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 In Leadership, Marketing, Technology

As a small business owner you’ve probably been told countless times you “need to be where your customers are”, and “Facebook is your most important marketing tool” or our favourite, the short but sweet “you can’t NOT be on there!”. If you can’t face adding another task to your ever-growing to-do list but know that Facebook is a must, we’ve compiled a few simple strategies to help alleviate some of that pressure.

It’s advice that’s almost frustratingly easy to give and very hard to take when you’ve got too little time and too many priorities. The tips below aim to relieve some of that pressure by giving you practical ways to use Facebook effectively. This is advice you can put to work now.

Get a good smartphone

Being connected and available will ultimately save you time and earn you business. Get a smartphone and download both the Facebook app and the Facebook pages app. Set your notifications so that you at least receive notifications for comments and messages to your page. Treat these notifications like you would a customer phone call of text message by replying to them as they happen.

Use your phone to capture ad-hoc images and share stories on the go. For example, if you’re a tradie working on a project, snap a picture of your work at the end of each day – within a few weeks you’ll have an entire gallery of images showcasing your progress. If you keep forgetting then set an alarm in the calendar to alert you during the quietest part of the day.

Divide and conquer

What to post can be the most overwhelming and time-consuming question of all. There’s one very simple way to get around this – divide your business (and therefore your content) into categories. If you’re a restaurant owner for example, this could be food, staff, interior design, customers and special offers. All of a sudden you have a clear focus each day. By creating themes you may start to find you become a little more creative yourself. Suddenly Friday becomes ‘new kind of pie day’ and the rest is history.

Use the skills of those around you

Once you have an idea of content themes, take a look at your staff. Maybe you have someone on your team who’s great with customers and can get testimonials in the blink of an eye? Maybe you have someone with a passion for photography? Speak to your team and motivate them to help out with social by tapping into any personal interest areas or traits that they have. Café owners for example could make it the head wait staff’s job to capture images of daily specials. Posting these pictures to Facebook as and when new food is created can help generate immediate business.

Learn how to schedule

If each day is different and you struggle to create a routine, then set aside time during the week to get it all done at once. You can schedule content straight to your Facebook business page easily by clicking ‘schedule’ instead of post. Many small business owners opt to use scheduling tools like Hootsuite as they’re designed to make the process of content creation easy across multiple platforms such as Linkedin, Twitter and even Instagram. Discovery apps like Right Relevance can also help you find interesting stories to share by simply searching against a keyword.

Know what content works

Aside from timesaving techniques it’s also good to know what your audience actually responds to. This ensures that the content you do post doesn’t go to waste. For businesses, typically Facebook engagement is highest across images and offers. This is great news if you’re in a business with products to offer or to shoot. Restaurant owners for example could use interior shots, staff photos or images of new and exciting deliveries. Retailers could create mood boards of products around specific events like Father’s Day and hairdressers could take photos of their new creations.

If you’re in a service industry however, don’t despair; while you may not have physical products to shoot, you have so many ways to show the human side of your business visually. From your workspace and employees, to meetings and trips interstate, to happy customers going about their business.

The most successful Facebook pages show a business from all angles so don’t be afraid to experiment. And don’t forget, each business is unique so the most valuable data you can look at is how many people actually like and comment on your posts.

Prospa is also on Facebook – follow us for even more business advice.

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