Facebook and the Five Best Practices
Director of Social Media Advertising, Holly Hingle, recently attended Coastal Social 2016 where she was able to speak about her experience in Facebook advertising. Coastal Social is the premier social media leadership conference for communications professionals and small business owners across the Gulf Coast. Here are her biggest takeaways from a panel discussion, where she was a featured speaker.
The theme of this year’s conference was focusing on the power of authenticity and the role social media plays in building stronger community bonds. I always say that social media is the new word-of-mouth. People are constantly reading reviews and testimonials on Facebook, asking Facebook friends for advice and recommendations, and sharing other people’s content. Social media is such a strong influencing factor on people’s lives that several individuals in the public eye, including celebrities and high-ranking politicians, have lost their jobs over what they chose to put on their own pages. This proves the point that social audiences are out there, and they are definitely taking notice.
Although all of you may not have been able to attend this conference, I have brought five important takeaways from my Costal Social collaborations that both our clients and small business owners can use to better their presence on social media.
- It is Cheaper to Keep Them
“I want to target doctors, I want to target housewives!” While you may have a great idea on who you WANT your customer to be, who is your ACTUAL customer? Sometimes (or a lot of the time) the businesses we work with focus so much on who they want their customers to be, we have to remind them about engaging with the customers they already have. It is more cost-effective to go after people who have already engaged with or expressed interest in your business than it is going after people who wish your customer was. Many times, the wish of a particular business looking to advertise comes without any research on whether people in that targeted audience would even be a true, realistic customer. Focusing on those that are your most loyal customers and those that are most similar to your existing customer base is using your marketing budget effectively and efficiently.
- Throw Away Those Social Statistics and Best Practices You Read
Many times, new clients believe that posting at standard 9am, 5pm, or 12pm times is what they should do because that they read a how-to-guide that claimed those were times with the highest engagements. The average person unlocks their phone 150 times per day, and on average, 50 of those unlocks will result in a trip to Facebook. This means the average person looks at Facebook 50 times per day! What works for your business may be completely different for another business in terms of post engagement, so any standards you read on when you should and shouldn’t post need to be thrown away. The usage of Facebook is too great to stick to old regulations.
- Put Your Money Into Facebook
Facebook has one of the most advanced audience targeting options available, ones that currently even Google and other search engines can’t even get close to. Because of this targeting, it is a very precise and cost effective method of advertising. Now that we have gone through figuring out who your actual customers are, it is time to monetize them. One important thing to note is that Facebook has effectively phased out organic (unpaid) reach for business pages. The current Facebook algorithm severely limits how often businesses’ posts show up organically in the newsfeed, so EVERY person with a business needs to be advertising on Facebook in addition to their regular posts.
- Just Because You Build It, Does Not Mean They Will Come
Just because you throw an ad out there, does not mean people will convert. They may click on it, but what story are your metrics actually telling you? Make sure your graphics are clear, your landing pages are relevant, and your ad is something that catches the interest of your target audience. Make sure you are telling ONE message per ad. Facebook users scroll through their newsfeeds very quickly, and if your ad has too much text, the main message may get lost. Alternatively, a successful ad can immediately become unsuccessful if your budget limits your exposure. Making sure your budget and your creative is well-thought out is one way to ensure Facebook advertising success.
- Keep Testing New Things
Facebook is constantly changing elements of their ad types and creating new forms of advertising. Keep an open mind and play with different ideas, strategies, and ad types and figure out what works with your business. Make sure that your objectives align with your overall business goals and as your business grows, redevelop strategies to make sure you are reaching your customers in the most effective and creative way!