Worldwide, there are 60 million businesses with active Facebook accounts. Four million of these currently utilise Facebook’s advertising platform (including Instagram). The majority of these businesses are small-to-medium-sized enterprises. So, how do you compete with all of this global foot traffic?
A measured approach
Whilst social media should be essential to your marketing mix, you do need to be clear on your objectives and have a grasp of the customer journey in order to convert engagement into tangible results. For example, are you looking to increase sales, or drive traffic to your site? Each objective will require a different optimisation strategy. There are third party platforms that can help with this, such as Smartly or Brand Network, but they come at a cost.
a clever social strategy = traffic
Make a point to keep up-to-date with the new features being rolled out across social platforms, like the new Collection feature on Facebook. Often the early bird catches the worm in that early adopters tend see good results. The new Collection ad format includes a hero video or image, accompanied by four product images below. If a user taps on the ad, the merchant’s collection (up to 50 different products) becomes visible. From there, if a user taps on a specific product, they’re directed to the advertiser’s website or app to make a purchase.
With the upcoming arrival of Amazon in the Australian market, this new ad feature is possibly even necessary. Despite healthy revenue from its advertising sector, Facebook is clearly looking to enhance the shopping experience to remain competitive. All indicators are certainly pointing to Facebook – and Google, for that matter – improving the shopping experience for customers and retail advertisers alike. I’m sure Amazon encroaching on Facebook’s turf with paid advertising is absolutely top-of-mind for the company.
Why small business should be using social media
A marketing strategy that includes social in the mix is imperative. Having a Facebook page, Pinterest board, or Instagram account is free, and a clever, engaging social content strategy can really help drive traffic.
Knowing your audience is key in terms of how you communicate with them. If you’re not sure who your customers are, social media is a terrific way to find out. Posts that don’t resonate will be reflected in your engagement metrics, so use your social channels as a way to work out what makes your customers tick. Once you know who your customers are, you can build on your reach through audience targeting. Facebook’s Custom and Lookalike audience features are really useful.
Beyond your own brand’s social reach, think about how you could reach even more like-minded people by tapping into other influencers’ fan-bases. Many influencers will charge for a post, but if they have a big following and strong engagement, it may end up returning a strong ROI for your business.
When choosing an influencer, a good rule of thumb is to go for engagement over audience numbers. An influencer can have a huge following but very little engagement. Some even bump up their audience numbers using bots, so keep an eye on their Likes, Comments and Shares. Using an influencer platform such as Tribe of Vamp is a great way to test the market at a small scale.
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