Social media spotlight: Facebook

Social Media Spotlight is designed to introduce you to the benefits of social media for your business, with specific examples tailored to the graphic arts industry. Each issue, we will be exploring a new social media platform.

Undoubtedly, as with any technology, there will be a learning curve when using social media for business. However, this method of ‘inbound’ or ‘pull’ marketing is becoming the norm (no matter how far some printers want to bury their heads in the sand). This doesn’t mean that print media is obsolete or doesn’t have an important role in marketing, but it does mean that these new, online methods of promotion and lead generation are changing business as usual.

This column is designed to:

Make the case for investing time and resources into a social media platform

Tips and tricks to encourage engagement

How to measure your effectiveness

Provide an example of a company in the graphic arts industry with social media success

Link to further resources

Provide a glossary of key terms

Let’s start with the most well known social media platform: Facebook.

Why join for business? 

“Isn’t Facebook for connecting with friends for personal reasons? Why would I want to use this social media channel for business?”

Yes, Facebook has its roots in university campuses across North America, but Facebook is now a powerful tool for business because it can expose your company to a massive network of potential customers. Facebook can help businesses turn leads into loyal customers, in both B2C and B2B environments. According to HubSpot (a company that specializes in ‘inbound’ marketing strategies), 93% of adults in the United States are on Facebook. The massive usage rate, paired with its unique functionality designed for businesses and its ease of use make it a clear winner as a marketing channel. Not to mention… it’s free!

Like any marketing campaign, it is critically important to understand your target market, their pain points and how you can solve their problems. This is no different for a social media campaign. Once you know who you’re targeting, the beauty of the Facebook platform is that market segmentation based on a specific set of criteria (age range or geographic location, for example) is robust and highly accurate.

For your business, you will create a Facebook “page”. On your page, you can post newsworthy items, links to information your customers will find valuable, and upcoming events. Facebook Pages are most effective when paired with an external website called a landing page. Ideally, users can click on an offer (whether it’s a discount promotional offer, free white paper or other offer) that directs them to a landing page. This landing page is where your business will capture some basic lead generation information about the user, in exchange for the offer. This information can drive future campaigns and help determine how effectively you turn leads into customers.

Post Ideas:

Contests

Blog posts

Industry news

Events

Webinars

Offers

Polls

Employee news

Customer testimonials

New product information & photos

Tips & tricks

Responses to customer questions

Tips for Engaging Prospects and Customers 

What works to keep customers excited about your business in the physical world often translates to the digital world as well. As cleverly identified in HubSpot’s ebook, How to Engage Fans on Facebook, “[at a party] the people who are the most engaging are 1) the most interesting, 2) the most attractive, or 3) the most engaged themselves”. By identifying ways to establish engagement in the physical world, we can develop ways to encourage engagement online. Here are five tips to engage your audience on Facebook.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Personal – Don’t be afraid to post images, information and updates that show your business’ personality. Customers appreciate and connect with this human touch and it is expected on Facebook. Also, don’t be afraid to be funny (please let your common sense guide you) because funny, highly sharable content is an important way to expand your reach. Remember that you may have 200 “Likes”, but each of those people who Like you may have 200 Friends of their own who could potentially experience this highly sharable content. For this reason alone, Facebook is an undeniably powerful social network.

Use Visuals – According to HubSpot, photo albums increase engagement by 180 percent over content without visuals. Keep the visuals relevant to the compelling content associated with the image for maximum effectiveness.

Timing – Learn when your leads and customers are on Facebook and post during those times. For B2B companies, this may mean posting during office hours and for B2C companies, you may have better luck reaching your target audience in the evenings and on weekends. Timeliness is important on Facebook because the older your post becomes, the less relevant Facebook deems it and the less likely it will be to show up in user’s News Feeds.

Don’t Sell, Sell, Sell – Be careful not to make your posts too product-focused. Potential customers will see right through this, and even if you are trying to be genuine, you will come across as having an agenda. Instead, create a variety of posts that allow your Facebook marketing channel to evolve and exist organically. Posting relevant information will position you as the expert, and when the time is right for the customer to make a purchase decision, your business will be the logical choice.

Be Responsive – Treat questions or negative comments on your Facebook page like you would treat questions or comments to your customer service department. (Many users expect this level of engagement.) In some ways these responses hold a more important role because all of your fans are watching. If there are specific or ongoing issues, address the communication offline.

How to Measure Effectiveness 

In order to measure effectiveness, you have to know what you are measuring and ultimately build your Facebook campaign to accomplish that goal from the outset.

In establishing goals for your Facebook Page (versus Facebook paid ad space, which could be a whole article unto itself), ultimately your goal is to drive leads to your landing page, where you ask qualifying questions in exchange for an offer, as discussed above. You can then use this information to determine future campaigns and also track which of your leads turned into customers. This is an important data-driven way to measure effectiveness. By measuring the number of leads driven from your Facebook page to your landing page, you can determine your revenue per customer generated via Facebook. You will begin to get a sense of how to optimize your Facebook time investment to provide an ROI that makes sense for your marketing plan. On your Facebook page dashboard, you can also track metrics such as number of Likes, as well as weekly total reach.

A Company Who’s Got It Right 

Tiny Prints specializes in holiday card and birth announcement printing. Check out Tiny Prints’ Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/tinyprints) to see everything they’re doing right:

Hyperlink to their website at the top of the page

Sharing product ideas

A variety of posts: new products, project ideas that appeal to their target market (crafty Moms), photo gallery of beautiful customer projects, promotional discount offer with urgency (1 day only)

Offer + Landing Page – a promotional discount offer links to the landing page requesting email address in exchange for the offer

Posting consistently 2-3 times each day during the time when their target customers will most likely be on Facebook

Lots of visuals

Glossary

Page: Allows businesses, brands, and celebrities to connect with people on Facebook. Administrators can post information and news feed updates to people who like their pages.

News Feed: The ongoing list of updates on your homepage that shows you what is new with the friends and pages you follow.

Like: Clicking Like is a way to give positive feedback and connect with things you care about. When an individual ‘Likes’ something (clicks the Like button), their Friends will be notified on their news feeds.

Campaign Reach: The number of people that have seen your Facebook ad.

Clicks: The number of people who clicked on your ad that either went to your page, external page, or event.

(All glossary terms are from Facebook’s Help Centre and HubSpot.com)

Links to Further Resources

This is just the tip of the iceberg. To get started on your Facebook Page for business, check out Facebook’s Business Centre. If you are looking for more advanced resources, check out HubSpot or Social Media Today.

Facebook Business Centre: www.facebook.com/business

HubSpot’s Facebook Resources: www.hubspot.com/marketing-resources/

Facebook for Business Insights: www.socialmediatoday.com

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Diana Varma is an Instructor at the School of Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University and the Owner of ON-SITE First Aid & CPR Training Group, a health & safety company that provides training to the Graphic Arts Industry.