For many brands, marketing with Facebook means pushing lots of content and trying to acquire fans, but often lacks a goal. The focus is usually on generating awareness about the brand and improving loyalty amongst an existing customer base. Generally, users would have become aware of the brand before liking it on Facebook – they will not stumble upon it and like without prior interaction, e.g. website, in-store experience, an advert. Facebook gives users the opportunity to become familiar with brands and get to know them before making a purchase or contact.
By encouraging participation in the small community that you have created, the reach of your brand will multiply
There are three questions to ask when creating any social media strategy:
- What are the objectives?
- How will you achieve them?
- How will you measure them?
To answer these questions, think about:
- Who is likely to buy from you, or influence the purchasing decision. Creating personas is a great way to define your target user.
- What type of content users would enjoy and share – sharing is key to spreading your brand.
- How many posts per day/week you are going to do and what they will be about. Creating a content plan at the beginning of every month is an excellent way to make sure your communication is consistent and timely.
- Goals to consider are how much traffic will be driven to your website, number of likes and conversions. These will evolve over time, as your campaign develops, and will give you a measure of success.
- How often you will review the strategy.
It is crucial that this strategy is integrated into your overall marketing strategy. For example, if you are running an advertising campaign, promote your Facebook page (“Like us on Facebook for latest offers”). Many companies now send users to social media websites instead of websites as there is a greater chance of engagement.
Complete your profile
It might be obvious that a company’s Facebook page should be complete, however, in practise there are still many companies that don’t do it. Getting your profile right is a must!
- Use attractive imagery for your profile and cover picture. This will not only make it more appealing for the visitors, but sets the image of your brand in the user’s mind.
- Facebook gives you the opportunity to introduce your company to an audience, take advantage of it! Write an engaging description of your company that showcases your identity and what makes your brand unique.
The first thing that you need to know is that advertising through social media is very different to the great majority of the channels; it is not only about you, but about your followers. If your Facebook efforts are focused on sending promotional messages, your social media campaign is destined to fail from the beginning. If you try share fun, useful or interesting content for your audience, the results will be better. By encouraging participation in the small community that you have created, the reach of your brand will multiply.
The most immediate goal to pursue on Facebook is increasing “likes”, since this will increase your reach and therefore, your online visibility
When thinking about what content to create, open your mind. Not all the content needs to be created by you. If there is an interesting article that is relevant to your audience, don’t be afraid to share it! Be creative when thinking about types of content, and use a wide variety of mediums to engage with your audience such as infographics, videos, polls, or even competitions.
While doing all this, remember:
- Limit the frequency of your posts: leave enough time between posts so that the great majority of your followers have seen your update before something new is shared. This will increase their response. It is believed that between 3 or 4 hours is enough, but you may find that tolerances vary.
- Measure success and optimise: keep a log of all the posts created, containing the time, type of content and the engagement that you obtained (likes, shares and comments). This way you will easily identify what kind of posts your audience like the most and what times of the day achieve better results.
Increasing likes: the ultimate challenge
The most immediate goal to pursue on Facebook is increasing ”likes”, since this will increase your reach and therefore, your online visibility.
It can be frustrating to wait for your likes to increase but there are alternatives to speed this up. Some of them may require additional budget. Most of these strategies will also require a high degree of integration with other channels such as the website, email marketing campaigns or other social media platforms.
Create landing pages within Facebook to send users to when they first reach your Facebook page. These pages can contain just a message to encourage the visitors to like your page, or it can be used for promotions.
These are more sophisticated than landing pages, and will require development. However, they provide a level of interactivity that cannot be achieved by regular landing pages.
Depending on budget and the type of promotion, you can design an app that fulfils your objectives. For example: you are running a 20% off promotion. A regular landing page would have a code that gives visitors a 20% discount but there is no way to know if your visitors just used the code or if they actually liked the page too. An app that made users play a game, like the page and achieve a score before accessing the discount code, would increase likes and allow you to track this.
In addition to discount codes, you can also encourage other activities such as newsletter registration or entering a competition.
This is probably the fastest option to increase the number of genuine likes for your page. Facebook ads allow you to advertise your company or Facebook page inside the social platform. The way it works is different from Google Adwords, as you target segments of users instead of keywords.
The ads have been traditionally designed to lead people to a landing page. For that reason, if your idea is to get them to like your page, it is advisable to prepare one in order to increase the success of your campaign.
You can also have the like button on the ad itself so people won’t need to click through to like your Facebook Page.
Now the question is, how do I make sure that I am not getting irrelevant likes? Facebook makes it easy to advertise to your target audience. When creating the ads you can select:
- Cities or areas
- Personal characteristics: age, gender, marital status or if they have children
- Things that they liked which are directly related to your company or product. For example, if you are advertising a musical play, you can target people that liked theatre or the book on which the story is based.
One of the main advantages of using Facebook ads, apart from the rapid increase of likes, is that your reach goes beyond the people that see your ad. This happens because when people like your ad, it will appear on their friends’ feeds, so it is likely that you get extra likes for the same price.
I hope that you found this guide useful and your Facebook campaign performance improves. Remember that social media requires daily attention and patience in order to guarantee success, so don’t give up easily! In a future post we will explain the different types of paid advertising that Facebook offers and how you can use each of them.