Marketing your business on Facebook is an effective and cost efficient way to grow your small business. There are endless success stories of businesses that start out small and grow quickly through the power of social marketing.

In this article I will briefly outline the foundations that you need to build and effective platform to market your business on Facebook (or any other social media platform for that matter). Without them it is likely building a house on sand foundations. All of your hard work will be undermined by poor planning.

So before you get started with your marketing make sure you address the following:

1. Know your business and what you are trying to sell

This might sound obvious but it’s amazing how many small business owners can’t concisely articulate what it is they are trying to achieve. Social media compounds this problem as by its nature you need to communicate in bite sized chunks. Practice your elevator pitch – that is know what you do and what you want to achieve from your business and be able to explain it in 2 or 3 sentences.

2. Have a good website

A website is the centre of your online world. You can never underestimate the importance of a quality website. Just having a website is not good enough as I have mentioned in a previous blog. You need to invest in making it look good as well. I know that personally there are businesses that I haven’t dealt with simply based on the poor impressions that their website creates. They might be the best in the world at what they do but their image doesn’t necessarily reflect their offer. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune but you need to make sure it creates the right image.

3. Use and be familiar with an email marketing solution

An email marketing tool is an essential marketing tool for any small business. Starting out they are often free, with paid plans once you reach a critical number of subscribers. Email marketing is a very cost efficient way to get your message out to a large number of potential and existing customers and more importantly it is easy to track the success of your campaigns with extensive reporting on the number of times your emails are read, and by whom and what links they clicked to name a few. An absolutely essential tool for your kit bag. If you need help selecting an email marketing service we are more than happy to help.

4. Make the most of your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc pages

Like having a good quality website you want to make sure that your social media presence is up to scratch. Before you start drawing your customers to your page take the time to optimise it. Fill out as much of the profile details as possible, add good quality cover photos and lots of album photos if possible. Then start planning your content so it is clear, concise and valuable to your potential followers/fans.

Now the foundations are in place and you can get to work on marketing your business the social way. In coming articles we will look at ways to implement your strategy once the foundations are in place.

In the meantime happy building