With over a billion daily active users scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed on a daily basis, Facebook presents a massive opportunity that can help grow any business. Business owners underestimate the amount of attention Facebook yields.
Twenty years ago, if you wanted to tell customers about your products you had to rent a newspaper ad, or pay for a billboard next to the road. Not only was this way of advertising expensive, but it was also a hassle. Contracts needed to be drawn up, quotes needed to be passed around, and it could take weeks to kick-start a campaign.
Today, with the push of a button, Facebook can help you show your product and service in to millions of users through something called Facebook Ad Manager. All it takes is a few clicks, and a couple of bucks of course.
However, getting your ads onto people’s news feeds is the easy part. The harder part and the part you’re most likely after, especially if you are a small to medium sized business owner, is how to make your ads convert into qualified leads or potential customers!
In my experience, a lot business owners doubt the power of social media, and the main reason for this is because they’ve experimented with it themselves and no “luck”.
My question to the business owner in return is usually, who’s going to utilise a hammer and a nail the best, me or a professional carpenter? I might be able to start the process, but only a professional is going to be able to create a modern kitchen cabinet.
In the same way, just because you’ve boosted a post on Facebook that didn’t produce any results doesn’t meant the platform is the issue.
If you want to market your product, service or offer effectively, ads need to be tailored to the market, and the business in a way that makes the offer irresistible.
A great way to do this is by narrowing your target audience and placing the right message in front of the right people at the right time.
Below I’ve outlined 5 expert tips to help you create Facebook ads campaigns that will convert more visitors into customers.
You Don’t Have Any Social Proof
As simple as a social proof might seem, it’s a very effective tool when it comes to building trust in potential clients. People are already scared of getting scammed, that is why you need to help them overcome the hurdle by ensuring them that your offer or company is real.
A social proof is a figure that indicates the number of people using a product or service.
For instance, a company’s social proof might be something like this “join over one thousand satisfied customers”. This shows that there are over a thousand people who are happily using the product.
With such a large happy customer base using the product, potential customers will be more willing to trust your brand. After all, over a thousand people are satisfied, so why shouldn’t they be too?
There is No Incentive
How do you draw a user’s attention to your ads amidst the loads of competitors present in the news feed?
Customers are wiser than ever and won’t be sweet talked into buying a product any more. Nowadays, nothing draws people’s attention more than a good incentive.
In order to grab a user’s attention and to convert someone into a customer; offering an irresistible incentive is your best bet.
By granting incentives, in the form of coupons, discounts, freebies, user’s attention will not only be drawn to your ads, but it will also cause excitement, and most likely, sales.
There is No Time Stamp
Adding a time stamp offer to your offer will help create urgency when it comes to getting the customer to seal the deal. If there was no end date, the customer has all the time in the world to think about whether this offer is really the best offer at hand.
People are always afraid of missing out on a great deal and studies have shown that customers are just more inclined to take action the moment they are aware that a deal might expire. The emotion of loss is a powerful psychological marketing tool.
You Are Not Testing
Facebook offers numerous ad placement options and below are just some of the ones you can look into:
- Desktop newsfeed
- Mobile newsfeed
- Right hand column on desktop
- Instagram newsfeed
- Instagram stories
- Facebook Messenger home screen etc.
Knowing this, how do you determine the best position to place your ads for maximum conversions?
To do this, you can go with the A/B testing tool which rotates your ads between the different positions while providing real-time stats about the performance of your ads. By finding the best can help you lower cost per engagement while increasing the number of conversions.
You Are Not Consistent with Your Message and Offering
Customer expectations are high when it comes to promotions and offers. It’s essential to not leave them disappointed. How many times have you clicked on an offer and then realised it’s only when you spend an X amount or only at a certain store.
To further boost your conversions, ensure that your message is crystal clear and that there is no room for customer disappointment.
You Are Not Targeting the Right Audience
Be honest, as a business owner, have you ever boosted a post from your page hoping it might translates to sales?
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with boosting a post, however, if you want to ensure you get the best bang for buck, and if your main goal is to ensure you are targeting the right people at the right time, then your focus is going to be in Facebook Ad Manager.
This is where you can access your Facebook Pixel’s data and either retarget specific customers or target ones that showed interest but never converted.
Example, you can create a Facebook newsfeed ad and only target people who clicked on the services page but never took the plunge. There’s a reason they didn’t submit their details? What could it be? You might never know, but at least now you have a second chance to help them convert.
Crisis Management: Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail
The secret to a successful reputational risk management programme depends on leaders’ ability to move with agility as they respond to the immediacy and uncertainty of social media-fuelled crises.
The always-evolving communications environment has intricately linked reputation management with the digital world, and executives must now realise that brand perception functions more like a real-time trading desk with 24/7 news, social media and online conversations shaping brand perception without the participation of organisations.
Put simply, managing your reputation must be an active, ongoing strategic investment that starts well before any risk or crisis begins. Plans and procedures will prove useless if introduced as a crisis erupts. Preparedness planning needs to start at executive level with reputation management practices being built into the fibre of every business at every level.
The secret to a successful reputational risk management programme depends on leaders’ ability to move with agility as they respond to the immediacy and uncertainty of social media-fuelled crises, which cannot be overstated as social media gaffes are occurring faster than we can write case studies to learn from them.
Establishing a preparedness programme
Handling a reputational challenge or crisis effectively starts with recognising the warning signs early. With an established programme, guidelines and procedures in place, your organisation can keep its finger on the pulse of conversations. This allows you to begin what’s known as the OODA loop (observe, orient, decide and act), quickly and nimbly during a crisis.
Recent data shows that 28% of crises spread globally within one hour. The very action of participating in a crisis exercise helps build “muscle memory” and organisations that effectively navigate a crisis are ones with detailed crisis management plans that they are familiar with.
Establishing protocols and systems ahead of a crisis, and then testing and training on them provides discipline and structure.
If the first time you’re reading through a crisis plan is during an operational or reputational crisis, you’re going to be behind the curve and with the pace of today’s digital age, it will be hard to recover.
Related: 10 Laws Of Social Media Marketing
Building a digital foundation
In times of crisis, reaching out to those who count the most to your organisation is critically important. This goes beyond determining who has the most followers on social media as people often confuse influence with reach. The former can be defined as the degree to which someone can inspire others to do something.
To prepare, first identify core groups ahead of time: loyal fans, industry influencers, key opinion makers such as journalists and bloggers, and those who aren’t fans. Knowing potentially negative influencers such as those who might be sceptics or critics is equally important as knowing positive influencers.
Consider online monitoring to be your first line of defence to gauge messages about your organisation. When set up in advance, this monitoring provides an understanding of your overall perception and it allows you to adjust quickly to conversational trends.
There is no “one size fits all” content strategy for a crisis. The sooner you can identify and engage with those who matter, the sooner you can begin tackling the situation directly.
When you’re at the centre of an unfolding risk, you must demonstrate a strong voice to counteract the forces of social and traditional media that will quickly shape the narrative. Press releases and news conferences are insufficient to meet expectations for content that exists online.
Leveraging strategic content within the context of a crisis forces you to question how you are engaging your key stakeholders and audience beyond a simple text response.
Your owned media properties, particularly your website and social channels, serve as critical tools to provide information that frames the issue from your perspective, addresses misinformation and, if necessary, apologises for a situation with a clear action plan.
Our goal, as a leading communications marketing agency, isn’t to teach an organisation how to simply tweet through a crisis. Rather, we expect our clients to walk away with first-hand experience of working under rapid-fire crisis conditions that mimic an accurate scenario.
There’s a great deal of nuance around effective crisis and reputation management, including what corporate responses are suitable for different crises. Don’t go it alone. Invest in a partner, which has a deep understanding of the complex variables that have a long-term impact on the public perception of your organisation.
Five variables to address ahead of a crisis
- Who have we maintained consistent relationships with? You must make friends before you need them. Develop a list of important online and traditional stakeholders and maintain steady communications with this group during the quiet times.
- What is your threshold for who is influential? Be aware of the fact that there are people who reside outside your list of key stakeholders who are nevertheless influential and could have an impact on your business.
- How quickly does a conversation need to build up steam to warrant a response? The internet and social media now reflect thousands of smaller voices who can find each other and amplify a message. Recognising how conversations gain critical velocity is imperative to gauge when to respond and a crisis partner can help in this scenario.
- What is the timing of your response? You don’t always have all the answers and that’s okay. Often, a community just wants to know that you’re listening to them.
- Where will you publish a response and notify stakeholders? Sometimes, a response on Twitter, or Facebook proves sufficient, although other platforms such as a website or a blog helps to frame issues more comprehensively. A crisis partner will help determine the best way forward.
Why You Should Sort Your Social Media Policy (Like NOW!)
Strong social media policies are needed to prevent such behaviours and should always be considered when setting up and expanding your business.
With 2 billion active users on Facebook alone, sharing our toils, tribulations and triumphs online is becoming second nature. There are, however, downsides to the rise of social media. Habits online have the potential to affect your work and your business if not monitored appropriately.
Recent research combining a survey of 2,000 UK respondents and analysis of work-related Twitter posts has highlighted the behaviours of employees online that could lead to damage for the businesses who employ them. Strong social media policies are needed to prevent such behaviours and should always be considered when setting up and expanding your business.
The Risks of Social Media
Lost Working Hours
The average person now spends 25 hours a week online, with almost two hours a day (116 minutes) being used to browse social media platforms.
With so much time being spent online it’s almost inevitable that people will habitually reach for their phone to check Facebook during the working day. The survey research suggests the average person spends 52 minutes procrastinating every day, with most of this time being spent on social media.
Across the working year this amounts to 225 hours lost per employee, a total of 7 billion lost hours from the UK working population of 32,344,000. Failing to set clear boundaries of when employees can use social media in the workplace may cost you a lot in the long term.
15% of employees say that they have previously shared something negative about their work online, and a further 5% said they would do so in the future. This means that one in five workers think it is acceptable to take to social media to air their grievances with their company.
The volume of tweets found in Twitter analysis that contain negative work-related phrases illustrates how widespread the problem of employees complaining online is. In 2017, 8,186 tweets containing phrases such as #ihatemyjob, #worksucks and #hatework were sent, a 43% rise on the volume of similar posts in 2015.
It is not only negative posts from employees that pose a risk to your business – they might also be inadvertently sharing confidential information. Off-hand comments on social media about what they have done with their day may lead your employees to unintentionally reveal information about a client, future plans or other information that you would not want in the public forum.
This could result in lost business if a client feels their security has been compromised or may give your competitors important insight into your working practices, which they can use to their advantage. A clear policy on what is acceptable to post in relation to work will help prevent these risks.
How Can a Social Media Policy Help?
Social media policies should be issued and explained to all employees. Their purpose is to ensure proper usage of social media, in a way which will not negatively impact on your business.
A social media policy can set out when usage of the platforms is appropriate and what employees can share with regards to your company. The policy may not guarantee adherence, but it does allow you to set out proper practice to all your workers in a clear, accessible format, which can be regularly consulted.
Is Your Content Golden Enough?
Take a breather for a while and read our ‘gold-to’ guide for best digital practice in business.
Leading digital researcher, GroupM, suggested in their annual ‘State of the Digital’ report that marketers should convey a brand message “within the first second” of every social video. Not to take the shine off your expectations, but if today’s CMO’s don’t level up and grab consumers’ attention on-play, your video is going straight to the dump heap. No stickiness, no interest, no shares no thumb stopping. Nothing. Nichts. Nada.
Golden content is what we strive for: Videos, podcasts and solid written content with that Midas touch; content that will seize that first second and shake the shares out of it. Take a breather for a while and read our ‘gold-to’ guide for best digital practice in business:
1. Hold it Before You Load It
You know what you want to sell, and you have a strong message to go. Stop right there. Before you dive for the upload button, do the 5-point sense check first:
- Is this post too long, too short, too strong, too soft?
- Will the post deliver better results on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter or YouTube?
- Do I want audience engagement or audience awareness
- What do I want to get out of this post?
- What do I want my audience to feel and/or do with this post?
When you’ve answered these questions, and you’re clear about the what’s and how’s then, by all means, take that upload button and give it horns.
2. Get off The Island: Let Video, Audio & Lit Work Together
One of the great benefits of digital is the opportunity to collaborate your communication in the same post, using audio, visual and literature, to get your message across. When you create a podcast, use your literature platform to support the podcast, with a strong rationale, call to action or written article.
Same applies to video: You should have a transcript or article supporting that video, to better land your message. And if you’re featuring written content as the star attraction (blogs aren’t dead, yet!) it will benefit greatly from keywords, images and diagrams that grab attention – or better yet, a throw forward to a film piece that adds juice. Golden content is not an island, it doesn’t need to live alone in order to make an impact.
3. Get The Experts On Board
From your social media to your online video it is vital that your brand is authentic and in a way that fully represents the values of your business, brand, and offering. Choose the right agency to help you create content that is truly Golden and help streamline that content to ensure it works holistically in delivering your brand message to your target audience.
Working with the right team can make all the difference when it comes to creating above average content that connects with your audience. Choose an agency with experience in creating content that is Golden. Speak to So Interactive for expert advice on creating golden content for your brand.
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