As I’m sure most of you will know, Facebook is a social media network that allows you to connect with friends, family and your favourite brands all in one place. You may not like Facebook for personal use (especially after the data issues earlier in the year) but there is no denying that it is a powerful tool for your business.
Facebook was founded in 2004, its original purpose was very different to the platform we use today – Facebook was originally called ‘The Facebook’ and it was exclusively for Harvard University Students. Due to its popularity the platform became available to other Ivy League Schools, US Universities and eventually High School Students when the Network was renamed Facebook. These days, Facebook is the largest social media network, with a staggering 2.23 Billion active monthly users*. If you don’t promote your business on Facebook, you could be missing out on a huge portion of your target market.
I know that Facebook (and social media in general) can be quite intimidating but we’re here to help! To learn more about Facebook and how this platform can help you then keep on reading…
Before you get started, ensure that you have a Facebook Business Page! It’s fairly simple to set up a business page, if you need some help click here for step by step instructions.
As I mentioned above, there are over 2 Billion Active Users on Facebook every month. This is a huge amount of people, all on one platform, and using Facebook can be a great way to grow your business.
Facebook also has pages specifically for businesses, and this is the perfect way to separate your personal life from your business (for example, your personal profile will most likely have close friends and family and you may want to share different things with them than you would to your students).
Facebook can be used to increase brand awareness, promote your classes and events and keep in touch with your students.
When you post on Facebook and another user (lets say a student of yours) likes/comments on your post, your post will then become visible to some of their friends. Even though your student isn’t ‘sharing’ the post, because they interacted with the post their friends will see it. Assuming that at least some of their friends are interested in yoga and live in the same area, new people may look at your page, choose to follow you and potentially attend your classes/events. Thus bringing awareness to your ‘brand’.
Out of all the Social Media Platforms there are, Facebook has to be the most popular for paid advertising. There will be a blog in the future specifically for Facebook Advertising, so watch this space! If you don’t want to spend money on advertising, that is okay too, as there is still an abundance of ways you can promote your events. From creating an event on Facebook, writing posts about them or even writing posts in Facebook Groups! We’ll touch more on that later in this blog.
And finally, keeping in touch with your students. The reason Facebook was created in the first place was to keep in touch with those that matter. This will allow your students to interact with you on a daily basis and if they have a question for you they don’t have to wait until class to ask. You can also create your own group so that all of your students can discuss your class together, or you can remind them of the week’s ‘homework’!
Business Pages have a lot more to them than your Personal Profile. There are too many differences to be able to go into each and every one, so instead I’ll go through the main features of the Business Page.
Insights show the analytics of your Facebook Page. You can see how your overall page is growing. It breaks down your individual posts, so you can see what your followers are enjoying on your page and things that they don’t love so much. This information is invaluable to consider when planning future posts.
You can keep an eye on other studios in your area or teachers who you admire, by completing a competitor analysis and adding them on your ‘pages to watch’. If you want a more detailed analysis then you can click on any of the menus to the left and this will allow you to adjust the time period (on some of the menu options) and view your growth in more detail.
You can add your events on Facebook pages too! These are perfect if you run Workshops, Retreats and Teacher Training courses. This also allows you to choose co-hosts, so you can let the studio and assisting teachers contribute to the event page too. Additionally, you get insights/analytics for your events, this will tell you how many people your event has reached, how many have responded (as they can say they are ‘interested’ or ‘going’) and how many people have clicked ‘Get Tickets’. Event pages also have a ‘discussion’ part to them, which means anyone interested can ask you questions and you can answer them, you can also post there to encourage people to buy tickets.
Another reason to get a business page is because it’s visible to the public. This allows you to keep your personal profile private but still allow your business to be found easily on Social Media.
Similarly to your personal profile, you can post updates to your business page. There are a variety of types of posts that you can share to your business page. You can create a poll, Q&A, add directions to your studio, get ‘shop’ visits (this adds a shop now button to the post), support a non-profit and lots more! Also similar to your personal profile, is the ability to tag other users! You can tag people and pages the same way as your personal profile, by typing ‘@‘ and then their name/business name. You can also use hashtags, but these are not widely used on Facebook as their search is very smart and picks up every word you use in your posts as shown in the image under ‘Visibility’ (meaning hashtags don’t serve a huge purpose as they do on Instagram as explained in the previous blog).
You will also be able to schedule your posts. Scheduling can be very useful as it publishes the post automatically, at a time of your choosing, allowing you to focus on all the important content. You can do this directly from Facebook by selecting the ‘share now’ button and a drop down should show the option to schedule.
You will notice whenever you are on a business page there are reviews. Facebook has recently changed the way the reviews work, they are now recommendations. This means that people will no longer rate you based on the star rating they previously used, it is now simply ‘recommend’ or ‘do not recommend’ and then they can discuss their experience with you/your business. These are still called reviews on your page!
If you have DVD’s or books, for example, you can set these up as products on your Facebook Page. You can promote your products on Facebook a couple of ways. One of which is a products menu, this goes on the side of your Facebook page for people to click on and browse, another way is to ‘tag’ your product in any posts that you mention/discuss it.
I have attached a picture below to show you how to customise your profile to add tabs you think are suitable for your business (I would recommend going through all of these settings when you have a moment to make sure everything is in place for your page)
If you'd like to learn more, have a read of part 2! In Part 2, you will learn about settings that you can customise to suit you and some other ways that you can attract new students.