Facebook for business? Without a doubt. Here is why.
Facebook has become a keystone of our society since its advent in 2005. It is arguably the biggest innovation of our society since the internet. In fact, when I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant, I would joke with my students on the first day of class, “Do you all have Facebook so that you can get the internet?” Granted this was a few years ago (when I say few, it could really mean many!), yet the best way to communicate with my students was through Facebook.
I could call, text, and email to no avail, but as soon as I would send a Facebook message, I was sure to get a prompt reply.
Since Facebook championed the Social Media scene, many other platforms have cut into its share of social media dominance. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and many others are growing rapidly and becoming more and more relevant. It is important to keep them in mind as well when developing your social media strategy.
Facebook may have started out as a medium for college kids but it has expanded to all demographics and can be an extremely effective tool for marketing your business.
Although many people, starting with Millennials and younger, have shunned Facebook because it is considered for “old” people, Facebook is still King when it comes to Digital Marketing and reaching your target audience. This is especially true if you are targeting regular consumers. If you are B2B business, LinkedIn is probably your best bet, but you should probably
If you have a business, you should have a Facebook business page. It allows you to connect with your customers in an authentic way. If you do not, you are missing out on a ton of free advertising and potential business, not to mention the potential of the paid advertising available.
This article will focus on Facebook for business and how to utilize it to achieve your full Digital Marketing potential. Some of the topics we will cover are writing quality content posts, replying to comments and reviews, posting frequency and timing, Facebook Ads, Analytics, and other ways to promote engagement and gain exposure for your brand.
Why Facebook for Business
Let’s start with the biggest reason you should be using Facebook for business. It is quite simple; your customers are using it! According to Facebook, as of May 2017, there are over 1.94 billion active users worldwide. Of those, 1.74 billion access Facebook on a mobile device. This makes Facebook a traveling ad, following your customers around as they go about their day.
Engaging with your customers on Facebook builds trusting relationships. While engaging with your followers, you can feature your employees or promote the community cleanup your business helped with last weekend. These types of posts will remind your customers that you are human and further encourage engagement on your page.
A second reason to use Facebook for business is paid ads. If done properly, Facebook ads can be highly targeted and help you increase your revenue. With the addition of Facebook Ads in 2012, Facebook has given businesses the unique ability to specifically target their niche market and ideal customers. The features available in Facebook ads can be tweaked to only make your ad visible to those that are most likely to buy.
Thirdly, by engaging your customers with great content, they are going to spread your brand for you by sharing it with their friends. This is extremely beneficial for your business as it allows potential prospects to see your products within the context of their friends. This makes your brand more trustworthy and increases the likelihood of further engagement. Plus, you gain a larger base of followers for no cost.
Post Quality Content
Posting on Facebook for business can be broken down into a simple formula consisting of content, frequency, time and relevance.
Using Facebook for business is integral to your digital marketing strategy.
Digital Marketing, when broken down into one thing for success, is good content. All the major search engines are now smart enough to recognize good content and place it high on their search results. Your Facebook posts for business need to have good content to create engagement. What is good content? In short, good content is something that is useful to those who pursue it. It must contain relevant information that has value to the user.
To start a post, you need a good headline or catchphrase. Good headlines engage customers. It is the first thing they will see and sway them to click or move on. Be sure that you are spending time creating good headlines.
Do split tests to determine what types of headlines are creating more engagement. Granted, some of your posts will be primarily image driven and not have a headline. In that case, pick a great image. It may be worth it to spend a dollar at Pixabay or another graphics sight for a good quality image that will not be pixelated or seem like Clipart to your customers.
Informational content about your business is also good content. Well informed customers are more likely to buy. Depending on your business model, there are all sorts of ways for you to generate informational content. You could give updates on new products if you are in the retail niche. If you are in construction, you could post before and after pictures with descriptions to let your customers know what type of work that you can perform.
Pictures and videos help the customer to visualize how buying your product or service will benefit their lives. For any sector of business, posting promotional offers can greatly increase your revenue. New features such as Facebook Live and 360 images are available to enhance what you want your customers to see.
You want to your customer to genuinely feel like they are a part of the experience or product that you are trying to portray. Facebook Live can do this in real time. Otherwise, post images or videos in real time to enhance the customer experience.
When using Facebook for business the frequency of your posts should not overwhelm your customers. Too many posts per day can become “spammy” and turn off your customer base. They may even block your posts or unlike your page. You want to find a balance between informative and annoying. In a three-month study done by SocialBakers, most large brands average 1 post per day as shown below. I am still trying to figure out how brands such as Oreo have figured out how to do a half post though ?.
When using Facebook for business, your business industry also plays a role in post frequency. For instance, a media company is going to post more often with relevant news stories and updates, while a local small business would not benefit from posting as often. The take home is that less than 2 posts per week will lose the engagement of your customers and more than 10 per week, or more than 2 per day, will border on annoying your customers.
An additional study by TrackSocial found that the second post in a day will yield only 57% of the likes and 78% of comments compared to the first post. Additional posts yielded less response with a similar reduction per additional post.
There is also a case to be made for some brands that are posting more than two times per day and having a lot of success. Every platform will have its own sweet spot, so testing should be performed for each individual platform to find the optimal posting frequency.
Time of Day and Relevance
When using Facebook for business the time of day and relevance of the day can also have a large impact on how your Facebook posts perform for your business. The Bit.ly blog reports that the peak user traffic is between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the middle of the week. They also found that engagement is 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays (Bit.ly blog).
Special Holidays also provide a great way to engage your customers. Simply post an image, quote, question, etc. that is specific to the designated day. You can post a combination of an image and a quote or whatever creative way you feel will resonate with your audience. This does not have to be related to your business at all.
For example, On Teacher Appreciation Day, post something teacher related such as an image of a teacher with the question, “What is something that you have learned from an influential teacher in your life?” It does not have to tie into your business, yet rather the goal is to create engagement on your business page.
Another example is before BizTek ToolBox launched its site, we wanted to experiment with paid ads. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I posted an inspirational quote that had relevance to the political climate at the time (the incoming president’s inauguration). For thirty dollars and boosting the post for 48 hours (which I will elaborate on below in the Facebook Ads section), it nearly went viral. Since it was just an experiment to test the waters of Facebook ads I did not put more money into gaining more exposure, yet I have a strong inclination that if I had, it would have gone viral.
The post captured the emotions and mindset of a lot of people at that particular time and performed 8 times better than the estimated exposure given at the time of boosting my post. The timing and relevance of the content were optimal for gaining a large organic reach.
If you are struggling to find good content. Here is a great article by Kevan Lee that feature’s many unique ways to garner good content to share, “17 Unique Places to Find Great Content to Share.”
Now, the ultimate goal of posting on Facebook is to get organic replies and comments. You want to maximize your Post Reach or the number of unique individuals that see your post. The best way to attain post reach is to have your customers share your content. This is engagement and is what is going to drive your brand more than anything else. It is also a free form of advertising.
When using Facebook for business another important aspect of gaining exposure is the use of hashtags (#). This is a type of categorization that helps Facebook and its users discover posts that are relevant to things they are interested in. Using the example above with Martin Luther King, Jr., you may want to include #martinlutherkingday or #ihaveadream. This will allow people interested in those topics to find your post more easily.
The key to creating engagement when using Facebook for business is prompt responses. The sooner you respond to a comment on your post, the more likely you are to create engagement.
If you can respond while the person is still active in Facebook, they are many times more likely to reply to your reply. If you have a business partner or a trusted employee, you may want to have multiple page admins to help better monitor and engage your customers in a timely manner.
The manner in which you respond is vital to creating engagement for your posts. This may seem like a no-brainer, yet always be polite and courteous with your responses, no matter how rude or vicious the posted comment may be.
Replying with an apology and a sincere desire to fix the negative issue that caused the customer’s negative post is a good start to producing productive engagement. Do not give in to the knee-jerk desire to delete negative comments unless they are obscene and not suitable for your site. Rather, use the negative comments to build rapport and enhance your brand.
Always respond, and post for that matter, in a way that prompts engagement. A good way to respond to a comment is with a question that prompts for more information that will be useful to your end goals. Do not respond with questions that only require a “yes” or “no” answer.
Be grateful in your responses and thank your customers for their feedback. Make the customer feel appreciated and they will be more likely to engage your business in the future.
Multiple comments on a post pick up more traction in news feeds than posts that do not have many comments. In this way, a few comments and replies on a post can snowball into a large exposure for your business page and lead to more conversions or sales for your product.
Keep your notifications on; with mobile devices, it is easy to provide fast replies almost anywhere you are. And again, your best chances for people to see your content is in the middle of the week between 1and 3 p.m. Also, engagement is 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays.
An awesome way to gain engagement is to host a live webinar with Facebook Live. This could be on any topic related to your business. Going live will give your customers a chance, in real time, to engage with you and your business and ask pertinent questions that lead to informed customers. Once you can inform a lead of the need for your products, you are one step closer to creating a buying customer.
Another way to increase your engagement is to ask your Facebook friends and email contacts to like your page. The friends of your friends and email contacts will then see this on their news feed and potentially create new likes organically. These friends of your friends have the opportunity to find out about your business when they otherwise may have never had the opportunity.
The more likes a page has, the more of an authority in your niche people will perceive you to be. Do not be afraid to shamelessly promote your business, especially if it is something that you are passionate about. If your friends and contacts can sense that you have a passion for what you are doing, chances are that they will not be annoyed by your request and will likely share in your enthusiasm.
Now, this may be scary at first, but you should add the ratings and reviews options for your page. This may lead to bad ratings or reviews at times, however, they can be used a tool to improve your business. It also provides you a way to engage your customers and figure out how to fix the issue so that another negative review does not occur. Vice versa, positive reviews reinforce what you are doing right.
Facebook for Business Advertising Campaigns
Around 2014, Facebook changed their algorithms to decrease the amount of organic distribution of posts that a page would see. Their reasoning stated that Facebook is continually working on the meaningful experience of their users. The take home was that to create organic engagement, unfortunately, you were going to have to pay.
Fortunately, though, you do not have to break the bank to get a quality ROI. For a mere $5.00 you can see a major difference in the exposure of your posts. The Martin Luther King, Jr. example above was tested at $30.00 and it went nuts. We have had many posts since then that have had excellent results from boosting in the $30-$50 range.
You may feel like Facebook is holding you over the barrel for your engagement. Maybe they are, yet for a minimal boosting cost, your posts can be significantly increased by up to Five Thousand Percent (5,000%)!
Boosting is the new boss for getting your posts viewed! As Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer stresses, “The business that pays the most to obtain their customers is going to always win out in the end.”
According to SEC filing, in the United States, Facebook’s ad revenues are larger than the biggest traditional media companies, only trailing Google. The take home, Facebook is too big to ignore for your marketing efforts.
There are three levels of Facebook ads. The first level is the Campaign Level. The level focuses on a set advertising objective, such as driving website traffic. Be specific about your campaign goal and it will help to customize your ad for the best possible traffic.
The next level is the Ad Set Level. This is where you set your budget as well as your schedule for each of your ad sets. You will want to organize each ad set by the audience segment. An example would be local people that live near your business. You can set ads for money per day or money for the chosen life of the ad in the ad bidding step and I will elaborate on this a bit later.
The third level is the Ad Level. Here, you create your ad with different images, text, links, video, etc. Your Ad Sets can each have multiple ads. When running ads, you should always split test. Change things such as the title or the image and see which ad converts better. When tweaking your ads for split tests, you should not change too much or will not be able to gauge what changes are causing better sales. It is best to focus on one element of the ad and scaffold it up from their until you are reaching your desired result.
Minor changes and the results that they produce will better help you to design future ads that appeal to your niche market. Do not be surprised if your initial ad ideas do not convert like you thought they would. Rather, let the customers shape your ads for your best sales. Each individual ad will also be unique for targeting and bidding strategy (see below).
Always include a Call to Action in your ads to allow your customers to engage in what you are advertising. This should lead to a method of lead capture, a sales page, or some kind of content they can consume. The key is to provide value. Give them something useful or entertaining and they will engage.
As I referred to earlier with the Martin Luther King, Jr. example, a simple post that has the right elements can go viral with a little help from Facebook Ads.
Ad Budgets and Bidding
When you are using Facebook for business, you should also consider implementing advertising campaigns.
The Ad Budgets and Bidding work like this:
The Ad Creation on the Ad Set level is where you are going to be able to set your daily budget or lifetime budget and also the bid amount for the Auction portion of Facebook Ads. You are basically bidding against all of the other businesses that are trying to reach the same customer base and as I quoted before, the more you spend the more customers you will reach.
The formula for winning an Auction bid largely comes down to the amount that you are willing to pay. The Budget setting has two options. You can either specify the amount that you want to spend each day or a lifetime budget over a specified date range.
For the latter, this may be variable per day, but Facebook will use all of the money that you have bid for that predetermined time period. As always, test both methods and see which one creates better results for your business.
You can allow Facebook to Automatically bid for you to spend the amount of money that Facebook thinks will get engagement. There is also a manual bid option and Facebook will give a range of bids and their suggested minimum amount to spend in order to get your ad viewed. Certain markets are going to have many businesses vying for users to see their ads so the bids are going to be higher as a result.
When setting your bidding price, consider how much money you will make per conversion. Your bid should then be around the same amount of money to break even in order to get customers into your sales funnel. For online marketing, you want to reinvest your initial profits to get people on your email list to generate additional upsells. It is in your upsells that you will make your profits and that is a subject that we will cover in another article. Just remember, professional marketers, want to break-even initially and maximize profit on the backend (upsell) of the funnel.
You can bid on post engagement, impressions (which delivers the ad as many times as possible to people), conversions, video views, website clicks, daily unique reach (which will deliver the ad up to once per day to people), etc. There are many options that allow you to tailor to the ad type that you are running.
The scheduling of your ads can be set as well. You have options for running your ads immediately or specifying when your ads will start and when they will stop. You can run your ads 24 hours a day or shut them down at night. It really depends on when your target market is using Facebook.
In our experience, running your ads 24 hours a day allows Facebook to optimize your ads for the most possible engagement as opposed to continually adjusting them. Facebook needs time to get data for the best optimization for your ads and shutting them down at times can hinder their ability to do so. Once you get data about what ads are working when you can adjust and run your ads to fit your market.
The two styles of running ads and bidding are a low budget per day, a slow data mining process drug out over a couple weeks, or a high daily budget, instant engagement. Both styles work and you will need to see which one or combination of both serves your business interests best.
When you have established your ad campaign on Facebook, you want to track your return on investment (ROI). You can do this with Facebook Insight. Insights reports on things such as Likes, Page Views, Comments, etc. Why dump money into ads and not know how they perform, right? These analytics will allow you to create better ads in the future based on what is and is not working.
You will also want to create a Facebook Pixel to add to your web site’s conversion pages to assist your analytics. The pixel will track conversions across multiple devices 1 day, 7 days, and 28 days after viewing or clicking your ads. It will also track which device the ad was viewed and/or clicked on and which device that the ad was converted on.
If you would like assistance with the concepts and strategies discussed here, or if you would like to learn more about using Facebook for business, BizTek ToolBox has many courses that address social marketing. We also offer a specific Facebook Marketing course available at the BizTek ToolBox Marketplace. You can purchase the course individually, or get it as part of one of our memberships. Additionally, we offer services where we run your campaigns for you. Contact us or email our friendly and knowledgeable staff for more information.