Marketing

How to market with Facebook

Facebook turned 10 in February 2014. With around 1.23 billion Facebook users across the globe, there are more opportunities than ever for businesses to reach potential customers. Facebook-for-business specialist Stephen Hibberd, from Tiger Pistol, shares his tips on leveraging your Facebook presence.

While businesses used to operate just like individuals with a simple Facebook profile page, Facebook marketing has now become more complex, with a number of opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers.

Stephen Hibberd, co-founder and CEO of social media marketing business Tiger Pistol, says that having a clear strategy for your Facebook activity is the key to achieving results.

“Businesses that believe it’s important to connect with and / or source customers online need a plan to get the most out of a Facebook presence,” says Hibberd. “Getting value means doing a few things right.”

Setting up your Facebook business page

Creating a business page can be done very quickly – so Hibberd suggests taking the time to set up a few basics that will make it easier for customers to find you. “Add a description of your business that includes key terms people may use when searching for your product or service,” he advises.

It’s also important to think about what information your customer could be looking for and make it clear and easy for them to find. “Include all the ways to contact your business, your opening hours, photos of items – all those things that let people into your world,” says Hibberd.

Adding your address is another detail not to overlook, as this means you can enable ratings and reviews for your page.

Working with your goals

Being clear on what your goals are is the first step to developing your Facebook marketing plan. Maybe you’re trying to drive traffic to your e-commerce store, or maybe your goal is to have existing customers interact with your posts. These objectives will drive your activity, helping you to plan content ideas that link in with your overall strategy.

“In line with your goals, list the key elements of your business that may be interesting and engaging to your existing and prospective customers,” suggests Hibberd. “For example, new products, limited offers, your attendance at a market event, your team, other customers, the growth of your category or industry – lay those ideas out into a calendar and you essentially have a content plan.”

Connect with your Facebook audience

With clearly defined goals and content ideas, you’re ready to start connecting. Tell your existing customers you’re on Facebook to start building a fan base. Once you have an audience on your page, you can create posts with your content and promote them via sponsored posts.

Spending the money on sponsoring Facebook posts is a crucial part of your strategy, as this means that the people you want to see your post will actually see it. If you don’t pay to promote posts, Facebook chooses who will see your content and it may only be a small fraction of your fan base.

“What’s changed is that Facebook has been limiting how many people will see your post organically; that is, without you having paid for it,” says Hibberd. “Now, it’s common for only 2 to 3 per cent of a business’s fan base to actually see a post. Only posts that are likely to have a high level of interaction and are not aimed at delivering you sales should be posted without promotion.”

Targeting promoted Facebook posts

A smart strategy is to target your promoted posts, so that you’re spending money where it is most likely to get results. There are a few tactical ways to go about this:

  • Seek out your ideal customer: “Define your ideal customer, their demographics and interests, then target those people with a post promoting an offer,” suggests Hibberd.
  • Leverage your existing customer email database: Upload your email database and use the ‘Custom Audiences’ tool to target them with promoted content,” says Hibberd. “For example, you could create a custom audience of people who haven’t purchased from you in six months and target them with an offer to win them back.”

Which companies use Facebook well?

For inspiration, Hibberd suggests looking at the success the following businesses have achieved with their Facebook presence:

Big businesses:

Smaller businesses:

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