How to best use Facebook, both posts and ads, to get to the right audience and elicit the right response.
“Get rid of fats at 70% off now! Painless, no surgeries, professional doctors, and quick, guaranteed results!”
“I had $2.11 in my bank account 3 months ago. And now I own a house in Beverly Hills and driving the car of my dreams! Find out now through this absolutely FREE WEBINAR!”
“Learn how to reach ALL your prospects easily today with no requirement for an upfront deposit, no stock, no experience. All you need is your desire to MAKE IT HAPPEN NOW!”
I don’t know about you but these were (they’re not verbatim, of course) the kinds of ads I saw the whole year through. It looked like Digital Marketing GURUS were sprouting out from every manhole on earth. Albeit, after enrolling in Webinars (or two), watching YouTube videos, and listening to TED talks.
Whatever you may take away from this, I hope it serves you in the end. Here are my short takes on using Facebook ad promotions going forward.
1 – Do NOT NOT Use Facebook Ads
Say what you will about Facebook Ads, its reach, and audience, whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, Facebook has the kind of stranglehold on a large percentage of the world that it is hard not to ignore.
If you’re asking if Facebook Ads is suitable for B2B businesses, my answer is ‘yes’ but it is not the most suitable, nor is it the most effective. Remember that whoever is behind the corporation, business, or organization you’re targeting, humans are behind that screen.
Those humans probably have a Facebook account or go home to a family of people who rummage through the bowels of Facebook to connect with their friends on the social media platform.
I’ve personally sworn off Facebook and yet, I can’t escape it and still log in to lurk around its dark corners once in a while to watch funny videos posted by Groups and my friends.
Facebook has made it a point not to showcase authentic, organic posts (especially if you’re a Facebook Page) because they want you to pay for traffic.
How else do you think Zucker-boy is so rich?
Unless someone is actively searching up your Facebook page/business, came from a link or referral, you’re probably not going to get any ‘free traffic’ from having just a Facebook presence.
The good news is that placing Facebook ads is targetable and affordable.
2 – Not Having a Corporate Mission, Strategy, or Brand Value
One of the reasons why I continue to purchase from some of the businesses I’ve found on Facebook is because they had missions that hit the right note with me. Over the years, they’ve kept to the same tone and were personally invested in their businesses and this is very assuring to me.
Facebook ad promotions and whatever you’ve posted on your Facebook Page should be as consistent as possible so that your consumers, especially your loyal ones, are not confused with the sudden change of direction.
Your Facebook Page and its promotions should display the same tone of voice, brand image, and personality as your website and corporate identity.
Imagine browsing through a website that is all black-tie and curtsy only to find a fun-loving, emoji-loving person running the Facebook Page and its promotions. You’d wonder if you’re on the right page and doubt if the team actually shares the same vision and mission.
This is particularly true when you’re either replying to your customers’ comments or messaging them on Messenger. The tone of voice has to be the same – courteous, kind, understanding, empathetic, helpful, and professional.
3 – Experiment with Different Ways to Get Your Message Across
I know most of us have got a template down pat. Anyone in the Social Media team would have access to the template – whether you’re a graphic designer, social media manager, or copywriter – and would not venture too far away from the template itself.
While it is perfectly fine to have a template, let it be just a reference point, not the words of the Bible.
What we don’t realize is that most small companies and advertising agencies’ Facebook templates look and sound pretty much the same by now. If we don’t step outside of our comfort zone, we’re not going to stand out. It’s going to be hard for you to capture the attention of your desired group of Facebook users if you don’t venture out into the unknown.
You need to get creative.
Some social media managers try to up the game with infographics, videos, photos, and other forms of media to get extra eyeballs and that’s going in the right direction. The problem lies in the fact that the focus is on trying to get the post to ‘go viral’.
Most viral content is authentic, off-the-cuff, impromptu, original, raw, filled with emotions and revealing. That’s a very high bar for most businesses, especially large corporations since they’ve got red tapes to cut through. What we should focus on is providing consistent engagement and assistance to improve shares, likes, and comments.
Not everyone can be witty and politically correct at the same time but if you have a social media team who can nail this, keep the team!
4 – People WON’T Find You EVENTUALLY Without You Spending Ad Money
Chances are, they won’t find you unless you’re getting people to help you spread the word around on either social media or plugging your links around on your website(s), third-party comments sections, and begging for linkbacks.
Success on Facebook requires some form of ad spend and testing.
What stops people in their tracks is money. Don’t think you have the funds to spend on Facebook ads? The truth is it doesn’t cost a lot.
You can even spread the ad spend over days, weeks, or months by testing out different graphics, formats, content, copy, video, etc.
Testing out those ads and figuring out what works will save you money in the long run. So, think of it as a form of investment in your business. In the end, you know what works and won’t be throwing money down the drain on things that DON’T WORK
When you’re spending the right amount of money on Facebook ads that work, you’ll be effectively spending less money for leads.
5 – Hey There, Don’t Be a Stranger
Even when you’re a B2B business and have a tightrope to walk when it comes to corporate branding, it pays to get up close and personal with your followers and people you’re trying to connect with.
People like interacting with people, not robots. It doesn’t take much time for people to figure out that they’re chatting it up with a chatbot. Human beings only have a positive experience on social media when they know their opinions, thoughts, reviews, and feedback are being heard.
The more opportunities you give them to provide you with their thoughts and ideas, the better the engagement. Then you’ll enjoy more loyalty and foster trust.
Even as a corporate brand, always identify yourself by name when replying to social media feedback.
For instance, starting off your reply with ‘Hi, my name is Sarah. I am the customer service agent of XXX and I really want to help you. Can you provide me with the details in Direct Message?’
6 – Dig Deep Into Your Facebook Analytics
You can check activities on your Facebook page for the last 28 days to see:
- Actions on Page
- Page Views
- Page Previews
- Page Likes
- Post Engagement
- Page Followers
Although it doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about your audience, followers, and fans, it DOES tell you where they’re from, engagement rate, posts that have resonated with them, etc.
The one thing we should all watch out for is your ‘responsiveness score’. This tells you how quickly you’ve been responding to queries, questions, comments, and requests on Facebook over time.
Neil Patel, someone I follow on social media and via his newsletters, has loads to say about using some pretty unconventional Facebook Marketing tactics. I don’t have to agree with everything he suggests here in this article because I don’t do the whole mass invite, mass message, and private message thing.
If you’re fine with this, go ahead. He’s, after all, the mastermind of many internet marketing ideas that has seen massive success over the years.
7 – Focus Local if You Are a Local Business
People think that the more number of followers or fans one has on their social media account, the better. This cannot be further from the truth. If you’re a local business – say, you’re a hair salon in Ely, Cambridgeshire – would it matter if you’ve suddenly gained a large number of followers and fans from Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.?
Obviously not. It only looks phenomenal on the outside; it’s not going to matter to your bottom line. In fact, as you continue to post content, ads, or stories on your Facebook, these people will start tuning out of your content and – ack…yes, they’ll unfollow you in the end.
The unfollow rate and low engagement rate will hurt your social media clout.
So, when you’re putting out Facebook ads to promote your business, be specific about the kinds of people you wish to reach and engage with. Don’t bother yourself with the number of followers and fans – instead, look at the engagement rate and retention.
Thanks for reading this far. We’ve all had a tough year and as a business, as a person, and as a family member, I totally get how one problem can compound on top of another, making it a rabbit hole. Without a doubt, Facebook is one of the best ways for small to medium businesses to get a foot through the door in the digital realm. I hope you’re able to make headway with your efforts.
Featured Image Credit: Erik Mclean | @introspectivedsgn | Unsplash