In one of my recent posts, I focused on advertising methods that are available on Tumblr. Now let’s take a look at how Facebook lets you manage your posts designed for promotion. While this article is not aimed at a deeper analysis of social media advertising in general, I hope it will provide a starting point for how to begin online advertising for your business using Facebook.
Just like Tumblr, Facebook also gives you the option for so-called ‘promoted posts’. As the name suggests, these posts are meant to highlight your updates for your followers or fans. Facebook launched this feature in May according to Andrea Vahl who in her excellent article, “12 Tips When Using Facebook Promoted Posts” relays how to use Promoted Posts to make direct impact on your community.
Before you begin, note there are some pre-requisites for Facebook advertising:
- Promoted posts are only available if your page has more than 400 likes (unfortunately not every country can participate yet).
- Your posts will become ‘promoted’ only if they are newer than 3 days.
If your page fulfills these requirements, you can start promoting by clicking the lower right corner in your post.
Vahl clearly explains how to launch a “promote post” campaign, set your budget, adjust your budget, track statistics and gauge performance both during and after the campaign. According to Vahl, one of the main uses of Facebook’s promoted posts is to “increase engagement in your marketing mix” and “reconnect with fans who haven’t seen your posts in a while”, to in turn drive commercial benefit and brand awareness.
It’s also worth reading through this list of 26 steps compiled by Debbie Hemley (also in ‘Social Media Examiner‘) on how to exploit the possibilities of an engaged social media community to benefit your company commercially.
Debbie Hemley starts off by emphasizing the importance of monitoring questions asked by your followers. She refers to a survey conducted by InSites Consulting, according to which 8 out of 10 American companies respond to client’s questions and complaints online:
“83 percent of companies indicate they always deal with questions or complaints sent to them via social media. Still, only 54 percent of the companies in this survey also talk to and actively participate in online conversations with consumers.” – Insite Consulting survey
The message to take from this is; engage online by encouraging and answering questions.
You can do this by asking questions yourself, and encouraging followers to send questions and answers either to your inbox, or in the comments of a post.
The next tip Hemley gives us is to use social media to bring possible customers to your website. To complement this, Andrea Vahl got the impression that between “a “salesy” post and a more “fun” post”.. the fun Promoted Post got over twice as many clicks for two-thirds the cost”. The message is that pushing a fun post though your feed should increase engagement. A particularly engaging “fun” post uses an image or graphic and tells followers to “Add a caption” themselves.
Obviously, another working method could be the advertising of freebies or free services – depending on your business model and cost effectiveness, of course.
As social media is inherently social you should be on the lookout for whether your followers mention you in any way, say by tweeting about you or your service. If this is the case, you should – as Hemley suggests – retweet them for the world to see. Better yet start a conversation on twitter. Additionally, you might also focus on photos and stories that your followers publish and share, giving you an insight into the image your followers have of your business.
In another article, “8 Tips for Using Facebook Scheduled Posts”, Andrea Vahl argues for the use of the “scheduled posts”, particularly if you suffer from lack of time. You can make a scheduled post quite easily using Facebook automation:
Write a post as you would normally do and at the lower left corner you can find a tiny clock icon where, upon clicking it, you can schedule posts for later by inputting time and date. In your Activity log – which you can access from your admin panel – you can edit the post text, the scheduled date and time as well as cancel it entirely.
All in all, the main rules that should be considered when implementing social media advertsing are:
- Be interactive: pay attention to your followers questions or comments, responding and leading conversation where appropriate.
- Build a strategy that involves tying Facebook with mutual communication across your website and additional related social media channels such as Twitter, Tumblrl, Pinterest and the like.
- Take note of the image your followers have of your business. You can consciously form it by being interactive and re-tweeting or sharing posts to re-enforce positive behaviour.
- Scheduling posts can be a helpful way of optimising time-allowance ona project. Once a post is scheduled, you gain time to develop your project in other ways.
Come back for more tips.