Although we called this the Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Marketing this article is for EVERYONE who uses Facebook for marketing. Research suggests that nearly one out of every four people in the world will have a social media account by 2017 (emarketer). Not since the creation of the internet has something directly impacted so many people in such a profound way as social media has.
For marketing purposes, there is no better opportunity to engage your target audience then appearing where you KNOW they are going to be. Unfortunately, most marketers simply have no idea how to actually use such a popular website such as Facebook to their full advantage.
Each platform is vastly different and requires a different methodology in order to gain the attention of its users, and Facebook is no different. When used correctly, Facebook will have an incredible impact on your business in numerous different ways.
If you think social media marketing is all about posting your blog content, then you’d be dead wrong. I’d suggest you buckle up and enjoy the ride, because I am going to share with you some of the most simplistic, yet powerful ways to directly boost your bottom line…
Before we begin getting into some of the more intricate details of social media marketing, I want to talk about one thing in particular. There has been a lot of buzz flying around about a specific video that Matt Cutts put out about whether social signals have a direct impact on SEO. For those that don’t know, Matt Cutts is the head of Google’s webspam team.
He is typically the voice of Google pertaining to how the search algorithm operates and the impact that the various updates have once they are released. For the most part, if you listen to his interviews, you may be able to gain a basic understanding of how Google views websites and where the search engine may be headed in the future. For those that have not seen it, I have posted it below.
The basic gist of the video suggests that social media has no impact on site rankings, putting to rest a lot of speculation within the internet marketing community that suggested that it did have some relevance.
The point of bringing this up is that this should not even matter to you. After all, social media is NOT about SEO. It is NOT about building links. It is NOT even about selling. Social media IS about building relationships and interacting with others. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on.
Building A Base
Facebook is the head honcho of the social media world. This site has over 1 billion registered users. To gain perspective of how mammoth a number this is, 1 billion people equates to almost 1 in every 8 people on our planet. Since Facebook began allowing paid advertising, the potential of this platform has increased tenfold.
In order to build a following in a short amount of time, I would suggest using the paid methods available to you. Oftentimes you can find coupons online to help ease the overall costs. When paid advertisements first began, everyone began using the sidebar ads to effectively drive people to “Like” their page.
However, another outstanding option is to use the method of “boosting” your post. These are not ads per se, but it allows users to see your posts directly in their news feed, which ultimately may be more engaging and entice them to follow your page. This means that you NEED to post relevant and highly enticing posts, instead of what most people do, which is to simply post links to their blog.
Try to be creative with your ad titles. Perhaps ask a question or make an outrageous remark that will garner some clicks. Whatever you do, try to keep your ad or boosted post short and concise.
A study performed by SocialMediaToday showed that shorter posts (0-70) characters vastly outperformed medium-sized posts (141-230) characters. As the test came to a close, the short posts received almost 3,500 “Likes” while the longer, medium-sized posts received only 2,000 “Likes.”
Along with a catchy phrase or question, a photo is an absolute must when increasing engagement. Have you ever heard the phrase “a picture is worth 1,000 words”? Well, it certainly works in regards to Facebook as there are countless case studies showcasing the results of posts with photos vs. posts without.
Targeting the right audience is also an essential part of building your page. It’s far better to have 1,000 responsive followers than 10,000 followers that are unresponsive. For ideas on exactly who you should target, begin to narrow down who your site is for. Who will it help the most? What area do they live in?
An easy method to gain responsive viewers is to target the audience members of your competitors, but only a certain type of competitor. If your site is in the health and fitness niche, then obviously one of the biggest competitors within that niche is BodyBuilding.com. Should you target their viewers? NO.
Believe it or not, targeting a ton of smaller sites will cost you less because the pricing model is based on the level of competition that is also targeting the same people. Since BodyBuilding.com is the biggest site in fitness and has almost 2 million “Likes” most people would be inclined to target their viewers, but not you!
Besides, their audience is far too broad. It’s far more lucrative to target audience members of smaller fringe sites because there is a far greater chance that these people became fans of the page because they are highly interested in the subject matter or have previously purchased a product (which is even better) and not because of the overall popularity of the site itself. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to people you know, asking them to join your page.
The most difficult part of Facebook marketing is obtaining those first few followers. Once you’ve begun your campaign and acquired a few thousand or so followers, then the real fun begins.
The next step is to “Like” other pages within your niche that don’t directly compete with you and actively post insightful and informative information on their posts. The brands that you are looking for should be complementary to yours.
For instance, if you sell kitchen knives, then joining a Facebook fan page called “Chefs R’ Us” would be highly complementary. The comments you leave need to be relevant and well thought out or else they will be seen as spam instead of helpful.
Most of all, don’t get into petty arguments if someone disagrees with you because this will only ruin the image of your brand and potentially step on the toes of whomever owns the page.
Now it is time to find the industry leaders within your niche. Create a list of everyone that has a strong influence within your specific industry. Politely reach out to them and introduce yourself. Explain what plans you have and that you’d like to build a mutually beneficial relationship.
Facebook works extremely well for contacting others because users tend to check their pages numerous times a day, which will cut down on the response time. If they find your offer compelling enough, then you are in a good position. It may take numerous tries to get someone to finally respond, but when you do, a solid B2B relationship can be extremely helpful in expanding your business.
Engaging Your Audience / What To Post
This is the most important step of the entire process. Without proper engagement, then everything else was for nothing.
Unfortunately, Facebook is no longer making it easy on people to engage with their audience. In December, Facebook announced that they will be adding “more relevant articles” to the news feed. Of course, it is Facebook who ultimately chooses these articles.
Since then, countless sites have reported decreases in engagement rates of their posts because Facebook has seemingly begun pushing other posts aside in order to make room for their news articles. Unless you plan on running boosted posts continuously, it is now more important than ever to ensure that your posts are extra appealing to those that DO see them.
This doesn’t mean that you should post dozens of times a day as this would probably prompt many to remove you from their list of people they follow. Instead, you need to make the best of every post that you create. This means posting at the most opportune times when the bulk of your audience is surfing the net.
Recently, the team at EdgeRank Checker launched a feature as part of their service that actually shows when your followers are on Facebook. I have yet to try this out, but it sounds pretty awesome anyway.
In order to usurp Facebook’s stranglehold over your audience’s news feed, you need to create posts that receive a lot of attention. We know people favor images on Facebook. What if there was a way to share an image that also spread your message? Oh wait, that already exists! It’s called an infographic.
Not only will people read your infographic, but they will share them as well, leading to more online visibility and more followers than before. You can completely circumvent Facebook’s recent update if only one person shares your infographic, and one of his friends shares your infographic, and so on. Before you know it, you’ve received more likes and shares than you would have from simply posting a photo.
If you are on Facebook all of the time, then you are neglecting your other duties as a business owner. After all, your audience may be on Facebook at really odd hours; at times when you can’t possibly be online to post content. This is where automation comes into play.
There are 2 websites that I am partial to that allow for a user to create numerous posts in advance and set up a time schedule as to when they will post. One site is Hootsuite and the other is Buffer. With either of these, you will be able to set up all of your Facebook posts several days prior.
Just keep posting! With proper optimization and understanding when your audience is the most responsive, it will only take a few posts a day to continue building your audience. Remember, your viewers are not just numbers or statistics, they are real people like you or me.
Post with passion and conviction for what you do and focus on what you can do for them, instead of what they can do for you. Soon enough, the “Likes” will come pouring in.