Facebook announced this month that it officially surpassed the 1 billion active users per month mark. To put that in perspective, if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. In layman’s terms, this translates to one out of every seven people in the world log into Facebook on a daily basis. This is great news for businesses that utilize Facebook to reach potential customers, right? What marketer wouldn’t love the ability to have their messages reach millions of people at a shot?
When I talk to marketers, they often tell me the challenge they find with Facebook is how to use it effectively to market their business. As soon as we think we finally have it all figured out, Facebook rolls out another update, switches us to Timeline or creates another new advertising avenue. Having so many options should be a good thing but the reality is few people really understand what options are the best for them – if they even know what is available to them in the first place.
Knowledge is power in today’s world, so I’ll arm you with some basics of Facebook’s new marketing features. Let’s explore advertising tactics rolled out by Facebook this year to see what fits into your marketing mix.
Tactic #1: Promoted Posts
Facebook revealed earlier this year that the average post from a brand page reaches only 16% of its fans. This raised a few eyebrows because the main goal of a marketer is to have their message reach as many people as possible. Reaching 16 out of every 100 people isn’t really a home run.
Promoted Posts may be the answer. A Promoted Post is a fool-proof way to reach more of the people who like your Page and their friends. When you post a special offer, event or brand message to your Timeline, you may Promote your Post (for a nominal fee) to guarantee your post will reach your entire audience. Promoted posts show up in your friend’s newsfeeds with share and like buttons, allowing you to get likes and increase your social share of voice in the process. Promoted Posts are an easy and fast way to increase visibility of your content and convert more fans into paying customers and brand advocates.
Your page must have at least 400 likes to be able to use Facebook’s promoted post features. Want more info? Check out this short video to see if Promoted Posts are right for your business.
Tactic #2: Post Targeting
Customer segmentation has finally reached Facebook through something other than the notoriously under-performing Facebook Ads. Facebook Post Targeting allows brands to publish directly to the news feeds of specific fan groups based on expanded criteria, including language, age, gender, interests, relationship status, education and workplace. This does not affect what kinds of posts users will see when they visit your brand page, but rather which posts will show up in users’ newsfeeds. With Post Targeting, your brand and offers will now be visible in front of the right audience, rather than just anybody.
While the number of total impressions on a targeted post may decrease because you’re targeting only your most qualified leads, engagement should rise because fans are seeing messages they care about. And more shares, comments, “likes” and interactions directly lead to more fans and friends of fans seeing your post in their feed — whether or not you ever pay for a Promoted Post.
There is a strategic downside here, though. Getting the most out of this feature means marketers will have to gather quality information about their audience and then create targeted content and offers. While segmentation strategy could mean a serious investment of time and resources, tools like Facebook Insights analytics will help narrow your audience by segment. As with all direct marketing, knowing your audience’s segments and putting relevant messaging in front of them is key to success with targeted posts on Facebook.
Tactic #3: Facebook Offers
Now, any business – whether brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, or a mix of both – can offer deals to their Facebook fans as long as they have a following of more than 400 people. Facebook Offers are a way to send your fans discounts in their newsfeed for a nominal fee.
In order to take advantage of the new tool, businesses will have to make a minimum advertising purchase and target their offer, rather than blasting it to any Facebook user who will pay attention. How’s it work?
When a Facebook Offer shows up in your fan’s newsfeeds, they may click ‘Get Offer’ to receive an email with your coupon or offer. Here’s what the offer looks like in a newsfeed:
Users can redeem an offer by clicking the Get Offer button. They see a message like this:
Then finally, the user receives a Facebook branded email sent to the email account they have attached to Facebook:
Offers may be limited to In Store Only, In Store and Online, or Online Only, allowing you to drive traffic from social media to your website or physical locations. Plus, since you can specify a tracked URL or a promo code for redemption of the offer, it’s easy to track revenue, traffic and other metrics to get a clear picture of the ROI that Facebook Offers deliver to your business.
Interested? Check out Facebook’s video on Facebook Offers.
Promoted Posts, Post Targeting, and Facebook Offers are just a small sampling of everything Facebook has to offer to marketers. As you can see, using these Facebook marketing tactics can help you monetize your social media efforts and understand true ROI from the social channel. But beware; social media marketing must be part of an overall strategy. Like all other marketing channels, social media demands a strategy and measurement process to make it part of the marketing mix. While Facebook marketing features are a hot topic, not all tactics may the best fit for your company. If you want to leverage Facebook as a legitimate revenue channel, find a partner that has a thorough understanding of social media strategy and tools to help you deliver and measure ROI from social channels.
At Synapse, we take a very serious approach to helping our clients make informed decisions that help them achieve their revenue, brand and acquisition goals through digital channels like Facebook. Want to learn more about how to incorporate measurable and effective social media strategy into your marketing mix? Start a conversation with Synapse today.