Social Media 101: Effective Ways to Use Facebook for Marketing
It has proven its power not only for connecting people, but also for connecting businesses with consumers.
However, while a lot of businesses swear by Facebook, quite a few entrepreneurs have gotten nothing out of it but frustration. For them, marketing on Facebook is simply hard labor for little gain, and all too time consuming.
But is it really hard? A better question would be: Should marketing on Facebook be inherently difficult?
The following is a list of practical tips gleaned from top marketers who have enjoyed the benefits of promoting their products and services on Facebook.
Ultimately, it’s about value
When you offer and deliver value, you will give people a reason to follow you on Facebook or like your Facebook page.
Offer something useful to your followers. Give them information and links that will entertain, provide them with quick solutions, or educate them about areas that connect to their most pressing concerns.
If you’re running an online store, consider providing coupons, special discounts, and daily tips on how people can save on their shopping.
If you are promoting a weight-loss program, provide free practical lessons that visitors can use right away, without revealing too many of your trade secrets.
Always be relevant
People follow Facebook pages and profiles because they expect to gain relevant knowledge and news from them.
Facebook is a huge ocean of social noise. If you keep your content closely related to your niche or industry, you will help your followers filter the noise. They will love you for that. So when you share images, videos, verbiage, or infographics, don’t just share what is fun. Share what is relevant.
If you run a Facebook profile on personal development, for example, choose YouTube videos that convey inspirational messages. Select infographics that show people how to stay motivated while at work.
And to encourage participation, allow your audience to post relevant content on your page. They will like that, because it gives them a little ownership in your page. They will appreciate you even more if you acknowledge them accordingly.
Remember to stay relevant. One or two examples of irrelevant content might be just enough to cool off some of your followers.
Increase engagement by asking questions
A lot of people love to participate in polls and surveys because that gives folks a chance to air their feelings about certain issues.
That’s one of the best things about Facebook pages. You can post questions on your page to check the pulse of your audience and get direct responses.
When you poll your audience, ask them questions related to your industry. Again, relevance is key for success.
Ask them questions such as how your audience feels about your latest product. Find out what sort of information they would like to see in your next blog post. Check on what sort of industry information they would like to receive updates about.
We are becoming ever more visual beings online. Nearly everyone is more engaged by imagery. That’s why it’s smart to include relevant photos with some of your posts — not just to increase engagement, but to help you foster a better connection with your audience.
Be sure to keep your followers informed of any milestone you reach, and invite them to celebrate it with you. People like to be part of a community and they tend to enjoy communal celebrations. If you’ve reached 100,000 followers, be sure to call that to the attention of your followers. They’ll appreciate being alerted to the fact that they belong to an actively growing community.
Always be creative
Facebook marketing is not just all about you. Think about ways to get your followers participating in all your Facebook activities.
For example, you can find out which day your followers are most active on Facebook and ask them to share the most interesting content they’ve found on that day. Or you can ask bloggers to post their most interesting content during that day. What this does is create a sense of belonging and increases your followers’ loyalty.
Promote an ongoing interaction
What’s the most devastating thing you can do with your Facebook page? It’s updating your page only when you’ve got something to promote.
Don’t treat your Facebook page as just a marketing channel for which your audience is just a list of names for you. Remember that your followers chose to like your page because they believed they would gain some regular value from it.
Strive to interact with your audience on a consistent basis. If you intend to interact with them once or twice a day, stick to it. If you plan on interacting with them three times a week, do that religiously.
The trick is to find out what your audience likes. Identify what makes them feel important. What are they craving? It’s important to know these things so you can plan on what to deliver each time you post a piece of content on your Facebook page.
Measure your efforts
One of the best ways to improve your Facebook marketing strategy is to measure your efforts on a consistent basis, too. Facebook marketing is not an automated marketing campaign. It still requires some manual effort to get people to like your page, to post content, and to keep everybody engaged.
Find out what works and what doesn’t by taking advantage of Facebook’s built-in analytics tool. Investigate how many unique fans your campaign has generated. Determine which of your campaigns has elicited the most likes. Check on your conversion rates, loyalty, and other important statistics that could point the way to future marketing strategies in this particular arena.
By measuring your efforts, you will understand your followers better, enabling you to come up with more effective ways to streamline your offers.
All indicators point to Facebook’s continued growth for years to come. Other social networking sites might take Facebook’s place in the future, but at present, one thing remains very clear: with billions of active users, Facebook is the reigning champion in the social media arena.
No matter what you’ve been doing up to now, you can surely use social media marketing on Facebook to greater advantage. By properly using it and making full use of the tools Facebook puts at your disposal, you will see dramatic results from your social media marketing efforts.
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