Facebook is a platform where marketing techniques cannot be copied from another medium. There are unique qualities that make the social media site special in that respect. What would work for your own website, a radio advertisement or a viral marketing campaign does not necessarily apply to this domain.
This step-by-step marketing guide will offer a number of helpful tips to drive traffic and eyeballs to your specific enterprise. Results will certainly vary, but adopting these tactics will ensure that your brand has:
- An online presence
- Something to offer
- Something to say
- A way to connect
According to Facebook as of June 2017, their platform enjoys over 2.01 billion active monthly users. This is a 17% jump on 2016 and is more staggering when you consider the site garners 1.32 billion logging on each and every day.
The sheer reality of this boom goes to underline how important it is for businesses to have space in this vast marketplace. Any operation that neglects Facebook is only harming their own image. It indirectly informs the customer that they are not in touch with the 21st century and how society behaves.
The common trap that businesses fall into is simply creating a Facebook page and leaving it. Some enquiries might be answered and there could be a handful of promotional offers listed, yet it goes nowhere. Owners run out of patience and before you know it, the “Facebook” project has been consigned to the bin.
Do not end up being one of those organisations. Take note of these techniques and apply them to your own Facebook page.
Tip #1: Use Their Available Tools
This is the official point of contact for the cliental. Used for desktop and mobile devices, the page can be easily managed and tracked for performance.
Adverts are a great way to get the ball rolling in the domain of Facebook. So much so, marketing specialist Dave Kerpen outlined that only 16% of organically branded content reaches followers. They boost traffic by showcasing your site in a commercial space and can provide a range of options depending on the budget.
Too busy to reply to hundreds or thousands of enquiries over the course of a day? Unless you have a dedicated full-time staff ready to handle niche issues like this, then there is a good chance you require an automated system that gives a personal touch. Organizations that utilize the Messenger application are likely to see customers more engaged, with results also tracked through their analytical software.
This app sees no less than 400 million users logged in and using on a daily basis. Like any other marketplace that garners that type of traffic, there is no reason not to have a presence on this platform.
Their strategic partnership with Facebook is very much intentional, wanting to deliver a more personalised experience for businesses that can come across as stale and unimaginative.
Tip #2: Keep it Social and Avoid the “Hard Sell” Philosophy
Facebook must always be seen as a friendly environment that is completely social. People log in to post their holiday pictures, wish each other happy birthday, send a funny YouTube video or read up on trending news. In that respect, business advertising can be viewed as an invasion of that space and individuals are fairly on-guard when it comes to commercials that interrupt that experience.
Therefore, any content that is created must be respectful, relatively light in tone and by no means aggressive in nature. Flooding the same product, slogan or article will set off alarm bells. What will follow is a string of negative comments, unfollowers and sometimes complaints.
Tip #3: See Facebook as an SEO Extension
You may not be aware, but a Facebook page operates like any other site on the web. They must satisfy certain criteria to rank highly on Google. In that sense, organically created traffic will boost the ranking for the search engine. The flipside is true for black hat SEO tactics that utilize artificial methods.
Alongside a URL with a username that is concise and appropriate (e.g. www.facebook.com/mybusinesssite), check off all the regular methods of SEO:
- Multimedia (images and video)
- Blog and content creation
- Social media sharing
Tip #4: Drive Traffic To Your Page
While there will be users on Facebook who search for your operation on the social media site than Google, this is something that cannot be relied on. Customers need to be shepherded towards your page in every which way possible. This can be done by:
- Asking online via pop-up boxes
- Create ‘Like’ icons throughout a webpage
- Create ‘Like’ icons on print advertising, pamphlets, newsletters and any other type of marketing material
- Ask in person at a store following a transaction
Tip #5: Post as Often as Possible
Quality always matters when it comes to the legitimacy of a brand, but with a social media domain like Facebook, quantity is just as relevant. In the digital age, organizations that fail to give regular updates, offers, comments and a space for consumers to discuss fall way behind the pack.
Almost two-thirds of Facebook users are online at least once in a 24-hour period, so it makes sense to cater to that audience. If there is nothing immediate that is on the table, get imaginative:
- Post a video
- Upload an image (Facebook recommend using 1200 x 627 pixels)
- Ask a question
- Provide a survey
- Mention an upcoming event
- Set-up a Q&A
- Create a contest with a prize for the winner
There is no exact science to this field and the limits that are put on your Facebook page are those you restrict yourself to. By testing the waters, you will understand how your consumer base reacts to the frequency of posts.
Tip #6: Experiment with Posting Outside of Business Hours
There is a common consensus that a business should operate as well and efficiently as possible within business hours. That 8-hour window between 9am and 5pm is the acceptable timeframe for an enterprise to operate, but when it comes to Facebook, this rule can be bent.
A great amount of Facebook users do check the social media site before and after their own commitments. This is a great chance to test the waters. Try and post material between the early morning (5am – 8am) and at night (7pm – 10pm).
Research from Mashable suggests the generally accepted peak period of usage for Facebook falls at around 3pm. This will fluctuate for other markets, but there are healthy volumes that fall outside of the 9am – 5pm window. Serious traffic can be garnered after 7am and up until 10pm respectively, so get posting and see what response you get.
Tip #7: Have a Human Presence
One of the best ways to disarm a potential firestorm online is to provide a human presence for Facebook. Have a look below at a good case study when it comes to this field.
When one customer demanded that all of Optus Australia’s advertising be made in English, the response was detailed, direct and personable. Signed off by Dan, this post was met with widespread applause.
Yet this should not be used just for negative comments. Signing off a comment or reply with a personal signature acts as a friendly reminder that there are people behind a social media account. Customers can fall into the trap of forgetting this when they are engaging a Facebook page or comments section.
Tip #8: Get Hashtagging
One of the great methods of sourcing a single campaign or topic of conversation is the use of the hashtag (#). These will be seen across Twitter, but it is also utilized on Facebook and Instagram.
They can be easily found online and allows the business to get in on the conversation. Any type of content can be accompanied with a hashtag that carries some relevance to the product or point of discussion, drawing in hundreds or thousands of new views.
Tip #9: Be Quick on Response Time
For those perusing various Facebook pages, they will come across an ‘About’ section that answers the following:
- Geographic location
- Phone number
- Opening hours
- Price range
- Response time
There is no hiding from organizations that lag behind on this issue. They can vary from minutes to within an hour, a couple of hours, days, weeks or longer. Anything that ventures beyond the 24-hour mark is at risk of losing customers who do not have the patience and are able to switch to a competitor quickly. Enterprises are beginning to wake up to this domain as response times are being cut across the business spectrum.
Tip #10: Set a Target
All of these strategies must be synced in with a grander plan. Testing the waters is necessary and understanding what doesn’t work is just as valuable as finding out what does.
Yet when push comes to shove, there has to be clear stated objectives that set a course for direction. Whether it be a 5%, 10% or 50% increase on current connections and views, have a goal in mind with steps taken towards it.
Tip #11: Tie Facebook Into Grander Social Stage
Hootsuite is a brilliant application that allows business owners to house all of their social media profiles under one banner. This syncs in all posts, opinions, data and events that tie into the brand. Some companies see Facebook in isolation and for a section of small to medium enterprises (SME), this is perfectly understandable.
If there is anything puzzling or too confusing to understand at this juncture, visit Facebook Insights. This is an FAQ section that allows the page owner to read over the data and see how it relates to the investment that has been made on the company’s behalf.
Once a Facebook page has been created and run through all of the above techniques, it is a matter of repeating, cutting, adding and adapting. New extensions and tools are being included all the time, so it is necessary to stay relevant.