If you want to extend your Facebook marketing knowledge beyond Facebook for Business 101, check out our free Facebook marketing guides.

If you have a brick and mortar business – especially a small business (SMB) – and you’re wondering how to use Facebook, you’ve landed on the right article.  As follows are 5 quick things that every SMB and brick and mortar business should be doing to maximize the power of Facebook.

One quick note: Facebook rewards engagement (Likes, comments), and that reward comes in the form of your business showing up higher in localized Facebook search results (for more on that, check out our book on Facebook Search marketing).  This is important when someone is looking for a pizza place in your neighborhood, and you happen to own one.

So, without further ado:

1) Add your Company Facebook Page to Your Website

This may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked.  There are plugins out there that allow you to spur Facebook engagement without requiring people to leave your site.  Here are our top three:

Like Button

By adding the Like button to your webpage, your site visitors can Like you right there. Simply specify the URL of your Facebook page in the href setting of the button and add the code to your webpage.

Likebox

The Likebox is the Swiss Army Knife of plugins: it will display a link to your Facebook Page, a Like button, your most recent posts, and the profile pictures of users who like your Facebook page.  Adding a Likebox to your webpage is as easily as adding a Like Button.

Facebook Comments

If you have a blog or a page where you want comments from your visitors, Facebook Comments is a great way to collect them. The plugin is easy to install, and the comments that are posted via Facebook Comments are posted to your webpage and in the user’s Activity Log on their Facebook Profile.  With Facebook comments, users can also like and respond to specific comments.

With this functionality, a blog comment made outside Facebook becomes an impression to an audience you might not have reached otherwise.

2) Check Your Page Information

Facebook wants to deliver the most relevant search results possible.  For Facebook to understand in which searches your Page should surface, it needs information.  This is why your Page Information must be complete, accurate and relevant.

Line items like business address, phone number, hours of operation, correct category, and description of the company should be completed.  If you don’t tell Facebook that you’re a hair salon, Facebook won’t know.  This means that your Page will not be displayed in any search results for hair salons.

3) Urge your customers to take action on your Facebook Page

As mentioned previously, the businesses at the top of Facebook search results typically have a lot of engagement.

The company with more activity in the form of Check-Ins and Likes will appear higher up in the search results. 

Try to bump engagement within Facebook by giving your customers easy ways to be active, using the resources you have: put your Facebook page on your website, on your business cards and other collateral (like a menu) – and don’t forget the URL!

Get creative: give your customers a good reason to Check In and Like you.  Discounts, promotions and insider specials are good customer incentives.

 4) Engage!

Facebook gives the Visitors who Check In the option to rate your business on a 1-5 star scale, and that ranking is a factor in where you’re showing up in search results.  Another strong ranking factor in the search results is the network activity of a Facebook user: a business will appear prominently in your search result if your friends have Checked In or Liked it.

Facebook is also incented to reward the businesses using their Pages.  So the stronger your Facebook presence is, the better your search results will be.

And so, we’re back to engagement.  Engagement is a reward that doesn’t just keep your customers happy online: engagement helps you get more customers by earning free social media and better placement in Graph Search.

To ensure that you engage your followers, here are some general content marketing tips:

  • Publish posts at least 4-5 posts a week
  • Use pictures and call to actions in your posts
  • Ask questions
  • Provide entertainment, usefulness or another value
  • Offer promotions exclusive to your fans
  • Respond quickly to questions and comments on your Page.

5) Use Graph Search to Expand Your Community

Now that you know that people can find you, let’s explore how you, as a business owner, can use Graph Search yourself.

Step 1: Find out Who Your Fans Are and What Interests Them

Companies often have a hard time understanding who their Facebook fans are. But thanks to Graph Search, you can now find out.  Put on your Community Marketing hat…

You can use Graph Search to find users who like your Facebook Page + other filters.  Take a look at what other Pages your followers Like (“Pages Liked by Users who like [your company]”), what interests our followers have (“Favorite interests of Users who Like [your company]” ), where your followers been checking in (“Places visited by Users who like [your company] and That live in San Francisco, California”), books that your followers Like (Favorite books of users who like Likealyzer) and so on.

TIP: Use user-centric Graph Search queries to spot trends that will be useful for our content strategy, Facebook ads or our business profile information.

Step 2: Identify and Monitor Your Competitors

With all this knowledge, we can understand the followers of our competitors just as easily as our own.  Crazy, right?  Crazy… like a fox!  Here’s how:

Let’s say that we want to open a restaurant in San Francisco. First, we’d search for restaurants in San Francisco to find our biggest competitors. On their Pages, we can see how many followers and Check-Ins they have.  We can see what sort of content works to spur engagement on their Pages.

For brick & mortar, checking your competitor’s Pages for likes or Check-Ins can give you an idea as to your market size, your competitors’ level of social marketing expertise, or both.  For example, if we’re starting a restaurant and nobody has checked into one in this town, we might want to offer delivery service.

So, there you have it: Facebook 101 for Brick and Mortar.  If you want to learn more about Facebook marketing, check out our comprehensive (and freely downloadable) series of Facebook marketing guides.