30 Sep A Beginner’s Guide to Advertising With Facebook
Advertising can be one of the most challenging and confusing aspects of starting a new business. Many new business owners struggle to figure out where, and how, to connect with their target audience. Like I said in an earlier article, Facebook and Google are your best options for effective online advertising. Facebook has the edge for brand new business owners, as it’s easier to use, slightly cheaper, and requires less time investment.
In this article I’ll be going over some best practices and insights for creating and running a successful Facebook business page.
After you’ve created a Facebook business page, the first thing you need to do is create a schedule for your posts. You need to determine what day and time you’ll be posting, and what the posts will be about. A good rule of thumb is to be planning your posts about a month in advance. However, don’t be rigged with your schedule. If major news or events related to your industry come up, be sure to capitalize on it. Relevant content is almost always a positive.
The amount of times you should be posting per week depends largely on your type of business. Retail stores that constantly get new products can be expected to post more, while the more service related businesses will inevitably have less content to pull from. Two posts a week should be your minimum, with a post every 3-4 days. 5 posts a week could be considered excessive. If you find yourself with enough content to create a post every day, you should consider moving some of it over to a platform where it’d be more effective, such as Instagram. If you want your post to have lots of interaction, it would be best to save it for Thursday or Friday, between 1pm-3pm. According to Hootsuite, that’s the very best time for posting.
Now that you’ve determined when you’ll be posting, and how much, you can start to work on the quality of your content. Every post should have an image to accompany it. When sharing articles, most of the time when you paste the URL it will generate an image for you. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to create your own. Also, try not to put any text in your images. Facebook will not allow your post to show up as often if you have too much text in the image. Use the caption to provide the majority of the information that you need to convey.
Before you start to gain a lot of followers, you need to decide on a tone for your page. Will your content be funny and entertaining in order to draw in a younger crowd, or will you be serious and business like in order to appeal to a more exclusive clientele? Whatever decision you make, you must ensure that you stick to it. If your business suddenly has a complete tonal shift, you may find yourself quickly losing a large amount of your client base.
Normally when you post something, only people who have already liked your page will see it. If they like or share your post, your content will also be seen by their network of friends. This is what’s known as the “organic reach” of your post. The alternative to this is “paid reach”, or post boosting. If you go to your business page after posting anything, you’ll see a small blue button labeled “Boost Post” just beneath the content. Once you click on the button, you’ll be able to create a target audience, budget, and duration for your boost. The more money you put into the budget, the more people will see your content. Boosting your posts is an effective tool that’s often overlooked by business owners.
A great way to quickly bump up your number of followers is by running a giveaway contest. Creating a contest in Facebook is exceptionally easy. First, create a post for the contest. The caption should tell people to either Like or Comment on the post for a chance to win. You can also mention Sharing the post and Liking your Page. As always, be sure to include a high quality, eye-catching image.
Once the contest post is on your timeline, go to the Facebook contest app from your home page, or use the link here. Click on “New Contest”, and choose “Timeline Contest”. From there, Facebook has a great video guide on how to turn your post into a contest. Afterwards, you can also boost your contest just like any other post. Something as simple as a $50 gift card can have a surprisingly massive response when used correctly.
One of the most important factors to running a successful social media campaign is properly responding to comments. Obviously, not every comment elicits a response. Things like “I love this”, or “looks awesome”, don’t require any feedback. If someone asks a direct question, or sends you a message, be sure to answer it as quickly and accurately as possible.
Facebook tracks how many messages you respond to, and how quickly. If you respond to 100% of your messages within 1 day, you’ll get a badge on your Facebook page telling people that you actively check the page. Be sure to have some sort of response to every message, missing just one can remove your badge.
Negative comments and reviews are inevitably going to be posted on your page. Responding properly to them is a sign of a successful social media plan. Always respond directly to the individual’s comment or review. You want other people to see your response so they know you’re addressing the problem. In your response, be sure to let the person know you are taking the matter seriously. Invite them to give you the details of their complaint in a private message. This way you can resolve the problem without the involvement of the public.
Do not ignore or delete the negative feedback. It could result in a storm of complaints and negative reviews. Also, keep the conversation on the same medium until the person who made the complaint chooses to change it. What this means is, if they send a Facebook message, don’t reply to it with an e-mail or phone call.
Now that you know how to get followers, and keep them, the rest is up to you. Be sure to check back on the history of your posts and see what’s been getting the most response. You may find a certain product or service consistently gets more feedback. The best part about online advertising is the ability to learn more about your customers so you can further improve your business.