When seeking ways to grow your business, incorporating Facebook into your marketing strategy is a must. Despite the popularity of Instagram these days, Facebook remains the world’s biggest social media platform and the most effective social media channel for business use, according to Social Media Explorer. In order to successfully grow your business with Facebook, start with the basics – learn the platform better along with your target audience and then implement our easy, actionable tips.
Be an Expert on Your Business
It’s surprising how many entrepreneurs don’t know the ins and out of their business and targets. Some simply get by because they are great salespeople or have a lot of connections. But, in the age of online marketing, being a great salesperson is not enough. Before you can craft share-worthy Facebook content that generates leads and sales you need to be an expert on your business. As part of this research, do the following:
Conduct market research.
Use third party websites to get insight on targets via the use of surveys – doing so is one of the most cost effective and easy ways to conduct market research. Many of these types of services offer a pool of random consumers that can be surveyed per the parameters you set.
Know your target audience.
Some business owners will say that their target audience is everyone. ‘Everyone’ is too broad. If you are going to be successful at marketing your business, your target audience cannot be everyone. As Business News Daily pointed out, one may think that Nike’s target audience is everyone because everyone needs sneakers. But, if you look at Nike’s website, Nike actually gears its marketing toward people who are interested in sports and fitness.
In understanding your target audience, HubSpot suggests creating detailed Buyer Personas. This leading business resource defines a Buyer Persona as “fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers.”
Interview your current customers.
Find out what their likes and dislikes are along with what motivates them to buy your products and services. Interviewing them can be as simple as asking them a few questions in-store, over the phone, or via a survey that you send through email.
Analyze your competition.
List out your top three competitors and ask yourself these questions:
- What are three things they are doing better than my company?
- How does their marketing compare to mine?
- What does their SEO structure look like?
- Where can they improve that I can work on before they do?
Analyze existing data.
If you already have a company website, hopefully you have Google Analytics set up. Google Analytics offers a plethora of information to help webmasters understand their customers better. This tool can be overwhelming to use at first but resources such Ranking Academy offer helpful beginner’s guides.
Interview industry leaders.
Identify leaders in your industry who have made a name for themselves and their business and engage them. The goal here is to interview them on what has made their business work so that you can get ideas on what your business can do better. Some leaders will be receptive to answering your questions if you send a sincere email or social media comment.
You don’t need to be a Facebook expert to grow your business with Facebook, but you should understand these basics.
Who uses Facebook?
Countries: According to SproutSocial, as shown on the chart above, India has the highest number of Facebook users (269 million). The United States has the 2nd greatest amount of users (183 million) followed by Indonesia (123 million).
Age Range: 71 percent of American adults use Facebook. HootSuite noted that the most users fall between the 25 through 29 age group (84 percent); ages 30 through 49 make up the second biggest age range (79 percent), and the third biggest age group is 18 through 24 (76 percent).
Gender: While the statistics are close, more women than men use Facebook – 75 percent are women as opposed to 63 percent who are men.
Ways to Grow Your Business With Facebook Marketing
Make sure you set up the correct page: a Business Page.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when using Facebook is not using the two types of pages properly. The easiest way to explain the difference between the type pages is: a Personal Page is the place for everything personal and is the page where you have friends. A Business Page has Followers and people who ‘like’ the page. Facebook does not want businesses to use Personal Pages to promote their businesses and Facebook Business Pages give you the flexibility to set up online stores, product listings, view analytics, run ads, and more. If your Facebook Business page is not set up, this is the first place you need to start before you can grow a following and generate new business through Facebook marketing.
Optimize your business page.
When optimized properly, Facebook pages can get found in search engines and organically generate growth. When optimizing your Facebook Business Page, you must:
Upload an engaging cover image. Instead of using a stock image, try to use a personal image that you take of your staff, customers, or products and services.
Upload an engaging profile image. Many businesses will use a company logo which has become the norm. There is no rule stating you have to use a company logo but doing so does help with brand recognition.
Add contact information. Include ways for your business to be contacted and for people to get more information by adding an email, phone number, and company website.
Craft a descriptive About section and story. Include keywords that your customers use when searching for a company like yours to help your page get found in search engines, just like the pet retailer Chewy has done:
Develop and execute a Facebook marketing strategy.
If you bake a cake without sugar and flour, chances are it’s not going to come out as good as a cake made with sugar and flour. The sugar and flour are the much needed ingredients just as a Facebook marketing strategy is. A strategy serves as a guide that helps you identify your goals and achieve them so you never feel like your efforts are wasted. A good Facebook marketing strategy includes:
- Market research
- Long and short term goals
- Budget – be sure to use funds toward highly targeted Facebook ads.
- Tools such as HootSuite for scheduling posts, Canva for designing graphics and Unsplash for a wide variety of free images.
- Staff assigned to Facebook marketing
- A monthly content calendar that helps keep you on track with what you post and when you post.
- Reporting – how and what you will report on to analyze if your efforts are working.
For additional assistance with your Facebook marketing strategy and content calendar, Co-Schedule offers an excellent guide.
What to Post and When to Post on Facebook
Since each business is unique, it’s hard to say exactly what to post and when to post but there are guidelines to follow. The when is easy once you have a few hundred followers – just use Facebook Insights to determine peak times when your followers are online and keep in mind that they can change every week, so you may need to adjust accordingly.
As far as what to post, videos typically perform better than photo and text posts and photo posts tend to perform better than text posts. Use your Insights to test and adjust as needed. When developing content, keep these tips in mind:
- It’s not all about you. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and craft content that appeals to them.
- Mix it up – try a video one day and a photo the next.
- Engage your followers by asking questions.
- Polished and pretty sell – post only the highest quality images and text.