Engage and Integrate Facebook Into Your Marketing Plans

Obviously, Facebook needs no introduction! Not only has it survived, but it has thrived. Today, Facebook has 1.8 billion active audience members and has become the largest and most popular social network. Because of this massive user base that uses every type of content distribution, it’s one of the most heavily used social platforms in the world. The average user spends about 40 minutes daily engaging with Facebook.
We are assuming you are already engaged in some way with Facebook, so the point of this article is to ramp up your audience engagement with a variety of marketing tips.
1.       Understand content rankings
First things first, before you begin to set strategy and tactics, it’s important to understand how Facebook ranks user content. For years, Facebook has been understanding how audiences interact with content, and based on customer behavior, Facebook algorithms have been ever evolving. Facebook is now de-emphasizing general marketing posts and upping the importance of video.
Unfortunately, most posts will only reach about 10% of fans, but by prioritizing the types of interaction and the variety of content, these engagements will help the algorithm favor your impression.
2.  Integrate with other channels
Many marketers make the mistake of operating their digital and print marketing programs within a siloed environment. Rather than operating in a silo, increase your brand awareness by creating an integrative social media presence by re-engaging and thereby driving consumers to the e-commerce site. Two integrative strategies below are seeing robust traction by engaging with customers, thereby generating demand.
a.  Abandon site retarget and static ads. Facebook retargeting is one of the most powerful forms of online display advertising. This allows marketers to retarget people who have already expressed active interest in their product or site. Marketers can apply Facebook retargeting efforts to Dynamic Product Ads as well as traditional Facebook ads such as Static Ads.
b.  Sync and send catalog mailings. Today, we can now sync catalog mailings with Facebook targeted audiences to expand our social media engagement. With a recent men’s apparel offer, we scored the mail file to determine how many records were engaged in social media. We then created similar audiences on Facebook and timed targeted ads to mirror the catalog in-home dates. The results below suggest that the housefile respondents are more likely to respond with an integrative presence, and prospects indicate a whopping 42% increase in performance.
3. Inspire, advise, and unite
Create inspirational and aspirational conversations with your audience through posts, video, surveys, and interesting tips. To help unlock your writer’s block, here’s a list of activities to consider:
a)       Inspire fans with video posts instead of regular posts.
b)      Use fun facts or little known tips about the industry.
c)       Ask a question about how to solve a problem. It should be an interesting one so that audiences engage with you.
d)      Inspire with design ideas.
e)      Engage audiences with must-have items (i.e., if you were hiking the John Muir trail, what three items must you have?)
f)        Tap into your customers’ nostalgia by sharing images and posts of old fads from their childhood.
g)       Ask for a caption to a posted photo.
h)      Ask fans to post their pictures or video.
i)        Ask for an opinion. Fans love to vote. This is great for merchandise previews and product launches.
j)        Celebrate this day in history (hopefully it relates to something you do).
k)       Offer a Fan Only promotion.
l)        Share employee events or company news. Open the “back doors” to your business and share how you do business as well as the employees who make the business “human.”
m)    Link to resources on your website. Typically, your website will have a “resource” area full of interesting content.
Here are some engaging examples:
4.  Facebook video
People who view a brand’s video content are a whopping 1.81 times likely to make a purchase as those who don’t. Therefore, it has become increasingly important to use native video content because:
a)       Facebook gives preference to native video content.
b)      All signs point to video ads being the best ROI on Facebook.
c)       Most of Facebook video views happen on mobile devices.
d)      Users tend to share content that will contribute to original video view and comments.
e)      Facebook Live directly connects you with your fans real time.
f)        Customers love them!
5.  Targeted ads and lookalike audiences
Once you have generated a Custom Audience, you can request Facebook to create a broader “Lookalike Audience” to target your ads. Facebook can search for patterns and characteristics that are similar to your current users, leads, or customers and create a much wider list of very similar users who have never interacted with your business and can be potential customers.
6.  Engage with other communities
Begin to engage with communities or partners that make brand sense. “Like” other partner or community pages and post/share links to their site. If you’re selling jewelry-making materials, begin to engage with hobby/professional communities that make brand sense. Engage with posts that call out your company, re-share posts on your Facebook page, and reply to mentions on other pages that are calling you out.
7.  Create Events
Create event pages for important events or event series pertinent to your brand. When fans begin to show interest or register, their activity is shown across their feed:
·         Fans will be alerted when there is an event.
·         Fans will also see which of their friends are going as well as invite friends that may be interested.
·         Other pages may announce events and cross market.
8.  Create Facebook groups
When visitors first land on your page, they might spend a little time exploring what you have offer, much like a tourist visiting a new city. But they won’t stay for the long term, engage with you, or give you their unwavering support unless they feel like they’ve found “their people” – a community of like-minded readers that fits like a glove. Create a community focused on the goals of your target audiences. The group conversations become less focused on your content but have the potential to reach more people.
•       Promote your new group in your email signature, one of the things that has been the most effective for increasing membership.
•       Showcase your group in your email newsletter.
•       Broadcast your group on social media. When you first start your Facebook group, post a link on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and any other social media platform you have.
•       Promote your group with a call to action.
9.  Contests are the perfect engagement
Facebook contests are a common way of promoting and elevating your brand through social media and can effectively expand your reach and increase your potential customer base.
Now it’s your turn!
Whether you embrace it or hate it, Facebook is a great place to engage with your audience, create interesting content, inspire with visual information, and create an aspirational environment. It is important for every business, regardless of its industry or size, to understand, integrate, and capitalize on the importance of social media and social commerce.
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