With almost 2 billion monthly users (1.8 billion on mobile), Facebook is undoubtedly the largest social media platform today. Does it make sense for small businesses to have a company page on Facebook? Whether you’re B2B or B2C, the answer is yes, absolutely. A Facebook business page will help raise awareness of your business, drive new leads, and even lead to direct sales e.g. through the shop function. If your business is just starting out on its social media journey, focus your energy on Facebook.

It’s very simple to get started, and best of all, it’s free! Yes, you need to make sure that you’re posting new content on a regular basis, which takes time, but the return is there to be seen. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the steps involved in setting up your new Facebook business page, and show you how you can raise awareness of your business and bringing in new customers, for free.

Setting up your Facebook Company Page

The first thing you will realise is that you actually have to create a personal Facebook profile – this will be used to manage your page, with you becoming the page’s “Admin”. If you want to keep personal and business Facebook completely separate, you could create a new “personal” profile with a bare minimum profile, using your work email address. It’s quick and easy process, just requiring your name, email and age. Once you’ve done this step, you can then set up your Facebook Company Page.

To do this, on your desktop (desktop is best for setting up and managing your page, as it gives you more options than the app, which is more trimmed down), you will see a “create a page” link on the left hand menu. Once selected, you’ll be prompted to select the type of page – in the case of most small businesses, you’ll be best to select the local business option. You’ll then have to fill in some information e.g. business name and address, plus a few more details. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to fill in the rest of your page, and optimise it fully.

Optimising your Facebook Company Page

Now that you’ve set the page up, it’s time to optimise it. The thing is to fill in as much information as possible – this will make your page more visible, and much more user friendly when prospective customers are viewing the page. Start with the about section, making sure to add your business address, claiming a username, adding a “Story”, choosing relevant categories for your business, and adding your contact details and website address.

You should also complete other sections which are relevant to your business – these being the Services tab, Shop etc. You can also create a link a Facebook Group to your business page, for additional interaction with your followers. You should also configure the “blue” button at the top of your page – this is used for sending your prospects somewhere, whether it’s to a phone number, email address, website or a private message to the page.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to brand your page. The profile photo space is perfect for a log, just make sure to upload your logo as a square version, ideally 400×400 pixels. The cover photo is the perfect location to really sell what you do, whether it’s a video, slideshow, or an individual banner with important information about your business e.g. special offer, upcoming event or key service / product. Keep in mind it’s the first thing people see when they view your business page.

You’ll also notice the “Insights” section on your page – from here you’ll be able to monitor your page’s performance – how many people you’ve reached, how many new likes you’ve gained, and how well your posts have performed in terms of reach, reactions, shares, comments and clicks. Try to keep an eye on this at least once per month.

Growing your page

Don’t be afraid to invite your friends and family to like your page – you need to start somewhere and you might be surprised who else sees your page as a result of doing this. You could also add a Facebook link or widget to your website, and you could inform your existing customers about your new page via email or via a LinkedIn post, for example. Ask your existing customers to leave reviews, in order to really sell your business to prospective customers.

As with all digital marketing, the key to growing your page and increasing follower engagement is through good content. You could share blog posts you’ve written, share photos and infographics, and better yet, videos, which is the most engaging form of media you can share. Creating good content takes time, so plan in advance and make sure to leverage third party content where possible – share industry news or client stories, for example, and make sure to leverage seasonal posts too, for extra engagement. Plan these key holidays into your content calendar, so you don’t forget.

Lastly, but most importantly, remember it’s a SOCIAL platform – always respond to messages, reviews and comments, and try to encourage audience participation by asking questions and seeking feedback and opinions.