Facebook is one of the most valuable tools you can use to connect with your community and win high-value customers. Here’s how. (Part 1 of 2)

We understand. Setting up a Facebook business page and figuring out how to use it can be daunting. Whether your family business is just getting started or has been a part of your community for years, you might feel overwhelmed or unsure of where to start.

Maybe you’re justifying your lack of social media effort by convincing yourself that it “just doesn’t matter” for you and your family. You already have enough on your plate, balancing the needs of your company and your loved ones. You might be saying things like, “We’re all word-of-mouth,” – or, “an in-person handshake is more powerful than a ‘like’ on the Internet.”

Of course, real-world networking and being active in your community are essential to your family’s business. Still, social media is a place where you can further engage with your customers and market your business at a scale and rate that was impossible in the past. Facebook is one of the best and easiest-to-use resources available to you – and most features are free to use.

Yes, it will take up some of your time – but you can minimize your time investment with the best practices in this two-part series. Facebook has benefited many family-owned businesses like yours, so we encourage you to try it for 6 months. You can then assess the value it’s adding to your business.

Creating a Facebook Business Page for your family-owned company is easy.

The first thing you need to keep in mind: don’t let Facebook intimidate you.

Billions of people use Facebook every day, and it’s an incredible way for you to connect you to people who love – or will love – your business’s products or services.

Because technology has become fully integrated with our daily lives, your potential clients, current customers, and business peers will expect you to have a Facebook group – and will happily engage with it. So, even if your family’s business is already well-known in your community – if you don’t yet have a Facebook presence, it’s time to dive in.

Online social media tutorials can flood you with confusing tech jargon. But you don’t need to be tech-savvy to make this platform work for you. Perhaps the best part about Facebook marketing is that you can set it up and build on what you’ve started as you go.

Something else that’s useful to remember: more advanced Facebook services, like sponsored posts to reach more potential customers include fees. However, these fees are minimal compared to traditional advertising, and you don’t need to dive into them until you’ve mastered the basics.

OK – ready to get started? Here we go!

Step 1: You’ll need a personal Facebook page (www.facebook.com). Because every Facebook Business Page needs an admin (an actual person) responsible for managing it, making changes, and giving permission to other users when required, if you’ve been avoiding Facebook, it’s time to take the plunge and sign up. Remember: you don’t need to be active on your personal Facebook page to run your business’s page.

If you already have a personal page but want to keep your business and private family life separate, don’t worry. The pictures and posts on your personal account will never post on your company’s page – it’s part of Facebook’s policy.

Step 2: After you’ve signed up for your personal Facebook page, go to facebook.com/pages/create to start setting up your new Facebook Business Page.

Step 3: Once there, click the Get Started button in the Business or Brand box. You will need to enter your company’s name and select a category. To do this, type in a few letters of what you think your closest business category is (e.g., “carpentry”). If you’re unsure which category is right for your business, don’t worry about choosing the perfect fit. You can adjust it and add additional categories later.

Step 4: After choosing a category, you’ll need to enter a little more information, like your company’s address and phone number. When asked if you want your page to be public – choose “yes.” Finally, accept Facebook’s terms and conditions (available for you to review) and click Continue.

Here’s how to add pictures, select your username, and share your story.

Now, Facebook will ask you to upload pictures, including the main cover photo – just like on your personal page. It’s easy to upload images – just make sure each photo you upload portrays a family business you’re proud of. You can always later edit, add, or remove pictures.

Add photos of your work, things that inspire your business, and other images may compel potential customers to contact you. Just keep in mind that content relating to controversial topics like politics or personal beliefs can harm your business. We recommend that you avoid these types of posts.

Have a company logo? Add it just like a picture and make it your page’s profile photo. If you don’t have a logo yet or want to create a new one, we’ll show you how later in this article.

Now it’s time to tell your community and potential customers about your business!

At the top menu, click Edit Page Info and add your company’s general info. The first box lets you write a general description of your business. Keep in mind that the character count is limited – so be brief yet specific to appear more often in customer’s search results.

Once you’ve completed your description, it’s an excellent time to either change or add to your categories, if needed. Again, type in a few letters, see category options appear, and then select. You will also receive prompts to add general information for customers, including your location, business hours, phone number, website URL, and email.

Your username is essential! Make sure yours is correct.

Your username will help people find you on Facebook, thanks to the platform’s search feature. Just use the name of your business as it would appear on a business list or the sign on your company’s front door. Be straightforward (e.g., “Henderson Carpentry”) because anything too fancy or long can confuse people.

To create or modify your username, click Create Page @Username on the left menu. A window will open for you to enter this information. Click Create Username when finished – and you’re good to go.

You’ve entered your company’s basic information! Now there is an opportunity to provide more detailed information about your family-owned business. It’s time to give potential customers more incentive to reach out to you.

Consider telling your company’s story in further detail. Click See More in the left menu. Then click About, and the Our Story on the right. Don’t be shy here – it’s time to get promotional! Without being too wordy (simple is best), make this your “30-second sales pitch” to new customers. Give them reasons why they should explore your Facebook Business Page and consider your family business. You can add one of your best photos here and further promote the quality of your work. After everything looks how you want it, click Publish, and you’re good to go!

Don’t have a logo yet? Don’t worry! Creating one is easy.

A logo can help your company look more professional and be more memorable. Creating a great logo these days is easy and doesn’t have to break the bank.

Remember that the most recognizable logos you see out in the world today (like Facebook’s logo) were the result of extensive design and branding efforts. It may sound crazy, but because branding is so valuable to a business, professional designers devote their entire careers to understanding the psychology behind great logos and creating visual marks that stand out.

For your family business, however, your first logo just needs to make your company look professional and help people in your community remember you easily.

There are so many sites out there that can help you create a logo. Here are two of our favorites:

LogoMakr is simple and intuitive to use. It lets you quickly design a great logo and has hundreds of graphic and typeface options. This platform is free if you give credit to LogoMakr everywhere you post your logo. If you want to use the logo you create without crediting LogoMakr freely, there is a reasonable charge, which is often a worthwhile business investment for the long-term.

FreeLogo has similar design features to LogoMakr, making it easy to use with thousands of design options and images. You must create an account to start. It’s promoted as free to use, but there is a charge to purchase the logo you create. However, after purchasing, the logo is yours to use wherever you like. The two main advantages of FreeLogo are their customer support and blog, which features helpful advice and logo success stories.

Regardless of how you get your logo, remember this universal rule: keep it simple.  Use larger, global companies as examples – like Nike’s swoosh and Target’s bullseye. You’ll notice they’re clean, bold, and easy to recognize alone and from far away. Most have only one or two colors – they also look great in just black and white.

Avoid typos and use proper grammar – your customers will notice!

As you create new posts, chances are you’ll make grammatical errors. They happen to all of us – even professional writers who do this for a living.

Still, poor grammar in your marketing materials can make you look unprofessional. Customers might not know why they feel less confident in your business after reading a post with grammatical mistakes. However, our minds subconsciously pick up on language that doesn’t sound professional. Spell check software like in Microsoft Word is helpful – but many errors can still fall through the cracks.

We recommend checking out Grammarly. This AI-powered writing assistant is a great tool that can help you post error-free content every time.

This software is super easy to set up and use. The free version is much better than Word’s spell check. It also points out flaws in syntax and sentence structure. The paid version is excellent if you plan to write a lot of content. It offers in-depth style and vocabulary suggestions that help ensure that your writing sounds pro.

There are many other tools out there that can help you avoid errors. The main thing we suggest is that from customer emails, to Facebook posts, you always check your work and make sure your writing sounds great.

Stay in touch with your customers and keep your content up-to-date

Facebook isn’t just a way to promote your family-owned business, it’s also a way to engage with your customers. You can communicate one-on-one through Facebook Messenger or publicly on your page.

It’s essential that you or someone at your business monitors your Facebook Business Page multiple times a week – or ideally, daily. Regular posts will allow you to remove outdated content – like expired offers – and reply to customer comments, questions, and concerns quickly. Be sure to say “thank you” when a customer posts a compliment or recommendation for your business. Just like in real life, courtesy in the digital world can have a big impact.

Be careful: With today’s faster-moving pace, people have come to expect fast responses. Make sure you respond to social media messages and posts quickly to avoid disappointment or ruffled feathers. Responding promptly also helps you stand out as an informative, friendly, helpful, and someone they want to do business with.

You now know the basics! Let’s move on to more advanced tips to increase your family-owned business’s reach through your Facebook Page in part two.