Did you know that as of March 2013, Facebook had an estimated 1.11 billion users? The potential reach for online businesses is astounding, and yet many business owners are not using Facebook effectively as a marketing tool.
For online business owners, using social media is especially vital to building your online reputation. Do it right and you’ll drive more traffic to your websites, engage more customers, build brand equity, and increase sales.
Ready to learn more about marketing on the world’s most popular social media platform and how to maximize your Facebook marketing strategies?
1. Start With A Strategic Marketing Plan
If you’re just starting out with Facebook marketing, familiarize yourself with the promotional opportunities this platform affords — then decide which ones make the most sense for your business.
Not all online businesses are the same and neither are their customers. Ask yourself: who are the people who matter to your business? What do you know about them? Think demographics, quirks, preferences.
When you start marketing on Facebook, this information will help you tailor your content to a receptive audience.
2. Define Your Facebook Marketing Goals
OK, you know what your people want. Now what exactly is it you hope to gain by marketing to them on Facebook? Do you want people to engage more with your brand? Then think of a specific goal related to increased engagement — perhaps a 20% increase by quarter’s end, for example.
Write your goal down before you start your Facebook marketing campaign. This information is crucial to tracking the success of your marketing strategies (we’ll discuss measuring success with analytics a bit later on).
3. Choose The Right Marketing Strategy
There are many methods and techniques for marketing via social media. I’ve added a few here as a starting point, but this list isn’t exhaustive. With the information you have about your target audience, do some research — then develop a marketing strategy for your online business.
- The Power Of Freebies!
Everybody loves getting something for free. Make sure whatever you give away on Facebook is going to be perceived as valuable to your niche audience!
- Try Facebook Ads
If you’ve never spent money on advertising before, buying an ad when you’re unsure of its ROI can be scary. Luckily with Facebook ads you can specify a limit for your campaign to stick within your budget. Facebook ads are targeted precisely to your audience, so this strategy can yield good results.
- Use Images And Videos
You’ll get more interest and click throughs with visual information — photos, infographics, and video. Whether you’re offering a tip or tutorial, discussing your vacation, or promoting a product, your message will be more compelling with a visual.
- Don’t Neglect Post Titles
Treat your Facebook business page post updates like headlines — that’s what they are! Spend some time on them, and brush up on techniques copywriters use to keep people reading past the headline.
- Be Your Likeable Self
It’s essential your audience feels that they know you in order to develop trust and purchase from you. So show your personality. And always be friendly, helpful and available.
- Spend Time Online
Don’t post and dash! Spend some time responding to your Facebook audience. When they comment on a post, thank them for their comment and open up a conversation. Just a few extra minutes spent engaging can give your brand a boost.
4. Keep Track Of How Well Your Strategy Is Working
Without effectively tracking your accounting, you don’t know how well your business is performing. An important thing to know, right? It’s the same with social media analytics. If you’re not measuring engagement, click activity, new likes and conversions, you simply don’t know whether your strategies are effective or a waste of time. Check in on a regular basis and fine tune your marketing efforts to maximize performance.
The takeaway? Your overall Facebook marketing strategy should include posting regularly, hanging out and engaging with your audience, and always providing shareable content suited to your friends and fans. Give your people what they want, and you’ll attract more interest in your online business and enjoy more success online.
This is a guest blog post by Nicole Breit, who is a freelance writer covering social media, reputation management and online marketing.