With over 1 billion members, Facebook is the most successful social media website in history. It also represents a golden opportunity for brands to engage customers with smart Facebook marketing. Consider these statistics:
Facebook has over 950 million active users every month, with daily logins totaling 852 million. – Social Media Examiner
72 percent of marketers have plans to boost their Facebook marketing this year. – The Social Media Marketing Industry Report
Over half of Facebook members log in to the website via mobile devices. More than 50 percent of all mobile users check in with Facebook every day. – Social Bakers
What is the bottom line? Facebook is one of the most frequently used, most popular websites on the web. It is where your clients are.
Here are some valuable tips on how you can maximize your Facebook marketing effort:
Smart brands on Facebook realize their customers want to share a human connection. It is okay to share pictures of your meal and your dog. Share behind-the-scenes details of the business, and provide real people that customers can identify with.
Ramp Up Images
Well-designed and presented images do very well on Facebook. Funny, interesting or inspirational images are shared, liked and commented in large numbers.
Try to share images related to the business. A home improvement store could share project ideas and plans. A restaurant can post new menus and meal ideas. A wine store could show images of new wines that have come into the store. A constant supply of fresh images and photos will help boost traffic and promote customer loyalty.
Contests are an old standby in the marketing world. Contests on Facebook are a great way to build traffic quickly. Even better, they can focus on a specific product, service or promotion that a business wants to promote. Progressive brands even feature their contests in their timeline cover photo. Another benefit of contests is they provide valuable customer insight. A key to a popular and successful contest is to offer a really good prize. Don’t try to offer a lame prize and expect decent results.
Love Me Tender
Facebook provides an unprecedented opportunity for brands to show appreciation for their business. For example, Campbell’s Soup makes extensive use of images and text to communicate that they love their fans.
It’s always a good idea to thank people for their business, show appreciation and show that you do not take them for granted. One way to do this is to respond to customer posts, questions and comments. Steady and responsive interaction helps customers feel a part of the brand and promotes closer engagement.
Promote a Cause
Another way to get closer to a customer base and show a human side to a business, company or brand is to promote a cause. In fact, many companies already have causes that they are involved in and promote heavily. It can be just a matter of translating that to their Facebook page. Involvement ranges from a simple contribution form, or as complex as fund-raising promotions like marathons, contests and community events.
Studies show that only 16 percent of company posts reach their intended fans organically. Sponsored posts provide an opportunity for brands to reach a bigger percentage of Facebook users. These are regular posts that show up in fans Facebook newsfeeds. They are designated as a “Sponsored Post.”
Sponsored posts have worked well for dozens of advertisers and brands. They work best with high-quality content such as engaging videos, informative webinars or special promotions. They are relatively inexpensive, allowing advertisers to test different strategies while minimizing risk.
Post Every Day
A Facebook member with even an average number of friends has a very active news feed. Posting fewer times than once a day may not be providing enough frequency to keep their brand in front of their prospects and clients enough. Daily posting with quality information should be a minimum for any brand serious about using Facebook as a vehicle to get closer to their customer base.
Make Them a Hero
One easy way to create customer engagement is to highlight fans. Every month pick a fan to highlight on the company Facebook page. Give them a link to their website or blog, featured their photo and share their story with the rest of the group.
This “social proof” will help new members see the high degree of enthusiasm that major fans bring to a brand. In turn, you show that you are making your customers the hero, and thanking them for their business.
These are just a few of the ways smart brands and companies are using Facebook to separate themselves from their competition, expand their customer base and grow customer engagement and sales. Choose one or two of these tips, implement them and add more as time permits. A concerted, consistent effort to engage customers through Facebook will produce many rewards.