When it comes to social media marketing, specially Facebook marketing, your business goal is to get likes and shares and to do sales! It’s an amazing platform to build awareness about your brand and to engage with your customers — one of the many aspects that most valuable to small business owners. As a business that’s just starting out your budget for marketing may not be as big as that of larger companies, but the good news is that there are effective and budget-friendly strategies that you can use to spread the word.
While Facebook is constantly tweaking its news feed algorithm, driving organic reach of pages to almost zero; there are still ways businesses can leverage Facebook to engage with its audience in an organic fashion:
1. A business page is a must have for every brand
Despite Facebook’s organic reach being almost dead, it is still highly recommended that small businesses have a Facebook presence. It is one of the best ways to add a face to your business and engage with existing as well as prospective customers. It has a user base of 2.19 billion users after all and if you employ the right strategy you can continue to reach your desired target audience.
2. Invest in the look and feel of your page
Your cover image and the first few folds on your page play an important role in a user deciding whether or not he wants to like your page. It is often the first time a user is exposed to your brand and you want to make sure you create a great first impression. Here are a few ways to do that:
2.1 Bring your A-game to the cover image
It’s the first thing a user is going to see on your page and I cannot stress enough on how crucial it is to create a great looking one! It’s important to create one which is in line with your brands look and feel and reflects your brand’s personality. In fact, why not take it up a notch and create a cover video instead? This might seem like a daunting task for a small business that does not use an agency, but with tools like Canva and Movie Maker even a layman create professional looking images and videos.
2.2 Add buttons to your page
The possibilities are endless here — you could add buttons for contact us, coupons / offers, maps, etc. Whatever best suits your goals and objectives.
2.3 Pin important posts on top
Did your brand recently receive an award? Are you going to have a booth in an upcoming trade-show? Pin it! These are the things you want people to see first — right at the time when they are sizing you up and creating that first impression.
2.4 Be responsive
Respond to direct messages promptly. The response time is displayed right up there on your page. In general, it’s always a good practice and positions your brand as approachable, helpful and reliable.
3. Make it worth their while
Before pushing anything out to your fans on your social media, ask yourself if you are making it worth their while. Creating great content will go a long way in not only engaging with existing followers but also getting new ones. Churn out posts that are of value to your audience and they will read it, like it, share it and look forward to more. This is one of the best ways of retaining your organic reach and engagement despite the news feed algorithm changes. Below are a few tips for your social media content marketing strategy:
3.1 Create buckets
I find that identifying content buckets right at the start helps. It becomes much easier to then come up with ideas since you already know what sort of posts you want to create.
3.2 Video is king
By 2020, 75% of the world’s traffic data will be video. If you haven’t got onto the video bandwagon yet, you’re missing out. Videos get far better engagement than text or even images for that matter. Video is the future and the sooner you incorporate videos in your social strategy, the better. However, only 15% of the users view social media videos with sound, so make sure your videos have captions/subtitles and do a good enough job of conveying the message without audio. You could also give 360 degrees video a shot. Again, there are plenty of tools available. You could always give good old Fiverr a shot too and hire someone to do it for you.
3.3 Live Videos
Did you know that 1 in every 5 videos on Facebook last year was a Live video? This doesn’t come as a surprise though given that Live videos have much better reach and engagement than pre-recorded videos. Not to mention your fans are notified every time you do a live video so they can watch it in real time. Again, an excellent way to beat the algorithm change issue.
This is an oldie but a goodie. Contests never fail to engage users. You could get really creative here and tie in your brand in a thousand different ways into the contest so as to create top of the mind recall.
Last and not the least, push your blog posts through social. There is not a more effective way to establish yourself as an authority on a subject than a blog. Users appreciate original, genuine content and will definitely want to share it with their friend list if they find it useful.
4. Paid Ads
As opposed to popular belief, one does not need to have deep pockets to run Facebook ads. With clever targeting you could reach the right audience and yet not spend through the roof on advertising. Here are a few handy tips:
4.1 Set a clear objective for each campaign
You cannot create awareness and drive conversions through the same campaign.
4.2 Experiment with different ad copies
A/B test various messages and keep building on the ones that perform better.
4.3 There is no right or wrong placement
While a lot of advertisers find the right hand side ads to be more effective, I would recommend you try both the newsfeed and the right hand side ads and see what perform works better for you. The right hand side ads while cheaper than newsfeed ads, may not get you the desired amount of clicks or conversions. So it’s best to try both and see what works better for you.
4.4 Different ad formats serve different purpose
Video ads are excellent for branding and awareness. Carousel ads work out well for ecommerce products. So take a call based on your ultimate objective.
4.5 Use the various targeting options effectively
Your targeting doesn’t have to be just about age and gender. There’s plenty you can do to make it precise and hence reduce your overall spends. For example, if you are a local business serving a limited geographical area, use zip code targeting. Layer this with additional Demographics. So for example, if you are a florist, you could target Men within a particular postal code who have an anniversary within the next 30 days.(How cool is that!) The possibilities are endless here. And I assure you that with trial and error you will figure out the right mix for your business.
4.6 Recycle your website traffic through re-targeting
You could create different retargeting lists for each step of the purchase process — this way you can invest more on users that showed a deeper level of interest and hence have a higher chance of conversion. Similarly you can choose to exclude users who have already made a purchase so as to not waste precious advertising dollars on them.
There you have it. If used correctly and efficiently, Facebook is a fantastic platform to create awareness and encourage conversation among the target audience.
Article by Namrata Arya.
Namrata has 13+ years of experience in search marketing, online advertising and social media marketing. She is the Head the Digital Marketing for Radix, one of the world’s largest domain portfolio registries that offers new domain extensions such as .TECH, .STORE, .SPACE, .SITE, .FUN, .ONLINE and .PRESS. You can connect with her on Twitter.