How To and Why Use Facebook as a Marketing Strategy
Facebook is a social network. It allows you to tap into human needs that exist – those needs to be social, to interact with others, to share yourself with others and to see what those close to you are doing.
It also allows you to have a presence for your business that can reach millions of people. There is really no other platform that lets you do this in the sophisticated and targeted way you can on Facebook.
I was initially reluctant to use Facebook. I didn’t get it. Why share personal information? Who wants to see that? Why do I want to see others? You quickly learn though the huge value that Facebook can provide to you and your business.
Whether personal or business, you tap into the massive power of Facebook meeting your human needs or representing your business to people you could never reach without it.
Facebook by the Numbers
So, as a marketer, why should you play in the Facebook sandbox? Here are some pretty amazing statistics (as of October 2014):
- 1.35 Billion worldwide monthly active users (this is a 14% increase year over year, so it is still a growing platform)
- 4.5 Billion ‘Likes’ are generated daily (this is a 67% increase year over year, so interactions from users are still growing)
- 864 Million users log in daily
- 1.12 Billion mobile users
- 73% of US users earn over $75,000/year
- Female users: 53%, Male users: 47%
- 300 Million photos are uploaded every day
In summary, Facebook remains a relevant platform seen by millions of people every day. If you are a marketer, you need to tap into the leverage that Facebook provides from this massive social media platform.
From a user perspective, there are 2 primary ways that you can engage with Facebook. First are ‘Profile’ pages. Second are ‘Business’ or ‘Fan’ Pages.
You use ‘Profile’ pages to identify who you are. Keep friends, network, share, and have a way for people researching your business to know, like, and trust you.
You use ‘Business’ pages to gather interest in your business, promote interaction with your followers, provide value to them, and ultimately have them buy your product or service. You can have a page for your main business (Internet Marketer to create follows and provide value), and/or you can have a ‘niche’ page that focuses on a particular market that your primary business can help solve your followers problems.
Here are the main differences between the two types of pages:
Now, this is what your ‘Profile’ page looks like, with posts you have made and ones that you have been ‘tagged’ in by your friends appearing on the right side. This is the page that anyone researching your profile will see.
This is your profile ‘newsfeed’ page. You go here to see what your friends and pages that you have ‘liked’ are posting. You can interact here by ‘liking’ posts or commenting. You can access the Facebook Pages you own and the groups that you belong to. You can post your own status from here, upload pictures, videos, etc. This is where you will spend a majority of your time as a regular ‘user’ of Facebook.
This is a Facebook ‘Page’. This happens to be for my niche business on Permaculture. I can link to my website, give them a link to ‘opt in’ to my email list, post videos, status updates and pictures. This is where I would interact with the fans that have liked the page, provide value, build relationships and trust, and promote any product that has value for my audience. If you do any advertising (which I will get to below), you will be directing traffic to this page.
How To Create A Fan Page
1. Create a fan page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/
2. Brand yourself if you are a consultant or marketer going after an Internet Marketing niche. Brand your company if you actually own the company you want to brand, or your niche if you are targeting something specific like I am (Permaculture).
3. Choose the category for your page that best suites what you are doing.
4. Add a professional profile image (the smaller image in the example above).
5. Add a professional cover photo image (the larger image in the example above).
6. Fill out the “About Me” section thoroughly on your new Fan Page (keep in mind that some of this information will become keywords in search engines, so do this part carefully).
7. Fill out as much information as possible about your brand as you go through the different settings on the Fan Page.
8. Once you have over 25 fans to your page, you can get your ‘Vanity URL’. This means you can get a name for your page (ex. mine is http://facebook.com/thepermaculturezone). Otherwise, you will just have a string of crazy numbers!
Posting On Facebook – When To Post? What to Post?
This was probably the hardest part to figure out about managing your ‘World of Facebook’. When do I post so that people see what I am putting out there? What is ‘Facebook Reach’? What sort of content should I post?
What is ‘Facebook Reach’?
Facebook Reach is basically, how many people see your post from your Fan Page. Facebook will not put your post on everyone’s newsfeed that likes your page. It is a small percentage. They make this decision with their own calculation and factors. They don’t want to clutter users of Facebook with a lot of posts that the user might not want to see. So they decide based on how many people like your page, like your posts, comment on your posts, and share your posts. It also depends on the time of day and how many posts from other pages are being shown. You can increase your reach through advertising (which I cover shortly), or by having more interaction with your fans so that Facebook decides that you have posts that people find value in.
What Are The Best Times to Post From Your Fan Page?
You can see from this infographic that there are better times to post than others. This data is from extensive research. (Source: QuickSprout)
What Should You Post?
Profile Page – When you are posting to your profile page, you can decide if you want your post to remain ‘private’ (only your friends will see), or ‘public’ (anyone that views your profile can see). You can set this permanently in your privacy settings, or per post that you are making. As for content on your profile page, it is up to you as an individual and what you are comfortable with.
You can post your personal activities, humor, quotes, pictures, animals, scenery, your adventures, and your life without revealing too much personal information. Be sure to not be negative, no rants, no account information posted, addresses, etc. Remember this is a public profile, and if someone is researching you a potentially doing business with you, what would you want them to know about you.
Fan Page – The key here is engagement. The first note is to be consistent and post often. Show your fans that you care about providing value, networking, and interacting with them. You can do this in a number of ways, here are a few ideas:
1. Post Photos – Of you, of your office, of something you did today that is tied to your business, or a nice photo that you can relate to your business.
2. Quotes – Text or images, quotes almost always get interaction.
3. Videos – Videos are the superstars of social media. Short, punchy videos work well. Of course, you should pick the videos your audience enjoys the most.
4. Post a ‘Fill in the blank’ – Start a sentence and let fans finish it for you.
5. Ask questions – Simple questions that can be answered quickly, are about the fans themselves, and can be answered in a few short words really attract comments and likes. A type of question that is ‘either this or this”, (ex. do you like warm weather or cold weather?) can also give your page a lot of activity from your fans.
6. News – Something that is relevant to your company or your industry. Be sure to ask your fans what they think or ask them to engage in some way.
7. Gratitude – Did you just hit 1,000 fans? Share and thank your fans for their support. Thanking fans for following for no particular reason also triggers likes and reciprocal gratitude.
8. Survey – ask your fans for their opinion that helps with your marketing message or content production. Example ‘What is the number 1 thing you want to learn about internet marketing’?
Advertising on Facebook
Advertising on Facebook can be overwhelming and expensive. It can also be easy and inexpensive, depending on what you know and your level of dedication to keep an eye on your ads every day.
Advertising is a necessary evil on Facebook. You need to do it in order to reach your fans – otherwise Facebook limits who sees your posts with their Facebook ‘reach’ (which I described above).
I however, think about it like this. Facebook is the most targeted advertising that we have available today. You can target people that have chosen to take an interest in you and your business. You can target based on geography, or based on their declared interest. There are just not many places you can get that sort of targeting. So embrace it and follow these few guidelines.
There are a lot of different ways to advertise on Facebook,
as you can see here from the choices given to you:
I recommend that you stick with just 3 main strategies to start:
1. “Boost your Post”. This is an ad that will take a page post that you have done and it will move this post to the top of the news feed of your target audience. In my business I work to have a ‘boost your post’ ad targeting the fans that already like my page to increase my brand awareness to my followers. I will also usually have another ‘boost your post’ ad and target an audience that I feel would be interested in my Page Post. With this second method, you will get results by getting both “likes” to your page as well as an increase in your brand awareness.
One trick I like to do is to post on my page a link to my blog post. Then run an ad to the page post. It is cheaper to run an ad that directs someone inside of Facebook than it does sending them directly outside of Facebook to your blog or website.
2. “Promote Your Page” Ad to get likes daily to your Fan Page as this will increase your amount of Fans.
3. “Send People to Your Website” ad so you can direct traffic outside of Facebook to your offers, blog posts, etc. This is a more expensive way to advertise, but it could result in more sales with a compelling offer.
Here are the basic steps to running a “Boost Your Posts” ad, after you log in to your ads manager.
1. Choose the page that the post you want to promote is on.
4. Then, set your daily budget and schedule when you want it to run. Keep ‘Optimize for Post Engagement’ – Facebook will manage and will give you their lowest price for ads.
They want you back as an advertiser!
Here are the basic steps to running a “Promote Your Page” ad, after you log in to your ads manager.
The basic setup and targeting that you do for ‘Promote Your Page’ is similar to the ‘Boost Your Post’ example, and from here you can choose your text and any images (1200×444 pixels size) that you want to show up in the newsfeed ad. You can see the samples as you build your ad.
One last word about advertising on Facebook.
Do your due diligence and always check your ads daily and optimize for peak performance. By analyzing your ads daily you will be able to determine if an ad is working or not. Also, set yourself a daily limit when your ad starts so you can test it out, tweak it if needed, then you can increase your budget.
Engaging Your Audience
As I said earlier, the key to building loyal fans is to provide them value and stay engaged with them. Here are a few tips for doing that:
1. Post your status updates 3-4 times per day (see examples of different types above to help you with ideas). Also, spread out your status updates throughout the day so you are reaching your fans when they are online (use the infographic above for the best times to post). You can also use your Fan Page’s insights panel to view when your fans are typically online the most throughout the day. If you are limited on time, you can use the schedule button at the bottom of your status update box to schedule out your posts throughout the day.
2. Check to see if you have any messages that have come into your Fan Page. Be sure to respond to them.
3. Check to see if anyone has posted on your Fan Page timeline and if so be sure to respond to them.
4. Respond to your Fans who have commented on your status updates.
Note: Always go by the 90/10 rule. That is, 90% of your status updates should be value driven and 10% status updates should result in leads or sales.
Some more examples of content for your status updates:
b. quotes on images
c. blog posts
d. upload videos
e. YouTube videos
f. share webinars
g. interesting articles within your niche
h. thought provoking questions
i. 10% – link to offers
j. links to your other social media accounts inviting your fans to follow
k. coupon offers
Know your brand, know your messaging and know your product. Don’t send mixed messages and be all over the place. Speak to your audience and become the “go to” person within your niche. Your goal is to develop the “Know, Like, Trust” factor. People work with and buy from people they know, like & trust.
P.S. If you want to get better at leveraging the internet to generate more leads online, take a look HERE to see how we can help you.
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