A survey of U.S. small businesses revealed that 86 percent of respondents use Facebook for their business. The same survey revealed that 64 percent of small businesses were active on social media overall in 2019.

When it comes to using Facebook for small businesses, social media can be a more affordable option compared to paid search or social budgets. Social media use can even offer similar, if not a higher likelihood of going viral.

Here are some ways you may be wasting your time on Facebook and how to focus your efforts using the platform moving forward.

Look at Engagement, Not Likes

When it comes to Facebook and Instagram, measuring success by like counts is more common than not. But instead of measuring your like counts, consider measuring your engagement rate.

Individuals who actually comment on your Facebook posts are willing to go the extra step just to engage with your content.

These are the “warm” audiences that you can then re-target to convince them to purchase your goods and services. Focus on content that encourages engagement and comments, instead of content that simply asks a yes/no question.

Facebook for Small Business: Don’t Waste Funds on Ads

Facebook ads can offer you a lot of data and flexibility in targeting customers across different levels of sales funnels.

Through Facebook Ads Manager, you can create prospecting campaigns. These target potential customers based on interests. You can also target potential customers based on Lookalike audiences. These populate based on individuals whom Facebook deems similar to other interactors or fans of your site.

Additionally, you can create retargeting and remarketing campaigns. These target individuals who have interacted with your brand or site, or past purchasers.

These campaigns are all great options when you have enough funds to truly dedicate to paid ads on Facebook. It can take hundreds to thousands of dollars before you can see results this way. So when it comes to Facebook for small businesses, Facebook ads may not be the first way to go in terms of sales.

Facebook Ad Manager for Pixel Tracking

While Facebook ads may not be the profit tool at launch for your small business, it can still be important to set up your Facebook ads account from the get-go.

Launching your Facebook ads account requires setting up a Facebook tracking pixel on your website. This will then allow you to create audiences based on information straight from your website.

There are other ways to track this information for your small business externally from running ads. However, doing this when you first launch your business can save you headaches later. This is particularly true if Facebook ads are ever in your long-term game-plan.

Facebook Groups for Community Building

Good content leads to community building. Beyond writing content for Facebook created to help your audiences, consider creating a Facebook group as an online community for your fans and greatest supporters.

No Facebook group can succeed without a purpose. What exactly can you offer your group members? What niche is your company in, and what value do you offer your customers?

Maybe your Facebook group can be a place for your community to share DIY projects made with your products. Or maybe it’s a place of positivity for your health start-up. If so, you can post daily or weekly inspirational quotes and engaging questions.

Lean on your social media manager or customer success team to delegate group responsibilities. Such responsibilities can include post monitoring and discussion post creation.

Still tight on budget here? Consider giving your more loyal fans Admin roles within your Facebook group. Encourage them to start conversation trees and topics with others. After a few weeks or months of observing your group, these trusted individuals should be easy to handpick.

Facebook is a Social Place: Encourage Sharing

You’ve shared your content on Facebook and even invited fans to join your own engagement Facebook group. But how do you get individuals to bond within your group if they don’t know your main page even exists yet?

Thankfully, Facebook is a very social place. The Facebook algorithm itself favors content with high engagement. When individuals interact with others or even public Facebook pages, that engagement can appear as a news item on their friends’ feeds.

Encourage your audience to like and comment on your posts. Do so with a call to action at the bottom of your posts and by asking open-ended questions.

Giveaway: Discounts and Raffles

But there’s an even more surefire way to build engagement. Have you ever conducted a giveaway or promotion where the action cost isn’t a purchase, but engagement?

Facebook has certain rules and regulations you must follow if you are to conduct a giveaway on their site. These include overtly stating that Facebook is not part of the giveaway or raffle.

Additionally, you cannot require individuals to tag their friends on your post to enter your giveaway. However, you can use likes or normal comments as a means to enter the giveaway.

Ask your audience to comment on a response to a question on your post to enter your giveaway instead. This can increase engagement for your brand and page, and hopefully, convert however many winners you choose into lifetime customers.

Facebook for Small Businesses Today

Facebook is on track to bring in over $60 billion in revenue in 2019. What does that mean for you?

It means that you are 100 percent certain to find at least some of your target audience on Facebook. Start measuring engagement trends and collecting Facebook pixel data today to truly lean into efficient Facebook for small business marketing strategy.