Facebook started as a way for college students to stay in touch. It’s exploded into a world-wide social media phenomenon connecting consumers with businesses.
Despite recent troubles (Russia), Facebook remains a powerful marketing tool. Here are some ways you can use this popular platform to reach your current and future customers.
Is Facebook the Right Tool for Your Business?
Facebook has more than 2 billion daily active users worldwide. Of course, only a minuscule amount of those users will be good targets for your goods or services. Launching a social media strategy can take time, energy and a bit of expertise. Before you dive in, find out where your customers hang out online. You can do this by emailing a short survey, creating an old fashioned questionnaire if you have a bricks and mortar location or simply asking current customers. Determine if a Facebook presence makes sense for your brand.
Define Your Goals
What do you expect to gain from a presence on Facebook? Do you want to spark more sales, increase visibility or engage with users? Once you’ve nailed down what you want to achieve you can start planning and posting. Examples of goals might be to increase awareness of your brand, launch a new product, increase sales or simply create a sense of community.
Set Up Your Page
A sloppy, unattractive or incomplete Facebook page can sink your efforts before get going. Important elements include a strong profile image, a solid company description and posts that are short, sweet and to the point. Our friends at FitSmallBusiness have a step-by-step guide to walk you through page set up. How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 6 Steps.
Spend a Little Money
The Facebook Ads platform is a great way to reach more of the right kind of people. It’s not a complex process but takes some getting used to. The social media experts at Hootsuite share tips and tricks to easily set up a Facebook ad campaign: How to Create the Perfect Facebook Ad in Minutes.
Learn from the Pros
Here are examples of top-performing Facebook ads. Take a look at the visuals and copy from successful large and small businesses. 142 Best Facebook Ad Examples 2018. Big businesses like PayPal use simple icons to get their story across while a smaller company may have success simply promoting a sale or new product.
Post Quality Content
Organic posts (as opposed to paid ads) are a great opportunity to shine! Put on your creative hat to write clever copy and post images that pop. Promote a special sale, profile a customer, share behind-the-scenes photos and capitalize on hashtags that are trending (think #kissaredheadday or #postapuppypic). Here’s a list of special days you might use to attract additional eyeballs: How to Promote Your Business with Calendar Observations. Use Facebook Insights to determine the best time to post depending on the day of the week.
Respond to Questions and Comments
Don’t throw up a page and ignore it. You’ll need to create and post content on a regular basis to keep your audience engaged and keep your business top of mind. If you get a nice comment, thank them. Address negative comments immediately and take offline if possible. (though a phone call or Facebook’s private messenger).
There are specific measurements you should track to see if your Facebook page is performing. Here’s an article outlining the important metrics you should track to keep your content on point: The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Analytics. Key Performance Indicators are related to your overall goals so be sure to align with the numbers that count.
Work with an Expert
Organic Social Media activity is pretty simple to manager. You post, you respond, and you track performance. If you want to elevate your game, you might want to hire an outside social media strategist to handle strategy and day-to-day activity. Learn how to hire one here: How to Hire a Social Media Strategist
Want to dig deeper?
The SmartBiz Small Business Blog has an article that gives a good overview of digital marketing strategies you can use outside of Facebook. Take a look and pick the options that work for you: Digital Marketing for Your Small Business.