19 Ways to Use Facebook and *new* Facebook Local to Market Your Small Business
19 Ways to Use Facebook and *new* Facebook Local to Market Your Small Business
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When leveraged properly using Facebook Local can be a highly effective marketing solution for a small business. Facebook Local is cost effective, simple to use and puts you into direct contact with your customers and followers. Learn how to use Facebook Local to promote and grow your small business.
Facebook for Small Businesses
Formerly known as Events, Facebook has relaunched a new and improved version of this application now known as Facebook Local. This application makes it possible for users to search for businesses and events in a given area by type. For small business owner’s this is a unique opportunity to get your business in front of potential customers.
Facebook Local merges reviews, check ins and info from business pages to create a listing of recommendations. This program also creates listings of events hosted by businesses. Facebook Local is designed to help people figure out where to go and what to do in their current location or in a specific city. The emphasis on local businesses gives users the ability to dial into exactly what they want that is nearby.
When logged in users see events organized by date and what is trending. There are guides to nightlife, music, art and more. As an individual scrolls through the events they can see if any of their contacts plan to attend. The app is easy to navigate and when a user clicks on an event they are brought to the event on the business’s Facebook page. Once on the event page the user can learn the details and they have the option to indicate if they plan to or are interested in attending.
A reminder: you can get your free two weeks of graphics and social media marketing instruction by requesting a Sample Kit from our website SmartSocialKits.com/Kits
Using Graphic Search
Users can also search for local businesses, again by category. For instance, a user can search for restaurants, cafes, drinks, attractions and more in a specific area. Filters make it possible for a user to zero in based on popularity, distance, places friends have visited and other factors. This enables people to find events and businesses they may not have been aware of otherwise. Users are presented with a map with pins indicating nearby events and businesses. Using this reference a user can check things out and find something to do.
Expand Your Reach
Facebook Local gets your small business and events in front of a wider audience, but more importantly a local audience. Users can share your events and get your info into the feed’s of their followers to further expand the reach of your small business. Word of mouth is an effective marketing strategy for Facebook in general, but particularly Facebook Local, making it easy to spread the word about your small business.
Create an Account
If you want to use Facebook Local for your small business the first thing to do is create a personal Facebook account. A personal account is required in order to create a business page. Once you have created your personal account navigate your way to ‘Create a Page’ and select ‘Local Business or Place.’ At this point you will need to select the categories your business falls into and add details, such as your address and phone number.
Cost Effective Solution
Utilizing Facebook to promote your business is free, making it an incredibly cost effective marketing solution. Advertising options exist within Facebook in order to promote posts, but at this time there is no option to advertise on Facebook Local.
Easy to Manage
Facebook is simple to setup and manage. You can easily add information and update things as necessary. You can also add photos and videos and other relevant content quickly and simply. The ability to easily update your information in real time on Facebook ensures your followers are in the know.
Fill Out Your Profile
Provide as much info as possible in your business profile. Include hours, a link to your website, contact info, parking info and more to present a clear picture to your customers and followers. The more information you provide the easier you make it for customers to find you and the more likely they will be to visit your brick and mortar location. Facebook Local needs data to be effective, so the more information you provide about your business the more Facebook Local has to work with and provide users.
Text matters, but in a social media format large blocks of text may be hard for visitors to get through. Filling out the business descriptions for your Facebook account is important. Make sure the text is complete and thorough, but still short and easy to get through. Be mindful that most people visiting your events and page will likely be doing so on a smartphone. If people have to scroll through large blocks on text on a small screen they may move on before they finish. Finding a balance between detail and length can be a challenge, but it is necessary in order to be effective.
Generate Interest with Events
Promote an upcoming sale, celebration, live music or any other festivities by creating an event. Creating an event is a great way raise awareness and connect with customers. Events also provide an interactive feature where people can indicate if they plan to attend or are thinking about attending. Users will see when members of their network plan to attend your event, increasing the awareness and marketing reach of your small business.
Create Images to Promote Events
Readers more easily engage with visual imagery than text. When creating an event you need an image for the page. The image should be catchy and interesting, as users will see this when searching Facebook Local. A quality image will catch user’s attention and entice them click the event link to learn more.
Using Media in Facebook Local
An event listing should include various forms of media, from images to video. This can be used to quickly catch your follower’s attention, or to break up blocks of text. Infographics are a great way to relay a lot of content or complicated information in an easy to digest format. When creating an event consider making a short video to promote it or an image that includes key details. Programs like Adobe Spark make it possible to create your own customized images with text that you can share on your Facebook Local event. Media is easy for users to share and will help generate interest for your event.
When someone reaches out to you via an event or your Facebook page get back to them. Social media is about engaging and connecting. Users expect follow up and not responding to comments and questions can be frustrating for followers and possibly cause them to have a negative opinion about your business. Reviews are part of the information presented in Facebook Local, so do your best to deliver excellent customer service since this may translate to a favorable review.
Events are time sensitive, so when a user reaches out regarding an event it is even more important to get back to a user before they make other plans. Reply to comments as soon as possible, and if you are unsure of the answer tell the user that, and let them know you will get back to them when you have an answer.
Get into the habit of posting on a regular schedule both on your Facebook page and in events when scheduled. Posting in your event will keep interest high and create a feeling of excitement and anticipation. Share your event on your page to get your info in front of your followers in hopes that they will share it and spread your event info even further. Regular posts also create an opportunity for followers to interact with your brand.
Put Hashtags to Work- Yes, On Facebook LOCAL
Hashtags are easy to create and make it possible for users to find your posts and events. To create a hashtags simply type a pound sign followed by whatever words or letters you wish to use without spaces. Hashtags appear in posts as a link, and when users click the link they will be brought to a listing of other posts that use the same hashtag. Relevant hashtags can help drive traffic to your page and create interest in your posts and events.
Facebook Local tracks hashtags and what people talk about when they post about a business. This information is included in the summary Facebook Local displays to help give users an idea of what your business is about.
Create a Sense of Community
Using Facebook Local as part of your marketing strategy can improve local awareness surrounding your business. Reviews and other information are neatly organized and presented to users in an easy to follow format. Possibly the best part is the service is free. The only commitment is your time. Facebook has a lot to offer and makes it easy to expand the reach of your small business in your industry and your community.
A reminder: you can get your free two weeks of graphics and social media marketing instruction by requesting a Sample Kit from our webiste SmartSocialKits.com/Kits