A platform built around community, Facebook helps small businesses create direct connections to their audiences. Users share written posts, photos and video content via mobile app or web. Post features encourage user interaction through commentary and dialogue.
Facebook is the number one social media platform worldwide. As of 2018, there are 1.52 billion active daily users. The site constantly explores new ways for users to interact. In 2007, they introduced their first business tool: Facebook ads. Their tools continue to provide ways to increase reach and interaction with audiences.
Basic Facebook Features
Facebook’s basic features allow users to connect and socialize with other users, brands, organizations and celebrities. The ability to create and build communities is the primary function of the social network.
- User Profiles showcase information about individuals on the platform. Contact information, hobbies, interests, photos and posts are viewed on a user’s profile.
- Friends are a user’s network. This network can view the user’s full profile. Followers cannot view a user’s full profile, but can view their public posts and updates.
- Posts are how users share content. A user creates a post then it is visible on friends and followers’ timelines. Other users can react to or comment on posts, then reply to other comments on posts.
- Groups are public and private collectives of users with like interests. Members do not have to be friends or follow each another to interact in groups.
- Facebook Live is a live-stream feature, like Instagram Live and Periscope. Users share video in real-time then are able to chat with friends and followers as they watch.
- Messenger is a private communication feature. One-on-one or group conversations occur outside of public posts and visible timelines.
Helpful Tools for Small Businesses
Business Pages are an essential tool for small businesses to drive engagement and sales on Facebook. The platform can be a primary site or supplement a website.
- Product Shops are an eCommerce tool where customers can shop for a business’ products directly on their Facebook page. Customers can complete transactions directly through the site or redirect to a business’ website.
- Page Insights are analytics that track key metrics like traffic and engagement. Small businesses can then use the data to better plan content and schedule posts.
- Scheduled Posts bypasses the need for third-party schedulers like Hootsuite. Content is created then scheduled to post at a later date or time.
- Promoted Posts are visible on more timelines and reach broader audiences. Content receives exposure to more users on the platform for a fee.
- Facebook Ads continuously evolves with the platform. Standard ads are visible on a user’s timeline, like regular posts. Video ads play before, during, or after video content is watched. Messenger ads allow users to connect directly with businesses via messenger after seeing an ad.
Facebook provides help for small businesses to better connect with their audiences on the platform. There is detailed information for different business types. Information for integration with other social media platforms is also provided.