Almost everybody in Asia, except those without VPNs in certain countries, is on Facebook. Every day. That’s a whole lot of traffic. How can you access this traffic, and turn it into paying customers? Read on: Acquiring New Customers via Facebook.
First Step: Set up a Business Page
You’ll want to set up a specific business page for your company and build a list of “followers” or “fans”, instead of using a personal page and connecting with friends. You can do this easily by logging into your personal Facebook page, and heading to the top right drop down menu, and selecting “Create Page”.
Here you will be able to choose your style of business, and if you’re not sure it’s probably best to choose “Company, Organisation, or Institution” for general e-commerce businesses; you can edit this later if needed. Choose your business category, and enter the name that you want your customers to see when they visit your page (it doesn’t have to be your full business name or limited company name).
Walk through the steps to add your page information, picture, and preferred audience, and you’ll have a basic page set up! You can now begin posting interesting images and articles, and linking these back to your main website to boost your traffic from Facebook.
In the early days of Facebook, you could start a business page or group and simply message the whole group’s fans whenever you liked. Not so now. An average post may reach less than 5% of a page’s fans, making your hard work of building a fan base less relevant and useful to your business.
The push is obviously to get business owners to use the paid advertising functions of Facebook rather than using it as a free marketing service.
How to Win With Facebook in 2016?
1. Offer Great Social Content
Posting original images, videos, and articles or blog posts that people actually want to read and share will help people engage with your page. The more people engage (like, share, or comment) with your posts, the more they will see and be reminded about your brand.
Remember, it is called social media for a reason: it’s quite easy to spot “sales-y” posts, and just as easy to ignore them. Facebook tracks which fans have interacted with your posts recently, and accordingly shows new posts to engaged fans; the fans that you haven’t kept engaged won’t see much of what you post in the future.
Keep it interesting and engaging, with a healthy split of social to sales focused posts.
2. Run Competitions and Giveaways
It’s a well-known fact that people love free stuff, and you don’t have to offer huge and expensive prizes to get results. There are countless Facebook apps that allow you to host competitions, giveaways, games, and other activities on Facebook which will drive up the number of people engaged with your page, and therefore increase the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing.
Try to run regular fun competitions and post purely social updates, and this will drive up your page engagement. You can then add in an appropriate number of sales-focused type posts (with links to what you’re selling), and you’ll know these are getting into the newsfeeds of all of your recently engaged fans.
3. Advertise on Facebook
For those with less time and creativity to spare, there is always the Facebook Ads Manager waiting for you to set up a campaign. Central to all successful posts (paid or organic) is a quality image that gets your point across immediately; you may want to enlist the help of a designer for your images as this will probably make or break your Facebook advertising campaign.
It’s also good to keep in mind that Social Media Marketing is display advertising, which means you are interrupting your potential customer and trying to drive their attention toward your site; this is quite different psychologically to SEM where the potential customer is actively searching for your advertised keywords.
To Begin Advertising on Facebook, Follow the Steps Below:
1) Login to the Facebook account that you use to manage your business page.
2) Create a Facebook Ads Manager account and input your credit card information for billing. You won’t be able to run any ads without having a payment method in place.
3) Go to the Facebook drop-down menu on the top right of screen, and click “Create Ads”.
4) Here you will find a selection of many different types of ads, depending on the outcome you are seeking. For our purposes we will choose “Send people to your website” with the objective of driving traffic to our sales pages and hopefully converting these visitors into customers or subscribers.
5) Enter the URL of the page to which you wish to send this advertising traffic. This may be a product list page (with many products listed within a certain category) or a specific product page. This will depend on your strategy and how targeted you want your ad to be.
To track your campaign properly you should create a UTM tracked URL and use this instead of a plain URL. See the directions below for a guide to UTM tracking with Google’s URL builder.
6) Here is the fun part: select your audience with as many details as you like. You should specify the location of your potential customers and their general interests at a minimum.
Facebook allows you to be as broad or granular as you wish, so this is where you will run a number of small campaigns and tests to see what gets results for your business. Try to think a bit outside of the box, as your competition is probably already advertising to the obvious demographics on Facebook.
7) Upload your images. The recommended size is 1200 x 628 pixels, which will allow Facebook to slot your ads into newsfeeds seamlessly. Also note the guidelines around text: you cannot have more than 20% of the image as text, which includes text-based brand logos.
Remember your images need to get your point across immediately and attract potential customers enough to get them to click through. You can add up to six images, and Facebook will show these to your audience using your budget and timeframe; you will then see which images get results, and can turn off the poor performers as you wish.
8) Set a headline, text, and call to action button. This is the text element of the ad, which is limited in characters and usually best kept short anyway. Your text should reinforce your image message, and contain a clear call to action such as “Shop Now!” or “Buy Online!”.
Make sure you double check your copy and remember the audience you are talking to: is English or another language more appropriate? What “voice” should your copy have (professional/business/partygoer/pet lover)?
9) Choose where you want the ad to appear on Facebook. You have the choice of: Desktop Newsfeed, Mobile Newsfeed, Right Column, and Partner Mobile Apps. If your site isn’t very mobile-responsive you may want to turn off mobile advertising and avoid wasting money by not sending clicks there.
Newsfeed ads may get more attention than Right Column ads, however it is worth trying both and seeing which gets you the lowest CPC. Remember, your text and images display differently between Newsfeed and Right Column ads, so you might want to set up different campaigns to optimise each format.
10) Set a budget. It’s a good idea to allocate a small budget to a number of different campaigns, and track which ones are performing well. Sometimes you won’t know which picture, or formula of words and calls to action, will resonate with your audience. You can then extend the timeframe and budgets of these winning campaigns, and cull the non-performers.
11) Place your order! Your ad will be reviewed and once accepted will be ready to be shown according to your scheduled timeframe. You can view each of your campaigns and make changes to them in real time by going to the top right drop down menu and clicking “Manage Ads”.
5 Ways to Optimise Your Facebook Advertising
1) Set up goals in Google Analytics. It is a must to set up goal tracking and measure your e-commerce and sign up success from each source. How will you know that your campaign was successful unless you can attribute actual hard numbers to it?
Getting your goals set up in GA will mean you can directly measure each campaign on dollars spent, CPC, conversion rates, and revenue generated. Should you continue that last Facebook ad campaign? It should be an easy decision if you know these metrics.
2) When are they online? Think about when your potential customers might be online, and when your competition is advertising to them. In general, social networks are most active in the afternoons on weekdays when people have some free time at work or at home.
Is this the best time to advertise and push people to make an online purchase, or would it be better to target the after-dinner and weekend crowd that have more time to browse, shop, and complete a checkout process?
Getting to know the browsing habits of your potential customers, and their likelihood of purchasing at each time of day will improve ROI on your ad campaigns. Advertising at less competitive times will also help lower your overall CPC.
3) Test, measure, test, measure, repeat. Try small tests where you change only 1 or 2 variables, and you will be able to see exactly what gives you results. Making small changes to images, calls to action, and target audiences can mean big differences in CPC.
4) Try new features. Facebook is always looking to reinvent itself and encourage its users to try new features. As a small business you can get a head start on larger companies that will be slow to adopt these new opportunities, meaning less competition and better ROI on your campaigns. Try new features and you’ll maximise your results before the competition is aware of what’s happening.
5) Keep it fresh. After your target audience has seen your ads a few times they will probably start to ignore them; change your images regularly with eye-catching design and you will ensure that interaction levels remain high.
Using Google’s URL Builder to Track Campaigns with UTM Code
Google Analytics can help you track specific results of each ad campaign held on Facebook (and elsewhere). Simply follow the below steps to build custom URLs that GA will recognise, and you’ll be a step closer to your marketing feedback loop:
2) Enter the URL of the webpage you are sending traffic to, as well as the source of the campaign, the campaign medium, and a name of the campaign. You can add extra information in here as well if you need to differentiate campaigns further.
3) Click “Submit” and the URL builder will generate a URL complete with UTM tracking code that Google will be able to recognise and de-code for you in the “Campaigns” section of Google Analytics.
4) Use this URL (instead of the simple page URL) when setting up PPC advertising campaigns, and any clicks through this link (and actions afterward) will be attributed to this campaign.
Either way, you’ll need to spend resources (time and/or money) on building your social media presence. The choice is yours: build organically (time and energy consuming but low cost!), or advertise and spend money sending targeted traffic to specific pages on your site. You may choose a combination of both and develop a strategy that works for your business.
The bottom line is thousands of your potential customers are logging on to Facebook every day. A social media strategy should be a key aspect in most online businesses’ marketing plan, and can be an excellent way to engage your future and existing customers.