How to promote your local business on Facebook? Dos and Don’ts

If you want to promote your local business on Facebook, you have to have a strategy that is relevant to a local business. Promoting a local business Facebook page for a local audience is not done the same way as promoting a Facebook page for a global audience.

What you want is to have people living near your business to visit you and to this effect you need to have a successful local business presence on Facebook.

local business on Facebook

Promote your local business on Facebook? Dos

There are three important things that you should do for your local business Facebook page: the first thing is to have all the info about your business on your page, the second is to work consistently a little bit every day to post content, the third thing is to create events to bring customers to your local business and the fourth is to get people to talk about your business locally.

Is your local business Facebook page complete?

You want to have a local business Facebook page which is filled out completely with address, phone numbers, emails, and website that are valid and currently work. You want to make sure to do that because often people will use your page simply as a tool to help themselves contact you or to locate you in person.

One of the biggest values you can offer on a local business page is simply having your correct address easily available along with directions on how to get to where your business is.

local business Facebook page

I know one of the main ways I use local business pages on Facebook is to find exactly where I need to go. Now, the main thing is I use Google Maps.

At the same time, there are lots of scenarios where I’m looking for a business, maybe I’m doing something with it on Facebook and it’s a lot easier to just find the address straight on Facebook. So you want to make sure if you’ve got a physical location that your address is always updated and that you’ve at least filled in all the details on your Facebook page.

One of the worst things you can do is create a Facebook page that then obviously is not loved or paid attention to especially in the very basics. If someone finds you and is looking for directions, but you don’t even have directions to where you are, you may miss out on the opportunity to interact with that person completely.

Now you might say, “Well, I wouldn’t want them to come anyway.” Think of it like a restaurant — How many customers, coming for the first time can a restaurant afford to lose, based on a simple thing like not having an address in a Facebook page?

Think about how hard you work to get your new customers all the time and think about how little effort it takes to go in Facebook and make sure your address and your information is updated on your page.

If you haven’t done that already make sure you’ve got a good About section on your page, a profile photo and a timeline cover photo that look good, and then you will know that at least people are getting an entry level experience which is acceptable and that’s functional to get people actually show up at your business in person.

Do you post content on your local business Facebook page regularly?

The next thing you want to do is post content regularly on your Facebook page and make a consistent effort over time versus trying to do huge bursts of effort. A little bit at a time, even 10 or 20 minutes a day is much more effective than pouring hours into your page all at once and then ignoring it for the next year.

local business Facebook page

Take the time to get really good in-depth stories with pictures or video and think of it like your own news feed. Think about what you see in your news feed and make them just like some of the best posts you see, especially if you’re going to sponsor them.

Things like an employee’s having a baby or here’s what we just did for a new customer. In great detail, think about exactly what story you want people to associate your business with, and then avoid some of the common mistakes people make with pages.

Ask your friends, family or customers about it before you advertise it because unlike TV ads, which usually just get ignored, poor Facebook page sponsored ads can get a lot of negative energy towards your page, which will make it harder for you to be successful in the future.

Create an event for your local business Facebook page.

If you want to get the most return out of your efforts for a local audience, center everything you do around cool, fun, and useful events.

local business Facebook page

The best results I’ve seen from Facebook audiences locally are when pages make events that draw people to come out to them because aren’t you try ultimately at some point to connect with people in person by doing your local business page?

Otherwise you could interact with the whole world. You can get a much bigger audience for much lower cost, but if you want to interact successfully locally think of the sole purpose of your Facebook page, which is to convert people to meeting your business or you in person. An event is the easiest way to do that.

You use your page, you create an event, and then you can invite people to the event on your own. The biggest local business success I’ve seen in my area is doing a great grand launch event on Facebook.

If you want to use paid ads on Facebook, make sure to do stories and compelling things shared by customers and people related to your business.

Get people talking about your business locally on Facebook.

If you want to get people talking about your business locally, the best two things I’ve seen that were good for creating conversations on Facebook are groups and just engaging conversations on a personal profile.

Get people talking about your business locally

Facebook pages work really bad because they don’t get much organic engagement. So even if a discussion gets started, people are likely to not see it in the newsfeed and reply.

Facebook groups have a very high likelihood of showing up in the news feed as do interactive posts from your personal profile.

The best option to get people talking about your business locally on Facebook is to put engaging things on your own profile. That’s the easiest way to start, or for the long term to make a group about something related to what you do, and then get people to join it to have conversations about what you’re doing. The group’s posts are likely shown in the news feed.

The downside of both of these approaches is there’s no way to use Facebook ads for either of them, but that’s okay. You want your conversation to be natural and you want to do it for free.

I’ve seen a local business owner who posts a lot of controversial things on her personal profile and she gets a lot of talk and a lot of discussion right there. Huge deep posts with people talking.

The thing is they talk about her and then they listen to her radio show and to her radio station. It works.

Same thing in Facebook groups. I participate in a lot of groups and most of my news feed posts are from Facebook groups.

If you want to get people talking about your business locally, use Facebook groups or post on your personal profile.

Promote your local business on Facebook? Don’ts

Here are some mistakes you can avoid making with your local business page that will cost you Likes and dollars spent, and promote negative images in the community that will ultimately cost you business customers in the future and waste your time.

Promote your local business on Facebook? Don’ts

Don’t do salesy posts on Facebook!

Promoting a post that’s generic and salesy is one of the worst things you can do. You took time to make the post, you then paid Facebook to promote the post, and what you’re often going to have is a low relevance score on the ad, and you’re actually going to lose Likes. You’re going to annoy people.

I’ve seen several businesses do this locally where at one point I liked their page and their annoying sponsored post reminded me, “Oh, I forgot to unlike your page,” and that’s exactly what happens.

Don’t do salesy posts!

So you want to take your sponsored post as if you’re putting a post in your friend’s news feed and not as if you’re making a TV commercial. Sponsored posts can easily negatively impact your business whereas people will just ignore an ad on TV.

Some people ignore sponsored post, but a lot of people will do what they can so they don’t see them anymore which means unlike your page or flag “I don’t want to see this,” which will lower your relevance score and increase your ad costs.

Sponsored post is one of the consistent mistakes I’ve seen local businesses make especially in my own news feed by just doing generic or salesy posts.

Posting an offer in your sponsored post is simply not good enough most of the time for most businesses. If you always have a sale going, 25% off sale, is generally going to cost you some Likes and is generally not going to get great engagement. Sometimes it will, but if you share a story or if you make an event worth coming out, it can do a whole lot more.

Putting a lot of energy and time into creating some kind of contest, that then doesn’t work, or some kind of manipulation like a sale, where you end up losing a lot of money, often those things will be some of the worst things you can actually do where if you did nothing, you’d be better off.

Don’t get crazy over getting Facebook Page likes!

Another thing related to that is advertising for local Likes and simply being stuck on the idea that, “I want these local Likes.” I’ve run into a lot of local business owners with Facebook pages who simply wanted the local Likes. It was something they decided on that was important and it didn’t matter to them even when showing them in the data that the Likes were really expensive and that they weren’t getting good engagement.

Don’t get crazy over getting Page likes!

Just obsessing over local Likes and advertising to get local Likes is generally a complete waste of time and energy, and especially money. Very rarely will local Likes turn into anything worthwhile that you generate from ads. If you get people who you know to actually like your page, those can be very valuable.

When someone who hasn’t even been to your business randomly clicks an ad, which will certainly happen on a mobile device, and then their friend sees in another ad that they liked the page and asked them about it, or they assume their friend actually cares about your business and they find out, “Oh, I don’t even know how I liked that.” Then you generated negative publicity there.

If you want more local Likes use stories, sponsored posts and natural sources of Likes. That means just often giving up on that idea that you’re going to have all these mass local Likes and being popular. You can avoid making this mistake by knowing that it’s what a lot of people do and then spend a lot of money on, and then things don’t work out and then they’re really unhappy about it.

Don’t get bursts on your Facebook page… then nothing!

You can avoid that now just by knowing it, and the next thing local businesses do consistently is to do their Facebook page and do their business online generally in bursts all the time.

Don’t get bursts on your page… then nothing!

You’ll get bursts where there’s all kinds of posts. There’s sponsored posts everywhere, there’s posts all over the page, there’s organic engagement and events all over the place, and then for the next year there’s nothing. There’s no new posts on the Facebook page. The business moves and the address isn’t updated. The phone number doesn’t work.

It helps to pay attention to your local page especially a little bit every day than it does to hire someone to go in there and do a whole bunch of effort all at once, or to obsess over it for a short period of time, get burned out on it, and quit totally.

One of the worst things you can do is just have a page out there that doesn’t look good. It’s actually better lots of times to have no page at all than a page that was obsessed over at some point, and then gets defunct or ignored.

So consistency — A little bit of time every day or two, or every week, to notice your page can give you a lot of long term value. If you put a ton of energy and time into it all at once, you’ll usually get really frustrated. You’ll be disappointed because you’re not getting anything in the short term. You’ll do all these posts, spend all this money, get nothing back, and quit, and so then that’s like the worst case scenario.

Don’t get obsessed by reviews on your Facebook page!

If you have your page set up as a local business you usually will have the option to get star ratings on your Facebook page, and then people often will leave ratings, even if they have never been to your business, and just casually rate your business page.

Don’t get obsessed by reviews on your page!

If you’re getting good reviews this way and you’ve got five stars and it looks nice, well then, that’s good. If at the same time, you get some negative reviews, it’s not a big deal and it’s not worth getting upset about.

People aren’t likely to check your Facebook page’s rating that much on your business page. They’re not likely to make a decision about interacting with you based on just your Facebook page’s reviews.

Now they are definitely likely to do that on your Google Plus reviews or on some other websites but don’t stress on the Facebook reviews. You can just easily hide the reviews on your Facebook page if you’re not happy with them.

On the map section, where you put your address in, there’s an option to hide those reviews on your page. Now sometimes, you might end up hiding your address too, so that might not be worth it.

Check out and just play around with the different settings to see how your page looks. If you’ve got some negative reviews, don’t worry about it too much. You can just get more good reviews on your existing page or you can just hide the ratings all together.

Reviews are nice on a local page, but they’re also not that big of a deal because hardly anything actually uses them right now. If people are searching for them, they’re not likely to find your business and then make a serious judgment on it, based on your Facebook reviews.

I believe that now you have a better idea of the Dos and Don’ts to be aware of when you promote your local business on Facebook.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and I invite you to learn more about Facebook with me in my book:

Facebook Marketing and Advertising in 2016: What works for my Facebook page with 2 million likes?

Facebook Marketing and Advertising in 2016

Available both in Kindle and Paperback format.