Economy

Six essential Facebook marketing tips for SMEs

Oliver Milman /

Whether Facebook is a good platform to sell your product or service is an increasingly important question that start-ups have to ponder.

So what are the advantages of Facebook as a marketing medium?

Aside from the fact that over 845 million people use Facebook every day (and counting), you can get fast and easy exposure to your ideal clients with micro niche targeted ads.

Facebook lets you reach your target market with custom ads and a tight marketing campaign.

Getting your business in front of thousands of people is easy. The hard part though, is to make sales.

Why? Because Facebook users use the social network to make new friends and stalk their friends, not to buy stuff. This is why Facebook is called the social network.

Does this mean you can’t sell on Facebook? Or course not.

In fact, you can use Facebook to your advantage with the following tips and information.

The key lies in being strategic about your marketing. You have to follow through until you start to see results, or else risk losing your momentum.

1. Reach the right people

In order to make sales on Facebook you need to reach the right people first

You can do this two-ways: you can pay for Facebook advertising, split-test your ads, and then optimise them for increased conversions – or you can spend time and energy building your tribe.

The first option is more expensive (at least at first), and the second is cheaper, but can cost you more in the end (considering your time is money).

Here’s a quick overview of Facebook ads and how they compare to Google’s popular AdWords program.

Google AdWords vs Facebook ads

Unlike the more expensive Google AdWords advertising, Facebook ads are often less costly and give you fast statistics due to the sheer numbers.

The downside of Facebook ads is they cost more to test and their conversion rates are weaker than Google’s.

Having said this, you can test your campaign with a budget or around $300-$2,000.

The cost will be determined by the cost of the clicks (CPC) and the number of people who click on your ads.

If they click but don’t buy, then your ads are not targeted well, meaning they need to be niched tighter (shown to less people), or you need to adjust the cost of your clicks.

I’d start with the lowest denomination as possible – between $0.15 and $0.25 cents. You don’t want to spend a fortune while you’re still testing the market, but enough to drive traffic to your Facebook page fast.

It’s important to drive all Facebook ad traffic to a Facebook page and NOT a website if you want to keep people engaged.

2. Get a crowd

Now you’ve managed to reach a number of the right people your next step is to reach enough of them

Chances are your ads are better targeted by now already (don’t worry, if you’re analysing your stats this almost happens by default).

The process of optimising your ads is essential to successful Facebook marketing with ads.

Like I said, it will cost you more in the beginning while you make newbie mistakes.

But once your ads are optimised you have a recipe to print money on demand – provided your advertising costs less than your profits from it.

How to optimise your ads:

  • Focus on reducing the cost of your CPC (cost per click) and increase your conversion to opt-ins.
  • Send people to a custom-made Facebook page with an opt-in where you give something of highly perceived value away for free (this something shouldn’t cost you money and time once it’s live. Think a free report, a video or digital product of sorts.
  • Apply proven copywriting principles to engage the reader and encourage them to click on the ad.
  • Get really specific with your targeting: think about the people who are really hot for your product/service. What would they search for? Why do they buy?
  • Test. Improve… test… improve… and rinse and repeat.

I cannot stress the importance of testing and measuring enough. It’s the secret to making it work.

3. Persuasion

Unless your ad persuades and connects with your target market it will flop.

In order to sell stuff online you need to understand your market’s hot buttons – emotional hot buttons to be exact.

  • What makes these people hot for your stuff?
  • Why would they buy from you?
  • What can you give them to solve their problem?
  • Why would they buy from you and not from your competitor?
  • How can you use words to persuade and connect?

These are the principles by which you should be marketing your business anyway.

If you haven’t already done so you need to seriously think about these questions and get clarity BEFORE you dabble with Facebook ads.

Writing good copy is key to making your ads stick. The more you practise the better you get.

4. Repetition

Repetition is key. Make it stick.

The fastest way to get your brand into the minds of your customers is by making it stick. How do you do this?

Repetition!

Remember, your customers are going to buy whatever you’re selling regardless.

So if they don’t know about you they’ll buy from your competitor. So your job is to get your business in front of them repeatedly.

The more they see your name pop up in an ad on their page, the easier it will be for them to remember you when they’re ready to buy.

Plus if you’re building your list as indicated in step two, you can write to them regularly and be ever present in their mind.

5. Sell your product

Sell like there’s no tomorrow. Unless you make an attractive offer people won’t buy.

I’m sorry to say this but no one really gives a toss about you and your business.

People are far too concerned with their own lives to worry about your latest and greatest offer.

Ideally, we all like to be taken seriously and be the centre of attention in everyone’s lives.

But this isn’t going to happen. What can happen, though, is sales – a lot of them. Make an offer and repeat your offers strategically.

What I mean by this is you’ve got to tell people about your products and services to sell them. And you can do this effectively without appearing pushy.

6. Facebook insights

Use Facebook Insights.

Facebook gives you important insights into the behaviour of your target market.

You can see whether they:

  • Engage with you on your page
  • Click through your ads
  • Interact with your posts
  • Share your content with their friends
  • And more importantly, whether your content shows up in their news stream (for non-ads postings) and on their page (you can target ads to show on specific pages)
  • Plus you can use the statistics in your ad centre to give you valuable insights into how your ads perform

So if you have a Facebook business page, do you still need a website? The short answer is yes.

A website is yours and no one can take it from you (provided it’s on your server and you’re not relying on a webmaster to handle it all for you).

A Facebook page could theoretically be taken from you at any moment. Facebook terms and conditions don’t give you many rights.

If the mods at Facebook decide to pull the plug tomorrow, then there’s nothing you can do to salvage your content.

I’m not saying this will ever happen. But you need to be aware of the risks.

So there you have it. If you want to utilise Facebook to sell more of your stuff then Facebook ads is the fastest way to make it happen.

What are you waiting for? Go get ‘em.

Fred Schebesta is an internet business veteran in Australia and is the Director of Finder.com.au, which was founded in 2006 launching one of Australia’s first credit card comparison websites. They have recently branched out to comparing savings accounts,and home loans, as well as a dedicated life insurance comparison and mobile phone comparison website.

This article first appeared on StartupSmart.

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