With 1.65 billion daily users as of June 2016, Facebook remains the top social media destination. It’s no wonder businesses are aggressively building their presence on such social network platforms.
Imagine the market reach you can gain if you turn to Facebook for marketing and promotions. As a social networking site, Facebook is loaded with useful information that can be used for market research. Just by looking at a person’s Facebook profile, you already have access to their location, preferences, style, hobbies and other relevant data. You will appreciate the possibilities of tapping into a rich reservoir of data to monetize them—which means bigger financial haul for business owners regardless of industry.
Want to get started? Here are seven ways to enhance your Facebook marketing strategy.
The main purpose of a Facebook page for your business is to create brand awareness. Once you get them there, you have unlimited opportunities to promote your products or services. However, you will be successful in this only if you can get them to your Facebook page in the first place, and then engage them enough to become fans because of the awesome content. It takes quite a bit of doing, but promoting your page is crucial if you want to reap the rewards in the long run.
The first place you should focus is identifying your target market. Everything else will follow from there.
Your target market dictates the type and form of your content, the frequency of your posts, and the timing of your posts. In most cases, the best time to post is on a Thursday and Friday between 1 and 3 p.m. for the most likes and shares. However, this is not carved in stone. If your target audience is soccer moms, for instance, you might get better engagement between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. before school lets out.
If you hate doing research, you can use your Facebook page to create your "buyer persona" using a feature called Custom Audience. It generates a list of Facebook members using information about your existing customers.
At some point, Facebook will present you with a data map categorizing the information you uploaded. This data map will give you identifiers—essentially a description of your buyer persona. You can already use Custom Audience to target the people on the list for ads.
You can also extend its functionality by using Lookalike Audience. This identifies people on Facebook similar to your best customers, so this will further expand your reach.
Your company Facebook page is only as good as your content. So your content must be awesome!
You don't even have to work that hard because Facebook content can be anything that is in line with your business and brand. It doesn't always have to be original content, either, because Facebook is the share mecca of content marketers.
What type of content should you have? Most importantly, it should be relevant to your audience. If you are selling pet food, for instance, you want content that has value for pet owners. It could be a link to a blog post (your own or a non-competitor's) on how to pet-proof your home, or a poll question on what type of dog food works best for puppies. You can also post compelling (cute, cute is compelling) images of pets, which is always a magnet for shares and likes.
You should also seriously consider investing in video creation for your Facebook page. Long-form content is killing it on blogs, but social networks operate a little differently. Facebook is specifically encouraging video content by prioritizing it in the News Feed, partly because videos drive more engagement than text, and partly because it is moving to a video-only feed for mobile in the future.
Make it a point to have a mix of content and post regularly. New content not only gratifies your audience, but it also helps keep your page on the News Feed. If you want to minimize the stress of juggling your social media marketing and business tasks at the same time, use social media management apps such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule posts.
How do businesses run traditional marketing campaigns when they want to introduce something new? They advertise.
While digital marketing uses different platforms, the principle is the same: If you want people to invest in you, you have to invest in them. The best way to let people know about your Facebook page is to boost your posts.
Boosted posts appear higher on the News Feed of your target audience on Facebook and on Twitter. These can potentially increase brand awareness, build page audience, drive more traffic to your website and sell your products beyond your personal and professional networks. However, you have to pay for it. Since there is a cost to each post you boost, you should pick only those that you think will generate enough sales to offset the additional cost.
Spice things up on your page by hosting contests and giving away free stuff. Everyone likes freebies, and few will pass up the opportunity to show off. A contest is a great way to increase and engage your audience, give a sample of your product or service, and have fun at the same time. Be creative with your contests and make the prizes worth their time.
To make it worth your time and effort, ask them to like your page, leave a comment, post a photo or engage in some way as a condition to joining the contest (you can do that now).
The Facebook Offer feature can help your business page, especially if you are selling a product. Most people find it hard to resist promotions and discounts, especially if they are time-limited. Your product gets noticed when fans claim the offer through Facebook Offer, sending ripple effects through their networks as well.
It is easy to create an offer, but note that you have to pay for these targeted ads as well. The costs will depend on how many people you want to reach and the duration of your offer. If you just want to try it first, go for a small audience for one day, and then expand it if you like the results.
Now that you have promoted your Facebook page, it is time to see if your efforts are bearing fruit. Analyzing your results will tell you if you are on the right track and should continue to invest in the same strategies, or if you need to rethink some strategies.
What's great about Facebook business pages is that they also provide data for campaign analysis through Page Insights.
You can view statistics on your posts’ reach, engagements, number of views and simple demographics of the people it reached. This data also gauges how responsive your audience is to your marketing strategies, giving you an idea whether your campaign was effective. The data from Page Insights and Adverts Reporting will tell you which content or promotional approach got the best audience response.
Did you reach your target number of likes? Don't worry if you don't get exactly what you want the first time around. It takes time to build an audience and get a return on your investment.
The important thing is to know where you went wrong and to refine your strategies. With all the metrics Facebook can provide, you can pinpoint which are working and which are not. Act accordingly and you can maximize your investment in your Facebook page to increase brand awareness on social media, grow your market and increase sales.
Stacey Marone is a freelance writer for Scholaradvisor Essays and a social media marketer working part-time on contract for a large consultancy firm in the United States. She creates magnetic content optimized for search. In her free time she also does volunteer work and organizes some activities for children. You can follow her on Twitter.
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