Now that there are over 150 million active users on Facebook, more businesses large and small are actively reaching and engaging customers through Facebook and the Facebook Platform. Global chains all the way down to the local pub are building social marketing strategies that leverage the strengths of Facebook to drive traffic to their pages and feet to their premises.
However, many business owners are daunted by Facebook’s sheer scale, and simply don’t know where to start. Inside Facebook is here to help guide business owners and marketers through that process.
Here are Inside Facebook’s top 10 ways business owners can more effectively leverage Facebook to reach their target audience and drive more business. To dive deeper on the ways you can leverage Facebook for your marketing goals – including each of the tactics listed below – check out the Facebook Marketing Bible: The Guide to Marketing Your Brand, Company, Product, or Service Inside Facebook.
10 Things Business Owners Can Do to Market More Effectively on Facebook
1. Create a Facebook Page
Your Facebook Page should be the “hub” of your Facebook marketing presence. With a Facebook Page, Facebook users can become a “fan” of your company or product; when that happens, your name and logo will appear on their profile page and your name will appear in their profile feed. In turn, more users will be able to discover your Facebook Page through their friends’ profiles and Facebook searches, and your Page can grow “virally” without you even having to do much work. Finally, Pages rank very highly in Google search results, boosting your SEO rankings.
2. Create Facebook Events for Promotions and Special Occasions
Once you’ve created a Facebook Page, create regular Facebook Events for promotions you’re running. For example, a local bar might want to create a Facebook Event each week for happy hour! Larger businesses might target them around major campaign target events. When you create Facebook Events, they are automatically promoted on your Facebook Page. Plus, when Facebook users RSVP to your event (think “Biff Henderson is attending to Thursday Happy Hour at O’Malleys,” etc.), their friends see the updates on their profile or news feed.
3. Promote Your Events with Highly Targeted Social Ads
Facebook’s Social Ads platform makes it easy to target your spend to a very specific age, gender, and geographic audience. (You can even target based on words they’ve put on their profile.) Purchasing Social Ads throws fuel on the flames of the “natural” viral distribution you’re already getting from Facebook’s feed system, and you only pay for performance!
4. Add Contests and Voting Applications to Your Facebook Page to Give Your Customers a Voice
People love fun ways of engaging and feeling like they are contributing to your direction and decisions. Why not create a poll and let your users vote on the next menu item addition? White label solutions are readily available, and thousands of developers are able to easily build custom applications that you can add to your Facebook page.
5. Sponsor Popular Applications with Ads and Virtual Gifts
For larger chains and brands, sponsoring Facebook applications popular with your target audience offers richer opportunities for deeper engagement. For example, sports bars or sporting goods stores could partner with popular sports applications, and music retailers or pubs with live music could partner with popular music applications. What to do exactly? Sponsor or skin a whole section of the app, or offer sponsored virtual goods (i.e. virtual “bumper stickers”) for users to send to their friends on your behalf.
6. Go Big with Facebook Engagement Ads
For those who want to achieve the widest reach, Facebook’s variety of available home page engagement ads offer a simple way to engage millions of users. If you’re able to meet Facebook’s minimum spend requirements, Facebook can deliver big unique numbers.
7. Integrate Facebook Connect on Your Website
If your website is an important channel to you, Facebook Connect can help you amplify engagement you’re achieving by spreading information and updates about your visitors activity with their Facebook friends.
For example, with Facebook Connect, you can publish updates like “Peggy Bush just ordered a pizza from Mancini’s Chicago Pizzeria on 31st St” to your customers’ Facebook profiles, where they are seen by thousands of friends.
8. Add Facebook Share Links to Your Website
Does your website even make it easy for your customers to share information about you with their friends? Adding Facebook “share” links is the simplest step you should take to get your URL floating around Facebook.
9. Publish Fresh Photos, Videos, and Updates to Your Facebook Page
Facebook Pages are not “set it and forget it.” They require regular updates with new content that feels authentic and community generated – not “from the marketing guy who doesn’t get it.” Which leads us to the last and most important point…
10. TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMERS
Facebook is made up of people, and people want to talk to you. If you don’t enter the conversation they invite you into, they’ll stop paying you much attention. When you start a Facebook presence, you’ll need to “man the wheel” by allocating staff to participate in discussions on your Page and respond to concerns. When customers discover that there are actually real people there, their appreciation for you will grow – as will their willingness to let others know!
One final note…
Keep in mind, however, that while Facebook marketing is powerful, it isn’t free. Your Facebook marketing plan should be part of a larger strategy that incorporates all the elements that make social marketing successful. Participating in the Facebook ecosystem most effectively requires consistent participation and willingness to engage your customers. There’s a good chance you will find it more rewarding than you expect!
Learn more about building your brand and growing your audience with our comprehensive guide to marketing on Facebook. The Facebook Marketing Bible is available at FacebookMarketingBible.com