August 19, 2016 04:24 PM
Facebook fanpages allow for easier access to targeting and Facebook ads. (Photo: BlitzMetrics/Facebook)
by Nadja Sayej
Most businesses today can’t succeed without an online presence, and a website isn’t enough. You also need a social media strategy, probably one that includes a Facebook fan page to help you connect with customers.
Why do you need a separate fanpage if you already have a personal Facebook page? “Your personal profile has great business use, however, I would always use a fanpage, as this has better targeting, Facebook ads, Facebook Live video and a whole heap of other benefits compared to your personal profile,” said Ravi Shukle, a London-based social media and online customer service expert.
If you started a business fan page and it’s not getting enough attention, there’s probably a reason — and solutions that will help increase engagement and sales.
Dennis Yu, chief technology officer of BlitzMetrics, a company that micro-targets Facebook ad campaigns for brands, advised creating a short video — “just two minutes of you telling your story — why you started your business, what you do,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to be personal.”
He also suggested giving a video tour of your retail location or office and interviewing your staff or customers. You’re aiming to tell your story, not make a direct sales pitch, he noted.
“Share something interesting you learned; uplift a customer and what they’re doing, as if you’re a journalist interviewing them,” he said. “Make it about your customers, not you.”
While videos make up a small percentage of all content posted on Facebook, they get disproportionately high engagement, noted Phillip Ross, social media analyst for Socialbakers, in this article. And Facebook videos are shared far more often than YouTube videos.
Shukle aims to post 60 percent value-driven content, 20 percent entertaining content and 20 percent promotional content. (Other experts recommend a 80/20 rule — 80 percent helpful content, industry news or trends and 20 percent promotional content.)
“Value-driven content helps users overcome a particular problem or issue they are facing,” he said.
“This content may include advice on best practices, case studies or even sharing stories from other fans; as long as it helps other people in one form or another, it is deemed as having value.”
Shukle suggested asking yourself whether your audience will find the content useful and how they might use it. “Once you can answer this, you will be on your way to creating more engaging and entertaining content that will help you to build trust and loyalty while increasing your engagement.”
Finally, he said, “Make your posts more personal. This makes it a lot easier for fans to build that emotional connection, which leads to more engagement and trust.”
Create content that shows your value as an industry expert, Shukle advised. Better yet, do it in a way that speaks to your customers’ interests and concerns.
“To spark an important conversation, you must first understand your customers, and secondly, address an issue they are having a problem with,” he said. “This way, your business can come across as a thought leader and a trusted resource, rather than sharing information on a topic that has no real value for them.”
Facebook ads can help you reach the right consumers. You can target people by location, age, gender, interests and more. But before you spend money to send people to your fanpage, make sure your fanpage content makes the grade, said Yu.
“If your content is awful, then running ads to expose that is just going to be a waste,” said Yu. “You need this regular ‘shopkeeper’ humanizing content, which then you can boost [with paid advertising]” said Yu.
Yu recommends spending a dollar a day boosting your ads to target customers.
“Boosted” ads are prioritized higher in the Facebook news feed so there is a better chance people will see them. On every fanpage post, fanpage owners can click on the “Boost Post” button and choose an audience and a budget that dictates how many people the ad reaches. When you “boost” an ad, you can’t pay any less than $1 a day, and you pay for a minimum of one day of boosting (and a maximum of seven) at a time.
One way to tell if your ads are effective is the ad’s relevance score. After your ad is seen more than 500 times, it receives this daily score from Facebook. The score estimates, on a scale from one to 10, how relevant the ad is to the audience based on how many people are liking it or hiding it (choosing the option “hide posts like this”).
“If it’s below a seven, then something is wrong — usually that your content is too self-promotional or not interesting,” said Yu.
Producing content is no longer just in your own hands. “You could hire raving fans, your actual customers, to help you produce content,” said Yu. “They know your product and will do a great job.”
Yu, for example, hires young millennials (often students) who help with his BlitzMetrics fanpage. “They are naturals for social media, as you can imagine,” he said. “Try it.”