Facebook Marketing

Facebook-Graphic2

Getting the most from your Facebook Business Page

Marketing on Facebook is easy in the sense that it’s free (we’ll talk paid ads later) and you can do it as soon as you’ve created your page, but getting results is a bit more difficult. I want to highlight a few things that I think are relevant and intentional when it comes to self-promotion on Facebook.

 

Branding Consistency

Your fans, followers and customers should be able to easily identify your company’s social media outlets because you’re consistent. This should be followed as a rule of thumb for all social identities your company maintains (i.e. Instagram, Twitter, Google+, etc.). What I’m saying here is, you have a logo, you like it, you thought it was cool enough to be your logo now put that thing everywhere!

  • Your logo should be somewhere near the top of your website, it should be your profile picture for Facebook as well!
  • You should have a color pallet that is also specific to your business and the visual design nerd in me wants you to know and utilize a specific 2-3 fonts! (This may just be a pet peeve of mine, but if I notice it someone else probably does too!)

You do not have 382 fonts pre-installed on your computer with a challenge to use everyone in your marketing! Your fonts and color scheme should also flow from your website to your printed materials and into your cover photos on Facebook.

Enough of the visual consistency, what about your brand connectivity?

You should have a link to and from everything!! If you have a website and various social media profiles I should be able to find all of them from each other! Your Facebook page should have your website link filled in and tested to ensure proper functionality. Furthermore, your Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Blog should also have corresponding tabs linking users to all of them on your Facebook page. Subsequently, your website should list and link to all social media and blogs as well. You following me!? It’s like we’re playing 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon but everyone is Kevin Bacon!!

Organic Growth

Organic growth, isn’t a reference to anything you may be adding to your products, dinner recipes or front lawn, I’m talking the natural way you build your ‘likes’. Facebook knows and tracks EVERYTHING and by doing so ranks you against every other page people follow. Your rank and interactions matter the better your scored the more people you will reach (even if they already like you).

Your first line of advertising and interaction with members should be easiest, because these should be the people who liked your page simply because they know and support you. That’s right Mom, Dad, Grandma no matter how embarrassing it may be when they ask you questions on your wall instead of through direct messaging, they’re doing you a favor!! Respond back to them on your wall! Trust me it matters, you will ultimately be asking them to share your posts and encourage their friends to like your page too! These interactions with your new fans matters to Facebook, because unlike your grandmother, Facebook does not care how you know her it simply cares about who she likes(your business) and whether or not you respond to your “fans” in a timely manner, and if she shares your stuff frequently, likes your posts and interacts with your page. The more back and forth you can generate on your page the higher your score is to Facebook. This encourages Facebook to not limit your views because to it you’re someone who is relevant and enjoyed by your followers.

Overlapping point one and two for a second, you should be promoting your Facebook presence everywhere and should be encouraging people to like your page everywhere you go! Organic growth is really the key to looking like a golden child to the Facebook algorithm. Printed materials should list the Social outlets you are on, and should use some sort of call to action(Like Us, Follow Us, etc…) to encourage fandom!

Customers & Messaging

The first thing you should have done when you were in the planning phase of creating your business is identifying your target market. Depending on how specific you got with that description will hopefully make it easy for you to label your customer based on their defining characteristics like age, sex, income, hobbies etc. With a mental image in place of the perfect customer for your business, you need to speak to that person, speak like that person and relate to that person. Follow this practice whenever you are delivering a message to your audience.

People want to be able to relate to your products and feel like you relate to them as an individual. So keep a few simple things in mind when communicating:

  • Highlight and speak to your customers about how your product is going to benefit them.
  • You’re a small business, act like it! People want you to be relate-able, give behind the scenes that are professional and still relevant to your business and audience. Avoid over-sharing personal information on your business page, no one cares what your kids/cats are doing(sorry!).
  • Encourage customer feedback in the form of product usage photos, pioneer a #hashtag of your own and use it always. Tell your customers to use it too, it’s easy to search for you that way!
  • Choose a time to post and try to stick to it. This will require some trial and error and would really be the best idea to use an app to help you scheduling posts. (Hootsuite, Buffer)
  • Over-or-Under Whelm – Avoid flooding your fans news feed with multiple posts consecutively and also, being forgotten about because your last post is a stagnant 3 week old ad.
  • Pay Attention – Utilize the Facebook analytics to track your posts reach and success. Figure out what works and doesn’t work. Recommendations are to use visuals and open ended questions to encourage feedback. More trial and error!

This certainly isn’t everything you need to do in order to create a successful social media presence and ultimately a successful business, but these will definitely get you headed in the right direction.

 

Send us a message and let us know we should now be following you!! Do the same thing when you join Instagram(@thesoapguild) and Twitter(@TheSoapGuild) too!!

 

Creating a Facebook Page for Your Business

Facebook-Graphic

So you have decided to start your own business, you’ve spent long hours choosing the perfect name, you’ve decided on the coolest logo and your business cards just arrived in the mail yesterday. You’re ready to hit the local craft shows, peddle your products to all the trendiest local boutiques and have told everyone you know (even the last person who commented to you in line at the grocery store) about your products. All done right? Not so fast, your largest and cheapest marketing tool has yet to be established. That’s right, Facebook! You need to start your own business page to begin telling your followers why your product should be their next purchase. Now, we’ve all had that friend who is all to eager to fill up your feed with their latest foray into yet another pyramid scheme and we’ve all been torn on whether or not we can afford to subsequently block said friend. Here’s how to not become the next friend to get the ‘Block All Post from This User’ treatment.

Creating your own business page separate from your personal Facebook page is what you are going to do and here’s how.

You already have a Facebook account and if you don’t, you will need to change that first (everyone from high school won’t speculate on your whereabouts and possible death anymore, yay!) It’s easy:

  • Head on over to Facebook.com and fill out the form fields on the right of the page to create your account.
  • Now that you have your personal account set-up, login and click the deltoid at the top right of the page. (see photo)

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Select “Create Page” and follow the next steps choose “Local Business or Place” and enter as much information about your business as you can. The more you let Facebook and subsequently your pages followers know the better off you are.

Once you’ve completed these few simple steps your work really begins.

  • Write a great description for your business, fill in all the fields you can.
  • Add a great cover photo and make your profile photo your shiny new logo and start filling up your wall.
  • Connect your web store, link your businesses Facebook page with all your businesses other forms of social media(sorry but it’s all free and it’s basically a must have these days).

Your products and business are important to you so really spend some time getting your page really well set and it will pay off big time when you formally petition all your friends to like your new page! There are some things to really pay attention to when filling in your businesses information on Facebook, because nothing is more frustrating than incorrect information on a business page, so ensure that it’s there and it’s correct:

  • Phone # & Email Address
  • Store link (your website)
  • Business hours (when you want calls)
  • Company Bio (make it unique and interesting)
  • Link All Personal Social Media Outlets (Seriously!! People like me check)

Now that you have this amazing new Facebook page for your business, send us a message and let us know we should now be following you!! Do the same thing when you join Instagram(@thesoapguild) and Twitter(@TheSoapGuild) too!!

Happy Facebooking handcrafters and if you haven’t done it yet, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and our blog cuttothetrace.com.

Be on the look out for the follow up posts on “Optimizing your Facebook Page” and subsequent social media themed tutorials.

The What, Why, & Where of NAICS Codes

NAICS Codes 101

As a small business owner, you’ve probably heard of NAICS codes before but may not know what they are, what they’re for, or how to find out which one is right for your business.  Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know!

 


 

// What is a NAICS code? //

A NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code is a 6-digit code system that is used by business and government agencies (like the U.S. Census Bureau) for statistical purposes, and to classify business establishments into 20 industries depending on their economic activity in the United States. Essentially, it helps them to collect, record, and report economic data.

This system isn’t only used in the U.S., but in Canada and Mexico as well. In 1977 the NAICS replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system, and is updated every 5 years in order to accommodate changes in business and industry classifications.

 


 

// Why do I need one for my business? // 

Some agencies at the state and federal level will require businesses to have a NAICS code for contracting and tax purposes, however there is no centralized database available to check which organizations or agencies actually do.  Another reason to know your NAICS code, is that some state governments will offer tax incentives to businesses from certain NAICS industries.

Let’s say you need to register for a sales tax permit in your state. Most likely, you’ll be required to supply it on the paperwork.  The gist of it is, it’s better to know it and not need it instead of being stuck without it!

 


 

// What do the numbers mean that make up the code? //

Each number in the code represents an indicator for different levels of classification.  For all of you soapmakers out there, we’re going to use the NAICS code for soap manufacturers, 325611, as our example to show you how the numbers break down!

>     32 –  The first 2 numbers are what indicate the “economic sector”. In this case, 32 (or any code starting with 31-33) indicates a “Manufacturing” sector.

>     325 – The third number of the code is what indicates what’s called the “industry subsector”. In this specific code, the 5 narrows it down to a “Chemical Manufacturing” subsector. (And yes, this is the subsector even though the soap that you make is a natural product due to the fact that lye, a chemical, is used in the saponification process.)

>     3256 – The fourth number is what refers to the “Industry Group”, again specifying even further. In this example, the 6 refers to “Soap, Cleaning Compound, & Toilet Preparation Manufacturing”.

>     32561 – The fifth number indicates the “Industry” itself. Here the 1 shows that it’s the “Soap & Cleaning Compound Manufacturing” industry.

>     325611 –  The sixth and final number will specify an industry that is specific to the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. For this specific code, the 1 is specific to the “Soap & Other Detergent Manufacturing” in the U.S.

 


 

// What if I qualify for more than one code? //

It’s actually a pretty likely chance that your business could qualify for more than one NAICS code, especially being a craft business!

Sticking to our soapmaker example, there are obviously a ton of different ways one could run their business. Some only sell online while others have a brick-and-mortar location. Some only sell at craft fairs or farmers markets. Some do everything! And yes, that means that some people will need to use different codes than others.

Being a handcrafter and depending on what type of form it is that you’re filling out and who it’s for, you may also need to know your “Retail Trade” NAICS code instead of a “Manufacturing” one like we used in the example above. These codes would start with a “44” or “45” to indicate the “Retail Trade” sector, instead of a “32” like before.

Codes in this sector aren’t product-specific like the “Manufacturing” NAICS code was.  Normally, the agencies (outside of the Census Bureau) don’t necessarily care what the product is that you’re making. (Unless it’s food meant for immediate consumption.) They only care about when/where you actively do your selling, and that’s what will usually determine which NAICS code you should use.

Let’s say you have a Private Label business (Private Label = When you purchase product wholesale from a handcrafter and then sell it retail under your own company’s label). Obviously, you wouldn’t fall under the “Manufacturing” sector type because you’re not making your own product. You would be included under the “Retail Trade” sector.

Some other specific examples would be if you ONLY sell online, ONLY at a craft fair, or some other direct-selling establishment. You would also need a “Retail Trade” NAICS code because you’re not conducting your business in the same space as you’re manufacturing product.

If you are someone who has their own storefront or studio where you both make AND sell your products, then 9 times out of 10 you’ll only have to worry about the NAICS code for the “Manufacturing” sector.

 


 

// Where can I get my NAICS code? //

If the codes listed at the end of this post don’t apply to your business, then you can find your NAICS code by visiting the US Census Bureau’s website, and entering in a keyword for what your business does. **Always use the search box with the most recent year. If nothing comes up for any of your keywords under that one, THEN try going to the next one down.**

If you find that that doesn’t work well for you, you could also use the NAICS Code Drill Down Table where it allows you to start by selecting the industry out of the list that is most relevant to your business, and then going from there.

If you’re short on time and don’t feel like looking anything up online, you can also give the Census Bureau’s call center a quick ring at (800)923-8282 and someone there could help you figure out which one would be best for you! (I spoke to a gentleman there earlier today – he was super nice and very helpful!)

 


 

// NAICS codes that may be relevant to you //

>     325611 – Bar Soap Manufacturing

>     325620 – Bath & Body Product Manufacturing (lotions, bath salts, scrubs, etc…)

>     339999 – Candle Manufacturing

>     454111 – “Electronic Shopping”; For those who only sell product electronically/online.

>     454390 – “Other Direct Selling Establishments”; For those who only sell at a temporary set-up. (Craft show tables, farmer’s market booths, street vendor trucks/wagons).

>     Click Here if you know what your business’s old SIC code was and need to convert it into the NAICS version.

>     Click Here if you need a list of industry options to choose which would fit your business best.

 


 

I know, it’s a lot of information! So please Please PLEASE drop a comment below if you have any questions & I’ll help you as best that I can! If there’s anything that I missed that you think should be included, leave a comment about that too!

Happy coding 😉