Social media is one of the best free marketing resources out there for small businesses and solopreneurs. You can market to your target audience affordably through posts, engagement, flash sales, and more.
According to Wordstream research, Facebook is the most widely used social media platform. About 79 percent of all Internet users have a Facebook profile, and 76 percent go on Facebook daily. That’s a huge pool of potential clients you can tap into if you develop a good strategy.
“On Facebook, you have the opportunity to have a business page and also to share some of your business know-how as part of your branding with your friends on your personal page,” advises Mandi Gould of Barker Social. “It’s important not to overdo it on your personal page, but it’s also very important not to ignore the power of your personal Facebook network.”
In other words, don’t go into this without recognizing some of the most important elements of a successful Facebook marketing campaign.
- A Goal in Mind
You can set any Facebook campaign goal, but the most basic objectives would include raising brand awareness, boosting conversions, and handling customer consideration, which includes such functions as engagement, traffic, video views, and lead generation.
Do some research on your business and study effective Facebook campaigns to select the appropriate goals for your strategy.
- An Optimized Facebook Profile
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you mustn’t launch your Facebook campaign until you’ve created a Facebook business page and optimized the profile. That would include your name, website, street address and hours of operation (if linked to a physical business), contact information, and a basic “About” section. It’s also important to post images and your brand logo to help customers remember you.
- A Great Website
If your Facebook campaign becomes successful, you’ll attract more traffic and conversions on your main website. If that site is outdated, non-responsive, unprofessional, and unhelpful, however, customers aren’t likely to connect with you.
“Together, social media channels and your website should work seamlessly to promote your online brand,” says Mallory Woodrow of Social Media Examiner. This stresses the importance of a strong website to drive Facebook conversions.
It can be expensive to build a great website, but it’s going to be more costly to lose customers because your website didn’t welcome them effectively.
- Targeted Customers
No marketing strategy is successful if it hasn’t identified the ideal target market. If you’re experiencing low engagement on your Facebook page, the problem is most likely an inaccurate grasp of your customers.
Use buyer personas to study ages, occupations, obstacles, habits, likes, dislikes, interests, motivations, incomes, locations, problems, and pains. Once you’ve developed a few personas, you can target your marketing efforts more intelligently where they’ll do the most good.
- A Personalized Customer Experience
After you’ve identified buyer personas, it becomes easier to create the personalized experience your customers crave. Being genuine in your posts and comments is the most important. Let your personality shine through; use characteristic adjectives and descriptions to make the content fun and interesting.
Your customer personas will direct these efforts. When you understand your target audience, you should know what kind of posts will appeal to them.
Keep things interesting on your Facebook page with multiple kinds of content. The Wordstream research cited above showed that 100 million hours of videos are watched every day on Facebook.
You’ve likely heard this before, but 93 percent of all human communication is visual because the brain processes that faster than text. So it’s tactically sharp to weave images, graphs, charts, memes, infographics, videos, and whatever else you can into your social posts.
- Contests, Giveaways, and Promotions
Facebook’s endless scroll can be a curse for Facebook marketers, because it conditions many consumers to scroll by all the posts, including yours. But if you give people a reason to stop, perhaps with a chance to win a grand prize, an irresistible discount, or a giveaway, you’re more likely to snag engagement.
“A Facebook contest is a great way to achieve your goals in social media,” states an article from Wishpond. “One Facebook contest can give you the same return on investment as hundreds of pieces of content, saving you hours.”
Host regular promotional events to help increase your sales, generate leads, and increase your social following.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Key performance indicators can help you work toward a worthwhile goal. If you’re running a small business, you should monitor the following KPIs, at the very least:
Focus on such details as profile visits, active followers, likes, shares, traffic data, brand mentions, and customers who started on your Facebook page. As you watch these numbers, you’ll develop a more detailed sense of how your campaign is performing.
- A Way to Measure Progress
When you monitor your KPIs, keep track of your progress. If you can’t see where you’ve come from, it’s harder to achieve a goal. Use Facebook Insights and other measurement tools to measure your progress.
“If you’re using social media, you should be measuring it,” recommends Neil Patel of Kissmetrics. “But don’t measure just for the sake of having metrics. Instead, measure your social activities so that you can learn what’s successful, what isn’t, and how you can improve.”
- A Content Marketing Calendar
Consistency and frequency are two key elements of a strong social media marketing campaign. You can stay on schedule and plan post performance with a good content calendar.
All it takes is a simple spreadsheet in which you map topics, headlines, links, dates, and more. If you want to become a little more tech savvy, there are also dozens of great tools that can plan your content and automate its publication: Hootsuite, Social Oomph, and Agora Pulse are all highly recommended calendar tools.
Facebook is one of the best sources for lead generation. Because it’s a widely integrated network of followers, you have access to thousands of people at a time, even when you’re only a very small company.
One of the best ways to generate leads is through contests, giveaways, and other freebies. Any of these can promote your products broadly and draw more sales.
- Integrated Email Marketing
A holistic approach to marketing is best, and integrating email marketing with your Facebook campaign is one of the greatest strategies. You might offer a freebie, discount, or giveaway to any follower who drops their email in the comments. Add it to your email list, and curate regular emails to generate conversions.
- An Eye on the Competition
There are currently more than 50 million businesses using Facebook Business Pages, according to Hootsuite. So it’s likely that hundreds of other Facebook business pages offer similar products or services to yours.
Don’t take your eye off the competition. Use tools like Social Mention, Google Alerts, and other sly online tools to watch how your competitors are doing. Get a sense of whatever they do well and what may not be working to get ideas for your own campaign.
- An Adequate Budget
Facebook for marketing purposes is quite affordable, which is why it’s such a boon to small businesses and solopreneurs. Your campaign will perform better, though, if you can throw a little money into it.
Aside from Facebook advertisements, you might spring for tools that assist graphic design or video production. You could also invest in paid monitoring or organizational tools.
Think about which tools may bring the highest return on investment, and budget your resources accordingly.
- Facebook Ads
About 2 million businesses subscribe to Facebook advertising, according to the Hootsuite research mentioned above. Facebook offers unique geo-targeting capabilities that put your ads in front of the people most likely to use them.
“Most small businesses fail at Facebook advertising, however, because they find it too complex, or are not executing on the right strategy,” warns Maggie Aland of FitSmallBusiness.com. She counsels not go over the top with your investment in Facebook ads, but allocate only a small amount to that area.
Facebook is typically more affordable than other kinds of marketing, and it should expand your business more quickly and help you connect with your target audience much better.