Alrighty it’s time for another MEGAPOST here on the blog. And whether you love it, like it or wish it had a dislike button, you can’t deny that Facebook is the powerhouse of all social media platforms when it comes to your personal and business brand.
If you have a small business then chances are you also have a Facebook page for it. If you don’t, then you are about to learn why it’s so damn important that you can’t wait another minute to get one.
So this Ultimate Guide to Using Facebook for building your brand and business is going to get you off and running big-time – not only in understanding why Facebook is good for business, but how you can use it to generate credibility, visibility, new leads and customers.
Full disclosure some links in this guide are affiliate links where I earn a small commission if you choose to buy a resource or tool I’ve mentioned. Thank you for that!
1. You Can Build a Loyal Tribe
Businesses thrive when they have a loyal community or tribe supporting them. In fact, without those people there wouldn’t be a business at all.
Creating a Facebook page gives you an opportunity to build up this wonderful support system. By providing valuable information, sharing relevant links, advertising giveaways or promotions, and asking your audience to take part in what’s going on, you can successfully bring people together and solidify that business-customer relationship.
2. Give Your Audience Regular Access to Your Business
There are over 1.3 billion users on Facebook. That’s a lot of people. More importantly, that’s a lot of potential customers if you play your cards right.
By consistently updating your status, sharing image and links and connecting with your followers, you are establishing the link between a passive Facebook follower and potential customer.
More and more people are turning to Facebook as a way to find products and services. If you and your business are online regularly you up the chances of being found this way. A great way to do this is via Facebook Ads, but we’ll get to that later!
3. Get Serious Insights on Your Customers
What better way to find out what your customers want, than by asking them? Facebook pages offer your tribe a platform to share direct feedback with you about your products or services.
Asking for feedback is great, but just make sure you are offering valuable information in return. A little give-and-take goes a long way.
If you’ve never used Facebook pages before then you may not know that they offer an Insights section at the top of your page. As your followers start participating on your page, Facebook charts your clicks, likes, shares and general interactions. From this you can actually see what your audience is drawn to.
If your audience is constantly interacting with posts on one particular subject or product, it is clear that they are eager for more information on it, or at the very least, find this topic of value. Take this information and focus on it. Giving your audience what they want is a surefire way to build a successful business.
4. Improve your Search Engine Optimization
There have been several changes with Facebook since the beginning of 2014, but it is still a great way for directing your audience to your website. By strategically using your posts, link shares or images on Facebook to direct others to your site, you are giving your website a well-deserved SEO boost. The more relevant and targeted your page content is, the better it will affect your search rankings.
5. Humanize your Business
Like I said before, people want to feel connected to businesses. Properly managing and updating your Facebook page allows you the opportunity to give your business a personality.
The best part about having a Facebook page is that you can stay true to your brand, while displaying a more relatable, human side that will ultimately draw in more customers.
Don’t be afraid to post non-business related pics or updates occasionally. People love knowing that there is a human – not a robot – communicating from the other side of the screen!
Come and like my Facebook page here where I share cool resources, great travel photos, ask the right questions and post interesting stuff!
Now that you know why your business needs to be on Facebook, you should probably know what you shouldn’t be doing with your page.
There are a few common mistakes that businesses tend to make on Facebook, so learn to avoid these and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
1. You only share your own content
Don’t get me wrong, sharing your own content is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be all the time. Providing your followers with a variety of information – whether it’s your own or someone elses – shows them that you’re committed to sharing the best of the best and invested in them, as a consumer.
There is a term known as “content curation” that sums up what you should be doing instead. Curate other relevant and interesting pieces of content and people will be more likely to take part in your Facebook page.
2. You use your personal page for your business
3. You always forget to update your page
Would you follow an account that has no activity? No. And I wouldn’t expect you to.
When you forget or simply choose not to update your business Facebook page on the regular you are doing your business a disservice. Little to no activity will alert the Facebook algorithm to start filtering you. Not only will your page’s activity take a hit, but the fewer interactions on your page also means the less likely you are to pop up on others newsfeeds.
4. You update too often
Information overload is just as bad as no information. Wading through too much content can be a major turn off to potential followers. After all, who has time to read 10 articles before lunch alone?
Don’t overwhelm your audience. Find a balance between sharing useful information, updating everyone with news or business ongoings, and maybe upload a pic or two. Put yourself in their shoes – would you want that much information at one time? If the answer is no, then cut out the junk and focus on more value-driven updates.
5. You don’t quality check your content before posting
Following up on point #4, don’t waste your time posting junk content simply just to post content. Invest your time and energy into curating high quality content that will better your following. The trick is to always leave people better than you found them. Keep that in mind next time you share a blog post or link.
6. You haven’t completed your About section
Who are you? Your audience won’t know if you don’t complete your About section, not to mention it’s a great place for you to link back to your website. More importantly, Facebook is a great tool for indexing on Google so fill in as much information as you can.
7. You don’t treat each visitor as a potential customer
Here’s where old school customer service comes in handy. Use your business Facebook page as a platform to demonstrate how great your customer service is. By remembering that every single visitor is a potential customer or client you can demonstrate your expertise, how you will solve customer complaints or even how you go above and beyond others in your field. From experience, I would rather invest my money in a product or service that was a little more expensive simply because of how I knew they would treat me.
8. You paid for your fans
It can be frustrating building an audience from nothing, but buying fans is not the answer.
While there are many services out there that offer hundreds of fans for next to no money, you likely won’t be gaining followers who want what you’re selling.
Long story short, if your audience doesn’t have an interest in your product or service you won’t build a following that interacts with your updates, you’ll drop in the Facebook algorithm and have a much harder time generating leads that convert.
Good things come to those who work hard, so be patient and build your following the old fashioned way!
9. You only use the “Boost Post” option
Boosting your post is great if you want a little more interaction, but it isn’t a longterm advertising solution.
When you Boost a Post you are basically handing money over to Facebook for nothing in return. Sure you get on your current followers Newsfeeds a little more, but you can’t target potential new followers.
If you’re going to invest money into your page (and you should!) promote your post through the Facebook Ads Manager. You can target your fans and reach out to those with similar interests, which greatly broadens your reach.
Example below is what Facebook shows you when you click on ‘Boost Post’ of any post you’ve made on your page. You can’t get granular or specific.
10. You don’t track your conversions
Now that you’re investing your money in the right areas, you should be tracking your conversions.
By tracking your conversions you can see how high your return on invest was and track whether or not people are interested in whatever service or product you were advertising.
Luckily every single Facebook page gets free and amazing analytics where you can see which posts are performing well, what time of day, your audience demographics, whether pictures or text are working better for you and so much more.
If we’re talking advertising conversions then Facebook Ads provides you with a simple piece of code to insert in your website to track Facebook ad conversions into say subscribers, if you chose this as your conversion metric. Very handy!
If you are new to Facebook for your business then allow me to walk you step-by-step through the set up process:
1. Login to your personal account
If you aren’t currently on Facebook sign up for a personal account here.
2. Go to facebook.com/pages/create.php
3. Pick a category that best suits your business
If you aren’t quite sure which category best suits you, click on one and check out their subcategories. If down the road you realize you have chosen the wrong category, no worries – you can always change it.
4. Enter your details.
Be careful when entering your details. While it is easy to change your category, for the time being you can only change your Facebook name if you have fewer than 200 fans. Should this change, you want to be sure your page reflects the correct name.
Click “I agree to Facebook Page Terms” after you’ve had a good read-thru and then click Get Started.
Facebook ads are a great form of lead generation. Let me walk you through the easiest way to set one up for your own Facebook page and business.
To generate leads…
Unpublished Page Post Ad
This is literally a post on your Facebook page that your fans can’t see but still hits the Facebook News feed. You set it up through Facebook Ads.
- Use a “page post ad” – or a status update that is turned into an ad – with an eye-grabbing image and a strong call to action
- You can create your own add that is 1200 x 627 pixels as a good rule of thumb, and use either your own image and Picmonkey.com or Canva.com to do one up yourself
- You want to use a “page post ad” because it can target fans, friends of fans, and non-fans
- Whichever image you use can only be 20% text – make sure you know the Facebook Ad Guidelines (or your designer does) as they’re pretty strict on this
- Use the Power Editor instead of traditional FB ads dashboard because the Power Editor gets 6x more engagement
- As soon as you post whichever status update you want to use, go right away and turn it into an ad with the Power Editor.
- When targeting non-fans, be sure to remember that they might not know you yet. So don’t be too salesy and offer lots of value.
- Choose 3-5 people who have a similar audience to you so you can promote to the non-fans via their audience base e.g. Sean Ogle, Internet Business Mastery, Chris Guillebeau, She Takes on the World, Free Range Humans
Here’s how to access the power editor – https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/powereditor/
Example in Action
I’ve been running this ad for around 2.5 weeks and am happily impressed that the click through rate is now just $0.19 c per click as you can see below with a daily budget of $20.
Here you can see the creative I am using and will soon be changing out and testing (this screenshot was from last week) and you can see price has dropped since then and actions taken have grown a lot.
I’ve recently added the pixel conversion code to my website home page, where this ad directs them too and I’ll soon be able to see how many of those people took action actually signed up to my Highflyer Newsletter and grabbed by Suitcase Starter Kit.
Sponsored Page Post Ad
- There is also a “sponsored page post ad” where it shows one of your fans saying that the people they know might like what you have to offer too since your fan does
- Use the option of keyword targeting by typing in categories like #online business and that targets people who have mentioned online business in the past seven days.
- Using broad categories isn’t necessary.
- Amy always chooses CPC – cost per click
- When you run an ad in the news feed, you want a click through rate of 2% or higher but wait until you’ve had 2000 hits/20 clicks on your ad to check the rate.
- Amy bids her for her ads. She’ll start with anything between .41 – .50 and then lowers it after 10-20 clicks
- She spends $100 on the first day of the ad – If your ad has a strong first day, it tends to stay out there longer and get more clicks
- Great for advertising webinars
- Get a bolded headline + a status update
- If you do this, make sure it’s high production quality
- 1-2 minutes max
- Use the Facebook Ad Tracking Tool so you know how many people saw the ad and then signed up for the webinar
- Setting this up is as simple as taking some code from the Conversion Tool tab on the Power Editor
- Go here to see who is targeting you with ads – facebook.com/ads/adboard
Amy Porterfield has mastered the art of creating profitable Facebook marketing plans. On her own recent launch for her Facebook Marketing Profit Lab she was spending $200 per day and bringing in $30,000 of revenue!
In fact she swears by these 7 Steps to a Profitable Marketing Plan and I’ve been using them too to see real gains in my efforts.
By the way listen to our excellent podcast interview How to Use Social Media and Mindset to Grow Your Business.
There are a few simple things that can pack a powerful punch when it comes to creating a Facebook ad campaign. Let’s take a look at 3 of the biggest influences:
It sounds simple, but many business owners don’t actually know who their audience is. This is usually due to one of two things; One, you don’t have a clear vision of your business or two, you don’t want to take the effort to get to know your audience.
When you first start your business, you may not be completely certain of where you want to take it and how it will be, and that’s okay – for a hot minute. Really take the time to sit down and figure out who your ideal avatar is. Write out your mission and vision; I call this my Painted Picture. A painted picture can guide you in the right direction and keep your focus so you don’t confuse yourself or your visitors.
Once you’ve nailed down who and what your business is, take even more time to get to know your audience. Your audience is who will ultimately become your customer, so give them what they want. Knowing what they want in advance will help you create a Facebook ad campaign that complements your product or services perfectly; and more importantly, converts.
Here’s a look at my Painted Picture with over 33,000 views now: How to Create Freedom in Business
2. Create a compelling headline
No one remembers the song with the crummy chorus – same goes for an ad with no hook. Your headline is going to be the primary reason people are clicking your ad and you only have one brief moment to sell them on it.
Make sure your headline is confident, compelling and clear. Now is not the time to display your wit. Consider creating a headline that intrigues and try mentioning how a click will benefit the reader.
Here is an example of a compelling headline from Screw the Nine to Five.
Here’s what Jill Stanton from Screw the Nine to Five had to say about their results:
“We have been running the ad since March 10th 2014 and in that 2 months it’s resulted in 7,116 likes for a total of $1,981.67. Our daily budget is $40 and we pay on average $0.27 per like.
We used the same strategy for our Lifestyle Affiliate program and saw a 16% conversion in sales from our early bird sign ups.
One of the best strategies we ever put in place for our business was to use Facebook ads to build up our page likes, and in turn drive ads to our fans and convert them into leads.
Not only has it built our page up tremendously, but it’s accelerated our list-building, boosted our traffic, and even had a hand in selling our new training program!
I mean, we’re hooked to say the least!
In an era where you have to pay to play on FB, you simply cannot continue to ignore Facebook ads and the serious business-building benefits they bring.” – Jill Stanton
Below are even more examples of great headlines and use of Facebook ads:
3. Design a Custom Landing Page
If you are trying to build leads for your product or service then you will want to create a custom landing page for your Facebook ad to take them to on your own website. Similar to headlines, being clear and concise can make a massive difference to your conversion rate.
Focus your landing page around engaging leads with your story and capturing their details. Avoid any unnecessary information so there is no confusion on what you want them to do next.
A great example of a custom landing page is this one from Amy Porterfield.
If you are new to landing pages, then you will want to check out LeadPages. LeadPages is a landing page software that allows you to put up a landing page in as little as 5 minutes and they have created several easy-to-use templates you can try out.
They also allow you to add any landing page into your Facebook page as a tab with just a few clicks! This is an example of a template below you’d customize with your own text and imagery in around 5 minutes!
3 Facebook Advertising Case Studies to learn from
Depending on your level of business, budget and online savvy, I’ve included results from 3 fairly recent Facebook Marketing Campaigns so you can learn about the steps they took to achieve their goals.
James Wedmore’s Facebook Advertising Success
My friend Rick Mulready (listen to our podcast interview on the power of social media to build your business here), who’s a whizz at using Facebook advertising to convert more leads, helped James Wedmore with this webinar promotion earlier this year.
They focused heavily on using Facebook advertising to drive registrations for webinars he’d be doing to teach video marketing strategies and also officially introduce the course.
They started the ads 8 days before the first webinar and James wanted to spend a healthy budget — about $750 per day — on his ads. That may sound like a lot to you but by this stage, from previous launches, he knew quite accurately what his return on investment will be. So, he was ok with spending this much.
James did three webinar trainings and after 8 days of Facebook ads and 3 webinars here were his results:
- $66,000 generated in sales
- 4,100 new leads
- 1,300 new Facebook fans
- Facebook ads spend to date for his campaign: $6,000
- Cost-per-lead: < $3″
Now you don’t have to spend that much and it’s all relevant to the cost of the product, program or service you’re offering but note he also got a ton of leads and fans in addition to sales, and his return on investment was 10 fold!
Anne Samoilov’s Facebook Advertising Results
Launch expert Anne Samoilov who’s been running other people’s launches for years has finally been applying her own techniques to her business and has been experimenting with Facebook Ads.
In her recent podcast episode she dived into real ad results she’d gotten from Facebook.
Here are the two ads Anne discussed in the podcast:
Ad #1: Her simple Sponsored ad to drive people to the Launch Toolkit landing page.
Ad #2 To her Google Hangout to promote/open the Fearless Launching launch.
She didn’t set a big budget was very clear on her purpose for running the ads and testing which optins and pages she was sending people to.
Her podcast episode reveals all and it’s a great listen.
Sandy Sidhu’s Facebook Advertising Results
Sandy is a member of my community, a friend, and member of my Highflyer Club. I’ve been watching her get super savvy on social media to use Google Hangouts and LeadPages to run webinars, and combine this with Facebook Advertising.
She’s found Facebook ads super effective to add targeted people to her mailing list and get in front of other people’s audiences. Here’s what she had to share:
I have been using them primarily to promote my webinars and grow my audience. I use the Power Editor to set up a dark (unpublished) post as well as setup the different audiences and create an ad with a specific call to action (sign up, download, learn more).
With the ads I create, I have been experimenting with lookalike audiences (similar to page/similar to mailing list), custom audiences (targeting website vistors, fans who are not on mailing list)and precise interests and targeting pages that my ideal client is also a fan of.
Doing a/b testing along with setting up the conversion pixel allows me to figure out early on which ad/audience is performing well and I will continue to run that ad for the duration of the campaign.
Conversion rate: For new leads (not already a fan of my page already) I have been able to get as low as $0.55 a lead. I attribute this to the ad getting a lot of shares, likes and comments and getting pushed to the feed more.
I have found the price per conversion worthwhile because even with a small budget I am able to reach precisely my audience. I had a CTR (click-thru-rate) of 2.72% and a conversion rate of 2.39%.
Overall, I have found FB ads to be a very effective way to grow my list and expand my reach. I would also add that it is important to test and separate out your interests so you can figure out which ad is converting leads.
To finish off I want to touch on using contests, specifically on Facebook, to generate new leads for your business. Everybody likes a competition and I think these work particularly well on Facebook.
If you’re smart, you can design one to get more likes, more leads and more engagement in one hit. They’re particularly useful if you’re launching something – a new product or service, or simply wanting to do a monthly or quarterly competition for your community or customers that they get to take part in.
In August 2013 to help promote the launch of my Suitcase Entrepreneur book I ran a really successful 30 Day Blog Challenge. The results?
100% More Traffic, 30% More Sales and #1 on Amazon!
I wrote about the full results here on Fizzle and exactly how I put it together – it’s a MUST read cos I put a lot of effort into this post and every single step I took.
To recap though: During August 6 (the day my book went live on Amazon) and September 5 here are the results I achieved:
- An almost 100% increase in traffic to my website
- 187% increase on the previous months visits from Facebook
- 490% increase in traffic from Twitter
- 202% increase in traffic from Pinterest
- 57% increase in traffic from Google Plus
- 1,000 new subscribers added to my email list
- Over 300 people partaking in the blog challenge
- Over 150 comments on one blog post alone
- 30% increase in digital product sales on my blog
- 1,500 new Facebook Fans added
- 400 new Pinterest followers
- 900 new people adding me to their circles on Google Plus
- No #1 Bestseller ranking for my book within one week of it being published!
- More importantly massive amounts of goodwill and new fans and lives changed.
A big part of the competition was that to enter you had to leave your email, and then share on social media. During the 30 days of the contest people were sharing like crazy to get more entries and my was focusing on new likes to Facebook and spreading the word there too.
As you can see the results speak for themselves. I’m thrilled that I used Contest Domination to generate buzz through a competition and to get a whole lot of awesome new subscribers, which offers a step-by-step solution to generate a contest that converts.
Contest and competitions are definitely worth considering as part of your online marketing and social media strategy.
So will you be using Facebook as a serious tool for your business? Let me know in the comments below!