Social Media 101 – Facebook for Business

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facebook 101Facebook for business is our next topic for Back to the Basics: Social Media 101. Having a sound strategy for using the No. 1 social media platform, Facebook, as part of your business’ social media strategy is crucial in today’s world.

Just the Stats

With more than 1.44 billion people using Facebook on a monthly basis to connect and share information, Facebook has become the go-to place for all things social. Facebook’s mission for businesses is to “make the world more open and connected. This includes connecting people who run businesses with people who love them.” Facebook states, “We exist to serve people. We exist to grow our customer’s business.”

Facebook is making both huge brand names and local businesses equally successful in their social media endeavors, allowing those smaller businesses to compete against larger companies and reach more consumers. There are numerous statistics to show just how powerful social media is for businesses of all sizes. Here are some recent statistics that make it more than evident that social media is here to stay and should be part of an online marketing strategy to target millennials:

  • 63% of millennials say that they stay updated on their favorite brands through social media
  • 46% of millennials rely on social media before making a purchase
  • 89% of 18-29 year-olds are active on social media
  • 78% of companies have resources dedicated to social media

These statistics show that social media marketing has become a necessity just like paid advertising, flyers, public relations and any other “traditional” marketing efforts. Simply put, businesses can’t afford to not be on Facebook today.

What mRELEVANCE Likes About Facebook for Business

Using Facebook for business has clearly made a huge impact on how both large and small businesses operate. Facebook turns purchasing into a social decision by showing what people like and have purchased. Companies can create promotional events, publicize offers and reach customers with call-to-action phrases all from a personalized page or group for their business. Every time a user RSVPs, checks in or clicks, that action is shared with their friends. This allows the business to grow its reach and engagement with consumers.

While content is the foundation of a solid Facebook presence, many businesses use Facebook to drive sales and traffic through engaging content. Taking the time to get to know your customers will help gain a sense of trust between the business and consumer. Create fun content that consumers want to share with their friends to create and nurture raving fans. Pages that only deliver sales-related content to followers, turn off their follower, they get bored and stop listening and will likely “unlike” that page. Creating content that is entertaining, educational, helpful and interactive increases the chance of keeping followers and expanding the reach of a Facebook Page or Group.

What is the difference between a Page and a Group?

A Facebook Page is a public facing profile that represents a business.  By designing a page built around your company, consumers gain the opportunity to interact socially with the business and brand. Potential and current customers and influencers “like” pages to show their support. These people are called “fans.”  This differs from “friends” that you connect with on a personal level through a personal Facebook profile. Facebook pages are visible to everyone on the internet by default. This means anyone can connect to your page and show interest in the content posted. Facebook Pages can create invitations, add tabs, and have testimonials or reviews.

A Facebook Group is designed for people to share their common interests and express their opinion openly. Groups allow people to come together around a common topic and discuss issues, post photos and share related content. Groups can be public or private (by invitation only). Similar to pages, new posts by a group are included on the Facebook News Feed, but only the members can see and interact with the posts.

Making connections on Facebook is no longer limited to friends. Through both Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups, businesses can stay even more connected with everything that matters. There is some Facebook functionality that is available to Pages that is not available to Groups, so make sure what your goals are before choosing to launch a Page or a Group.

mRELEVANCE uses Facebook to interact with clients, consumers and other businesses by using a Facebook Business Page. mRELEVANCE has been able to see first-hand how using Facebook for business is extremely effective and helpful. Using Facebook to advertise for campaigns, webinars, local businesses and bragging rights keeps the page fresh, informative and fun for followers. While being the administrator of a page, the mRELEVANCE team is sure to interact with followers who like, share and comment on content. This is a way for consumers to gain that extra sense of dependability from businesses.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Change is constant on social media and especially on Facebook. In recent years, Facebook has changed tremendously and it still continues to surprise users with updates and changes. Facebook has recently launched a few new features, as well as strategies, for marketers that we think will start to greatly impact social media trends and change the way users utilize the site.

Real-time engagement is one of the key strategies marketers need to implement in 2016. The faster response time is to consumers, the less likely there will be complaints or bad reviews on your business page. In other words, post as it happens. Make sure that Page followers are in the loop right behind that “in the know” group sitting in the board room. Ensure that Page followers feel like there is a reason or advantage to following the page – keep them in the loop.

Live streaming video is a new feature that Facebook has recently launched similar to the live streaming app Periscope, a video streaming service from Twitter. This allows consumers to access real-time, offline events. Live streaming video is considered to be the next big thing in social media marketing. This feature is now available to anyone and is being used to showcase everything from Victor Espinoza exercising his Kentucky Derby mount to Southern Living showcasing the latest recipes and cooking techniques.

Social commerce is still being experimented with throughout platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, but recent statistics show that there has been a huge success with selling products through social media. In the past year, U.S. sales that were tracked to social media reached a total of $3.3 billion. With Facebook introducing 360 ads for immersive experiences in the last year, users can expect this number to grow based off of the success it has already had. In 2016, businesses will want to explore ways to integrate these social commerce features into social media and content strategies.

A Few Tips

When practicing successful marketing strategies on Facebook, remembering these 10 tips from mRELEVANCE will help Business Pages achieve the most successful reach and consumer interaction:

  1. Use the name of the business to achieve the best branding recognition
  2. Use descriptive keywords in the about section
  3. Choose the correct business category to determine what features will be available
  4. Optimize page images
  5. Encouraging social sharing by incorporating “share this” Facebook buttons on the company’s website and blog
  6. Incorporate video into the content posting strategy
  7. Use high quality photos instead of iPhone photos in every post
  8. Include a relevant and engaging post (no more than 2-3 sentences) for optimal reach on promotional content
  9. Make sure every post includes a link to your business’s website or blog to increase traffic
  10. Take advantage of paid options such as advertising and boosting posts

Advertising Tips

There are several different opportunities to take advantage of as it relates to Facebook advertising for business. mRELEVANCE has had success with several of these using minimal budgets. The advertising objectives businesses can choose from are:

  • Clicks to Website: Send people to your website.
  • Website Conversions: Increase conversions on your website. You’ll need a conversion pixelfor your website before you can create this ad.
  • Page Post Engagement: Boost your posts.
  • Page Likes: Promote your Page and get Page likes to connect with more of the people who matter to you.
  • App Installs: Get installs of your app.
  • App Engagement: Increase engagement in your app.
  • Offer Claims: Create offers for people to redeem in your store.
  • Local Awareness: Reach people near your business.
  • Event ResponsesRaise attendance at your event.
  • Video Views: Create ads that get more people to view a video.

After choosing an advertising objective, select the target audience to display these ads to. Facebook for business gives numerous target options to utilize and take advantage of, these are:

  • Custom Audiences: using email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs or mobile advertiser IDs
  • Location: choose from countries, states, provinces, cities, congressional districts, zip codes (US only) or post codes (internationally) to display ads to people in those locations.
  • More Demographics: Select people based on any Facebook or partner categoriesyou’ve requested access to.
  • Age and Gender: The default age range is 18 to 65+, but this range can be adjusted to reach a target audience. When selecting gender, choose allunless you only want to target either men or women. 
  • Interests: Target people based on their interests. Interest may include things people share on their Timelines, apps they use, ads they click, Pages they like and other activities on and off of Facebook and Instagram.
  • Behaviors: targeting people based on what they do on and off of Facebook that helps inform their device usage, purchase behaviors or intents, travel preferences and more.
  • Connections: Connections targeting helps control whether the ad is shown to people who already have a connection with you on Facebook.

After creating the target audience for the ad, the next steps are to set a budget, choose the text and images that best display the promotion, preview the ad and select placements. Placements are the different places the ad will display such as, News Feed on Desktop, News Feed on mobile and tablets, the right column of search results pages and most recently, Instagram. After selecting placements, the ad is ready to go live. Now all you have to do is sit back and watch your traffic grow.

While Facebook is continuously changing and becoming better for businesses, mRELEVANCE will keep you updated on the newest features and tips for bettering your Facebook marketing.

For more social media insight, stay tuned for our remaining Back to the Basics: Social Media 101 posts focusing on Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube and online reviews and testimonials.

Add us to your newsfeed by liking our official mRELEVANCE Facebook page. If your company is ready to take its social media and content to the next level, contact Marketing RELEVANCE by calling 770-383-3360 or by filling out our online contact form.