While Facebook might not be for everybody, it's hard to think of a B2C brand that it would not be beneficial for. The fact is that most of your clients are on Facebook. Whether you are visible to them because they have liked your page, or whether they want to be able to engage your brand on social media (in a positive or negative context), they want you there.
Importantly though, if you want to exist in the social space and be in harmony with your customer base, you need to always be available. The key to good branding on social media is the sound management of the brand's social page, otherwise the environment can become hostile pretty quickly. Page management doesn't have to be exceptional, it just has to be satisfactory. This is not to say that you shouldn't aim for the highest quality social media strategy, you should, but you should at least aim to meet your customers' expectations.
People are temperamental creatures. We won't always go to a page to voice our approval - we expect good service and we take it for granted. We will however hit social media to voice our grievances, which is a trend that has grown in the last 5 years. Nowadays brands watch their Facebook pages 24/7 in case a disgruntled customer steps out of a bad experience and onto the social platform. If a complaint is made at 17:00 on a Friday and your Social Media manager strolls into the office on Monday morning, others would likely have joined in on the conversation and could have started a small online riot. A quick reply at 17:05 could have averted this, even if it was just to apologise for the inconvenience and ask that the person email customer services.
If you have been let down by a brand you trusted, you've been there, and you will know that if you pose a question to that brand over social media, you expect answers. The days that bad service would be reported to family and friends during a get together have come and gone, and an hour's wait for a reply can feel like a lifetime!
People also want content that relates to them. Judge your audience and give them the appropriate content that they want to know about. The easiest way to do this is to listen to them - browse your timeline and see what they enjoyed. Your reach will tell you how many times your fans shared your content and the amount of likes you get on certain types of posts will provide insight into which type of content they want to consume.
You will also need to assess how often they want to hear from you, and this is something that you need to take note of on a case by case basis. It depends on your audience and who they are, your offering and how often it changes, and the direction you want to go with your brand.
In summary, manage your page and manage your customer relationships all the time. Get to know your audience and give them the type of content they want to see at the right frequency. That takes care of the organic side of social media. But what about advertising on Facebook?
As with most campaigns, you need to start with the basics:
- Good creative
- Clear objective
- Clear call to action
People use FB differently, but for most it is a personal space. People want to be contacted by their friends and not really by brands. Most people become irritated by advertising but the stats don't lie - if it didn't work, marketers wouldn't use it to increase their sales. Facebook also offers us a great product for free and they need to make business from it somehow. This is where targeting comes in - Facebook uses the information on your profile to place you in certain market segments that advertisers can use to target you efficiently with their products. If the brands do their targeting effectively, you should see ads that are relevant to you and there should be less chance of you being irritated by the advertising.
So what are the good advertising options on Facebook?
Facebook has evolved its advertising platform to include many more options over the years, so the key to a well targeted campaign is to work with a Facebook partner that can stay ahead of the changes and figure out how to get the most out of the system for your brand.
The current options are:
- Clicks to Website
- Website Conversions
- Page Post Engagement
- Page Likes
- App Installations
- App Engagement
- Event Responses
- Offer Claims
- Video Views
As with page management, the monitoring of these ads is the single most important thing. If you do not have the resources to hire someone to do this, I would recommend outsourcing this and potentially saving yourself a lot of money.
So every brand is different, but being on Facebook is crucial to your marketing strategy during a time when the social landscape continues to expand and become more advanced. For more information, see Mark 1's case studies
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