Using social media is an affordable option for small businesses that are looking to productively engage with their audience and generate buzz for their products and services. However, staying informed about changes to existing platforms presents a serious challenge to marketing professionals as even the savviest of Facebook users might be unaware of new features that could benefit their efforts.
People are spending 50 minutes on Facebook each day according to a recent New York Times article. It’s more critical than ever to make your Facebook Page work for you. Facebook is constantly changing, meaning your strategies must also. Whether you want to build your Facebook following, or simply boost your engagement, here’s a look at the hottest Facebook features and trends.
Facebook recently introduced Facebook Live. You’ve probably seen it in action, but may not have tried it. It gives you the opportunity to stream live video directly on your Facebook page.
Facebook Livestreaming Tips:
- The ideal length is 5-20 minutes.
- Use a short catchy video title. Additional description can be included in the comments.
- After your livestreaming concludes, update the post with a description, a call to action, and new thumbnail.Hashtags are important!
- Tag anyone you interview or chat with in the video to boost views!
The Facebook ad dashboard can be daunting with its endless choices. Here’s what we love:
Boosted posts are often the go-to because they are so easy. But they can become expensive without targeting to a selected audience. For as little as $15, you can successfully boost posts that are already engaging your fans, and limit the exposure to your hottest demographic.
Ads that Drive a Specific Call to Action (like Newsletter Sign-Ups)
Gearing Facebook Ads toward driving people to a Leads Page or some other sales page is actually often an expensive endeavor because the cost-per-click (CPC) is much higher. Instead, drive folks to a blog post with a great call to action inviting your readers to sign up for something. The caveat is you MUST have a fantastic blog post, so let’s look at that first.
A blog post designed to drive engagement should be epic; it should give a how to, be actionable, or be a list post. People love to share stuff that makes them look smart, so if your post does that, bingo! If time is a concern and you already have a post that was a big hit, you can even update and relaunch it.
People love free stuff, and free gets you hits. Free stuff doesn’t have to cost YOU anything either – you can create checklists, cheat sheets, etc. Don’t overthink it and spend too much of your time on a single blog post. You don’t need to write an entire book to make it valuable.
Blog Traffic and Delivery
Use an affordable, easy-to-use system like LeadsPages to create successful landing pages that drive conversions. They integrate with MailChimp and other e-newsletter providers, which means you’re not manually entering leads. Once you launch your new landing page, go back to your epic blog post and link to the bonus content a few places to make it easy.
Now you’re ready for your Facebook ad!
Facebook Ad Tips
In general, Facebook ads work better when you let them create themselves. Using casual language with a really eye-catching image tends to be way more effective than a formal, structured ad. Your own image works if you’re advertising to existing fans, but if you’re trying to build your audience, use something that will interest people who don’t know you. Sometimes a simple color block with text can work brilliantly.
Optimizing Your Facebook Posts
Since posts unrelated to ads don’t work as well as they used to, I researched to find what tends to work best for creating engaging posts without spending money.
Pictures: Posts with pictures drive more engagement, as much as 179% more. The trick is using quality, interesting images. Trip Advisor has turned this into an art form. Check out their page to get some great ideas.
Memes: While memes are fun and can get you lots of shares, they don’t really help with overall engagement. Stick with stuff that’s relevant to your audience. Also, brand each image with your web address so people know how to find you when your post goes viral.
Posting Time: Your audience demographics may have a different time slot, but I’ve found my highest engagements (52.9% higher!) are Sundays between 10-11 am EST.
Talking points: Did you know that questions drive 162% more engagement? Try using “Caption This” on photos to drive interaction. Even a simple “Do you agree?” can boost engagement.
Post length: Shorter used to be better on Facebook, but now, posts with 150-200 characters equals more shares.
Facebook changes constantly, which can sometimes make it feel like an untamable beast, but we promise, if you spend some time with these tools, you’ll really see the results. Remember, users spend an average of 50 minutes a day on Facebook. Go grab some of that window for your marketing efforts!