Facebook Tips for Small Business

Brooke Oberwetter, Facebook | BCBusiness
Facebook’s Brooke Oberwetter expounds the virtues of a socially connected small business.

Facebook’s Brooke Oberwetter shares her best small-business social-media tips

Small business owners gathered on June 25 at the Vancouver Board of Trade’s event, Facebook: Making Small Business Social. Brooke Oberwetter, associate manager of policy communications at Facebook, discussed the importance of using the social-media platform to help make your business more discoverable, find your customers and build relationships.

Having an online presence is instrumental in the success of businesses—both big and small— and creating strong connections with customers in this area is key for expansion. Business owners can capitalize on the rapid growth of technology and the increasingly convenient methods of communication by directly connecting with customers and getting more people informed about their brand. Oberwetter says Facebook is a essential tool in developing a successful business model and an effective, consistent method of reaching out to your audience.  

In a recent survey measuring social-media usage among B.C. adults, 6S Marketing showed that Facebook was the most popular platform, with 67 per cent of the respondents using it on a weekly basis. Twitter came in second place with 21 per cent and Pinterest came in third with 11 per cent. Oberwetter says each social-media site serves its own purpose and business owners need to understand which platform is the best method to serve their needs and find their audience. She pointed out the disproportionately large community on Facebook: over a billion active users and over two billion posts that are “liked” or commented on every day. “We have the opportunity on Facebook to influence broad groups of people with a single post,” she adds.

Oberwetter says people go on Facebook to find out what’s happening in the world and what’s important to their friends and family. This gives business owners an opportunity to embed themselves in that social community.

Be discoverable

Oberwetter touched on the importance of building a Facebook page in order to make your business more discoverable. “The profile picture should be something that is easily identifiable with your business, such as a logo or well-known product,” she says.

Your page should provide people with basic information about your company: its history, location and contact information. The cover photo is “your chance to be artistic,” says Oberwetter. “It is one of the first things people see when they go on your page. It should really catch the eye and show the essence of your business.” The timeline style of Facebook pages also allows business owners to tell the story of their company from when it was first founded.

Oberwetter says that a lot of people check their Facebook application on their mobile devices several times throughout the day, and to keep “mobile in mind” when building a business page to ensure it is accessible on all devices. “There’s a lot of opportunity to get your message and your brand front and centre in their news feed,” she adds.

Connect with the public through advertisements

Facebook offers a wealth of options when creating advertisements, including targeting people of a specific age group, gender, relationship status or location. Advertising through Facebook also gives consumers social context, by showing them products or companies their friends gave their stamp of approval, by “liking” it.   

The goal is to “convert those likes on Facebook to foot traffic in your store,” says Oberwetter. “It’s about driving loyalty—getting people to come back and bring their friends with them.”

Engage customers with quality content

Oberwetter says it’s imperative to post exclusive content that will further engage your customers. “Status updates of quality that people can comment on, like or share with their own network,” she says. “The more people that are engaged with your content, the more likely it is to show up in other people’s news feeds.”

Oberwetter adds that posting regular status updates will help maximize engagement. She says they should just be nuggets of information that customers can read quickly when they’re browsing through their news feeds. “That’s the mark of our times; people don’t want to read a lot. Keep it succinct, personal and conversational,” she says.