Hello everyone, welcome to another Digitize Your Firm webinar – with me, Stephen, your host! Today we’re going social by talking about using Facebook like a pro!
For anyone joining us who is a social media expert or for those who are just starting out, I welcome all comments and questions, simply click the green speech bubble at the top of the screen to open the chat and either type out your comment or ask to speak. If you haven’t already, be sure to click the ‘phone’ icon next to it the chat icon to ensure your audio is connected.
As with all Digitize Your Firm webinars, this will be recorded for later playback in case you wanted extra time with a certain section or for listening on the go. If you haven’t already, please visit the Weekly Webinar Schedule on our Digitize Your Firm page to check out our past webinars.
Now, let’s go over today’s agenda.
Today we’ll get starting off by talking about Facebook how it can benefit your business, followed by finding your audience and close with how to use your own Facebook page to market yourself. As always, we’ll review and I’ll let you know the topic for next week.
Facebook is massive. Our parents are on it. The Pope is on it. Life on other planets are probably on it. That is just how universal the social network giant is.
It is not even worth saying how many active users there are because by the time you read this, the number will have jumped again. But we will anyways.
As the largest social network in the world, Facebook has more than 1 Billion users, over 600 Million mobile users, 45 million pages and close to 10 Million apps. Dedicated users rack up billions of minutes on Facebook every month. These same people share millions of pieces of content every month, including links, news stories, blog posts, photo albums, and notes. Now not all content is helping the human race, but we are not here to judge what everyone posts.
With mind-blowing numbers like that, your business simply can’t be ignoring Facebook when it comes to marketing.
The problem though, that many marketers run into is, how are you supposed to use Facebook to get the best ROI whether in time or money spent?
Internet searches will bring you 101 links telling you how but none really tell you the whole story. If you are not an active Facebook user, it can be confusing considering changes happen quite often.
Friending people from high school and sharing photos of your kids is great and certainly simple to do (ie. our family members), but how do you convert messages, likes, shares and comments into leads, sales and a great overall reach?
Good news. It is not rocket science or even grade 10 science. It only takes minutes a day to get going. In this whitepaper, I will break down everything you need to know and show you the basics of how to use Facebook as a marketing tool.
Before we start, this webinar is for the most part aimed at the intermediate and restricted primarily to marketing on Facebook. What does that mean? I will take you from having a basic profile where you post photos of your grilled cheese, to having an engaging company page that interests readers and converts them to loyal fans of your company.
We’ve already done Facebook 101, so consider this an advanced course.
So you’re probably wondering, who uses Facebook exactly?
Sure, it is easy to say that everyone uses Facebook, and let’s be honest, it is almost true. What you need to understand is Facebook is not just for teens and college kids anymore. Yes, it started out that way, as the film The Social Network portrays, but Facebook now has millions of loyal users across the entire demographic spectrum.
So, regardless of how old the target market is for your organization, Facebook can be a great way to reach them and turn them into loyal followers.
Facebook has three tools that can be used by anyone. Each of these options has a distinct purpose and can be combined for greater overall reach (world domination).
Facebook pages are similar to profiles, but for businesses, organizations and public figures. You probably have liked and followed many yourself. I mean who doesn’t keep tabs on the Prime Minister or their favorite star?
While profiles require a mutual relationship between friends, pages can be liked by anyone, without a requirement for the page creator to accept a fan. They also don’t have the same restriction on the number of friends/fans they can have, unlike profiles (which are limited to 5,000 friends when last checked). Personal pages also don’t provide metrics. As a marketer, I know you love looking at statistics.
Pros: Pages are free and easy to set up. All you need is a Facebook profile, which most of you have anyways.
Cons: Can be hard to break through and build a fan base organically. It is certainly not an overnight task.
Suggestion: After reading this whitepaper, set up a page for your organization or even a test page for something smaller and follow the steps outlined to build a following.
For those who want to speed up the growth of their page, Facebook offers a fantastic targeted advertising setup. You can easily create ads targeted at specific geographic areas, age groups and even things like what people studied in college. If there is something to drill down to, Facebook offers it. Facebook also lets users “like” ads or close ads they don’t want to “like”, meaning that Facebook is constantly delivering better-targeted ads to their users. Want to see some examples, go to any page on Facebook and look on the right-hand side. If you close one, another one opens that is also targeted to you.
Pros: Powerful targeting parameters to help you go after exactly who you want.
Cons: Can get expensive, depending on your goals. Also, this does not always guarantee a loyal follower as they found you via an ad and not organically. If your advertisement misleads in any way, the user may disagree with the call to action once they hit your page or website.
Suggestion: Set a very small budget and create an ad. Set the targets of the users you want to reach and run the ad for a few weeks. Once that time has passed, review the results. If you see value, add more to the budget. If not, leave it and try again later, while focusing on your page and adding
Facebook groups are very similar to discussion forums that many of you will of used in the past. The difference being the additional features that are similar to what pages and profiles have (wall style, likes, comments etc). You can create groups related to your industry or product offerings as a way to reach out to potential customers. You can also join well-established groups and become an active voice. Why recreate something that is already there and working.
Pros: Free and high levels of engagement as groups are mostly invited only.
Cons: Can be very time-consuming. Having a profile, a page and a group can be a lot for one person to do.
Suggestion: Create a group for your company and promote it as another place for customers to “mingle” or ask questions about your product. Check it for a few minutes a day and leverage what you learned into your business page. EG. If a lot of people are asking about a certain feature in your group, turn that into a blog post or FAQ that you can post on your website and Facebook business page.
Now that we’ve talked about marketing your company on Facebook, tomorrow we’ll be discussing how you can market your business page itself.
Facebook pages are the quickest and easiest way to get started marketing with Facebook. As we mentioned earlier this week, they are free, for the most part, easy to set up and incredibly flexible. You can pretty much turn your Facebook page into whatever you want.
There is no real downside other than becoming addicted to updating and growing the “like” count.
Unfortunately, many organizations don’t use Facebook pages to their full potential, or worse, use them poorly.
To make sure that is not you, follow these guidelines.
Add Facebook Apps Using Tabs
Facebook pages provide a rich user experience and allow you to control the content that followers see when they visit your page.
The tabs are the blocks that are located under the cover photo where you can feature the content you want using apps. The first app featured is always photos but from there you can include apps to feature blog posts, your total likes and anything else you want to display.
For the most part, adding new apps is simple to do and if you are just starting out, this option can wait until later. You can add four blocks on the top that will always be displayed and then four more below that can be viewed by clicking on the blue arrow to expand the section. The maximum you can add is 12. These should be reordered so the three most important tabs (including photos) are on the top row.
Check out some of your favorite brands and see how they leverage the tabs.
Post Useful Info to Your Wall
Now this is a part of Facebook marketing you probably are already familiar with. Posting to a wall just like on your personal profile. What you post to your wall will show up in the news feeds of everyone who has “liked” your page, just as it does when you post something to your personal profile.
The difference now of course is, you are communicating with potential and current clients, not your friends. So, make sure what you are posting is useful to your fans and is appropriate for a company page. Do not post endless updates about the same thing, reveal internal secrets, complain about business or simply post too much. All this does is clogs the news feeds of your fans which could trigger them to hide or unlike you all together.
Here are some examples of what you might want to post to your wall:
Again, we want to stress that you should try and post useful information for the most part. It is okay and expected that a Facebook page is going to be a little more fun and less corporate, so let your creative juices flow. Also, it is a good practice to not post more than a few times each day unless there is something special going on. I recommend three posts a day broken into morning, afternoon and evening, especially if you have customers around the world.
Ask Your Fan Questions
This is nothing new just because I am talking about Facebook. Surveys or questions that generate feedback are gold for marketers. Getting your fans involved with your page is a great way to inspire loyalty and engagement. If you then take that feedback and direct it towards your product or business, even better.
If you then take that feedback and direct it towards your product or business, even better.
Asking hot-button questions in your updates gets people involved, but on their own terms. People are more likely to interact with you on Facebook than a survey sent in an email for example.
What you ask depends largely on your product and your niche, but asking open-ended questions usually garners the best responses. Asking opinions on a new product idea or project can also be a good way to convince your fans that your company cares about user feedback.
Don’t however, throw up a question and forget it. Keep tabs on answers and react with further information or at the very least a thank you.
Don’t Spam Your Fans
As someone who uses Facebook every day, this seems obvious to me, but we want to say it anyways. Don’t spam your fans. Don’t bombard them. Many people are quick to clean their walls of anyone (person or company) that posts too much.
Spam is one of the quickest ways to lose fans and turn your fan page into a ghost town. If you do nothing but send out promotional blurbs about your company, without ever adding anything else, then you’re going to have a hard time getting and keeping fans. Facebook is a place to interact, engage, share and learn about your fans. There is nothing more boring than a stream of posts where a company brags about how awesome they are. Before you post any update, ask yourself if it is honestly adding value to the conversation. If not, don’t post. Rethink how you can make it of value.
Study Your Metrics
Facebook offers some really great analytics for pages which they refer to as Insights. Pay attention to them and learn from what you see. If you see a big surge in fans (or a drop off), look at what you have posted recently and see if you can figure out any trends. Then post more of that kind of content. Same goes for what is not working. Stop. Insights will show you how every wall post does by displaying the reach, engaged users and how many people are talking about the post.
The reach refers to how many unique people have seen the post. Engaged includes the number of people who clicked on the post and talking about this refers to the total number of people who have liked, commented or shared your post.
1. Facebook is a gigantic platform with over a billion users, 600 million mobile users, with billions of hours spent every day liking, sharing, and commenting. It can be daunting to figure out where both yourself and your business fit into that ocean-sized world. Don’t let those numbers distract from the potential however – that provides an almost limitless base to market your product or service to everyone from your next door neighbor, to a person on the other side of the world.
2. Facebook provides countless ways for you to connect with other users around the world. You can interact with pages to examine how other companies, organizations, and public figures reach out to their audience. You can even create a page yourself, but remember that gaining a following is not an overnight task – it takes time, patience, and strategy.
If you’re willing to pay, you can use advertisements to get your page in front of targeted audiences to get paid promotion, likes, and followers but it will cost you. That being said, it is cheaper than traditional advertising methods.
Finally, you can start or join groups dealing in a variety of subjects and interests. You can join buy and sell groups, business associations for areas, or even a group for entrepreneurs or those in your industry. These are fantastic places to start growing a presence by asking questions and posting information on company announcements as you get to freely interact with potential clients. This being said, use discretion, and don’t just self promote.
3. When it comes to your Facebook page itself, there is nothing wrong with striving to get as many likes as possible – but know how to go about it the right way. Using Facebook apps, posting useful information on your wall, and asking questions are a great way to get discussions going. Just be sure to not spam your followers with a post every hour and study your metrics to discover what is working, and what isn’t. Those metrics often hold the key to success, and the answers to what your clients would like to see.
Next week we’re going to keep talking Facebook and dive into a targeted advertisement, getting the most out of Facebook groups, and more than 30 tips on how to use Facebook like a marketer.