By: Catherine Perry
Use Facebook to market your online business with these four easy tips!
This starts our series on using social media to market your online business. During this series we will post articles giving you tips using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Blogging for boosting your business. We are beginning the series with tips for using Facebook because we feel using Facebook is one of the top priorities for your marketing plan.
In case you still need to be convinced that Facebook is a primary way to reach an audience, here are some statistics that should back us up when we say, “It is!”
Based on the article “Top 15 Valuable Facebook Statistics” on zephoria.com, a digital marketing agency that collects data from social media outlets, here are a few of the statistics you may be interested in when thinking about using Facebook to boost your online business:
Worldwide, for the month of March 2017, there were over 1.94 billion monthly active Facebook users, which is an 18 percent increase year over year.(Source: Facebook 5/3/17).
There were 1.15 billion mobile daily active users (Mobile DAU) for December 2016, an increase of 23 percent year-over-year.
28 billion people logged onto Facebook as daily active users (Facebook DAU) for first Quarter of 2017, which represents an 18% increase year over year (Source: Facebook as 05/03/17)
These 3 statistics show the massive audience on Facebook, showing that Facebook is too big to ignore in your marketing plan. No, you may not want to engage all of these users, but you don’t want to neglect getting your message out to the part of Facebook who will be interested in what you have to offer either!
Another great resource for data on this subject is www.smartinsights.com. According to their article “New Global Social Media Research” published 1st quarter 2017, the U.S. is “the most advanced major market” and, as such, is a good indication for future global trends, as shown in this graphic:
It is a fact that in 2017, if you have a business of any sort—service or product, online or not, you absolutely must have a presence on Facebook! It is THE way to build a brand and increase web traffic.
So, the question is, how can you best utilize your valuable time on Facebook for business? We think there are certain tasks you need to do to reach your objectives.
Post to Facebook Consistently
Posting in a consistent way keeps your message in front of Facebook users. When you post only sporadically and have too much time between posts, you send a haphazard message. Creating an editorial calendar for your social media marketing effort will keep you on task. People like to see consistent posts and will come to look for them. The standard rule of thumb is to post on your Facebook business page at a minimum of two or three times a week, but once per day is recommended to keep your business in front of your followers. Posting more often than that could be construed as crowding your fans, but you can decide what seems appropriate for your products and audience.
We found from a couple of different sources that 1) the highest traffic occurs mid-week between 1 to 3 p.m. (source: bit.ly blog) and 2) a Facebook post at 7 p.m. results in more clicks on average than a posting at 8 p.m. (source: Forbes.com). So, what this tells us is that you may reach more consumers during peak usage times, but people may be more engaged in the evenings. Additionally, engagement is higher on Thursdays and Fridays (source: bit.ly.blog). Trial and error will give you more information for your own business regarding the “best” times for your postings.
Post to Entertain and Inform
People use Facebook for a lot of different reasons—staying in touch and connecting with others, learning and being informed about new products and services that are available, and being entertained. But, we maintain that being entertained is an overall desire people have even when their goal is to be informed. This means that you need to make your posts not only meaningful but also entertaining in order to grab your audience’s attention and keep it.
Using pictures and videos is a great way to achieve this. Visual content has become a requirement for social media postings. Information from hubspot.com in the article “How to Create a Facebook Business Page” tells us that visual content is “40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.” One of the Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons on Facebook business pages is “Watch Video” because it is such a prevalent way to get content. Using both pre-recorded and “live” videos engages consumers and keeps your message in front of them. Using images and videos of your products is a great way to show your customers how to use them and why they need them in their life.
Use Call-to-Action Buttons
Be sure you give the consumer a reason to act and an easy way to do so – this is key and you can do this from your Facebook business page by using CTA buttons. Through the “Add a Button” option on your page you can select the CTA you want to create and the URL and/or existing content on your Facebook page you want to direct visitors to. This is extremely important in seizing on the initial interest people may have to your brand and products. Don’t just post and never ask the audience to do anything or assume they will go the extra step to find your website. Make it easy for them!
Optimize the information you publish about your website in the “About” section. Put your mission, your story, and a general description with descriptive copy. This gives your audience a feel for your business before they decide to like it.
You can also set up a “Shop” section on your Facebook business page in order to sell products directly.
Target Your Audience with Facebook Ads
Creating a Facebook ad is one of the best ways to introduce your online business to a targeted market. A Facebook ad promotes your page and it is easy to create. When you click the 3 dots at the top menu bar above a post, you can then select “Create Ad.” From this point, Facebook lets you start creating an ad from scratch based on your goals, like creating reach or generating traffic or even simply generating brand awareness.
Ads are exponentially more effective when you target them to certain audiences to whom you want to market. You can even segment individual page posts by gender, relationship status, educational status, age, location, language, or interests. You choose the amount of money you want to spend daily and the number of days the ad will go out. As with everything, this works best when you do it consistently. But, you will find your fans increase rapidly using Facebook ads!
By using these 4 tips for using Facebook to promote your online business and by being consistent, you will begin to build your brand and your fan base. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if you are diligent and patient!