Is Facebook a marketing tool that can be used effectively by Irish businesses? In most cases the answer to that is yes, although if you have ever tried Facebook marketing you might have some doubts. These tips will show you how to get your Facebook marketing strategy on the right track.
You have two options open to you in terms of the practicalities of using Facebook:
- Posting content to your timeline (which is free)
- Buying Facebook ads (which cost money)
What you can achieve with the two options is very different, though. Whatever you do you are in the hands of the Facebook algorithm – it decides whether to show your posts or ads. The fans on your page are first and foremost Facebook users, and Facebook decides what they see and what they don’t.
When you buy an ad you usually get it on a pay-per-click basis, which means that Facebook only gets paid when it gets a result. It is therefore in Facebook’s interest to get you that result by showing your ad.
The posts on your timeline are a completely different story. All Facebook cares about are the posts that its users are interested in. Many different measurements are used to determine that, including likes, comments and shares. The fact is that posts that are interesting to users typically don’t contain a promotional, advertising or marketing message. Facebook therefore usually devalues posts that do have such messages.
What does this mean for your expectations? If you want to use Facebook marketing as a sales tool where you have messages that contains a direct call to action, you need to buy Facebook ads. This is a good option for short term strategies and campaigns.
If you want to build up an engaged following for your brand that you can communicate with and sell to over the long term, you have to take a different approach to Facebook. This means using it as a soft selling tool. When this is done well it is by far the most profitable strategy, but it does take time.
2. Facebook’s Not Free
It is a mistake to think that Facebook is free. It is also a mistake to think that you will get results by getting an intern or a junior member of staff to post up some content at minimal cost. This is all possible, but if you want to make Facebook really work for your business, you have to accept that there are costs involved.
We’ve already mentioned that direct advertising messages cost money because you have to buy ads. The same applies if you want to build likes on your page. Other strategies can be used and in some cases they can work, but for most businesses the simplest, cheapest and quickest way to increase the number of likes on your page is to buy Facebook ads.
Content – the posts that you create – are not free either, when you do them well. Doing it well means adopting the 90/10 rule – at most, only 10 percent of your posts should contain a marketing message. The other 90 percent should be written from the perspective of your readers, not from the perspective of a business with a marketing message. This sort of content takes time and creativity to make so either requires additional in-house resources, or external help.
3. Consistency, Creativity And Variety
What does writing content from the perspective of your readers mean? It means posts that are entertaining, funny, informational or educational. When you post this sort of content to your page you will increase the levels of engagement which in turn will mean that more people will see your posts.
As well as creativity you need two other things on your business page – variety and consistency.
Variety means a broad range of posts that include images and video and a range of different content types. You also need to post on a regular basis. That is difficult when you are busy running your business, but if you want to get results from Facebook you must have consistency. One way you can achieve this is by scheduling your posts so they appear at regular intervals throughout the week.
Finally, it is important to identify what you can achieve by following these tips. What are the benefits of getting your Facebook marketing strategy right? You will get a following that will include engaged advocates for your brand. You will also be front-of-mind whenever people think about your product or service, and you will get your brand and message in front of a wider audience. All of these things mean more revenue and profit for your business.