask questions, or contact you, do it. Video guides that explain how to do basic at-home tasks and repairs are popular and produce very good results.
How To Manage Your Facebook Account Easily
With all of this information, Facebook can seem intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. It can take a few hours to set everything up properly the first time, but with a bit of practice Facebook is an easy marketing tool with a rich feature set and a huge audience. The easiest way to remove the stress from Facebook marketing, of course, is to share the load. Here’s how you can add additional users to your page so your employees (or a freelance marketer) can help you manage your page:
- On your business page, click on settings (right side of the grey navigation bar)
- In the left-hand menu of the settings page, click on Page Roles
- In the text box in the center of the page, type in the name of the user you want to add (you have to be friends with them on Facebook) and select the role you want them to have.
- Click Save.
When you do this, the person you add will receive a notification that they’ve been added to the business page. It’s important to talk to them beforehand, as Facebook will give them very little information about how the page works and what they’re supposed to do.
The different roles available for the page are important, as selecting the right role for each user will allow them to do what you want them to do, and prevent them from doing things you don’t want them to. The last thing you want to do is give a disgruntled employee the power to change or delete your page. Here are the descriptions of the page roles, so you can use them properly:
Admin: Can manage all aspects of the Page including sending messages and publishing as the Page, creating ads, seeing which admin created a post or comment, viewing insights and assigning Page roles.
Editor: Can edit the Page, send messages and publish as the Page, create ads, see which admin created a post or comment, and view insights.
Moderator: Can respond to and delete comments on the Page, send messages as the Page, see which admin created a post or comment, create ads, and view insights.
Advertiser: Can see which admin created a post or comment, create ads and view insights.
Analyst: Can see which admin created a post or comment and view insights.
As a rule, don’t give anyone more responsibility on your page than they need to do their job. If you’re working with a freelance or third party marketer, don’t give them admin rights. Don’t add all of your employees to the page, and make sure you remove users who leave the company. Finding the right person to help is important, so don’t worry if it takes a while to find the person who fits in.
When you divide the burden of managing the page between two or three people, using Facebook as a marketing tool is easy. Since responding to messages is the most time-intensive task and scheduling posts is the least time-sensitive tasks, it’s common to assign those duties to one employee so the business owner can focus on more important things. The best role to give such an employee is the editor role.
Understanding Customer Psychology
Now that you know how to setup your page, what parts of it are important, and how to safely share the workload with your employees, it’s time to look at the psychological side of Facebook. Lots of people think that they need to spend a lot of money in order to reach new customers, but that isn’t always necessary.
According to a 2013 study by Syncapse, Facebook users engage with different companies for different reasons on Facebook. They engage with the Mercedes Facebook page differently than they do the Facebook page for a local band or business and understanding why they do that is important part of marketing.
The top three reasons for engagement are to support the brand, to get a coupon or discount, and to receive regular updates from brands they like. For small business owners, those first two reasons are the most important. Don’t base your marketing strategy on large companies with highly visual products. Focus on customer satisfaction and regular access to perceived discounts.
There are tons of articles that talk about building the perfect marketing campaign, but the process is pretty simple. Post a total of 1-4 posts per week, primarily posting on Sundays and Wednesdays. Use posts that ask questions or prompt customers to ‘fill in the blank’ and include pictures or videos when possible. When posting deals or coupons, list the savings amount in dollars instead of using a percentage.
Facebook is more than just a social media platform. It’s a digital ecosystem, populated by customers, businesses, advertisers, brands, and more. Integrating it into your business practices can take time, but the results are worth it. With a bit of work, some delegation, and an understanding of what your customers want, you can turn Facebook into one of the best tools in your business arsenal without buying ads.