So you’ve just started your small business and want to get out there on social media. Great! Those early days can be difficult and maybe you can’t afford a social media manager just yet so just how do you kick off your social presence on your own?

In this series I’ll be helping you do just that. I explained how to choose a social network last month so I’m jumping right in with the king of social networks, The Social Network, Facebook.

Your Page

It is against Facebook’s T&Cs to use a personal profile for business activities. You need to create a Page for your business, this will also give you insights, the option to advertise and many other useful tools which a personal profile doesn’t.
Once you’ve created your page ensure you have filled in the following:

Profile photo: This is the small, circular image that represents you page on the page and in comments. Logos are a great option but so is a smiling face with or without your logo on it.

Cover photo/Header image: This is the large, long image at the top of your page. As of writing this can also be a video or a slideshow. Ensure any image you upload is designed to be the correct size for this space before being uploaded.

About: Select an appropriate category for your Page and fill out relevant price, location, opening hours and other information. Alongside the “about” section, also ensure your “My Story” section is filled out with an image & explain about your business. A short snippet of the text will be shown on your page so keep the key information in the first few words.

Page username: This creates a short url which is easy to share & add to print materials, try to keep it short and simple but still close to your business name as possible.

Template & tabs: Found in settings, first select a template based on your business type and needs and then reorganise your tabs. If you will be posting a lot of images, make the photos tab higher up, if you’re using the “shop” tab make that prominent too. Services are a good choice to be in your top 3 tabs too.

Messaging: In settings again, set up automated responses to avoid messages go unresponded to for long. You can use this option to direct people to other means of contact or just let them know that you’ll get back to them soon.

What & when to post

I am a “less is more” advocate when it comes to Facebook. The algorithm means that the more you post, the more competition each of your posts has. There are no hard & fast rules with social media so see what works for your audience; once a week? Three times a week? Keep an eye on your insights and see what’s doing well and what’s falling flat.

Original & shareable content is the gold standard for Facebook. Share your thoughts, establish yourself as an expert in your field with what you’re posting. Keep in mind that this is social media, focus more on community building and adding value than the hard sell.

Keep your feed tidy. Honestly, there are bigger things to worry about but this is the thing that bugs me the most and shows a lack of professionalism. You updated your business info? Great! Now delete the automatic post that is sitting on your feed about it. Better yet, nip into settings and turn off the auto post for Page updates all together! Your Page’s feed is your shop window, everything on there should be of value or relevant, updated opening hours is not when they appear in your “about” info anyway.

Facebook Pages are able to share Stories just like personal profiles and, with Stories now boasting 500 million daily active users, you may want to focus more on those and less on the news feed.

The Facebook basics tl;dr*

Firstly, make sure you’re using a Page, not a personal profile, and that it is filled out completely.
Secondly, get posting and see what works!

If and when you’re ready for someone to manage your social media for your small business, please get in touch so we can discuss how I can help you free up your time and take the stress out of social.

*tl;dr = too long; didn’t read. The key information from the post.