How to use Facebook to grow your business

If only having the most beautiful website on the internet was enough to have customers pouring through your doors.  Unfortunately the harsh reality is that your perfect little website is swimming in an ocean filled with whales and sharks and giant squid, and by that I mean larger or more established websites, that are already getting the traffic that you want. These big fish have done the hard work or put in the money it takes to make sure they capture the largest chunk of the market. As a startup it means you are probably short on money and resources to get the public flowing in.

So what can you do to start generating traffic immediately?

The answer is: Promote! Promote! Promote! And then Promote again!


So why Facebook?

This should be a no brainer really, you are already promoting your selfies, pictures of your baby, pics of your meals, pics of cute kittens or whatever else you can imagine to your friends and family. So it makes total sense to promote your business on Facebook to, since there are billions of people reading and interacting with content already available on the platform.

Promoting on Facebook will take some effort on your part.

But don’t think that your business related posts will generate half the amount of attention that your vacation pics did, since Facebook is generally a social network and not everyone likes to see advertising in their face all the time, not even from their friends. When you start your Facebook campaign approach it on a gradient and make sure that you actually create a Facebook Business Page, as this will give you a lot more credibility and allow you to keep your personal and business profiles apart.

likesBuild page likes

Once your page is up and you are satisfied that it looks the part, it’s advisable that you start building as many page likes as you can. Why? Because every page like you get plugs you right into that person’s news feed. From that point on, whatever you post to your business timeline will eventually appear on theirs too. The first step is to invite all your friends, but that will only get about 50 or so likes, so now what? Here is where you might have to spend a little money to get that initial boost to reach 1000, although money is not a prerequisite.

If you create a little Facebook Page Like Campaign though Facebook’s ad manager you can easily reach your first 1000 in your first month, depending on your budget. Make sure you actually target an audience that might be interested in your products or services to guarantee good results. Also run a few ads against each other so that you can see what types of images create the best response and kill the ads that aren’t performing. You can play around with the wording too, but probably 80% of the determining factor of whether a person clicks the like button or not will be the image used in the ad.

You could also go around promoting your page on other free groups to score some likes there. Your organic posts will also generate a few page likes here and there, but a good advertising campaign will ensure your audience grows really quickly.

Post regular content to your page

Once you have your audience in place you can start the real outflow of promotion. Consider the following 3 points when writing your organic posts, implement at least one of them for your content to be effective.

  1. Informative and useful
  2. Create an emotional response
  3. Prompt action

Informative posts will give you credibility and might earn you a few more followers, and could even transform into direct leads.

Posts that create an emotional response will create a lot of activity and engagement on the post, which will help boost it’s viral effect and gain you a larger audience.

Posts that prompt an action from users will be key to creating website conversions. These are the sorts of posts where you promote specials, competitions or your products directly. These are also the types of posts that will work really well as conversion targeted Facebook ads.

You should try and have a mix of all 3 types of posts for best results, but 1 and 2 might not be so easy for some types of businesses. Some products although very useful will have trouble to generate a real emotional response. Number 3 is the most important, because what are you doing all this effort for, in the first place?  To get people to take action and buy from you of course!

Facebook advertising can be very powerful

Obviously not all products are the same and some companies will get very little benefit from advertising on Facebook, but a lot of products and services out there are perfect for this medium. How do you know if your products or services are made for Facebook?  Well, firstly is your product very visual? or can it at least be interpreted visually with ease? And secondly, is your audience on Facebook to begin with? If so, can you target them specifically?

thumbs

Facebook is a visual medium mostly

Probably around 80% of your timeline will filled with images and video, so trying to advertise on Facebook without intriguing imagery will be doomed from the outset. Make sure you can get hold of or create striking imagery for your Facebook ad campaigns as well as organic posts, because these images will be the main reason people click on your ads or posts.

Don’t waste money, showing your ads to the wrong audience

Not everyone will buy a website from us, so it makes no sense for us to target anyone on our Facebook marketing who likely won’t. We know full well that our target market is a very select audience and we always make sure that we only target this audience so as to not waste views and clicks on time wasters. Facebook as a massive array of demographic and interest filtering options available to you, so you can define your target audience quite clearly. You can even target your competitor’s fans or the friends of people who have already liked your page. A little time spent playing around with audiences and comparing them to each other can go a long way to save you ad budget money.

Keep optimizing and adding to your campaign

No one wants to see the same ad 3 million times on their timeline, so make sure you keep producing new ads as regularly as you can. Pause ads that show a poor conversion rate, because the money spent on that ad could flow into creating more conversions with an ad that doesn’t cost much to convert. Also take a look at who seems to be responding well to your ads. It might just be worth it to target only that segment of your audience. For example: typically younger audiences (18-14) do not convert well as they tend to be students, who aren’t earning enough of money yet.

Always track conversions!!!

What good is all this effort if you have no idea what happens between that big space between when the user first saw your ad and eventually contacted you, or didn’t contact you. Embedding a Facebook pixel on your site is quite easy to do but if you need help talk to us or your developer. You need to be able to keep track of your efforts or you will never know if what you are doing is even working.

I hope this brief overview will give you some direction as to where to get started and what you can do to promote using Facebook, and I truly feel that it can be a very powerful tool if you use it correctly. Remember OUTFLOW = INFLOW! Facebook shouldn’t be your only source of outflow, but it is a good place to start.

Johan Marneweck
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