Every marketer needs to go where their audience is. After all, marketing only works if it reaches the people that it's aimed at. This is why social media marketing is so vital, especially for those that don’t have a large marketing budget. More than 3 billion people worldwide use social media so the opportunities for marketing are vast.
However, social media marketing only works at an optimum level if it's done well. Even businesses that have been marketing via social for a while should reevaluate their efforts on a regular basis.
Which channel is the best choice?
A mistake that many marketers make is to assume they’ll always do best if they have a presence on every social channel. In fact, it's usually better for marketers to focus their attention on the channels that their potential customers are most likely to use, and which are best suited to their marketing strategies. For instance, a florist can gain a lot of attention by having accounts on visual based social media such as Instagram and Pinterest.
Focusing this way, and starting small, ensures marketing efforts and budgets can be optimized. One channel that most businesses choose to use is Facebook. It's the most widely used social media channel and it offers a high level of flexibility.
Other channels, such as Twitter, can be a little harder to get marketing results from. This is because it's difficult to get attention amongst the myriad of tweets that are sent every day.
Using Facebook for marketing
There was a time when it was relatively easy to get new leads from Facebook. However, when the Facebook algorithm changed in 2018, things became a lot harder. Legitimate businesses got caught up in Facebook's attempt to rid the platform of fake news. Their marketing efforts simply no longer reached as big an audience. Since the change, many people insist that the only way to get returns from Facebook advertising is to fund paid adverts. That being said, there are some things that can be done which can help a business get more from its free social media presence:
- Posting high quality content less often. It's better to post content which gains a lot of interaction every couple of days than to post uninteresting content, that gets no attention, every day. This is because Facebook takes note of engagement when it uses the algorithm for its news feed.
- Remembering that Facebook has a social aspect. Let's not forget that Facebook is a social media channel. Therefore, marketers need to concentrate on posting content that is of a social nature. This could be amusing content or content that connects with people on a personal level. Facebook shouldn’t be used for simply publishing promotional material.
- Telling a story. People who use Facebook love to hear a good story. This makes Facebook a great place for businesses to tell people their story; why they were formed, how they have grown and who works for them.
- Asking the audience. A great way for a business to interact with people on Facebook is to ask them a question. This helps to start a conversation that people are likely to want to get involved in.
Paying attention to all of these points can help marketers to optimize its Facebook presence. Having said that, there is a good argument for making some investment in paid advertising on Facebook.
The benefits of paid Facebook advertising
It may be slightly frustrating that paid advertising is now the best way to get noticed on Facebook. However, a relatively small investment can go a long way and businesses can reap several benefits.
1. The ability to micro-target
Facebook’s collection of data is a contentious issue with some users. However, it can be extremely useful for marketers. It means that adverts can be targeted to specific groups of people which provides a big advantage for marketers who want to optimize their budget.
2. The ability to retarget
Facebook provides a great platform to retarget people who have already interacted with a brand. If people are already familiar with a brand, they’re far more likely to click on a paid Facebook advert.
3. The availability of testing
No marketing campaign is ever going to succeed if it's not tested on an ongoing basis. In this digital age testing and tweaking can be done in real-time. Facebook makes this easy by including a range of testing functionality as part of its paid advertising function.
4. The range of ad types available
One of the biggest positives is the range of different ad types, including:
- Carousel ads that are aimed at promoting specific products
- Lead ads that are aimed at collecting information such as email addresses
- Awareness ads that are aimed at attracting people to the brand or an event the business is hosting
While Facebook has been the main focus of this article, this advice can work well across most social media channels. The main thing to remember is that social media advertising takes time; it won’t produce instant results. Time is needed to optimize marketing activity, as well as regularly testing and monitoring campaigns along the way. It's this testing and monitoring that helps to inform improvements and assist marketers in capitalizing on social media marketing opportunities.