Facebook is the world’s biggest social advertising platform, and its Messenger app is now one of the world’s most popular apps. Startup or not, you’ll want to get a slice of Facebook.
So, what exactly is the best way to engage with this social media behemoth? How can growth hackers and early-stage business owners make the most of Facebook?
Read on to find out how to make Facebook work for you.
Cut through the hype
Recent algorithmic developments had people predicting the demise of the Facebook page and the steady demise of its organic reach. Many marketers feel that the platform is making organic posting harder and harder as its ad revenue continues to grow.
Though some of this organic reach hype may be scaremongering, there is definitely a grain of truth to it. The way that people use Facebook is changing, and quite dramatically so. In 2017, most users engage with Facebook on mobile and spend a lot of time interacting with videos. As the user evolves, so does the platform.
Here is how not to get too caught up in the reach/ad debate and lose sight of your goals:
- Have a theory or hypothesis you want to test? Run some A/B tests to see whether your hunch was right or not. This is the best way to find out whether changes are actually impacting your niche.
- Keep constantly listening to your audience, on Facebook and otherwise. Understanding them should help guide your content strategy. Learn how to listen more and talk less to make the most of social media.
Finding meaningful audiences
The biggest strength of Facebook for growth hackers are their data servers (which helped save a mill town from dying — but that’s another story).
With SO many years of engagement and user data, Facebook is a great place for building and making the most of custom audiences. You can pretty much niche up (or down) as much as you like, and Facebook advertising success is largely determined by audience segmentation.
- Don’t be too generalist with audience interests — you want niche and targeted audiences for your ads.
- Run a few targeting tests to see which segmentation strategy works best for you.
- Retargeted audiences can also benefit from further segmentation and analysis; don’t settle for ‘blanket’ offers and coupons: engage lapsed customers with personalization and emotional marketing.
Ad sequencing is the new storytelling
The more sophisticated the funnel, the more memorable the story.
A proper ad sequence is essential to a well-groomed Facebook ad campaign. Ad sequencing will help you engage customers at the right time with the right ad, and will also considerably strengthen your overall brand presence and brand story.
From retargeting to upselling, use your Facebook advertising space as a way to up the ante, not simply boost sales figures. Challenge yourself to use more exciting ad formats such as videos and carousels to engage users at all stages of the funnel.
On the organic side, sequencing should also factor into your editorial calendar. Make sure your Facebook posts tell a consistent story.
Get into Messenger
Messenger is the place to be. The open rates on messenger apps beat email hands-down, and early adopters of messenger marketing/ customer service will see huge engagement rates.
- Act fast. Soon enough, Messenger will become saturated with ads and marketing content.
- Build a chatbot. No really — it’s not as hard as you think. Experiment with some of the bigger platforms and see how messenger marketing can help you scale faster.
Global from day one
Facebook connects pretty much everyone in the world. Brands on Facebook need to take advantage of the platform’s global reach in order to grow faster. With the advance of modern logistics and dropshipping, there is no reason not to start servicing international customers from day one.
- Think big with ads. Use a tool like AdEspresso to help you scale and automate your Facebook ads. (Bonus — it hooks up with Instagram too).
- Multilingual ads are a great way to really speak to your target audience, but don’t go for straight translation — opt for cultural transcreation instead. It will make your ads much more compelling. Same goes for organic content — get access to local and cultural insights so that your posts literally ‘speak’ their language.
Facebook is a great place for building an online community, whether it’s one that’s chiefly organic or advertising based. Adopt a community management attitude instead of a broadcasting one.
You will need to be very good at community management problem-solving — a poorly timed or misjudged update will send your Facebook reactions and comments into a tailspin. Spend time investigating customer and buyer avatars before diving in, and be open and honest about any shortcomings in customer service or experience.
As a growth hacker seeking to create a viral loop, an engaged Facebook audience can be worth its weight in gold. My advice is to be generous with shares, tags, cross-posting, and giveaways in order to solidify your reputation as a ‘giver’, before going in with more hard-sell content.
At the same time, if you have a story that goes right to the heart of a community issue or you have a brilliant opportunity to news jack — dive right in. Being the first to market with an angle can give you the edge, as long as you haven’t misjudged the community reaction.
The best way to use Facebook is to integrate it with the rest of your marketing — and beyond. Be constantly on the lookout for ways to repurpose and recycle content, and don’t forget to use insights from marketing and customer service data to help you win at Facebook.
- Data visualization tools can help busy teams decipher complex data quickly. Take advantage of integrated data platforms to help you deliver the best Facebook experience.
- Recognize Facebook’s role as a customer service and customer experience channel — not just a marketing one. With the launch of Facebook Workplace, it’s already making in-roads into internal processes and HR too. Make sure you’re making the most of the platform with a 360-degree approach.
Facebook is a great place for businesses to be — whether big or small. The best way to succeed on Facebook is to adopt a holistic Facebook content and ad strategy for your business, rather than get too hung up on channel specifics. Facebook is constantly changing and evolving, but not more so than the digital landscape as a whole. People expect more personal and immediate contact with brands, and your business needs to be at the forefront of that, both on Facebook and beyond.
Original article published here