If you are a small business asking for advice on how to market better to your consumer you are probably sick of people saying;
“Have you tried social media?”
“You have to buy ads or you won’t get anywhere with your business!”
Putting myself in the shoes of a Small Business owner, I used to feel like social media was a marathon race that started hours ago. And, everyone was telling me I should start running, how to run the race, and that I can still win….
I was not convinced.
I am sure as a Small Business owner you can relate. You might be thinking, “How can I be successful when it feels like everyone around me is already so far ahead and I don’t know if it is worth exhausting my time, more importantly money, and see no results?”.
There is hope!
The first thing is to change your mindset, like I did, on how to see Facebook. Do not look at it as just a race, rather look as it as a gym as well. Everyone goes to the gym to work out and see results, and be/feel successful. Once you have trained then you can enter the race.
I have put in a lot of time studying this topic and I have a couple of points you should know before you start lifting those metaphorical weights.
Before I dive into these points I want you to understand one important thing. If you take anything away from this article I feel this is the most important.
You should be spending 70-75% of your yearly marketing budget on creating content, and 25-30% of the budget on ads on social media.
Creating content = going to the gym
Ads on Facebook = running the race
If you are going to run a marathon you need to prepare. If you want to be successful on Facebook you need to prepare creative, captivating, and concentrated content.
You don’t just go to the gym and start randomly lifting weights or using machines. There is a process. Every company is different and each needs a specific workout (marketing plan) to see future improvement.
I relate the Facebook Ads to a marathon race, because I feel like it is the way you pay your way into the race. The great part is you are dropped in near the front of the pack. If you have prepared yourself for this part of the race you can easily catch up to the leaders, and stay at their pace, and even pass up your competitors.
Now that this analogy is out of the way. Here are things you should be doing to prepare!
Pinpoint Goals That Affect Your Needs
What is it that your company needs? This is where using Facebook as a marketing strategy ties in only as an element of your overarching marketing strategy. Using Facebook is a great tool in marketing for your business, but shouldn’t be your only solution. Keep that in mind. That being said, in order for this to work you’ll need to ask questions that will help you understand how Facebook will affect your business with a positive outcome.
Some questions can include:
- How will this help my business gain credibility?
- How will this help me work smarter, and not harder for my company’s growth?
- How will these efforts increase the quality of sales for my business?
- What exactly do I want to get out of my Facebook efforts? I.e. More visibility. Higher in house traffic. More visits to my online website/deals. Etc.
Plan and Develop Content
This will be your biggest project. Making content will be the bulk of your efforts, take up the majority of your time, and be a big chunk of your marketing budget. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT post content just to have content. It is better to wait awhile and plan out great solid content then to just post something and hope for views. This is the foundation of your success, do not rush it and make sure it is done correctly. I can’t stress this enough.
There are so many ways to interact with customers on Facebook:
- Status Update
- Video (Get comfortable shooting video)
- Facebook Live
- Facebook Stories
How are you going to engage with your clients? When are you going to do it? What is the best time to post? If you aren’t asking these questions you will become discouraged very quickly.
Make sure to plan out in advance your posts. After you have established your goals plan out a month long calendar with all the different ways you will engage with your followers on Facebook. Know what you are going to post and when you are going to post it.
Get creative! Come up with weekly videos, images, or posts that have a theme or story to help build your brand/visibility.
Establish an Ads Strategy
Once you have your content, buying Ads will help get the message to as many viewers as possible. If you do not have the money for ads, it will take time to get the message spread, but if the content is good, it will spread.
Some ways to help boost your Ads success rate are by:
- Setting up Saved Audiences
- Use Tracking Pixel
- Upload Your Email Lists
- Embed Facebook Content
- Click in the upper right hand corner of your posts, click embed, and copy and past content you wish to embed.
- You can add a call to action at the bottom of your Facebook page
While planning out your goals, make sure you understand how your Ads will help accomplish these goals. Do your research, use the internet to your advantage and study how to be effective. Facebook even helps teach you about their Ads, and how they work. If you want to be successful you’ll have to educate yourself, nothing will be done for you. Articles like this can help guide you, but ultimately it’s up to you. You got this!
Engage, and Don’t Wait
I won’t dive too far into this point. It is pretty self explanatory. Get out there and talk to your target market. Find out what content they are engaging in, and learn about what is trending. Interact with them on those posts. This will help you learn how to adapt your strategy to your needs so your content will be seen, and your followers will want to interact with you. It is like making friends at a party. You probably won’t make any unless you make the first move.
Study and Pursue
Lastly, like anything in life; analyze where you are, where you were, and where you want to be. Verify if you have achieved your goals. Why did you not hit the mark? Why did you hit the mark? Can you repeat your success, or make it better? How? Ask these questions and adjust your plan. Without change or the ability to embrace change your business will fail.
Take Blockbuster for example, they were a very successful company with a great product, but they didn’t plan on getting their feet swept out from under them by RedBox. Success should be your greatest cause to change.
Hopefully this article caused you to reevaluate your efforts as a small business owner. Notice that this article was a review on Facebook for your industry, but I never talked about the Pros and Cons of the platform, or reviewed whether or not you should use it. The reason why is because it is a must. As of right now it is the highest used platform and the best place to build your empire, not doubt about it.
That being said, take this seriously, remember to use and study Facebook to first build your foundation. Then, once you are in the race, implement your plan, and reach your goals!