I did a number of internet searches today looking for practical advice that small business owners with a brick and mortar store could take on that would boost sales via their Facebook page.
After all, according to Facebook there are over 25 million active small business pages now on their platform.
However, after searching for a long time, I am surprised how little actionable information was out there.
I saw a lot of information about Facebook marketing targeting online marketers or e-commerce store owners (including my own) but for small business owners with a physical location who are looking to boost sales the advice I read was lacking.
Well, I want to do my part to change that.
In this two-part series I am going list 8 ways for local businesses to boost sales using the power of Facebook. So let’s get started.
1, Set Up Your Page The Right Way
Imagine how annoying it is to a potential customer, to visit your Facebook page for the first time and not see your opening hours, location of your business or a telephone number to contact you.
As a local business owner these are vital pieces of information that must be on your page.
Adding your opening hours to your page is very easy. You simply go to the Page Info area of your Page Setting and about half way down you will see the “Hours” area.
There are number of options to pick from, but if you have actual opening and closing times you want to pick the last option.
Adding a map to your page is also easy to do. On the same page you will find the address area. When you click the edit button you are given the option to add a map to your page.
Once you have added this information it is shown on your page underneath your profile picture.
Think Hard About Your Timeline Image And Profile Picture
Please spend some time really thinking about your timeline image and the profile picture you are going to use, or how to improve the ones you already have in place.
Remember, after visiting your page once, most fans will never see you page again and they will rely on what shows up in their news feeds to keep tabs on what your business is doing.
So, it is important your profile picture is simple, clear and easy for your fans to recognize it is your page posting an update. Ideally, the profile picture is your businesses logo.
For your timeline image, make sure you use the very best photos or graphics you have and that they fit the size of the space correctly. There is nothing worse than seeing scaled up or down images in that prime spot on your page.
It’s Not Just The Product. It Is A Lifestyle.
The best Facebook pages don’t just sell a product, they also sell the lifestyle around the product. In other words, try to post photos of your ideal customer using your product or interacting with your service that fits with your brand and demographic.
A great example of this is the Poler Stuff company as you can see in the image below. It features their product in an active outdoor setting.
If you own a eatery you could show photos of people having a good time over food and drinks like The Cactus Club have done here
2. Put Your Products And Services In The Spotlight
If you are a local business that sells products you need to show them off. Facebook is a very visual platform and good images that appeal to your pages demographic will always attract engagement.
Here is an example of a local gift shop close to me:
You want to make sure however that you try to mix up the way you present products so your fans don’t get bored with seeing them. For instance you could group similar items together in a collage:
When posting product shots on your page make sure you add some details about it and use a great photo. Spur engagement by asking you fans what they like about the product.
If you offer a service you can put it in the spotlight by showing it in action like 310 Dump do on their Facebook page:
A local pizza joint named Famosa also do a great job displaying their food on their page:
Just looking at that picture will make a tummy grumble with hunger. If you can use great photos to appeal to your fans needs you are golden.
3, Focus On Engagement
After you have made your page look good and made it accessible for people to learn what your opening hours are, how to contact you and where you are located you need to focus on building engagement with your fans.
Remember, the majority of people who “like” your page will never actually return to it – they will only learn more about what your business is up to through the news feed.
Facebook filter the news feed to display content they believe users will be interested with because they have engaged before with an update from that page.
If you can’t get fans to engage with your posts you will struggle to build a following.
You need to find a balance between posting about your products and services and other types of posts which will build engagement. Ideally a 50/50 split between posts that showcase your products and services and other posts that you use to simply build engagement.
Here are some ideas of good engagement builders:
- Share timely, interesting content on your page from other sources that is related to your niche.
- Ask your fans questions and perform polls to get them to interact and give you feedback.
- Post inspiring quotes or poems. Facebook users really love that type of content. Try to make them relevant and topical.
- Caption the image posts.
- Fill in the blank type posts.
- Get More Fans
4, Get More Fans
When most small businesses launch their Facebook page they quickly invite their family and friends to like their page.
This seems like a good idea. I know you want them to share in the success of launching the business.
However, unless your family and friends will engage with your page and are really interested in what your business offers you will hurt your Facebook page.
What your page really needs is targeted fans who love what your business has to offer and will turn into engaged, loyal fans and customers.
The quickest way to meet that goal is by using Facebook ads.
Running a simple ad to promote your ad is very easy to do and doesn’t have to be expensive.
First, just above the cover photo on your page you will see promote page button link.
Once you click on the link a pop up window will appear.
Don’t be put off by this window. It is very simple to use. Here are 4 steps to getting your first ad up and running in minutes:
1, Focus on just advertising to people close to where your business is located. So pick the city drop down option and type in the name. You should be able to pick your city from the list that appears.
2, You can add interests if you want to target your audience further. For instance, if you run a sporting goods store you could include different types of sports here depending on the products you sell.
3, You should already know what age and gender your business typically attracts so make sure you use these options to make your ads more targeted
4, Set a small daily budget to start with. I see a lot of first time Facebook advertisers panic when they quickly blow through hundreds of dollars in ads. The problem is they had high daily budget and poor targeting. Facebook will gladly take your money so be smart and make sure you are seeing an ROI just like you would with other advertising sources.
Let the ad run for a week initially so you can gauge how it is working – you can always restart or extend the ad if it is working well for you.
Once you click the “Promote Page” link you ad will be reviewed by Facebook staff and then if it meets their approval it will go live.
That concludes part 1 of this Facebook marketing for local businesses series. Stay tuned for part 2 coming later this week.