Since its inception in 2004, Facebook has come a long way. With more than 2 billion monthly active users as of June 2017, it is one of the most widely used social media websites in the world. This is what makes it a potential goldmine for online marketing, and savvy strategists have long recognized this fact. Social media and inbound marketing are increasingly becoming cardinal assets for businesses to be discovered and engage with potential customers on the internet. In this article, we share 7 ways you can leverage Facebook organically to grow your business.
It has become essential to incorporate Facebook or a larger social media strategy into your marketing plan, and it can be daunting to figure out the dos and don’ts of social media marketing. There is no ‘one size, fits all’ approach to this. While some things may work for your competitors, they may not work for you. And vice versa. Here are some ideas you could use for optimal utilization of Facebook.
1.Create a Business Page
Having a complete profile is the first step towards achieving your goal, but it’s important that you do it right. The key here is sticking to the basics; a profile picture that can be easily recognised by your current and potential customers (preferably your logo), an appealing cover photo that grabs the attention of your audience, a sedulously filled out ‘about’ section providing relevant details, and link-backs to your website and other social media platforms. You must also add a clear call-to-action which will encourage visitors to your page to take some sort of the desired action.
There are several benefits of using a business Page instead of a personal Profile.
By separating the two, you don’t mix your personal and professional life.
Pages allow you to designate multiple administrators. This way you can have several employees simultaneously managing the account. Furthermore, if one of your administrators leaves the company, you still have control over the Page via other administrators.
By default, Pages are public and will start ranking on Facebook and public search results.
Pages are divided into various categories like local businesses, causes, community, entertainment, brand. This categorization helps in further refining the search results.
Personal profiles require mutual acceptance of ‘friend request’ to be connected. However, the process is not required for a Page and anyone can become a ‘fan’ of your Page without the approval of the administrator.
Since they rebuilt for promoting businesses, Pages come with a variety of tools that are not available on Profiles.
Though Facebook Pages are the ones that are ranked on Google and not Facebook Groups, the latter is certainly important for your business growth as they complement the former. The Group will only be beneficial if you have the resources to interact with it. To flourish, a Facebook Group requires constant engagement with the group members on a regular basis. It is the ideal place for creating a personal rapport with customers and building a momentum for the company. It gives members space and freedom to share about themselves and allows them to connect with you and each other. A Facebook Group also gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with your biggest fans, who are your organic brand ambassadors and this helps to amplify your marketing efforts.
If you are hosting an event to promote your business, creating a Facebook Event about it is a fantastic way to create buzz and get your audience’s attention. These Events not only help in spreading the word, they also keep your audience in the loop. Facebook Events are now compatible with the calendar application on smartphones and you can send updates regarding the event to the members.
Contests are a fun way of promoting your brand. The more people participate in it, the better. Contests not only help you engage with your customers on a one-on-one basis, they also help establish brand loyalty.
3.Post Compelling Content
The surest way of gaining more followers is by posting quality content. Your content can be in any format, but keep in mind your audience and work out the best way of reaching out to them. The content should not be limited to just blogs or status updates. Make use of videos and images as they have a better organic reach and engagement. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. However, even more effective are videos; since videos in the news feed of an individual are played automatically, it gives them the advantage to grab people’s attention immediately. Facebook recently came out with it Facebook Live feature. You should use it and any other tools that you have at your disposal.
Try implementing real-time marketing – identify in advance the cultural moments that are likely to be relevant to your target audiences like holidays and festivals, and then plan accordingly. Keep in mind the current events and trends, and use them to your advantage. But know when a thread has run its course; nothing annoys people more than an overused meme.
Though it is important to have an active Page that posts regularly, people prefer quality over quantity. Use content calendars and scheduling tools to organize your posts. While Pages of newspapers and news organizations with millions of followers like The Hindu and New York Times put out content 10 to 20 times a day, small businesses should restrict posting a lot, so as not to wear out the audience. Generally, 1 to 4 posts a day is considered enough.
4. Review Your Performance
You work doesn’t end with creating quality content for your customers. You also have to see how it was received by them and how you can improve on it. Facebook provides a handy tool for this called Insights. You should post different types of content (blogs, images and videos) and follow it by going back to your Insights. Figure out which kind of content works for your target audience, and gives you the most visibility and engagement. Use the information to create suitable content in the future.
A few metrics to consider are:
Reach – Total number of fans, group members, and/or friends.
Engagement – This measures percentage of how many people interacted with your post, based on the people who saw your post. This way you can compare your posts on a more level playing field. Engagement rate is a more accurate measure of your audience’s interest in your content.
Facebook Grade – The overall marketing effectiveness of your page.
Conversion – The number of visits from your Facebook Page to your website that convert into leads or customers.
Tracking these metrics over time can help you measure the ROI of using Facebook and be smarter about how to use Facebook as an ongoing part of your inbound marketing strategy.
5.Give a Face to Your Business
Facebook is a tool for connecting people with each other. And just like any social media tool, Facebook gives businesses the opportunity to increase their virtual presence and connect with customers directly. However, you should not forget that people don’t use social media primarily to interact with brands; they do it to connect with their family and friends.
People do not appreciate constant and belligerent promoting. Neither do they like corresponding with the faceless brand. Rather they respond well to companies that connect with their customers by being conversational and honest. Be a part of the community sincerely and make your customers feel welcomed as well.
6.Know What Your Audience Values
It is crucial to identify your key demographic and specifically target them as each content will not work for everyone. Though it is always good to be inclusive, you should never lose sight of your target audience. You should focus on content that will not only communicate your message but will also underline your ideology and philosophy.
Also, don’t get mesmerized by all the trends. Not all of them are appropriate for your brand, and be cautious when you jump on the bandwagon. Besides, don’t be afraid of not giving in to the trend. If the trend does not work with your philosophy or your brand, there is no harm in letting it pass by.
7.Partner with Other Facebook Pages
This is a simple, but if executed properly quite useful marketing strategy. All you have to do is find someone in your niche who has almost the same number of followers are you and strike a deal with them to promote each other’s content. By sharing each other’s videos or blogs, both get launched in a new domain to a novel audience. For instance, if you both have 30k followers, both the Pages get 30k potential followers. This strategy benefits both parties and is a win-win situation. Not all of them will choose to follow you, but the exposure is important.
Facebook is a terrific marketing tool. Though it gives ample opportunity to venture and succeed, it is not without its challenges. There are several million businesses on the website, tracking down customers and looking for new ones. They are all competing for the same target audience as you, and you have to find your own niche. There are innumerable ways of getting things right and many more of getting them wrong. Not all ideas work for everyone; you have to find the ways that work to leverage Facebook organically for you.