Online Marketing – Part 6: Facebook.
“In any given week, less than 0.5% of Facebook fans engage with the brand they are fans of.” (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute 2012)
A shocking statistic that would make most business owners want to give up on Facebook immediately but is it true? In this post we will tell you why your business should be using Facebook and give you few tips on how to do this properly.
Let’s begin by saying that research into the value of Facebook as a marketing tool hasn’t so far produced clear results. One study concluded that just because someone ‘liked’ your Facebook page, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this person advocates your brand or product.
But on the other hand according to research by Ipsos (2013), 38% of people have recommended a brand they “like” or follow on a social network. This in fact is supported by other research conducted by Zuberance (2012) which found that 35% of brand advocates make recommendations through Facebook.
See what we mean about the research not providing clear results?
The value of a ‘like’ on your business Facebook page mustn’t be underestimated. Firstly, once someone has ‘liked’ your page, they will see your posts on their timeline if you get them right.
What do we mean by them needing to be ‘right’? Well, Facebook have recently made a number of changes which really affect smaller businesses – one being that they effectively ‘hide’ many business posts and if you want your posts to be seen, it can feel like paying to boost your post is the only way.
Whilst you may be outraged by the thought of paying for your posts to be seen, it is worth remembering that actually, it is very cheap compared to other more standard forms of advertising and you can make it very targeted. Click on the ‘Create ads’ option on the dropdown menu on your Facebook page and explore all the ad options to get a better feel for them.
Still not convinced that you should have to pay? Work on improving your engagement. Once Facebook sees that people are liking and commenting on your posts, it is more likely to show your updates to them as it notes they are interested in seeing this.
Here’s another dismal statistic – “While 75% of millennials have “liked” an organisation on Facebook, once they do so, 69% rarely or never return to the fan page.” (Appalachian State University). However, if your content is right for your audience, this doesn’t have to be the case.
The best ways to improve engagement:
- Make it visual. Good quality photos that show off your brand or team will often do well as people like to ‘see’ – animal pictures also do really well! Videos are also perfect for this, take them from YouTube or upload your own content if you have it. Show people rather than tell them!
- Create debate. People love to share their opinions and talk about themselves – that’s the whole reason they’re on social media in the first place! Asking questions for your consumer’s opinions, i.e “What would you like to see us start stocking in the shop?”, will get people involved. Once they’ve commented on your post, your next one will be more likely to show up on their homepage.
- Competitions. If you can, put a service or product up to be won if people ‘Like and Share’ or ‘Like and Comment’. We all love free stuff and if all we have to do is click a couple of buttons to be in with a chance, most people will do it. Make sure the product is popular and that you make T&Cs very clear, for example, you don’t want someone from abroad winning and you to be hit with big postage costs because you didn’t make clear it was a UK-based competition!
Other tips include advertising your Facebook page EVERYWHERE. Pop a sign up on your counter with the username on and include it on any regular advertising you do. Mix up the kind of content you post and see what’s most popular with your followers; different businesses will find different things work but one rule of thumb for Facebook is to keep the tone light. People are on Facebook to be social so use your page to post about the lighter side of the business or introduce team members. Finally, make use of the Facebook insights to understand your follower’s habits and when they’re online, then post at those times.
Most importantly, have fun with it…and experiment! Oh and while you’re at it, why don’t you like our page 😉