With all of the social media platforms out there-Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube (not to mention all of the new ones that keep coming out)-it can be difficult for marketers and SMBs to figure out which networks to focus on, how to effectively utilize these networks, when to post, what to post, and how the effort can translate into leads/sales. In this blog post we will introduce key statistics and strategies for social media marketing, focusing on Facebook. As the largest social media network, and the first one that most marketers focus on, we want to provide you with some key Facebook techniques for effective social media marketing.
With roughly 2/3 of all Americans using social networks (2016) on a regular basis, it can be a key way for businesses to connect with potential customers and foster loyalty with current customers and clients. With all of the social media platforms out there, how do you know which ones to focus your efforts on? Many people think that social media does not take much time (post a photo here, a quick tweet there), but as a digital marketing agency that specializes in maximizing results for our clients, we can attest that an effective social media marketing strategy does in fact take a decent amount of time, and indeed, strategy. A recent statistic revealed that over 62% of marketers are promoting business using social networks for more than 6 hours per week, and over 40% are spending over 20 hours each week promoting posts, commenting and more! Key benefits? Increased exposure for businesses and increased traffic, as well as boosting SEO (search engine optimization).
With over 1.5 Billion active users worldwide, Facebook is a key platform for most marketers, and especially for B2C companies. According to the Social Media Examiner, only 45% of marketers feel that their Facebook marketing efforts are working 🙁 Despite this, businesses have reported more customer acquisition from Facebook than Twitter. Due to the ability to post as yourself within Facebook and have your business page linked to your personal Facebook profile, there is a key advantage for making your posts, images and video “viral,” and it starts with reaching out to your own friends and family within Facebook. According to Hubspot, when people post links for their business, over 70% of friends and family visit that link. Start getting your content viral with your own friends and family and ask them to share the link! First, however, you must have a Facebook page for your brand.
Local businesses should always choose “Local Business or Place” as their page type because of the ability to link your physical location and enable check-ins, which is a key strategy that will help boost your Facebook marketing. Of course, this only works if you have a “bricks-and-mortar (ahem, physical location)” business; Check-ins can be a valuable part of your Facebook marketing because when a person “checks-in” at your location, the information shows up on that person’s personal Facebook page (in their feed and in their check-in history), which boosts awareness for your business among that person’s friends and family. It is a simple-but often overlooked-strategy that really makes a big difference. Check-ins on Yelp are a popular marketing tool, but it can be very effective for Facebook as well, due to the fact that it is a type of “Word-of-Mouth” marketing (WOMM), or “Pull Marketing” that is an essential part of any viral marketing (which is the goal of social media marketing, to make it viral) campaign.
According to Neilsen, over 80% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family about products and services. According to AdAge, 20% to 50% of purchases are the result of a WOMM recommendation! The reality is that while social media marketing may not produce as high of a conversion rate as a Google AdWords campaign (with an effective landing page and follow-up strategy), it can be a very effective way to market your business as people trust the recommendations of the people they know more than direct brand advertising.
What are some ways to encourage Facebook Check-Ins?
- You can start by just asking for them! You might be surprised by how many people will just check-in if they see an advertisement (for example, a flyer by the register) asking them to check-in
- Offering a promotion is a popular and effective way to encourage check-ins. For example, if you own a restaurant, try offering customers a free appetizer or beverage if they check-in to your business on Facebook and write a review (Here’s an example: “Like XYZ Restaurant? Check-In on Facebook and Write a Review Telling Us What You Like About Us & We’ll Treat You to Our Yummy Spinach & Artichoke Dip!”). Discounts on their next service also work well. Positive reviews are another powerful tool for your Facebook marketing, and it boosts your SEO as well!
- Have customers or clients check-in at the location and show the check-in to the server, bartender, therapist, etc., to receive a discount or offer on the spot. Make it even more enticing by telling them that if they talk about their positive experience you will give them a follow-up offer on their next visit!
Offers and sweepstakes are another strategy for encouraging likes on your Facebook page. When consumers visit a brand’s page on Facebook, one of the first things they see is how many people “liked” and visited that business. The more likes and visits, the better (generally speaking). What are some ways to encourage “Likes” on Facebook? Start by reaching out to your current customer/client base and asking them to like you on Facebook and post a review for your business. If you have a web site (which you should! If you don’t, or are looking for a re-design, check out our work), you should include a pop-up/slide-in, or at least a sidebar area enabling site visitors to like your business on Facebook). Offer a sweepstakes/giveaway on your Facebook page for everyone who likes your Page and promote it on your own Facebook page and perhaps some Facebook advertising as well via a ‘Promoted Post’ (contact us for rates on our Facebook advertising and social media marketing services!). You can also have the offer printed on the back of your business cards, on a flyer near your cash register, in the News section on your web site, etc.
How often should you post to Facebook, and what should you post?
While there is no set amount of content that you absolutely need to post, you definitely want to post all public events and specials to your Facebook page. Many people, when they hear about an event at a location, will look to a business’ web site and Facebook page to see if there is any important information regarding that event. When you post about an event, even if you are just posting about Happy Hour or an employee luncheon, include a great photo (or two, preferably) to boost engagement. Adding images to a post increases not only likes, but reach as well, around 300% on average! Infographics and videos are the best additions to a post, however, to increase social media engagement and shares. According to Socialbakers, the average video post is seen more than 2x as often as regular posts. Even if people don’t watch the entire video, the post will reach more people.
Here’s a tip to boost SEO and increase conversion: create a video for your business and then post a “teaser video” on your brand’s YouTube page and on your company’s Facebook page, with a link to the full video (offering more information) on your web site. Let’s say for example that you are a nutritionist or relationship coach. You post a quick video to your Facebook page about “5 foods that help you lose weight,” or “3 key ways to make a relationship last,” but include the link to the full video (offering even more information on that topic) which is embedded on your web site, and then promote that post. Once people go to your site and see the video, have an e-mail newsletter sign up offer below the video (or a pop-up) and in addition to increasing your web site’s SEO, you might have just added a potential new customer or client.
Include #hashtags. Hashtags aren’t just essential for Twitter, they work for Facebook marketing too. Include relevant hashtags in your post (at the bottom and maybe a few strategically placed hashtags in the post) to increase your post’s reach.
You don’t need to post every day, but at least twice a week is good; Don’t just post random content that will not be beneficial for your business however. Do post public events, awards and news. Although most businesses post during normal business hours Monday – Friday, research has shown that the highest engagement and most effective times for Facebook posts and advertising tends to be Friday – Sunday. Think about when you’re on Facebook? Also make sure to post about your event on the day of your event (before and during the event, including the hashtags and photos). Research trending topics on Facebook and if relevant, include those hashtags (#) in your post!
We hope you enjoyed these tips and strategies to help boost your Facebook marketing and overall social media marketing campaign. There are more strategies and ways to promote your business using social media. Please comment below and subscribe to our newsletter, and contact us via the form below if you are interested in learning about our social media marketing services!