Business Social Media Marketing – Part One: Facebook
Over two billion people have access to the internet. That’s two billion potential customers – and smart businesses are wielding their social media prowess to reach them. Maintaining an active presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit is now an important part of any good marketing strategy.
A successful social media strategy is founded on a clear vision of brand and audience. Before you get busy writing statuses, tweeting and instagramming, ask yourself some important questions. Who are you speaking to? What tone of voice will best engage your audience? What is your brand all about? What sort of content will interest that audience?
With these things in mind, our four part ‘Social Media Marketing series’ will guide you through the basics of marketing with today’s social media giants. Let’s start with Facebook.
Facebook accounts for 50% of shared content among social networks so this is arguably the best (and easiest) place to start when formulating your social media marketing strategy.
- Make it personal. Social media marketing is all about engaging with the customer on a personal level. Polls and questions are a great way to interact with your customer base and will increase traffic on your page by encouraging sharing and commenting. Customers will use your Facebook page to ask questions about your business and products too, so don’t forget to respond. Make sure to check on your pages every couple of hours and respond to customers who have posted questions or content on your page. Keep your tone of voice consistent and remember – nobody likes speaking to an automated bot so add a personal touch.
- Don’t forget to add a visual component. Facebook is a very visual platform with plenty of opportunity for customisation to suit your brand aesthetics. Your profile picture will appear next to your business name in searches so think of it like a mini advertisement for your business. Make it relevant – company logos are best. You’ll also have to set a cover photo. You can be a bit more creative here but we advise maintaining visual consistency. You might like to have a graphic designer put together an appropriate image that includes the company logo and colours to fit the dimensions.
- Make use of the Facebook apps capability. Building an app on Facebook allows deeper integration with the Facebook experience. Apps are built-in and will appear at the top of the Facebook page alongside your ‘About’ section – so they’re great for maximum exposure. Consider building apps for company newsletter signup, access to customer support, and large scale promotions and competitions.
- Know your fan base with Graph Search. Graph Search is a relatively new feature to Facebook – it was made available to all users of Facebook in July this year. Using big data collected from the entire Facebook user base, Graph Search lets you search for users by any combination of hobbies, interests, location, pages liked etc. Basically, it means you can identify and gather key information about your (and competitors’) fan base – what are they interested in? Where are they located? What other pages do they like? Use this information to provide more value to your fan base by tailoring your content accordingly.
- Use hash tags wisely. Another new feature to Facebook is clickable hash tags. Clicking a hash tag leads users to a list of posts that have been marked with the same hash tag. Use hash tags wisely and don’t go overboard. One or two hash tags per post as a maximum. Think big – if you’re selling coffee then tagging posts #coffee will reach more users than #blackcoffee. You get the idea.
When done right, social media represents vast opportunity for connecting with new customers, engaging with existing customers and fostering brand loyalty. Next time we’ll take a look at setting up and maintaining a Twitter account for your business.