The most common question I get asked about Facebook is if it can be used to make businesses money. If you’re slogging away on Facebook, but struggling to measure the actual financial return for your business, then you’re in the right place.
This is a very exciting blog post for me, as not only can I report we won a national Australian Web Award for Social Media, it was for a small business client who experienced a turnover increase of 12-20% per store in the last year.
Yep, the holy grail. A social media campaign that translated in a tangible return on investment for the small business. These strategies to me years to learn and perfect, but I’d like to share them with you now and help you take your Facebook page returns to the next level.
Step 1: Storytelling
This is the single most important thing I can teach you. If you go on Facebook with the sole purpose of making a sale, you will fail.
People hang out on Facebook to spend time with their family and friends, they are not there to be sold to. You need to find a way to tell a powerful story that your ideal audience can really be part of. If you can make them feel something, you’re on the right track.
Think about how a newspaper or television show tells a story. Do they just hit you with a bunch of information in one giant blast and then never talk about it again? Nope. Are there more ads or editorial? I think you know the answer to that.
Start thinking about how you can tell a powerful and engaging story about your business, and how you can tell that story in pieces over time. If you have an awesome product to sell, your goal is to get your audience to feel as excited and passionate about it as you do.
- About the problem your product solves
- Where the idea came from
- Your journey from idea to launch
- The mistakes you made when developing or launching
- Milestones on your journey
- Success stories/case studies
- Take them behind the scenes in your business, as you make/distribute the product
- Introduce them to your team and your customers
- Show them your product/service in action
- Share the values and culture behind the business
These are just a few of the ideas you can use to tell a powerful story in your business, and none of them involve actually selling anything. Yet the sales will come anyway.
Step 2: Great pictures
Ever heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words? It is so true. If you’re sharing average pictures on your social media, then you’ll get average results.
We know that statistically posts on Facebook that have images get up to 10 times higher engagement than those with text only. This rule isn’t absolute, but it is a good guide.
Good photography doesn’t have to break the bank. If you don’t have much of a budget, find yourself a good amateur with a smart phone or contact the local university and find a student keen to build up a portfolio.
Here are a few tips for taking a great photo with a smart phone…
- Keep the light source behind the camera. It could be daylight through a window, a bright light, but if it is behind the camera you will always get a better photo.
- Having a clear point of focus is important. If there is one ‘hero’ item in your image, for example your product, tap on the screen at that point so it can adjust the focus to highlight that item. It doesn’t matter if the background fades out a little as long as your hero stands out.
- If you are taking photos of people don’t shoot upwards. It is much more flattering for the camera to be slightly higher (think about those double chins), so don’t be afraid to stand on a chair if it will get you the better picture. A higher shot also gives your subject more of an aura of power.
If you’re not sure what will work for you, experiment. Take a lot of shots until you find a style that suits your brand.
Step 3: Advertising
Over the five years I’ve been working with social media the ability to reach a Facebook audience organically (without advertising) has been slowly decreasing.
While a lot of people get annoyed by that, the reality is Facebook is a business too so also needs to get that return on investment for their product!
The good news is that Facebook advertising is super cheap. You can reach a really targeted and laser-focused audience so you don’t waste money speaking to the wrong people.
In this campaign, we used two really very simple advertising tactics. We boosted posts to a custom targeted audience and we ran like ads.
Boosting posts makes sure when you do share content to your page, that it gets pushed out to your ideal audience really effectively. This doesn’t cost a fortune, budgets of between $2-10 can make a huge difference.
Like ads are simple ads that showcase your page to people who are the kind of people who will ‘like’ your page. It is the way you get the number of page followers growing constantly.
More likes, means more potential raving fans for your business and products.
Photography credit: Danica Zuks