Facebook is one of the leading social media platforms not just in Australia, but globally, with more than half of all Aussies on the platform. If you own and operate a small business, Facebook’s detailed and sophisticated marketing platform can be an excellent way to increase your brand awareness and reach. Facebook allows you to create and launch ads in many different formats, and the platform can also give you valuable insight into your audience’s demographics, enabling you to better target and optimise your marketing campaigns. Today’s blog post will cover the specific ways you can use Facebook marketing to grow your business and increase your sales.
Before we start, we need to clear up a common misunderstanding about Facebook marketing, and how the platform differs from other online advertising methods.
First of all, Facebook marketing works best for small businesses if they use the platform to increase their brand awareness and add value to their target audience. Facebook is not a great place to go for the “hard sell.” For Facebook marketing to be successful, you need to focus on fostering trust with your fans and followers through meaningful conversations and valuable content.
Why shouldn’t you use Facebook for the hard sell?
Think about why people use Facebook. It’s a social media site. People log on to Facebook to chat with friends, mindlessly scroll their feed to decompress or entertain themselves with funny videos or interesting, striking images. Typically, viewers aren’t going onto Facebook to browse for products and services. It’s not really intended for shopping.
When businesses use Facebook for hard selling, it can quickly turn off viewers who may have otherwise been receptive to your message.
When it comes to using Facebook marketing successfully, you don’t want to come off as pushy and aggressive. Steer clear of posting about a specific product or service, or providing a list of your offerings that aren’t related to a conversation on Facebook. Posting in isolation can result in a lot of fans unfollowing you. You also risk having viewers negatively post about your product or service.
To be clear, you can use your Facebook account to create and launch ads. But when it comes to successfully marketing your business online, you want to formulate and launch a holistic strategy. Facebook marketing involves more “soft-selling” tactics that inform and add value to the user. There is a time and place for ads on Facebook, but that’s not the sole focus of today’s article.
Now that you understand how important it is to stay away from hard-selling tactics on Facebook, the next thing you need to do is define your goals with Facebook marketing and outline a strategy for reaching them.
For example, let’s say that you own and operate a bridal boutique in the Sydney area. Your goal with Facebook marketing is to increase your sales with Facebook by 15% in the next six months. Your strategy could include the following techniques:
- Post each morning with a special feature for the week that could be a coupon code so that you can track any sales coming directly from Facebook.
- Create a new post every few days of a satisfied customer.
- Generate page views, likes, and follows by encouraging your users to post their own marriage or wedding-related photos.
You need a specific goal before you can get started with Facebook marketing. Think of your goal as the foundation of your marketing house. If the foundation is weak, your marketing strategy will not be built on sound, solid ground. Your entire plan will crumble, and it will be like shooting in the dark for your business. You don’t want to waste time, money, and effort on a strategy that isn’t well thought out.
The third thing you need to consider before getting started with Facebook marketing is your company “voice.” When people log onto Facebook, they are looking to interact with a person, not an impersonal business entity. It’s important that your Facebook marketing efforts are written in a human voice that is real and likable but is also aligned with your unique brand.
If you’re a casual company that markets to young people, you probably want to use a voice that will most resonate with the way they speak and interact. Likewise, if you’re a financial services company catering to established professionals, it might be beneficial to use a more formal voice that makes your target audience feel comfortable. It’s also a good idea to avoid using too much industry jargon and lingo.
What are some other things you can do to ensure that your Facebook marketing efforts are successful?
It’s crucial that you never lose sight of the fact that Facebook is a social media platform. You want to make it easy for your viewers to post and interact with your page. You also what to make sure that your posts encourage user feedback and replies. Responding quickly to any user comments and queries is also a good rule to follow. Responses and conversations further humanize your brand and can generate more marketing opportunities for your business.
Posting frequently also keeps users engaged with your brand and can help you increase your business page’s reach. Fortunately for small businesses and companies on a limited marketing budget, Facebook makes it cheap and easy for you to post. Social media platforms like Facebook are built and operated under the assumption that pages will post frequently.
It’s a good rule of thumb to post once per day, but that comes with a caveat. If you can’t post relevant, engaging, or interesting content, then it’s better not to post at all. If you can only generate an exciting or relevant post every few days, that’s all right. Quality over quantity is better for Facebook marketing.
You’ll also want to keep in mind your audience’s expectations. How frequently do they expect to hear from you, and what seems to be the sweet spot for maximising their engagement with post frequency? A Facebook marketing agency can help you make sense of the data and metrics available in your Facebook account that can offer you some insight into how frequently you should post without burning out your followers.
Using images and videos can also be highly effective for increasing your reach on Facebook. In fact, people view videos on Facebook more than they view videos on Youtube. 71% of surveyed Facebook users say that the videos they see on the platform are highly relevant to their interests. For marketers, using videos on Facebook is an excellent way to increase their brand awareness and drive sales. Marketers who use video in their campaigns see a 66% increase in qualified leads per year and a 54% increase in brand awareness.
Why are videos and images so compelling for Facebook users?
While text and ad copy aren’t going anywhere, it’s much easier and quicker for viewers to make sense of your brand with a striking image or a short, informative video. To get to the heart of what you’re trying to convey to your target audience more quickly, videos and pictures are an excellent vehicle for reaching your goals. Consider posting photos of new inventory or stock or instructional videos and how-tos that are related to your niche and what concerns your target audience.
Interactive content is also perfect for generating likes and follows for your business Facebook page. Use contests, surveys, or games to increase your following and get people talking and commenting on your business. If you need to find out specific information about your target audience, use Facebook to distribute your surveys. A sharable, short survey will liven up your Facebook page and help you obtain the information you need.
How else can you use Facebook to learn more about your customers?
Facebook is one of the only social media and advertising platforms that gives marketers highly detailed information on the people who like and follow their pages. You can use Facebook Insights to find out more about the people who’ve liked or followed your page, such as their age range, where they live, and what other pages they’ve liked. This information can help you further tailor your posts to what will most resonate with the viewers.
What about advertising on Facebook?
Facebook also gives marketers access to their advertising platform. You can use your Facebook account to fit into more traditional marketing methods with Facebook ads. But fortunately, Facebook is so versatile that you aren’t limited to just traditional, pay-per-click ad campaigns on Facebook. Having a business Facebook page enables you to reach out to your target audience in more creative, and entertaining ways that aren’t focused on a hard-sell.
Facebook marketing is about building relationships. Results won’t happen overnight, because relationships and fostering trust with your viewers takes time. If you can consistently engage in meaningful and helpful conversations with your fans and followers, Facebook can help you grow your business and increase your sales.
Are you interested in learning more about how Facebook marketing can help your business? At Australian Internet Advertising, we know how to craft highly tailored Facebook marketing campaigns for businesses in a variety of niches and industries. Our representatives are standing by to answer your questions. Please contact us today to get started with Facebook marketing.