There are 60 million businesses worldwide that have an active Facebook page. Currently, Facebook’s advertising platform is used by four million of these (including Instagram). The majority of these businesses are small to medium-sized. So how are you going to compete with this global foot traffic?
- New features
- A measured approach
- Social climbing
Maintain an awareness of new features being rolled out across social platforms, such as Facebook’s new Collection feature. Often, the early bird gets the worm, as early adopters typically see positive results. The new Collection advertisement format features a hero video or image, followed by four product images. When a user taps on the advertisement, the merchant’s collection (up to 50 unique products) is displayed. If a user taps on a specific product, they are directed to the advertiser’s website or mobile application to complete their purchase.
With Amazon’s impending entry into the Australian market, this new ad feature may even be necessary. Despite a healthy advertising revenue stream, Facebook is clearly looking to improve the shopping experience in order to remain competitive. All indicators point to Facebook – and, indeed, Google – improving the shopping experience for both customers and retail advertisers.
A measured approach
While social media should be an integral part of your marketing mix, you must have a clear understanding of your objectives and the customer journey in order to convert engagement into tangible results. For instance, are you attempting to boost sales or increase traffic to your website? Each objective will necessitate a uniquely tailored optimization strategy. Third-party platforms such as Smartly or Brand Network can assist with this, but they come at a cost.
A marketing strategy that incorporates social media is vital. Creating a Facebook page, Pinterest board, or Instagram account is completely free, and a well-thought-out, engaging social content strategy can significantly aid in traffic generation.
Understanding your audience is critical for effective communication. If you’re unsure who your customers are, social media is an excellent way to discover who they are. Your engagement metrics will reflect posts that do not resonate, so use your social channels to ascertain what makes your customers tick. Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can expand your reach through audience targeting. Custom and Lookalike audiences on Facebook are extremely useful.
Beyond your own brand’s social reach, consider how you could reach even more like-minded individuals by leveraging the fan bases of other influencers. Many influencers will charge for a post, but if they have a large following and a high level of engagement, it may end up providing a significant return on investment for your business.
When selecting an influencer, a good rule of thumb is to prioritize engagement over reach. A celebrity can amass a sizable following but receive little engagement. Some even use bots to increase their audience size, so keep an eye on their Likes, Comments, and Shares. Utilizing an influencer platform, such as Tribe of Vamp, is an excellent way to conduct a small-scale market test.