It’s estimated that in just a few short months, Facebook will have 1 billion users. With those kinds of numbers, it’s hard to believe that the company didn’t even exist 10 years ago!
Despite its global popularity, Facebook is a tough nut to crack for marketers and small business owners, who have expressed their frustration with the numerous changes that it has undergone. But as it is such a compelling platform that can drive high engagement, they have no choice but to figure out ways to make it work for their goals.
Recently I spoke with someone who knows a lot about how Facebook works: Amy Porterfield. She is a Facebook marketing expert and co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies. During our talk, Amy offered some excellent Facebook techniques that really work. Here are some of the important themes we discussed:
Facebook community management
Patricia Redsicker: In your book, you speak of the importance of having a community manager for your Facebook Page? What is the role of a community manager?
Amy Porterfield: A Facebook community manager is the one that literally manages your Facebook Page on a daily basis. Their job is to monitor conversations; start discussions using great content in the form of questions, pictures, and video; and to really mix up the media in order to attract different audiences.
The community manager should also make sure that people aren’t advertising on your Page or leaving links to their websites. Once your Page starts to get cluttered you can lose an audience very quickly. The community manager has to make sure that your Facebook Page stays clean and focused.
When I worked as the Facebook community manager at Social Media Examiner, we made sure to respond to everybody who posted on our Page (they still do this). We would thank them, let them know that they were heard, and that we were listening; and my job was to make sure that a comment didn’t go by that I didn’t address.
Building a fan base — the right way
Patricia: How do you attract a large following on Facebook?
Amy: This is a question that is asked often; but, it’s also important to know that if you have a bunch of fans that aren’t taking any action, then Facebook marketing becomes a huge waste of your time. Attracting quality fans is really your number one objective in building a strong Facebook foundation.
There are a few ways to do that:
- Make sure that people know you have a Facebook Page. Step outside of Facebook and make sure that [a link to] your Page is prominently displayed on your website.
- Put a link to your Page in your email signature.
- Put a link on your marketing collateral as well — both on your print and digital material.
Then go one step further and let people know why they should “like” your Page. It’s not enough to say “like” us on Facebook — you see that everywhere, and marketers are really missing the opportunity to persuade people to come over to their Page. So tell them why they should like you:
- Are you going to give them tips and strategies to learn something new?
- Are you going to help solve a problem for them?
- Are you going to give them valuable information to make their day easier?
The big question is what’s in it for them. Once you establish that, make sure that you communicate that everywhere your customers are located.
Another thing you want to do is have a custom welcome tab on your Page. That’s a unique tab created using iFrames. Anyone who’s not a fan of your Page is directed to the welcome tab the very first time they visit your Page. And your main goal here is to have a very clear call to action that says, “Click the ‘like’ button above.”
Studies have shown that you can increase your “likes” by 50 percent if your non-fans land on a custom welcome tab the first time they visit.
Another way to increase your “likes” is to use Facebook ads. I prefer to call them engagement ads; Facebook engagement ads are ads that you run to build your fan base. People can click “like” inside the ad, and every time they do, they become a fan of your Page.
I have a client who’s a personal trainer in New York, and we ran a series of ads for her to grow her fan base. First we targeted her ideal audience — that’s what’s great about Facebook ads: You can really get down to a laser-focused level of who you want to go after. Once we did that, we created ads that said things like, “Click ‘like’ if you don’t want to gain 10 pounds over the holiday season,” or “Click ‘like’ if you want to break up with your scale.”
Her audience is mostly women in their 30s to 50s, and these ads really struck a chord with them. Every time somebody clicked “like” on the ad, she got a new fan. Now she’s almost up to 1,000 fans in just a series of weeks.
Patricia: Some people wonder if Facebook ads are worth it. How do you respond to that?
Amy: Facebook ads can be a little technical, and I will say that it takes some time and patience as well. But you have two options:
- Educate yourself and understand the Facebook ads dashboard. Read all the tips about what makes a great campaign — e.g., running five or six different ads at one time to see which one pulls the best results. [Use] really dynamic pictures — usually faces of smiling women tend to pull better results than logos or pictures of men. So do your research; you could waste a lot of money if you don’t know what you’re doing.
- The other option is to hire someone to manage the campaign for you; someone who is experienced in Facebook advertising. You want a person who has achieved great results in the past. This is important so that you don’t spend money where it really isn’t going to make a huge difference to your overall results.
Patience and hustle are key
Patricia: Talk to the person who has been using Facebook marketing but hasn’t had great results. What advice can you give them?
Amy: Facebook marketing success does not happen overnight, so patience is the key. But you also have to hustle and really get in the game and be consistent with your posting — you will start to see results. And when you start to see results, you’re going to get a little bit more engaged and excited and start to think, “Ok, maybe this really could work for my business.”
The second thing is that you really need to understand your audience at a very precise level. Your content has to be tailored to the point that it can break through all the other noise on Facebook. Knowing what content works gives you a huge advantage on Facebook because you can get right to your target audience.
Patricia: Where can people find you online if they want to get in touch?
Amy: I am at AmyPorterfield.com, so make sure to come over and say hello.
Over to you: Have you used these (or any other) techniques to draw people to your Facebook Page? Please share your experiences below.