If you want to be successful in using Facebook for marketing, the key is getting fans and visitors to share your content via the newsfeed. So says Grady Burnett, Facebook’s vice president of global sales and operations, in a USA Today article on the topic: “It’s a matter of trying to encourage your customers to communicate with their friends,” he explained. “Facebook enables small businesses to build connections with their customers.”
So, how do you go about doing that?
1. Content is king. Content still rules the day, in my opinion. Whether that’s through the use of helpful how-to tips, questions and polls, exclusive special offers and discounts, humorous videos, or attention-getting photos like the snake cake pictured above, providing content that fans and visitors will value and appreciate is the ticket to increased engagement through Likes, comments and shares.
2. Facebook social ads. Facebook provides a number of advertising options that are a) very affordable, b) highly targeted, and c) appear in newsfeeds. Specifically, I’m referring to Promoted Posts, Facebook Offers, and Sponsored Stories.
In both cases, the key is to get fans and visitors to Like the content. Perhaps the best approach is to couple content with Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories, as that increases the likelihood your content will be seen by a greater number of people and stand a better change of being engaged with. “Someone is 50% more likely to remember an ad when a friend is attached to it, when it’s in a social context,” states Burnett in the article.
The article, written by small business expert and USA Today columnist Rhonda Abrams, shares some other ideas for increasing engagement:
- Post items your fans will naturally want to share with their friends: useful, intriguing, or fun info that relates to your type of business.
- Use photos, as they get shared far more frequently.
- Post every other day, but use your judgment. Most people don’t want to hear from their hairdresser three times a week.
- For the most click-throughs, post midday, midweek. Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET is the absolute best time according to Bitly.
Incidentally, this is the second article I’ve read recently on the topic of small businesses using Facebook successfully. (I wrote about this last Friday referencing a New York Times article that cited several real world examples.) I was also interviewed last week by a reporter from USA Today, who was writing an article on a similar topic – social commerce. That article should be published today and, if I’m quoted, will certainly broadcast the link. (Two more articles – here and here – attest to SMB use of Facebook.)
I don’t know if the frequency of these articles from such major mainstream news outlets means there is renewed interest is using Facebook for marketing, or if I’m just now taking note, but what it does indicate is that small business can and are using the social network to market and sell their wares — snake cakes included!