Are you dealing with a drop in Facebook engagement and need more visibility for your small business? If you’re tired of sitting in the shadow of competitors, try these Facebook marketing tips to help you crush the competition.
Small business marketing is a cutthroat arena, especially for small brands competing on a local level. It gets harder when those businesses go omnichannel and have to compete with larger incumbent brands in the digital space.
Without a big budget it can seem impossible to compete, but you don’t need a massive Facebook marketing budget to make waves.
As of the second quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.23 billion monthly active users. It’s by far the largest social network connecting people around the world. Even if you only serve a local or regional market with your small business, Facebook is a solid channel for reaching a much larger audience to grab market share (and customers) from your competitors.
Here are some of the simplest and most effective Facebook marketing tips to crush the competitors of your small business.
1. Post with a Purpose
Image via tomertu.
You can’t just post whatever you feel like posting and hope to gain traction. Every post you make should have a purpose beyond filling the void with noise. Be mindful about what you post and when. Determine what you want to post and why you’re posting it. Think about the action you want someone to take when you post.
Use your Facebook insights to look at old topics and posts to see what was the most popular. Also, check competitor pages to see what types of content and topics garnered the most attention from followers.
2. Optimize your Facebook Page
It doesn’t take long to populate company information on your Facebook page. Customers often use Google to search local businesses, but more customers are turning to Facebook to research brands and find local businesses.
If they’re already in the app on their phone they’ll frequently check into a business to look at reviews and recommendations, look up address information, find a phone number, etc. Once on your page they can click through to your website or click to call the number you’ve listed.
Tip: Use a trackable number, like Google Voice, instead of your primary phone number. This way you can track the number of calls that come from your Facebook page.
3. Use Facebook’s Story Feature
Image via sirtravelalot.
Facebook’s story feature is a terrific way to get easy-to-digest posts in front of your audience. It’s also a great way to showcase the culture of your small business. Stories are a more casual way to engage your audience, and it’s a form of Facebook marketing that costs you nothing but a little time behind the lens.
Stories don’t have to be news specific. They can be anything from an engaging question to a short video with a question or poll. Use anything that will ramp up engagement.
4. Get a Better Cover
A generic cover will fill the space at the top of your page, but Facebook gives you other options. Instead of using a basic logo or a picture of your business, post a video cover. String together a series of short clips from recent events, or video taken of your business, customer interactions, happy employees, etc. Upload the video as your page’s cover to showcase your brand and the culture of your small business. That’s far more attractive to prospective customers than a static image.
>>Create a customized Facebook cover image with our online photo editor
5. Manage Your Time with Planned Content
Image via Andrey_Popov.
Avoid making Facebook posts without a content calendar unless you’re jumping on a trending topic. A calendar is the most effective way to get content live without spending too much time in the social channel.
With a content calendar you can preplan what you’ll post and when, then preload that content into a tool like Buffer. A scheduling tool will auto-post your content based on your schedule. The only time you need to jump into Facebook is to occasionally monitor and respond to follower comments.
6. Include Customer Service in Your Facebook Marketing Strategy
According to a study from Accent Marketing, a staggering 82% of consumers expect great customer service from brands on Facebook. Delighting customers and providing stellar customer service is a smart way to stand apart from competitors in your industry.
Using Facebook as a customer service channel gives you the fastest response time. Being able to reach a brand when there is an issue is a huge trust signal, and people are more likely to choose you when they know you’ll respond. They can see that your customer service is on point if there is an issue.
7. Go Live on Facebook
Image via Gerain0812.
The 2017 State of Inbound report cited video as the “main disruptor,” with 24% of marketers naming it as a top priority.
Followers enjoy this more casual content, especially in video format, because it gives them a peek behind the scenes of your business. You don’t need to have anything scripted. Just giving a general idea of what you want to cover can be sufficient. Live feeds can be anything from a quick unboxing of a new product, a tutorial or product how-to, customer testimonials, live coverage of in-store or community events, and so on.
According to the social media channel’s newsroom, “People spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live.”
These videos can also be saved and published as part of your story or featured content on your page for customers to find later when they visit your page.
8. Post When Your Fans are Online
Your Facebook insights will tell you exactly when your fans engage with you the most by the day and the hour. So, plan to post your content when your fans are more active.
If your fans are highly active during peak engagement times, there’s still a chance your posts get buried in a busy newsfeed. A simple trick to work around this is to post late at night when fans are less active. That also means newsfeeds as a whole are less active. With less competition, those who are active are more likely to see your content. With that engagement jump, there’s a better chance your content will be sitting in the feed of other followers when they log on in the morning.
9. Post Visual Content
Image via Dan Kosmayer.
Live video is great, but your other scheduled posts should include even more visual content, from images to video. Don’t just post links and text-based posts.
According to HubSpot, visual content is a requirement for a successful online presence. This is especially true since visual content sees 40x more engagement, and is far more likely to be shared, than any other type of content.
10. Use Custom Audiences for Ads and Boosted Posts
You don’t need a huge Facebook marketing budget to run ads. You just need an effective targeting strategy to get your posts in front of the right people.
The easiest way to see a higher return on your ad spend is to use custom audiences. There are numerous ways to create custom audiences, and by utilizing a Facebook pixel on your website you can target a range of behaviors. A few ways you can use custom targeting include building a custom audience based on:
- Subscribers to your newsletter
- The number of people who watch a video to completion, or part way through
- Who visits your page and engages with you
- Who visits your website, or certain pages on your site
- The friends of people who like and engage with your page
You can either build a custom audience, or take the information you have to let Facebook create an audience of people matching interests and behaviors similar to your own customer list and existing audience. In either case, the targeting of your ads and boosted posts will be far more accurate than if you randomly select interests and demographics.
11. Use Facebook’s Product Catalog
Image via GRSI.
“This template is a surefire way to create a rich browsing experience for shoppers, encouraging greater product discovery and engagement,” said Kevin Simonson, CEO of Metric Digital. “It’s also the perfect tool for implementing dynamic retargeting. Not to mention, it allows you to connect an existing catalog from another platform, such as Google.”
According to Kevin, one client used Facebook remarketing to increase sales after implementing Facebook’s product catalog. “Their ROAS went from 600 to 3000% and their CPA dropped from $45 to $9.”
12. Measure Your Success
No matter your approach to Facebook marketing, make sure you’re measuring the success of your efforts. Take time each week to review your Facebook insights. Check post and content performance to continually adjust your strategy to determine which actions — like the ones listed above — are most effective in bringing you new customers and improving engagement on your Facebook page. With consistent effort it won’t take long before customers are finding and choosing your small business over competitors.
Want to learn more about content marketing and small business? Check out these articles:
- How to Do a Social Media Competitor Analysis
- Agile Management Practices That Are Changing the Creative Process
- 4 Business Benefits of a Fully Stocked Content Library
- Creating Mobile Digital Content to Make People Aware of Their Needs
- Music in Advertising: The Right Soundtrack Makes All the Difference
Top image via mavo.