You’ve finished setting up your Facebook Business Page. What’s next?

You’ve jumped over the biggest hurdle and created a Facebook Business Page for your family-owned company. Now, let’s learn how to use it effectively.

Engage your customers – don’t just put out ads

For decades, traditional marketing used something called push advertising. Basically, you made an ad and then ran it in print, radio, or TV. It was entirely one-way, and businesses just crossed their fingers and hoped a small number of people would respond.

But times have changed – the Internet has made everything interactive and audiences now have many more choices of what to read, watch, and listen to. Attention spans have become more limited, and you have only a few seconds to catch someone’s attention.

Despite the new challenges of keeping someone’s attention, there are now exciting new ways to engage with your community and target individuals who are more likely to become your customers. Facebook is possibly the best place for this.

Think beyond traditional ads

Your Facebook Business Page is the central location that collects your comments, promotions, events, photos, and videos. Besides having your phone ring with new client calls, your goal on Facebook is to get people to follow your business and engage with your posts.

Post away!

When you post on your personal Facebook page, it’s probably about family life – vacations, dinners out, etc. When it comes to your Facebook Business Page, you want to be more a lot more strategic and plan regular posts carefully. Think of things like recent projects, new hires, community events, and other information that will catch your customers’ interest.

Here are some ideas to help get you started and keep you on track:

1. Develop a content calendar
While there are many excellent apps to help you schedule what and when you’re posting on Facebook, Outlook, or Google calendar work great to start. We’ll cover what to post in the next few paragraphs. For now, grab a calendar and set up a reminder to post to your Facebook Business Page regularly. Simply place weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly reminders – just like any other appointment.

We recommend weekly posting as a great first step. As you think of new content ideas, you’ll build momentum and can post more frequently. Eventually, you’ll want to post about two to three a week with a variety of content.

To help you brainstorm for your content calendar, let’s look at some ideas that typically drive engagement. Remember: these are all free to post.

2. Host contests and giveaways
Developing a contest or giveaway can quickly generate a large audience for your company. As a family-owned business, it’s up to you to determine what a customer might win – discounts, free estimates, etc. The important thing is that it attracts people to your site. Putting a great photo of your business in action and adding a link to your company’s website can help your post to stand out.

In your post, the most important things to ask your readers to do are:

      • Click “Like”. This is not just for popularity! The more people click “like,” the more Facebook will show that post to others with similar interests. It’s the foundation of your community.
      • Send you their email. Ask for emails so you can contact the lucky winner. Do this by including your business email in the post. This is a fantastic way to build an email list that you can use for marketing purposes later. Email is one of the best ways to communicate directly with your customers.

3. Post videos
Video content is rapidly growing and is now the most shared across almost social media. Brainstorm your video ideas ahead of time – and all you need is a smartphone to record and post to your page. You could show a completed project or share a testimonial from a happy customer. It’s up to you!

4. Use question-based posts
Posting a question to Facebook is a great way to build community and engage with a potential customer by having a back-and-forth with them. Don’t be shy either. Allow them to sound off or participate in a friendly debate. Supporting or validating their responses and providing insights into what you do in your family business will build your credibility. Either now or down the road, they’ll likely reach out to you when they need your services.

5. Don’t be shy to post photos
Pictures are an excellent way to share your family business’s story. From completed projects to company functions, if you have good images, post them. Photos also enhance your contest, video, or question posts. 

Note: If you have an Instagram business account, keep in mind that Facebook allows for easy cross-posting.

6. Use Facebook Stories
Story-based content uses photos and videos and is a fun way to involve your followers in your business’s day-to-day life. As you build your stories, keep an eye on how much attention they get. This will help you to share more of what engages customers – and avoid posting content that doesn’t connect.

How to create a group (not just a page) for your family-owned business

Book clubs, industry meetups, and fitness groups are all just people with similar interests and goals. Facebook groups are the online version of this. Remember, your group’s goal is similar to that of your regular posts: to attract and engage your prospects and customers.

Here’s how to create a Facebook group:

1. At the top of your Facebook Business Page, click “Create.” Then select “Group” from the pull-down menu
A window will open where you can name your group, add people, and control privacy. You’ll have to add at least one person to your group before you can create it. Pick someone you know (perhaps your spouse or someone who works for you) – who will not tell anyone about your page until you’re ready to launch it. Make sure the privacy level of your group is public so everyone can eventually see it.

After you set the privacy level, click Create. Your new group is now ready to customize!

2. Personalize your new group with images that will attractively show how great your business is
Facebook makes setting up a group easy. You can intuitively add information like website links, descriptions, and control email settings.

Remember: just like with your Facebook Business Page, use images that will resonate with potential customers. Focus on pictures of your completed work. Show off your quality!

3. Once your new group looks how you want it – start posting away!
Post an image or video with a caption describing it. Ask a question that could start a dialog with new group members. If you want to create rules for your group, just add them to your description section.

Remember, it is essential to read and comment on member questions and group interactions. You are responsible for the content in your group and for responding to comments promptly.

4. After making your first few posts, start inviting people to join 
Friends and family are excellent support, but they won’t be your future customers. Check out these ideas to build your group:

  • Put an invite to your group on your company’s homepage
  • Send invites to your email list and introduce your new group
  • Share your new group on all the social media groups and platforms you’re active on
  • Include an invitation to your group on outgoing business emails or have it as part of all your employees’ email signatures

How to create a Facebook ad

The difference between posting content on your Facebook Business Page or Group and running an ad is that ads cost money. The amount depends on the size and scope of your campaign. However, since this is the main way Facebook makes money, it incredibly easy and fairly cheap to do.

For family-owned businesses like yours, Facebook has something called Ads Manager. It helps you create and maintain your ads. It walks you through setting your specific goal, choosing the right audience, and setting budget limits.

Ads Manager then helps you decide the look of your ad, what content you’d like it to include, and where it will appear on Facebook. Don’t let this sound intimidating. Remember, Facebook encourages businesses to place ads. Once you’ve created your first few, you’ll see how easy it is.

After your ad is out in the world, check how it’s doing. Look at Facebook Ad Manager – a dashboard (web page) – where you can check your ad results and see how much you’re spending each day.

Being involved in social media can be fun. After you get going, you may find it one of the more enjoyable parts of your marketing routine. Also, now is the perfect time to become more active online. Because many people are finding themselves with more downtime lately, it’s an excellent opportunity to jump on social media and keep your pages and groups active!