(photo credit: http://www.executionists.com)
When I first decided to start freelance writing I set myself up with a Facebook page so that I could start connecting with people about what I do. Facebook has many features which allow me as a writer to showcase what I do, to source potential clients and to make the Facebook world a bit happier.
I thought I would go through the features of Facebook for Business which I have used and what I think of them:
Link to website & other business information
One of the things I really like about Facebook business pages is that you can make your page very informative about what you do which gives the customer more details about your business and you as a person. I have a prominent link to my website and there is space for a long and short description of my business. The short description is a bit like the Twitter bio in that you have about 3 lines to describe what you do but the long description is best as it allows you to write more. I have a full list of the products and services that I offer as well as some pricing information.
Sharing to your page
There are two ways to share posts to your Facebook business page and it depends on whether I want to share something immediately or schedule it to be posted on my page in the future as to which of these methods I use:
If I see a post that I want to share to my timeline straight away, I simply hit the ‘share’ button, select ‘share to a page’, check that it is sharing it to my business page, write some blurb and then click to post it.
However, if I want the post to be shared on my page in the future, be that days or weeks in the future, then I use this method.
I click on the grey time and date stamp at the top left of the post I want to share (just under the person who posted the item’s name). This takes me to a page that just shows the particular post I am looking to share. I copy the URL from the web bar and then go onto my Facebook page and paste the link into a new post. Once I've written a bit of blurb I then click the little blue arrow next to 'publish' and schedule the post in for the day or time in the future that I want it to go live.
This is similar to creating an original post on your Facebook page but because you’re using the URL link, it will still be displayed as a ‘share’ of someone else's post.
Also I just want to say that there is some suggestion that sharing in the second way is better for how good Facebook thinks your page is because it comes up as a post by you rather than a simple ‘share’. I don’t know too much about how all of this works so I don’t want to give any information which might be inaccurate but if you want to know more let me know in the comments below and I will research it and write a follow up blog.
This is probably one of the most useful tools on a Facebook page. By scheduling posts I can make sure that I am giving a consistent voice, that I post regularly and continue to engage people throughout the day, every day without having to constantly be logged in to Facebook. I tend to schedule things on Facebook on a Monday morning – I take a couple of hours at the beginning of the day to think about what is coming up that week, if there are any particular events happening (such as valentine’s day) and then I will plan a series of posts for the week to engage people.
Scheduling is really easy, simply write a post, upload a picture, whatever you want to do and then instead of hitting publish, click the little blue arrow next to it and then click schedule. It will allow you to pick the date and time that you would like to publish your post. All scheduled posts can be edited or deleted or posted early if you change your mind.
All of the above features are free to use but there are a couple of paid for features which can help you to reach more people and potentially get more traffic to your website and therefore more custom. The first of these is placing an advert on to Facebook. I have only done this a couple of times so far but I do like it and I feel that it is worth doing once or twice in a certain period of time.
I have placed two adverts so far since having my page and I placed them to advertise my services as a website creator, and also as an online marketing specialist. These adverts were more product-based sales posts and I will use an advert probably 4 times a year to advertise my business. I don’t want my Facebook page to annoy people by appearing only to push sales so that’s why I don’t do it that much but I think because of the number of people you can reach with an advert, it can be worth it to do it sometimes.
You can target an advert to reach people in a certain geographical area, within a certain age range or with particular interests to fit your target audience and therefore increase your chances of gaining new customers. Another thing I like is that you can set a budget for your advert, meaning that you never spend more than you intend. For an advert you run a daily budget – I usually set something between £4 and £8 per day. You then choose a campaign period – I usually pick 7 days to keep the budget manageable. Therefore a £28 budget (£4 per day for 7 days) can get me up to 200 views per day which I think is a good figure for just under thirty pounds.
To place an advert simply go to your business page and there is the option to place an advert in your menu – it is a step-by-step process.
Boosting posts is slightly different because of how Facebook charges you to use them. Firstly boosting a post is something you do to a post that you have already published, for example I occasionally boost my country house blog site. So when I post a link to my latest blog article I'll then boost that post so more people click through to the blog.
The way you pay to boost a post is that you set a total amount that you would like to spend over a certain duration and then Facebook will work out how much you will spend per day until the end of the period. For example, I usually spend about £12 per boosted post, over a 7 day period and Facebook tells me that I will be able to reach between 3,300-8,800 people over the period and I will spend £1.71 per day. Facebook never takes more than the budget you’ve set so you can keep on top of your spending easily.
If you want to boost a post, simply go to any of your past posts on your page and click on ‘boost’ – again it’s a step-by-step process which is really easy to follow.
I hope this has been informative and that if you were considering getting a Facebook page for business then it has helped make up your mind as to whether it would be useful for you or not. If you would like any more information on any of this please do let me know in the comments.
Also my next post will be about things you need to do to your Facebook page to make sure it is seen by people and gets noticed so keep an eye out for that!