There are almost 1.5 Billion people on Facebook. Nearly 1 Billion visit there every single day. That does not mean success on Facebook is easy. The noise and competition make it more difficult for brands. Most brands are on Facebook simply because they know that’s where they have to be. Few however understand how to best utilize it. With social media changing seemingly everyday, it’s important to not only understand the trends but how to plan for the future. The platform offers a number of ways businesses can take advantage of Facebook advertising and Facebook marketing.
New school Facebook success is buried in an old school secret.
What are Brands Doing Wrong
Focusing on Fans
Building a fanbase is not wrong, it’s the way these brands go about it. They are focusing on quantity and price over quality. To build the base they want, these brands are running contests and poorly targeted ads to people who probably won’t buy from them.
Focusing on Reach
At the top of the list, brands want as many fans for as little money as possible. Their thought process is simple, “who cares about quality!”. Then, when it comes time to measure, they focus on reach.
This is an issue.
The problem is, more often than not, these brands aren’t building a quality fan base in the first place. Because of this, the reach isn’t going to be great. The other problem is that their reach really isn’t a metric worth noting. It’s the ACTIONS THAT FOLLOW.
Focusing on Engagement
Now that a brand has a fanbase of people who really don’t care, they follow a metric that isn’t great, engagement. More often than not, brands realize that reach doesn’t tell them everything – They want engagement. Since it’s the likes, comments and shares they tell them how much people love them, they start sharing photos. Lots of photos and lots of videos. This causes another shift in focus to whether people are engaging with their content or not.
Unfortunately, this is flimsy at best as well. Engagement doesn’t tell us much since you invest in engagement. It is impossible to build anything long-term with comments, likes, shares and whatever other clicks you’re looking at.
Focusing on Sales
This little section is for the brands that look at only one thing, the bottom line. They want sales and once they have sales, they want more sales and the number of sales is how they measure their success.
No one likes being sold to, especially if it’s constant. Let’s be honest, it’s annoying. Additionally, if you’re selling to the wrong people, don’t expect much, if any success.
What Should Brands Do?
Looking at it from a 30,000 foot view, they should be building an audience of people who actually care about them. They should also be creating a ton of helpful content, investing in their website and driving people to it. Brands should also be building that website traffic to help build their Facebook audience which, in turn, will help drive more traffic, which drives more fans, which drives more sales.
Let’s take a closer look, of what your brand should be doing, step by step.
Invest in Your Website
While we’ve been talking about Facebook, your website is paramount in your success on Facebook. Before jumping to Facebook, be sure your website is exactly how it needs to be. Get the branding down, make sure it’s mobile responsive and know your voice. What’s more is to assign resources to creating quality content. This is important because it does take time brainstorming, creating, editing and promoting. On top of that, content creation is always on going.
Create Helpful Content
Answer someone’s questions, solve a problem and create helpful content that people actually care about. The best way to do this is to keep your target audience in mind. Make a list of all the questions they have related to your niche or problems that your products and services solves. Your customer service and sales team will be your biggest assets here. These questions are the cornerstones of your blog content with your most commonly asked questions as the titles of the blog posts.
The large majority of your posts will have nothing to do with your product. For example, if you are a business loan company, talking points like:
- How much revenue do you need to get a loan?
- What information is required to get a loan?
- What type of loan should I get?
Share the Content
Fair warning, if your business is like the brands we’ve been talking about, when you write this content, your traffic won’t be bad, it will be terribly bad. Unfortunately, early on, there’s no way to avoid it. Reason being is we’re in the process of building your foundation.
Share your content on Facebook, even if you don’t have a ton of fans, or very few fans that don’t care about you. Share it. Be sure however, it is high quality and interesting. Try to start a conversation with it and inspire the audience to read. You have other channels you can communicate with your audience, like maybe email, share it there too.
Promote the Content
You want a big audience to see your content right? The best way to do this is by paying to reach people who will see value in your content. Spend a little money ($5.00-$10.00/day for 3-5 days can be huge) to not only share with your own fan base, but to an audience with related interests. You can do this simply by using Facebook’s Ad Platform. Using this, you’re able to target people based on lifestyle, location, buying histories and even income.
Create a Website Custom Audience and Target it
Now that we are driving traffic to the website, if you haven’t yet, it’s time to create a Website Custom Audience. While this is something that should have been done when the website was created, there’s no reason to worry because it’s only valuable when traffic comes in.
When you start promoting your content, many people will ignore it, but there will be those who will click so it’s important that we capture them. Create a Website Custom Audience of all website visitors during the past 6 months. Doing this ensures the audience will be as big as possible while being relevant enough to want to reach them again.
By using Website Custom Audiences, those who clicked your ad are now added to an audience that you can target later. As the website traffic increases, so does the Website Custom Audience. As the Website Custom Audience grows, you can start spending more money targeting a more specific audience.
Build Your Email List
At this point, we’ve been driving traffic to your website by sharing and promoting quality content. Additionally, your Website Custom Audience is growing as is your fan base. Now, we need to build your email list. You’ve been creating quality content but now we can package some of that content (maybe into an ebook?).
Share this lead machine with your fans. Continue to promote it to your fans and your website custom audience. You could even go further and have an opt-in widget on your site.
Sell Your Stuff
We have the quality content that your target audience wants and you’re using that content to drive people from Facebook to your website. Remarketing is working great with those who have been to your website to build your fan case and you’re even building an email list.
Time to sell!
You’ve got an email list, make sure to email those people regarding your product/service. Also, you have a relevant audience of website visitors, target those fans with ads that sell your product or service. You could even target your prior website visitors who aren’t fans.
When website traffic is good, it opens the door for more opportunities such as targeting website visitors based on specific pages they’ve visited.
This is not a short-term process. Create, share and promote quality content. The more content you create the more content you can promote. The more content you promote, the more traffic you drive. The more traffic you drive, the more relevant people you can target to read more content, join your email list but most importantly, buy stuff! Take advantage of Facebook advertising and Facebook marketing, the ROI you will see, if done correctly will provide you with tons of benefits.