You'd have to have been stranded on a desert isle for the last couple of months to have not heard about Facebook's historic IPO.
With a valuation in the billions of dollars, a global footprint and a user base larger than the population of some countries, it might be easy to assume that Facebook has outgrown its humble startup, small business mentality.
But a recent article pointed out that, while CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s management style may be as unconventional as his dress (jeans and a hoodie), his roots as a small business startup are part of the DNA that still drives Facebook, and supplies valuable lessons for small businesses striving to be the Next Big Thing.
Here are some lessons a small business owner can take away from Facebook's success:
- Be fully dedicated to your company’s vision.
Zuckerberg’s determination is a major component to what has made Facebook so successful.
- Stay focused on the big picture.
Focus on the larger vision and your long-term goals.
- Just because you’re the boss, doesn’t mean you are finished learning.
Educate yourself on new technologies, competitors and everything in your market. Listen to employees and customer feedback.
Perhaps because of Facebook's historic transition from small business startup to Wall Street darling, many small businesses are finding value in Facebook's brand pages.
A few months ago, Facebook converted all brand pages to the new timeline design. According to Simply Measured, the new timeline format has increased engagement with users by 14%. Concurrent with the change, photo and video posts received the greatest increase in engagement with users.
With the rollout of Facebook Timeline came a new format for brand pages including a cover photo, page apps, milestones, and more. An informative article from Reach Local explains the different features of the Facebook Timeline.
Some useful features of the Timeline include:
- Apps. Apps appear directly on your page and can link out to your blog, FB, YouTube, PDFs, presentations and almost any other page you want to link to.
- Milestones. Make your page more personal by adding milestones including founding date, awards, news coverage, and more. Adding milestones helps capture your business’ story.
- Cover image. You cover image is the first thing people see when they visit your page. Use it as a creative way to display what your business is all about, whether it’s your employees, products, or customers. (See example of the eVoice cover image below)
The Facebook Admin Panel is your best friend. This portion of your brand page provides everything you need to see how your business is performing on Facebook (FB).
- Messages. Use this portion to communicate privately with FB users who may have an issue with your business. Use this to your advantage to take negative conversations out of public eye without having to use your private account to message users.
- Notifications. Know when someone interacts with your FB page.
- New Likes. Great for knowing what marketing campaigns are drawing more attention to your page.
- Insights. The most valuable part of your Admin Panel. Insights provide information about your business page. These insights allow you to improve your marketing strategy and measure how successful your efforts are.
If you utilize a Facebook brand page in its entirety, you can drive traffic to your business. According to an infographic by Crowdspring, Facebook has helped small businesses receive recommendations (69%), website traffic (59%), and sales leads (42%).