Facebook for Business , the social network’s resource area for small and mid-sized agencies, has undergone a significant revamp to help SMBs get more from the site.
Whether you’re a small business owner just getting started on Facebook or if you want to know what’s new on the site, the newly updated page is for you. We’re told the goal of the redesign was to provide more in-depth tips, tools and tutorials for business owners and it does a great job of accomplishing that. You can also find information related to product releases, advertiser best practice guides and success stories.
Everything you need to know to market your business on Facebook, all in one place.
For business owners who may be new to Facebook you’ll want to check out the information related to getting started. Similar to how Google’s Webmaster Academy is designed to walk you through the process of building your presence and offering related tutorials, this Business area accomplishes the same task for Facebook.
There are a number of great guides designed to walk business owners through the process of building their Facebook page, connecting with people, advice on the types of posts to create to spur engagement, and how to expand influence on the site. Digging into any of these categories will also provide links to additional information, allowing you to hone in even further and find exactly what you need.
For business owners who do have experience using Facebook, you’ll be happy to know that the What’s New area will give you an easy way to keep track of the latest changes being made to the site. For example, did you know Page Admins can now change their Facebook URL or were you wondering what that new Facebook voice bar was all about? This area will keep you abreast of all of Facebook’s many updates so that you can take advantage of them in your marketing strategy.
As mentioned above, you’ll also be able to find new Success Stories to see how others have used Facebook and get some ideas for what you can do next.
Overall, the new Facebook for Business page is a great resource for small business owners. And with more than 900 million people liking and commenting on Facebook an average of 3.2 billion times a day, creating your business’ presence on Facebook is time well spent.
If you haven’t gotten started yet, below are some tips to help kick things off:
1. Create your Business page: It’s important to start things off on the right foot – and that means creating a business page for your company, not a personal profile! By creating a business page you not only put yourself in the right category, but you’re able to take advantage of a number of robust features that aren’t available to personal profiles – like messaging, richer profiles, etc. When creating your page, make sure to fill out your profile as completely as possible. This includes creating a custom landing page, uploading lots of photos and videos to show off your business, selecting a powerful cover image, and putting all vital business information in your Info tab.
2. Encourage People to Like Your Page: There are a number of ways to get people to like your page on Facebook. You can promote your Facebook page on your Web site, business cards, receipts, emails, newsletters and other marketing material; use the advertising options Facebook provides under the Build Audience button on your admin panel; use the ‘Invite Email Contacts’ option to upload your email list and send a message asking people to like your Page; host contests and giveaways that encourage people (but don’t make it mandatory) to like your page, and more. The more you promote and integrate your Facebook page into your existing marketing and promotional materials, the quicker you’ll be able to build its reach. Make sure your customers know that you’re on Facebook and give them a reason to follow your updates.
3. Foster Engagement: Perhaps more than any other network, your level of engagement (and whether or not people engage back!) matters on Facebook. Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank  to determine whether people should even see your updates. To make sure that they do, you need to be creating content that your users want to engage with and share. This means not only getting yourself on a consistent posting schedule, but making sure you’re sharing the right types of content. Facebook says that successful posts are short (between 100-250 characters), visual (photo albums see 180% more engagement), and optimized (posted during the right times of the day/week).
4. Use Facebook Insights: How do you know what your audience likes or when you should be posting? By taking advantage of the analytics Facebook provides (for free!) in Insights. Through Facebook Insights, FB offers powerful data to help you understand how users are interacting (or not) with your page. You can see what posts get the most likes, what your reach looks like, how many people are talking about you, whether your numbers are increasing/decreasing week over week, etc. You also have the option to export the data. If you’re not familiar with Facebook Page Insights, Facebook offers a great resource sheet  [PDF] to walk you through the features and how they can be used.
The tips above will help you get started but make sure to check out the newly-updated Facebook for Business page geared for SMBs. It’s a step-by-step guide to more Facebook likes and a larger audience!