Why your small business needs Facebook

How do you decide which social media networks are best for your small business? Not all networks suit all niches and you need to focus on where your customers are.

However, there is one platform that your small business should be on without a doubt – Facebook.

Here are 4 reasons why your business should have a Facebook presence.


1. You can connect with all your clients everyday.

This is one of the best benefits and allows you to share updates, links and other information in your fans’ News Feeds once they “like” your page.
With 1.23 billion people logging on to Facebook daily, a growing number of consumers are using Facebook to find products and services. Having a business Facebook page is paramount to being found by consumers looking for your products and services.


2. You can build a community.

By creating a page that is successful allows you to develop a loyal following that will continue to grow. Building a community allows you to boost your position in the industry and show you as an authority in your niche. Your loyal fans will buy from you time and again and will happily recommend you to others.


3. Facebook teaches you about your audience.

By interacting with your Facebook audience on an ongoing basis, you will be collecting insightful information from them.
Facebook Insights also provides useful information about your fans as well as their interactions on your page. As your page will represent a cross-section of your target market, your fans interactions, comments and feedback will prove invaluable as to shaping what you should be sharing and promoting on your page.


4. Your competition is already on Facebook.

Although you shouldn’t jump onto an idea just because your competition is doing it, when it comes to social media, not having a Facebook page is considered an oversight. This would be magnified if the competition is using social media and using it effectively. By researching your competitors’ followers, what they engage with the most, and who they follow provides a good indication into your own audience behavior.


How the Facebook News Feed Works

The original algorithm that Facebook started out with was quite basic with different post formats assigned a point value. By multiplying the point value by the number of people interacting, Facebook could determine which posts were ranking best and order them accordingly.

The algorithm continued to evolve and began to include additional factors such as the relationship between the poster and the reader. This was EdgeRank. But in 2011, this was abandoned for a much more complex machine-learning algorithm.

There are now thousands of (estimates now suggest 100,000) factors that contribute to the Facebook algorithm. And Facebook’s main aim is to match News Feed content to what the individual’s interest and needs are.

Facebook has also conducted research that has shown what content drives the most engagement, and has identified video as the top shared content. These are given priority with live videos appearing higher in the News Feed along with videos with high watch and completion rates (and videos that are clicked on or unmuted).


The decline of organic reach

Gone are the days when frequent posting with little strategy worked and would still reach your audience. Careful consideration should be given to the content you post to ensure that it gets as much engagement as possible. It’s worth noting that you can still ‘target’ your posts to a specific audience regardless of whether your post is sponsored or not. Head over to one of my previous articles ‘Lead generation using Facebook posts‘ for ideas.

Facebook Live is the number one engagement and reach tool on the platform. Users spend 3x more time watching live broadcasts than traditional video. It’s also worth advertising when you’re going live prior to the event to give your fans a heads up. Try to broadcast for several minutes if possible to help the broadcast surface in the News Feed. For a more detailed overview on Facebook live, head over to ‘Using Facebook live‘.

It’s not all about you. Take time to share others content in addition to your own. After identifying what content gets the most engagement from your audience, use curated content as well to provide additional value. This also positions you as a thought leader who is ‘in the know’ regarding industry news and happy to share the information. Curated content also has the bonus of being cost-efficient and provides a good variety of content.

Other ways to increase reach on your page is to avoid pure text posts – always include rich media such as links, photos, and video. And don’t overlook completion of your page profile as Facebook assesses your page as a factor. Check out my recent blog post ‘5 ways to grow your Facebook page without Ads‘ for more ideas.

The decline of organic reach is partially because Facebook is getting businesses to ‘pay to play’. You will need to use Ads to help amplify your content (blog posts, ebook etc.), as organic reach will eventually hit zero, or be as close to zero as to make no difference. So Facebook Ads will become part of most businesses marketing strategies.

The good news is that Facebook targeting is very good and can be based on a number of demographics, interests etc. There are additional points that can be factored in as well such as lookalike audiences, audience insights, custom audiences and conversion tracking. It’s worth investing some time into getting familiar with Facebook paid advertising features to be able to use this to maximum effect.

Overall Facebook should still be an integral part of your overall strategy when using social media.

Please share this article with others who would benefit.

Helping heart-centred businesses achieve more with their Social media. IDM certified social media professional. Contributor @socialmedia2day