1. Make sure your advertising goals are in line with why you're on Facebook in the first place.
So many businesses jump into starting a business page on Facebook without really thinking why they need to be part of the action at all – "because everyone else is" isn't a good enough excuse, just ask your mother!
Facebook is a real opportunity for businesses to interact with their customers in a relaxed and informal setting that can sometimes lead to greater customer insights, engaged fans becoming informal 'Brand Ambassadors' and a stronger display of brand loyalty in customers.
BUT, and it's a big but, Facebook is not for all businesses!
If the topics you deal with on a daily basis are not the kinds of things people would talk about 'around the water cooler', chances are your business page wouldn't succeed on Facebook. Having said that; if you're a forward thinking accountant hell bent on educating your potential clients not to fear tax time through helpful info snippets and tips or an innovative insurance broker that knows that life's little mishaps can be avoided by taking simple steps – and you share them - then there might be hope for you yet.
"Ok great," you say, "but what does this have to do with a Facebook ads campaign?"
Good question! If your reasons for being on Facebook are to educate, entertain, bring together or funnel potential clients – your Facebook advertising should do the same. Simply running a Facebook Ads campaign to bring your 'likes' up is a recipe for failure.
2. Get to know your Facebook community before trying to narrow your advertising demographics.
Do you know who are the most active and engaged community members are already on your Facebook page? Are they male or female? What age groups do they fit into? What are their other interests apart from your page?
Have a good look at your insights breakdown and do a little research into who is actually interested in what you do – also determine if they are potential customers – and use this information to target your Facebook ads to reach similar people.
It may seem like a good idea to make assumptions about who you think your 'friends' on Facebook are and what they like but when you have an amazing tool like Facebook insights and an equally incredible demographic targeting tool when creating Facebook Advertisements at your disposal, make sure you use the best information for the best outcomes.
3. Tie in your Facebook advertisements with an offline or multi-channel promotion to generate more conversations.
The reason we keep seeing Mother's Day, Valentines Day, Back to School and seasonal promotions over and over again is because they work. These promotions tap into an element of daily life – that occurs offline – and ties in whatever product or service you're spruiking.
Are you going to be the only person not to wish your Mum a happy Mother's Day via your Facebook update? I doubt it.
If you're a mother, are you going to lament the madness of pre-school semester organization to your fellow long-suffering mums on Facebook? That'd be a pretty safe bet.
Florists, local providores, specialty stores, personal services, cleaning services, personal chefs, photographers – you name it, you've got a ready made Facebook Advertising campaign during these two key times of the year.
Your Facebook Ad campaign can be made even more effective if you have promotional materials in other forms – think fliers, business cards, electronic Direct Mail-outs, website promotions, events, even mainstream advertising; the list is endless. Chances are, if someone is exposed to any one of these other promotional materials, they'll be more likely to click on your Facebook Ad when they see it in their newsfeed as they've already been exposed to your targeted messages.
4. Get their attention – and then don't waste it!
Once you've made all the right noises to all the right people, don't waste their time! In a world where you can find anything you desire with the click of a button, it's just as easy to click on to the next curiosity if you don't deliver on expectations.
Generally, the Facebook Advertisements that have the best outcomes have some element of exclusivity, inside information, an incentive, a discount or even a giveaway.
Whatever you're offering, make sure you don't leave the user feeling cheated or ripped off – they've given you their unpided attention (for at least 5 seconds) so don't make false claims, offer dud products or stingy discounts. Chances are they'll see right through you and then spend more of their own valuable time bagging you and your promotion out to their Facebook friends.
5. Give to receive.
Facebook isn't your normal marketplace. Or rather, it is a marketplace in which the consumers have amplified power over brands. Brands put themselves out there into the Facebook universe at the mercy of their, hopefully loyal but sometimes mutinous, fans.
The best way to win people over is by giving stuff away. Seriously, who doesn't love a freebie? It doesn't have to be your product and you definitely don't have to give something to everyone in your community, however tactical generosity can come back to you in positive reviews and engagement on a massive scale.
In a day and age where our lives are captured, captioned and broadcast on a daily, minute-by-minute basis, something as simple as a free coffee, a free in-home insurance assessment, a free cat food sample or, can you imagine it, a free big-ticket item – will generate you massive coverage, interactions, promotions, shares, comments, likes, friends and maybe even customers; all for much less than the cost of more traditional advertising mediums.
I am Irma the owner and director of Tell IT Media. We offer Branding, Web Design and Social Media Solutions for Businesses. I specialize in helping businesses with holistic marketing and branding plans to leverage the power of online and offline media. I love creativity and communicating ideas and am currently producing a series of Online Cartoons about Social Media.
As a small business it is extremely important to work with and collaborate with different businesses and experts. Social Media is not only an amazing avenue for inspiration, but is also great for co-operation and collaboration with like-minded people in business. Hope to see you on Facebook ;)
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