SCORE

When you think of a small business community you might think of a close-knit, walkable town like Doylestown where you can visit your local bakery for fresh-baked goods, stop by any number of local eateries for lunch and browse in unique shops for seasonal décor, clothing and more.

On the internet, Facebook is the prime location – regardless of ZIP code – to create community for your small business. It’s the digital hub for mom and pop shops to build awareness of their products and services. In addition to serving as the go-to place to share big news like engagements, marriage, new babies, career and personal milestones, it’s also where small businesses build and grow their brand around a faithful community of followers.

With 1.56 billion daily active users (and counting), Facebook is by far the giant of the social media platforms. Compared to LinkedIn, which I shared in my earlier column is the premier business social networking site for professionals, Facebook is the place where small businesses can (virtually) meet new customers, share their offerings, events, updated menus, product photos and more with an online community. In our ever-growing digital world, Facebook picks up where Main Street USA leaves off.

For many business owners, creating a Facebook page for their business is a no-brainer. And for good reason. Facebook users, on average, spend the better part of an hour per day scrolling through their feed and posting and reading updates.

With only minimal effort, say 15 to 30 minutes per week, your business could create a valuable presence on Facebook. The key is knowing what to post and how best to engage with your audience. This might take a bit of trial and error at the outset.

If you own a bakery, for example, your audience might appreciate seeing not only images of your doughnuts and cupcakes, but also behind-the-scenes videos of your preparation, funny memes related to sweets, as well as posts about national doughnut day and similar information. Polls and contests are also fun and bode well for engagement.

Speaking of engagement, your followers will clue you into the content that they prefer by reacting to your posts. They can simply “like” (or love) the post, as well as share and/or comment on it. The more your audience engages with your content the more people will see it.

Beyond sharing content through periodic posts, Facebook is a great tool for event promotion as well. You can list your business’ events for free and invite your page followers and friends to attend. People in your geographic area or those who have shared interests will see the event organically. However, if you would like to expand your reach, Facebook offers various options to advertise your event with budgets starting as low as $5. Since you can choose your audience’s interests, demographics and location – even down to a targeted ZIP code – Facebook offers the unique power to reach more people locally and less expensively than pretty much any other advertising prospect.

Another positive for business owners are the recommendations and reviews that customers can share. When customers do a check-in and tag your business, Facebook will ask if they “recommend” the business. It’s a simple yes or no click. Customers can then opt to write a review talking about your services, products, or special offerings. Reviews are a great (free) way to increase awareness of your business in the digital community.

Facebook continues to roll out new and improved services for businesses. You can learn more about specific offerings and updates by following https://www.facebook.com/marketing/.

For more help with Facebook for your business contact SCORE Bucks County at 215-943-8850 or visit https://buckscounty.score.org/.

About the Author(s)

Charlie Morris

Charlie Morris is a volunteer mentor with SCORE Bucks County. He has worked in the technology industry focusing on commercial software products for 38 years and served the last 20 years in executive roles. Charlie is the President and owner of CDM Agility Consulting which consults on various software development topics and develops business analytics dashboards.

SCORE Certified Mentor, SCORE Bucks County
Ask SCORE: Should I Use Facebook for my Business?