The #1 Guide to Starting a Facebook Page for Local Business Owners
In this age of information, people have become ongoing search engine connoisseurs. Before purchasing a product or taking action, we search for existing answers to all of our greatest questions in and related to the topic of the product/service we are looking to purchase. Many of the largest companies understand this need, and therefore create an endless stream of content to answer all of the obvious questions as well as questions that people have not even yet asked.
By doing so, these same companies become what is known as a thought leader, in which they are considered as the uppermost authoritative figure to find answers to all questions related to a certain topic of interest. As a user, we go back to that same authoritative figure a second time, third time, fourth time and suddenly we are hooked. We find so much value that eventually we even subscribe to receive updates from them.
One day, as we are browsing through our latest emails, we happen to notice that we received an email from that company that we had subscribed to.
“50% off the 1st month?! Hmmm, what’s that? Lemme check it out!”
3 browser tabs and 30 minutes later, we’ve just made our first annual subscription purchase with the company for a total sale of $269.99! What we didn’t catch, is that all of it (including that very first answer they provided to our question) was all a part of their content and branding strategy.
For those of us who are oriented enough to find these small subtleties, we stay aware while browsing through the internet of “things” (questions to our answers). But, often times even the best of us fall for this fantastic flow the brand has put us through. And, you know what? That’s OK, because often times they truly are helping answer my greatest questions, and providing a product/service which truly does enrich my life.
But, here’s the question. As a local business owner, how can you TOO take most advantage of the great branding and content strategies that your competitors in your local market aren’t necessarily doing?
Before anything, you have to understand that this turnaround in your business (and trust me, there will be a huge increase in sales, but it’ll take some time) is a major investment and requires action. You will work on building this content and branding strategy for 3-4 months at least before seeing any results, but it will be absolutely worth it in the end, when you have long lines coming outside your store with people waiting to get a piece of whatever you have to offer.
So without any further adieu, here’s your simple 3-step guide for how to start building a brand and content strategy through a simple Facebook Page. This should work for just about any local business owner, but of course there’s no 100% one size fits all when it comes to marketing.
Step 1: Define Your Audience/Define Your Niche
One of the first things you must do is define who your audience is and what your niche is. For example, if you own a local pizzeria, then your audience is likely anyone with cash or credit card in his/her pocket (18+). When it comes to your niche, this highly depends on your product. Determine what your competitive advantage is, and then based off that, use it to determine what your specific niche is. Here are some common competitive advantages in businesses -
Cost Structure - Pizzeria owner that charge $5 for a pizza with any toppings, cost always stays the same
Distribution Network - You have access to all of the local business in the area because of the local chamber of commerce - no need for major marketing spend, because you have already built a network of decision makers at these local businesses
Customer Support - Someone eats a pizza and doesn’t like it? Money-back guaranteed. You’d be suprised how rare it is that someone actually asks for their money back. And, what happens when you give someone their money back? Maybe you lost profits on that one purchase, but trust me that that same person will be coming back for more and more months upon months. And don’t be surprised if he brings his friends along for the ride.
Your experience - Have you worked in other pizzerias nearby for more than a decade? Do people know you as the head honcho of pizza making in the local market? If so, this may just be your competitive advantage.
These are just 4 common examples of potential competitive advantages your business may have. All in all, it can really relate to anything which makes you different. By identifying your competitive advantage, you can then determine your niche. For example, if money-back guaranteed is what you use as your competitive advantage, so your niche can be something along the lines of “Regretless Pizza”. No one can regret a pizza that they can get their money back on. And, because of the word play, you can use the niche in social media (Facebook being a great example) to share images with a hashtag of #RegretlessPizza with a crazy number of toppings. You can even create a competition around this hashtag to encourage more people will see your brand and ultimately you will get more local business.
But, going back to audience, you’d want to be sure that this fits the audience that you feel you are connected with most. If most of the audience you serve are local businesses, maybe it’s a bit less relevant, since business professionals will find these regretless pizzas to be a bit off-putting during their business lunches. Just a thought!
Once you’ve determined who your audience is and what your niche should be, then you can freely move on over to step #2.
Step 2: The Facebook Page Setup
Whether you are a millennial or baby boomer, I am going to make this really clear cut and simple for you. In order to have a “Company” facebook page (this is what you are going to want for your brand), then you need to first create a personal facebook page. The personal facebook page is for yourself, including your friends, family, and similar. The personal facebook page and the company facebook page do not mix with one another. The only case in which they would mix together is if your business is a one man show and you’d like to operate your personal page as a company page. I don’t recommend doing this and think that even in these cases, it’s better to have two personal pages than one which shares both personal and business-like features.
Here’s how you start your Facebook Page setup -
Head over to Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/
Fill in your details to sign up and create an account
They’ll ask you to verify your email - do this before you continue anything else.
You will then arrive on a page which looks like this:
Feel free to use Facebook’s neat Find Friends feature, to find people in your email contact list that also have Facebook accounts. You can then easily add each one. If you want to skip this step, so head over to the next step.
Here you have two options - create your company page right away, or wait a couple days until you start to build up your personal page. If you do not have a lot of time (or patience), then you can already go and create your company page. Click on “Create Page” as you see below.
Depending on what type of business you are, you can choose accordingly on the following page. Assuming you are a local business owner, you can select “Local Business or Place”.
You will then be asked to enter some information which Facebook uses to start building your page. Enter the relevant information and continue.
Step 3: Branding, Branding, Branding
Before you start doing branding, branding, branding, you want to finish setting up the rest of your Facebook page. This includes adding your logo, adding a cover photo which complements your logo well, putting your contact info, as well as adding a nice “About” description of the business. Lastly, I’d highly recommend adding a “Call Us” button so people can quickly and easily call your business directly from your Facebook page.
Many users these days are on mobile devices, so the “Call Us” button will make it very easy for someone to quickly click and reach your business within seconds. In case you are confused where to find this button and how to add this feature, start off by clicking on the “Add a Button” button which you see here:
Once clicking on “Add a Button”, you have a variety of options for what you want the button to be used for. If you’d like it for calling your business, so select the option of “Get in Touch” and select “Call Now”. Then, all you need to do is enter your phone number, click “Add Button” and you will be finished!
Once you finish these basic final setup steps, now you’re REALLY ready for branding. Remember when I mentioned defining your target audience and your niche? Here’s where it really comes in handy! Let’s say you were that pizza owner who determined that your target audience is business professionals (assuming your pizzeria sits in the middle of a business zones). Your niche is that you have $5 personal pan pizzas with any toppings, which is a customized and unique product offering compared local pizzeria alternatives. You may, for example, claim that your niche is high quality, but one price fits all products/services.
Selecting this as your niche, you’d want to share (ideally, you’d write as well) content which relates to the topic of one price fits all products/services or potentially even products/services that are affordable compared to alternatives. You’d also want to make sure that the content you're sharing highlights your own brand as well as alternatives out there (not alternative pizzerias by alternative products/services within your niche). Just be sure that you are focused on QUALITY products/services. The last thing you want to do is highlight and share content of affordable products/services that are low quality. What do you think your followers will consider you? That’s right, also low quality.
By going through this process, you start to build your brand, such that customers and potential customers understand that you are focused on providing the high quality, yet an affordable one price fits all. If you feel that would be too specific, so you can focus on a broader niche as well. In this situation, you can focus on just all high quality, but affordable products/services, rather than those which feature one price fits all solutions.
In case you are not sure how to share content, you can do so by typing something into the “Write Something” field which looks like this:
If you do not have your own blog or content (I assume many of you won’t and that’s OK), then you can at least start out by sharing external links of content that fits your target audience, niche and ultimately your brand.
To do this, you would take an article or product/service that you find fits this target, and you would place the external link into the area where it says “Write something…”. It will automatically open up an image of what’s on that final link you provided. Add a few words about that link and what you found unique about it, and how it relates to your audience. Be sure to keep it relatively short, though. Most people will see this on their mobile phones and don’t have time to read long messages.
Once completing the above 3 steps, you will be well on your way of creating a brand! In a future post, I will cover more elements of how to do your own content creation, as well as alternatives to Facebook, and other great branding strategies, including local offline advertising.