It’s safe to say that over the last few years Facebook has changed beyond recognition from what it used to be.
It was a platform where businesses and brands could grow an audience organically and reach them with relative ease with little or no spend. It was a place where your family’s holiday photos and all of your favourite brands lived side by side on your timeline.
But then came the Facebook algorithm, and that really signalled the beginning of the end for organic reach and growth for both SME’s and bigger brands. The algorithm mainly attempted to deal with the increasing amount of content which just couldn’t fit onto a single timeline anymore and Facebook needing to make more money to satisfy its investors, by managing what each of us see and interact with on a daily basis.
As a result of this, we are personally finding that lots of B2B and SME’s are writing off Facebook as a viable organic marketing channel. It’s seen as just somewhere to post the odd bit of news every now and then and keep ‘ticking over’ to show you ‘have Facebook’.
But in reality, Facebook is now more set up than ever to support businesses and with over 1 billion active users, you can’t ignore it!
Is Facebook causing you a problem? Time to solve it!
Correct set up
Before you do anything, have a look at your own Facebook page and think, does that represent our company properly in terms of imagery, brand and description? Believe it or not, the modern client will be very diligent in their research before they engage with a company. Your Facebook page is an additional touch point which you can use to influence someone's perception of your company and ultimately their decision to purchase.
We see so many Facebook business pages that are half finished, don’t have a proper header image, have no content posted and/or don’t look on brand.
Facebook, of course, is not the be all and end all for someone making a purchasing decision, but it can be an additional factor for a diligent person researching who to purchase from.
So the first step is to go back and make your page look great! Take some time to set it up properly, including important sections like address and contact details. Facebook will now directly have an impact on your local business listings and how visible it is online. So the more accurate the details, the better.
In a nutshell, set up the page so that when people land on it, they know exactly what your business is about and how to get in contact with you. And bear in mind that it’s not only the younger generation that use Facebook… because that’s not true at all.
You will need to spend to get the most out of it
It is now a fact that if you are a business with only a modest Facebook audience currently and you want to reach new audiences with your content on Facebook, you will have to spend some money…
The main reservation from a lot of smaller companies with smaller budgets is that they can’t justify spending their budget on Facebook for unknown returns.
In fact, it’s actually easier to guarantee and measure ROI through paid social than through traditional advertising, especially on Facebook. Through the use of retargeting, pixel tracking and advanced niche targeting options, you can place your business right in front of your exact audience and track how they react to your adverts.
If you put an advert in a local newspaper, you are confined to that newspaper’s readership and the messaging in your advert. You wouldn’t be able to edit anything and you would just have to run with it. Facebook advertising, on the other hand, allows you to create multiple adverts and show them to multiple audiences so you can measure and optimise for the best ones. Once you find a sweet spot combination, you can put more of your budget behind it and maximise conversions.
Facebook advertising can cover a variety of objectives, from boosting your company content to gaining sales and leads. For more details on how to do this, take a look at our introduction to paid social blog here.
Create content for your audience, not your business
It’s the golden rule of content marketing and more relevant than ever to Facebook in 2017.
Create content for your audience!
Since the Facebook algorithm was introduced, there has been a shift on the platform around different forms of content. Video content and live video is likely to get you the biggest organic reach overall, and it’s also bound to get you more engagement.
Ideally, you need to be creating content that will provide some sort of insight, entertainment or knowledge to your audience. That’s easier said than done, especially when you have to create video content which can be daunting for people who aren’t used to making it.
How do you get a foothold here?
The best thing to do is create an editorial calendar for your social channels. You should ideally already have one for your website and blog, so just integrate the two. If you haven’t created an editorial calendar at all, you really should think about creating that first.
Gone are the days when you could post some text out and receive engagement. You need to fight to be on your clients’ timelines. Put some real thought and research into it and make it stand out.
Build a strategy around it
We suggest to our clients that they build a strategy for their social media output. In the case of Facebook, because there is so much you can do with the platform, it’s worth building a stand-alone plan and strategy for this one platform.
Your audience is most definitely there, and they are ready to engage with your business. Facebook for business is about making your company stand out from your competitors. Make a page where people can contact you and review your services, a place where you can generate new leads and sell your services and products to new people in a clever way.
Of course, if you need any help with your company’s Facebook or social media strategy, get in contact here. Alternatively you can see what we offer in terms of social media advertising here.