While Facebook may no longer be a beloved social network, it still has a stranglehold on the social lives and spare time of a huge number of people, serving as a window into the world of their friends, a de-facto news feed and a source of entertainment.
For this reason, it is a good idea to try to master the art of Facebook marketing. The best brands have strong, active Facebook followings and turn those followers into vocal brand advocates.
Let’s take a look at the secrets of effective Facebook marketing.
Talk Like a Friend, Not a Salesman, to be Most Effective
Perhaps the most effective Facebook marketing strategy is to treat each interaction on Facebook as if you are talking to a friend, rather than trying to sell something to a customer. Ask questions, be friendly, and don’t always talk about yourself. Share interesting content that is related to your niche, but that you didn’t produce. Show that you exist to do more than just sell your own products and services.
Share Images as Well As Text
Facebook has made a lot of changes to the way that content appears in timelines. Not all of your followers will see all of your uploads. In fact, fewer than 20% of your Facebook fans will see text-only updates.
The best way to increase the chances of people seeing your updates is to share images and video content, because this content is prioritized by Facebook’s algorithm.
Give Something to Say Thank You for More Effective Facebook Marketing
When people become a fan of your page on Facebook, they are letting you into their lives, and sharing their social media timeline with you. This is a small thing, but for people who are strapped for time and who prefer to keep Facebook a site for just their friends and family, it is a big display of trust. Say “thank you” to those followers by giving out some coupons, a free download, or something else that will show your appreciation.
Run a Competition
Facebook makes it easy to run competitions. Set up a “Like Gate” to ensure that only people who like your profile can enter the contest, and encourage people to share your page so that you grow your audience and get to earn a little goodwill at the same time.
Don’t Buy Likes
It can be tempting to purchase some Facebook likes in an effort to make your page look more popular than it really is, especially in the early days. Resist the temptation to do this. Buying Facebook likes will probably backfire.
Most companies that offer Facebook promotion services use fake accounts, or, worse, stolen accounts, to increase the like count of their clients. It is easy to spot fake likes because they are accrued over a short span of time and the people who like the account have unusual looking profiles and tend to come from the same geographic area – often an area that has nothing to do with the business at hand.
Even buying promotion from Facebook itself can be a risky proposition, because if you do not use narrow targeting on your promotion options, Facebook will promote your page aggressively, meaning that it will be advertised to unrelated users (including the fake accounts used by the scammers). You could end up with likes from users who are not interested in your services, but are adding you just to make their profile look legitimate.
The best way to increase your like count is slowly, over time. Promote your page to related groups, invite your friends and family, and let nature (or the nature of social media) take its course. Stay away from spam and shortcuts, because even if they work for a short while you will get caught out in the end and the PR backlash could be massive.
As you can see, there is more to effective Facebook marketing than just posting content and hoping for the best. Social media marketing is a skill, just like direct sales, web design and content creation.
The good news is that traditional face-to-face marketing tactics transfer well to the world of social media so if you are patient, honest and have a good product you can achieve success on social media.