Whether or not you’d like to admit it, Facebook has probably made some sort of imprint on your life since its launch 11 years ago. First, let that number sink in: eleven years.
We bet it’s not hard to recall where you were on that momentous day when your own tender profile was born. And then the years that followed; a timeline of birthdays, achievements, epic status updates. There were dozens, if not hundreds of photo albums for every adventure, family vacation, friendly gathering. Facebook had become a free place for you to share your story, easily stay in touch from a distance, and store an endless amount of proof from your whereabouts, victories, and discoveries. Your entire social network experience was consistently documented for any and all interested eyes to see. Facebook was and is the modern day scrapbook of our lives.
But Facebook wasn’t destined to just be a diary for us and all of our friends; it had bigger and better ideas up its sleeve. One of those ideas was interaction between businesses and their fans. It didn’t take long for every company on the planet to jump on that bandwagon. If your business didn’t have a Facebook page, you probably weren’t going to go very far…
While small businesses may have used Facebook to grow through local fellowship, bigger corporations took to cluttering users’ streams with obnoxious ads and repetitive campaigns. It didn’t take long before the real folks of Facebook felt that their trusted social network had been infiltrated with automated content.
If you happen to run a business that’s been relying heavily on this particular marketing machine, you may have noticed the recent change. In January of this year, Facebook began cracking down on brand pages posting unpaid promotional content. If companies put up any propaganda-heavy status updates, Facebook will push them out of users’ news feeds.
One of the reasons behind this sudden change is that Facebook wants its users to only see content they’re interested in – see ya later, Spam. Also, bringing this rule into effect will [hopefully] push companies to break down and purchase Facebook ads.
If you avoided buying ads before, it may be an inevitable next step if you plan on reaching your target audience. And there’s no need to fret, yet! Ads can be extremely effective, and they come in many different shapes, sizes, and pricing bundles.
Ready to conquer Facebook ads? Of course you are! Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to optimize your future campaign and knock some socks off.
Draw Users In With Cool Content
People don’t go on Facebook for the advertisements. People check Facebook several times a day because they’re sure to find something they’ll enjoy. If your business is blatantly trying to sell itself and its products, users aren’t going to bite. Stop promoting a product and try offering something exclusive that will appeal to your audience instead – like interesting and/or relevant content.
- Offer a White Paper: If your business targets B2B professionals, provide them with a free, in-depth white paper on your industry. If they want to download it, they’ll have to give you their email address in exchange. Nothing beats Even Steven.
- Showcase Your Blog: Put up an ad for users to follow your company’s official blog. Make sure each post is well-written and has information worth repeating (and sharing). Once they’ve made it to your site, they won’t be able to unhook themselves from all the unique content you’ve undoubtedly provided. And thus begins the first stage of the sales funnel… Facebook ads make a great jumping off point for getting users to interact with your brand.
Hook Them With Stunning Graphics
Facebook is such a visual platform. When you’re scrolling through your news feed, you’ll notice that a majority of the posts are photos and graphics, or links to photos or graphics.
Graphics sell a product better than any set of words can. If you run a restaurant, showcasing professional photos of signature dishes, new cocktails, and fresh ingredients will surely cause some scrollers to take pause. If you own a beauty line, what better way to show your customers what you offer than to share photos of your products in action? On models, on your neighbors, on yourself.
Just make sure that the picture on your ad is relevant to your brand. Though a photo of an adorable dog could draw users in, they may be disappointed to discover that you aren’t actually selling puppies…
Run a Limited-Time Deal
When there’s no incentive or sense of urgency, users may be less likely to click your ad. This is because they know they can just buy your product any old time. It’s never going to run out, and the price probably won’t change. If you run a campaign with a one-time deal, or offer a product that’s in limited supply, users are more likely to rush and make a purchase. Try putting yourself in their shoes and think of what would entice you to suddenly pounce.
For B2B companies:
- If you regularly host webinars, try offering a limited number of seats or signups through your Facebook page. Make sure to mention that it’s a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’. A webinar is literally a live-broadcasted seminar or meeting, so it wouldn’t even be an exaggeration.
- If you’re targeting consumers, run a holiday sale that only lasts a day or two. You could also think outside the box and get more attention by running sales on lesser known holidays. That way your promotional feed won’t get completely trampled by heavier posts each time. For example, July 10th is Teddy Bear Picnic Day, July 23rd is National Hot Dog Day, and July 30th is Father-in-Law Day. We’re curious to see what unique content you’ll come up with… (Please share!)
- Sell your products at a discount for a small window of time. Like an afternoon, a weekend, or even as little as an hour. See how much mayhem and madness you can stir up in your customers. But make sure you’ve got enough staff to handle a wild situation.
Check Out Insights For Guidance
Facebook ads are effective, because you can target the right user at just the right time. However, it’s up to you, to know who your audience is before you purchase those ads.
Start by going to your brand page and click on the “insights” tab. This will let you see which of your posts were the most popular, where your fans are located, and what languages they speak. When a Facebook Ad asks who you’d like to target, you can match that up with those ‘insights’ you gleaned from your page.
When you’re at a self-serve fro-yo bar, do you use every single topping they have to offer? No way. Because your bowl will never be big enough and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between all of those unique flavors. Which is why you shouldn’t just go for a general audience or try targeting as many people as possible. Unless what you sell is as universal as toilet paper, we recommend staying in your niche and being specific about who you’d like to reach.
Your Facebook Ad Campaign
More often than not, Facebook Ads are worth the money, but only if you do it right. Just remember to keep tabs on their effectiveness and pay attention to the metrics. And, of course, continue to improve upon your strategy if you see that something isn’t working.
Sticking to only one technique is boring and it doesn’t work in an ever-changing, fast-paced world. So throughout your Facebook Ad campaign you should try out distinctive forms of rhetoric, offer new and exciting deals, keep photos current and in constant rotation, and always play around with the content.
Now we’d like to take a moment to just get… REAL.
In the unbelievably vast world of social media, there are no promises. And there’s no such thing as a 100% effective way to go about it. Social Media is still a relatively new form of marketing and it’s changing every single day. We’re all trying things out and constantly experimenting in order to see what works best and how it effects our own numbers.
There is no set formula with advertising. You have to see what works best for you and your company.
Social media platforms are a lot like fashion: nothing is ever set in stone, and a change will almost always do you good.