Facebook Marketing Tips

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) advertising can be overwhelming, especially if you are working on your first campaign. Before you jump in and get started, use these Facebook marketing tips to help you make the most of your time, effort, and budget.

Facebook Marketing Tips

Start with a Clear Goal

Before you can create any kind of successful Facebook advertising campaign, you must define your goals and the metrics you’ll need to measure to determine how successful the campaign is. This will set the stage for the methods you’ll use to optimize the campaign, so skipping this step will be costly to your ROI.

Common Facebook advertising goals include:

  • Generating sales: Your approach will vary depending on whether you’re in the B2C or B2B sector. When in the B2C, your best bet is to use page post ads to promote in the news feed, where you can use larger images to promote your products and services. When in the B2B sector, you should use both page post ads and right-hand column ads to focus on acquiring more leads you can nurture through the sales funnel to convert to sales. Your goal is to send more traffic to your website or landing page, and you should target based on interests, age range, and gender (if appropriate.)
  • Building more brand awareness: Use page like ads to get more likes for your page. You should aim for likes only from highly targeted people, so it means using targeting competitors, similar interests, and custom audiences to get newsletter subscribers to like your Facebook page. Exclude people who are already fans of your page to avoid wasting ad spend.
  • Getting more engagement on your posts: Use link ads, photo ads, and video ads to get more engagement for your posts. Your ad creatives should be extremely visual with stellar photos. If you’ve built a relevant audience, start by advertising to them. If not, target people who fit your ideal customer persona based on interests, age, gender, and purchasing behaviors.
  • Getting installs of your mobile app: Use the mobile app ads for install ad type. Once your app is published in the app store, you should implement Facebook event tracking. Use app screenshots in your creative, and target based on the audience you believe to be most interested.
  • Increasing app usage and profit: Use mobile app engagement ads. These people have already installed your app, so be specific as possible and use the ad to direct users exactly where you want them to go. Use custom audience targeting. Use event tracking in your app so you can see what each user is doing and use that to target them precisely.

Keep Desktop and Mobile Ads Separate

Facebook gives you the option to run various ad types in different locations. You can run on mobile newsfeed, desktop newsfeed, right column, and Instagram. It’s a good idea to keep your desktop and mobile ad campaigns completely separate, even if you’re aiming to achieve the same goal.

Keeping them separate allows you to optimize your ads, bids, and conversions based on device. Your ads and calls to action are likely to perform differently on desktop than they would on mobile, so your ad setup needs to fact that in. If you’re using the Power Editor to design and build your ads, then you can choose the device targeting on the ad set menu.

Test Different Images

Images will draw attention to your ads, but no two images will perform the same way. That’s why you should test the same ad copy with different images, to see which ones your audience responds to better. Then, stop running ad campaigns that use the images with the lower click through rates and conversions, so you can maximize your ROI.

Use Lookalike Audiences

A Facebook Lookalike Audience is a list of users who have similar characteristics to your website custom audience. You can use it to find other people who are already like your customers, or to find people like the ones who are already like your page.

If you want to create a lookalike audience, login to the Facebook ads manager and click audiences. From there, click “Create audience” and choose “Lookalike audience” from the dropdown menu.

Then, choose the source of your look alike audience, such as the people who already like your page, or the people who’ve visited the thank you page on your website. Choose your target company, and select your audience size. The smaller audience size you choose, the more targeted it will be.

Use the Remarketing Pixel

Any potential customers who’ve visited your website from any traffic source, but didn’t convert, are likely comparing prices and providers. They’re in the research phase and are trying to get the best possible deal. So, by the time they’re ready to actually make a purchase, chances are high they’ve forgotten about you.

The Facebook remarketing pixel allows you to target people who’ve visited your website in the past on Facebook with ads. This is an excellent way to make the most of traffic that originally came to you from AdWords. All you have to do to setup a remarketing pixel is login to your Facebook advertising manager, click on Audiences, then click “Custom Audience and Website Traffic.” From there, you’ll be able to start the process of creating a remarketing pixel.

You’ll need to install the code in the footer of your website. It may take a day or so to start pulling in data, but you can then go back to your website traffic menu and choose “people who visit specific web pages.” From there, you’ll be able to create lists of people who are visiting a certain page on your website, and target them or exclude them from your campaigns.

One of the best ways to make use of this is to exclude anyone who has visited your thank you page, since they have already converted. You’re not wasting time or money advertising to them.

Target Your Email List

Facebook lets you create a custom audience based on your email list. Create a .CSV or .TXT file with a single email address per row. Remove any other data your email marketing platform includes in your exported file.

Click “Audiences” and click “Create Audience.” Then choose “Custom Audience” and “Customer List”. From there, you’ll be able to upload your list.

You can also upload a list of phone numbers and target those people on Facebook ads, but it only works if their phone number is listed in their account. You can create a lookalike audience based off of these targeted lists, too.

Schedule Your Ads

On Facebook, you can segment your ads by days and hours, if you have a lifetime budget, rather than a daily budget option. This issue is why many businesses aren’t using this feature. If you use this approach, you’ll need to think of the total budget of your ad set. If you don’t have a successful performance pattern over time, then don’t use this setting. It’s not a good option for the first run of an ad for testing purposes.

If you have an ad you know works, you can set up the days and times you want it o run in the budget and schedule section of your ad set.

Use Carousel Ads

If your audience seems to respond well to a series of product images, you can combine those images into a single ad with the carousel ad. This is a newer ad type that allows you to show more than one image at once within a single ad. Ecommerce brands can use dynamic product ads that allow them to cross-sell complementary products, or even retarget customers who click through to their websites, but don’t make a purchase.

Ecommerce brands can also improve their Facebook marketing strategy using multi-product ads. This allows you to show multiple products in a single ad, giving customers more to choose from.  You can also use these ads to show different benefits of a single product. An Adobe study showed these ads are more cost efficient per acquisition, saving you up to 35 percent in cost per click because of higher engagement. And, they can boost your click through rate as much as 50 percent to 300 percent.

Advertise on Instagram, Too

Since Facebook owns Instagram, you can create the same ads on Instagram that you can run on Facebook. You can choose to run your campaigns solely on Facebook, or duplicate them on Instagram. If you know your audience can be found there too, then it’s a good way to build more traction.

The key with Facebook is to segment, and run multiple ads on a small scale to see what works before spending more money. Always be testing, and paying attention to your conversions.

Facebook Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "7 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Marketing Strategy" was first published on Small Business Trends

Tips for Hiring Social Media Professionals

President Donald Trump has gotten a lot of attention for his social media strategy. But there’s another man behind that strategy — director of social media Dan Scavino.

Whatever you think of Trump’s messages, his social media channels have certainly proved to be an effective outlet for communication and sharing. If you’d like to create a similarly effective social media strategy, check out some of these do’s and don’ts for hiring a social media professional. You can learn from the story of Scavino.

Tips for Hiring Social Media Professionals

DON’T Limit Yourself to “Social Media Experts”

Scavino didn’t start out as a social media professional. He actually served as Trump’s golf caddy when he was a teenager. Then he went onto manage one of Trump’s golf courses before moving up to serve as director of social media.

Since social media is so accessible to everyone, you don’t have to limit your search to those who have specific social media work on their resumes. You can find someone who simply has experience building their own social media presence or has some of the essential communication skills required to run your social media strategy.

DO Find Someone You Trust

Because of Scavino’s history with Trump, it seems that he has the full trust of the President. This makes it easy for them to work together and focus on the communication strategy that they’ve developed together. For your business, this might mean trying out an existing employee on your social media channels or finding someone through personal referrals from trusted advisors.

DON’T Stick with a “Yes” Person

Though Scavino says he rarely says no to Trump’s tweets or talking points, he has had to temper those messages from time to time. And as a business owner, you should hire a social media pro who will add their own input as an expert, even when it’s not something you particularly want to hear.

DO Find Someone Who Shares Your Authentic Message

But overall, people on social media want to follow authentic people and brands. So you don’t want to hire someone who will only ever post generic marketing messages and not let you show off your business’s personality at all. Find someone who understands the value of authenticity and (sometimes) unfiltered messages.

DON’T Stick with Just One Platform

Trump gets a lot of attention for his tweets. But Scavino is also active on other platforms like Instagram and Facebook. And your business should probably have a strategy that integrates more than one platform as well. So find someone who has expertise with each of the platforms that might be able to benefit your business.

DO Find Someone Who Will Dedicate a Lot of Time

Scavino is constantly following Trump, taking video and transcribing his thoughts to turn into social media posts. Running social media accounts for a business is also a time-consuming job. So you need to find someone who is willing and able to dedicate the time needed to make your social media strategy a success.

DON’T Discount How They Fit with Your Team

Because of that time requirement to make your social media strategy successful, your social media pro is going to spend a lot of time with you and your team. So if they don’t fit in with your team or mess with the chemistry of your office, it’s not going to be a good hire.

DO Look for Great Listening Skills

You also need to find someone who demonstrates great listening skills. Scavino often drafts tweets based on things Trump dictates to him throughout the day. So if you can find someone who listens carefully and can turn your authentic thoughts into tweets or posts, that’s a great step for your business.

DON’T Model Your Strategy After Others

When Mitt Romney was running his presidential campaign, he had a team of more than 20 people who signed off on each tweet. Trump has just one person. You can argue the merits of both sides. But different candidates (and businesses) have different styles. So you need to find the one that’s right for you rather than just doing what your predecessors or competitors have done.

DO Find Someone Who Knows the Rules

Scavino’s tenure as social media director hasn’t been all rosy. He’s also been reprimanded for violating the Hatch Act, a rule that prohibits executive branch officials from attempting to influence election outcomes, when he called for the defeat of a Michigan House Representative in a tweet.

This specific rule might not apply to your business. But you likely have other internal and external rules and policies to consider when it comes to social media. So make sure that your new hire is someone who is going to be able to follow the relevant rules in regards to your social media strategy.

Trump’s Twitter Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "10 Things the Trump Administration Can Teach You About Hiring a Social Media Pro" was first published on Small Business Trends

How to Monetize Social Media by Creating Excellent Content

Do you think promoting your blog through social media is a waste of time? Or do you think focusing on social media is less important than your other marketing efforts? Think again.

Over a third of online users turn to social media to learn more about different brands. Over half of marketers who have been active on social media for two years have seen sales increase. And 41% of local businesses use social to drive sales.

Why People Fail at Social Media

One social media marketing educator notes that many people fail to drive profits through social media because of a misconception.

They think all they need to do is post an update asking people to buy. When their followers don’t, these people think social media isn’t effective.

The truth is that generating revenue through social media comes down to three tactics:

  1. Knowing your audience
  2. Speaking to their pain points
  3. Using paid and organic traffic

Importance of Choosing a Niche

Online marketers widely agree that you must choose a niche wisely in order to be successful. You need to know who the members of your target audience are and how they are wired. This knowledge will enable you to create blog posts that speak directly to their desires and fears.

This means that you must take a stand for something, even if you alienate some people. If you’re not alienating someone, it’s unlikely you’re appealing to anyone. You don’t need to be abrasive and antagonistic. But if you don’t stand for something, what do you actually have to offer?

For example, many people surfing the web love to eat meat and have no interest in a vegan-oriented blog. But many others would be very interested in such a blog. If you try to appeal to both groups, you will lack credibility and dilute your message. You will be much more successful by appealing to one or the other.

Finding Your Niche

As online marketer Jerry Low observes, “No matter how well written your content or how beautiful your blog design—if you fail to pick the right niche, you will fail converting your effort into money.”

He recommends several methods for determining your niche. These include doing keyword research and finding out where online advertisers are spending money. Facebook is also useful for narrowing your audience (as well as for generating revenue, as we’ll discuss later).

If you have a Facebook page, you should explore in-depth the profiles of the people who have already liked your page. This ability in itself is a huge advantage of social media because it provides you with an easy way to learn about your potential buyers. The more you know about them, the more successful your marketing will be (and the more profits you will gain).

You can also learn about your audience by looking at your competitors’ pages. Find out which of your competitors’ posts are the most popular by going to Insights > Overview > Pages to Watch.

Another strategy you should pursue is finding out who is succeeding at marketing on social media and then mimicking their tactics. Why are people following them? What problems are they solving? What are the qualities of the most clickable headlines and the most popular posts?

You can also evaluate how your competitors are failing and learn from their mistakes.

Very Common Mistake to Avoid

There is one primary mistake people make when attempting social media marketing. They fail to realize the implications of the fact that they have customers all over the web on a variety of platforms.

Most companies post the same piece of content on all their platforms at once and then don’t think about the post again. If people are following you on several apps and you put the same content on all of them at the same time, your followers will receive multiple notifications about ONE post. But they are only going to read your post on one of those apps.

The result is you are squandering an opportunity to get your followers to notice you multiple times on every platform they enjoy.

Companies should create fewer pieces of extremely valuable content in a variety of formats. You could present one piece of content as an image, video, blog post, set of slides, a list of tips, podcast, quote, and so on. Then spread out your posts on different platforms on different days, using automation software to make the process easier.

The way this strategy could play out is you first publish a blog post on your website on the first day of a campaign. The second day, post on Facebook with a comment to generate emotion and interaction. Next, post on LinkedIn (with a link back to the original blog post) and the next day on Instagram (again, with a link back to the blog post).

The following day, post on Pinterest and the next on Twitter, and so on. This way, you are generating links and sending traffic back to your blog, making the most of every chance to get your audience’s attention.

Ways to Monetize Social Media

As you cultivate relationships with your followers, there are a number of ways you can turn the value you’re providing them into actual income.

One is that you can use social media to capture sign-ups for your email marketing. You could offer an incentive for signing up, such as a discount. Or you could give people the chance to sign up directly through Facebook. Tesla, for example, has a Sign-Up button on its Facebook page that takes you right to a place on the site where you can enter your email address.

The freemium model is another option for generating sales. You can offer something for free or for a trial period as a motivation for users to return and spend money once they know and like your product. Make sure that what you offer is useful without giving away too much. If you give away too much for free, people won’t think your product has much value.

You might consider affiliate marketing, where you partner with a social influencer who has an audience that would benefit from your product. If your interests align, the person or group will drive traffic to your site and get a percentage of the sales you make.

Of course, you can always attempt direct selling through social media. Facebook is a great platform for this tactic. You can showcase your product through images, video, and Facebook Live. And you can add a “Shop Now” button to your page so your followers can easily click through to purchase from your site.

On Instagram, companies will often post a compelling picture of their product and then direct their viewers to shop via a link in the bio. With the new Instagram for Business feature, it’s possible that brands will soon be able to show the prices of their products within each post and enable purchasing within the app.

Lead Generation

Many social networks work well for generating leads and filling your sales funnel. This is especially true for B2Bs. Look for third party tools developed for lead generation on specific social platforms. For example, Socedo is a Twitter lead generation tool.

Oktopost can measure social media insights and identify previous visits if a repeat visitor later subscribes to a list or downloads a white paper.

Use Your Imagination

You’re going to have to be creative in figuring out which platforms are most suited to your company’s marketing efforts. For example, while people commonly go to Instagram to learn more about their favorite brands, most of SnapChat’s users are not on that platform to shop. So SnapChat is not a great avenue for direct selling.

But SnapChat is popular with a younger demographic. If your message is targeted to younger people, you should explore how you could use it.

The nature of SnapChat is lighthearted and often silly, so the app could be a good fit for you if those qualities are in line with your branding. This post has some great ideas for using SnapChat to generate leads.

Bottom Line

If you ignore social media, you are ignoring the potential to skyrocket your profits. Create and post excellent content. Build relationships with your followers. If you are strategic, you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Typing Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "How to Monetize Social Media by Creating Excellent Content" was first published on Small Business Trends

Microsoft Launches LinkedIn App for Windows 10

Microsoft-owned professional network LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) announced recently a new app that is deeply integrated into Windows 10 OS and accessible through Windows 10 Start Menu and task bar.

LinkedIn App for Windows 10

“Every month millions of professionals around the world access LinkedIn using a web browser on Windows 10,” said LinkedIn’s Product Manager Hermes Alvarez. “We want to give these members more options for how they connect with their professional world, so today we’re excited to share that we are starting to roll out our LinkedIn app for Windows 10. With our new desktop application, Windows 10 users can enjoy a richer, more engaging and connected LinkedIn experience.”

The app includes features such as real-time notifications on updates and new messages from LinkedIn connections, as well as news and information on who has been viewing your profile.

Notifications can be managed within the LinkedIn app, so you don’t have to worry about being spammed with pop-ups.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) first announced its plan to acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion in June 2016.

Microsoft finalized its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in December 2016. The company has expressed its intentions to bring LinkedIn identity to Microsoft’s productivity applications, like Outlook and Office as well as introducing LinkedIn notifications in the Windows Action Center, among other things. It looks like Microsoft is already making strides to achieve the latter with the launch of the Windows 10 application.

At the time of the acquisition, LinkedIn had a little over 400 million users worldwide,  and in April this year, the professional social networking site announced that it had now crossed the 500 million users mark, which generally makes it the largest professional social networking platform in the world.

The new app is already rolling out to Windows Store and will be available in 22 languages at first, including Czech, Indonesian, Thai, Malay, Romanian, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Polish, Turkish, Swedish, Chinese (traditional), Chinese (simplified), Arabic, Danish, Italian, Dutch, Japanese and Korean.

The LinkedIn Windows 10 app will be available to all LinkedIn markets by the end of July.

Image: LinkedIn

This article, "Microsoft Launches Windows 10 App for LinkedIn" was first published on Small Business Trends

A 10 Step Free Twitter Marketing Strategy That Doesn’t Cost a Dime

Twitter may be free to use, but the platform definitely requires time to leverage correctly. Using Twitter to market your brand also requires a strategy. Start by building an organic following on Twitter with these 10 steps.

Free Twitter Marketing Strategy

Use Your Real Name in Your Profile

If you put all the other pieces of a Twitter marketing strategy together properly, prospects will be interested in you. Success rests on having a completed profile that’s authentic. Use your real name and a real picture. If you’re looking to get creative, you can adopt a customized background. Remember to add a bio and website info too.

Get Verified

The blue badge gives your account the creds it needs to sell goods and services by telling visitors you’re authentic. Submit a request by filling out a form. You’ll need a phone number and verified email address as well as some other information you can find here.

Add Video

Seeing is believing. Besides, video helps you to engage with prospects and returning customers alike. Download the app that allows you to record, edit and share videos. Remember, videos don’t count toward your 140 character limit. You’ll also get an automatic loop for anything 6.5 seconds or shorter.

Use Twitter Chats

Engagement is the name-of-the-game and the best way to grow your Twitter following organically. Twitter Chats are effective. Why? Because they draw in users who interact. Those are the very people that retweet and spread the word about the goods and services you sell. Here’s some free Twitter chat tools.

Create A Post Schedule

It’s  good to have lots of ideas for compelling tweets. Better if you’ve got the time and ability to put them all into 140 characters and best if you schedule them to release incrementally. Scheduled tweets can be added  to existing campaigns and even organized for up to one year in advance.

Create Twitter Moments

You need to have a loyal following to to sell stuff and that’s just what this feature can do for you. These are current and relevant topics all corralled into one place. Create one of your own via the web, or through iOS and/or Android.

Take Advantage of Direct Messages

Following up is important when you’re looking to turn a prospect into a client. This private conversation feature allows for a personalized engagement touch. You can also receive and send them on your phone via SMS. There’s even a way to create a deep link to take public conversations private.

Put Together a Twitter Team

Use this feature via TweetDeck and you can have multiple people sharing one account. Perfect for the team with members on the road who still want to participate. Add up to 200 marketing team members but be sure to coordinate the image you want to show to the world.

Use Advanced Search

Chances are, when you’re running a small business, time is of the essence for everything you do. Using Advanced Search helps your marketing efforts by funneling searches to specific people, dates and more. It’s an important tool to see engagement patterns and trends so you can make the right decisions.

Engage

There’s no substitute for having the dedication to practice good customer service even in cyberspace. If you’re going to take the time to use Twitter for marketing, you need to be all in. That means responding to the Tweets your clients send you and to each and every query from prospects too.

Twitter Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "10 Steps to Building an Organic Following on Twitter" was first published on Small Business Trends