Acquiring new customers is a top concern for most small business owners — and the solution may be within their grasp.
Social media is one of the primary ways customers find small businesses, yet only a small percentage of business owners are actively investing in increasing their social media presence.
One New NerdWallet Research It was found that 42% of Americans use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to find small businesses they support.
On the other hand, the survey found that while finding and retaining customers is a top concern for most public companies, only 33% of small businesses have increased their social media presence in the past 12 months in response to recent economic conditions.
Your Facebook business page is the perfect place to start. It’s basically a one-stop shop for finding and engaging with potential customers, helping you build trust and relationships, and shoppers value small businesses the most. Use these best practices to optimize your Facebook business page to find new customers and drive more sales.
Thursday: Pay attention to the basics
First things first: Make sure the basic details of your business are visible and accurate, including your hours of operation, location, contact information, and business website.
Take the time to fill in the “About” section with what you have to offer, how you got started, and where you stand—anything that helps potential customers connect with your company and its mission.
Don’t neglect your profile and cover photo, but keep it simple. Your company’s logo makes a great profile picture (it appears on every article or comment you post), while your cover photo showcases your storefront, product line, or services you offer. What matters is that it is associated with your business and brand.
Don’t: sell, sell, sell
This seems counterintuitive. After all, you’re trying to increase your sales. How can this be done without selling? But you’re playing the long game here to build trust and community.
Instead of constantly pitching, use your Facebook posts to educate and engage potential customers while running sales and promotions.
Own a landscaping business? Share lawn care tips, tutorials and seasonal reminders. Running an ice cream shop? Post photos of customers enjoying their favorite scoops. Making products such as art, pottery, furniture or soap? Document and share your process.
Kela Nabors, founder and CEO of Organically Bath & Beauty, a San Antonio-based company that manufactures and sells organic vegan bath and beauty products, has built a strong Facebook following by giving people a behind-the-scenes look at her business .
One post—a minute-long video of Nabors cutting soap—has over a million views.
“I make products four to five times a week. I just set up a tripod and document myself,” Nabors said. “Sometimes you think too much and it becomes ‘What kind of dance can I do?’ But it doesn’t have to be that.”
Do: include an action item
Make it easy for people who find your Facebook business page to shop, make an appointment, or contact your business and ask questions.
Use a combination of action buttons (a built-in Facebook tool you can add to your business page) and links in posts to bring people to your website.
Already have an e-commerce business? Consider adding a storefront to your Facebook business page.
“It’s a very simple setup,” Nabors said, noting that Facebook pulls in product descriptions, photos and inventory check From her existing GoDaddy e-commerce site. “It syncs everything together so I can keep real-time inventory in our store no matter where the sale takes place.”
Don’t: Forget to Reply to Customers
You don’t need to respond to every message or comment immediately, but you should respond to most within a reasonable time frame.
You have more room for comments, where replies are usually a reward rather than a requirement. Set aside a dedicated time to respond to them so they don’t become overwhelmed.
For direct messages, use auto-reply to let people know their message has been received, and set an expectation of when you will reply – ideally within two business days. Then, meet those expectations.
“Strong customer engagement shows current followers that you care about your customers,” says Ty Wilson, co-founder of CustomMade, an online custom jewelry company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Furthermore, every time you comment publicly, it increases engagement on your page and attracts new followers.”
Do: be patient
Building a following doesn’t happen overnight. It may take longer for these followers to become customers. Still, persistence and patience will pay off.
“During my first four years in business, no one answered any of the questions I had in my posts,” Nabos said. But as her following grew, so did engagement.
“Be consistent and keep improving,” she said. “Talk to your audience even if they don’t talk back.”