Best practices for Facebook small business marketing

Introducing our new series Social Media Best Practices. Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing best-practices for small business marketing using the top social media channels. If you are using various channels, or considering adding a new channel, keep these cheat sheets handy when developing your content or editorial calendar.


Facebook ipad

Facebook, with its hundreds of millions of users, is a social-driven site. Users of the site are often on downtime when using it, and aggressive sales promotions are a no-no. As a small business brand, the goal with Facebook small business marketing should be to position yourself in the friend zone. Below are a few key Facebook best-practices.

Use the image space to share about customers.  Facebook’s cover photo space, albums and update space, provide the perfect opportunity to share about customers, but not in the way you might think.  In addition to showing customers using or loving your product, show their personal side and information that is not related to your brand.  Share about their fundraising efforts or charitable initiatives, awards or accomplishments, and other events that are important to them. This valuable space can be used to share good news with your audience, much like the “neighborhood” section of your newspaper. The TD Bank Facebook page provides a good example of creative cover space by using the space to promote a summer reading program.  This promotion helps demonstrate TD Bank’s commitment to community.

Personalize your status updates. Businesses are successfully using the status update section to personalize the brand and engage with their audience. Oikos Greek Yogurt does really well using video and images to share about the yogurt. They use the space to share about recipes, health benefits, contests, as well as for sharing other information not specifically related to the product, like exercise tips from Shape magazine.

Use Facebook as a go-to resource or help desk.  A Facebook wall can be strategically tailored to serve as your business help desk.  This strategy highlights your customer service quality and relationships with your customers.  By sharing resolutions and helpful information, other fans will begin to see the value in your product or service and how well you treat customers.  Using the updates space to share effective resolution strategies with your audience, gets them thinking about ways to use your business and puts you top-of-mind.

Disgruntled customers turn to social media to have their voices heard, and on average, they are heard quickly.  Think proactively and turn your wall into the company help desk. It’s already the first place your customers are going to go when they need help. Software programs like Zendesk and Freshdesk can help turn your  Facebook page into a help desk, by turning Facebook posts and messages into support tickets. Toshiba and   TD Bank use a customized tab as a connection link to its help desk and service line.

Use customized tabs for incentivized opt-in and sign up.  When we see the word opt-in, we think of asking our audience to provide their first name and email, so that we can begin engaging with them.  Opt-in can be taken to a deeper level using greater incentives, used to create a complete user profile, and capturing more customer information and deeper commitment. Macy’s Retail store promotes a gift registry and VIP contest entry through customized tabs, and captures in depth customer information.  The customer comments throughout the Facebook page share that Macy’s is focused on giving customers the “royal treatment”. What’s most beneficial is that it’s the Macy’s customers who are sharing their testimonies.

Use customized tabs with a Call-to-Action.  Customized tabs are the perfect medium for engaging your audience with a creative call-to-action.  Examples include plan your trip (travel agent), make a reservation (restaurant or other service benefit), Breaking news (magazine), Gift Registry (wedding or event site).

For more information on best practices using Facebook to creatively market your small business, read the myMarketing Cafe free eBook Integrated Facebook Marketing for Business. The book features a special section to help create customized tabs.

Integrated FB - ebook-CTA

Stay tuned next week for a look at Best practices for Pinterest small business marketing.  But now it’s your turn, what Facebook tips can you offer to help your fellow cafe members? Please share your expert advice in our comments below.