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Guest Post: Facebook Marketing Guide for Small Businesses
In a world where small businesses want to use the internet to grow their business, Facebook is a great way to go. Here’s why . . . Today’s world is incredibly high-tech compared to only a few short years ago, and many different small businesses are attempting to play to the Internet market in bigger numbers than ever before. Social networking sites like Facebook literally attract over a billion people. This is where the people are, and thus this is where businesses need to be.
Using Facebook for business can turn your small and/or local business into a big player within your respective niche, and quite possibly beyond. Listed below are five different marketing strategies you can and should implement via Facebook in order to boost your brand and increase your reach and profits.
Five Facebook Marketing Strategies and How to Implement Them
1: Sponsored Stories
A Sponsored Story on Facebook is essentially a message that you will send out urging people to engage in some way, via an app, page, event, etc. This is one of the ad types of Facebook, so creating it will cost you some money. However, it’s simple to set up via the site’s ad create tool, and once you pay to have your item sponsored, it will stay sponsored and will always be available via your page. Having a Sponsored Story ad greatly increases the likelihood that others will see that important message you want them to see.
Only 16% of fans will ultimately see basic material you post, according to Facebook, so using a feature like Sponsored Stories will certainly help to increase your reach in this regard. A great way to use this feature is to attempt to drive leads through a deal you’re offering. For example, if you’re offering something like a 40% discount for customers, you can create this ad, sponsor it, and have it viewed by far more people.
Sponsored Stories are also a great way to drive “Likes,” which may also help with aspects like leveraging EdgeRank and increasing your overall reach (more on that below).
2: Embedded Posts
One of Facebook’s newest features, Embedded Posts is a social media option that was all but inevitable. With this feature, you can actually embed a post from Facebook on other websites and blogs. This can benefit you in numerous ways, from simply putting your best foot forward on another site to increasing your overall reach.
So, what type of executable strategy could you employ with Embedded Posts? One great way to increase your reach here is to take a post that already has a lot of Likes and shares and to embed this on one of your other sites. You could also create a more dynamic type of reach by including hashtags in your post (more info below) in order to promote products, events, etc. This type of post will allow users to find other related posts, so it becomes useful for them which, in turn, bolsters your success.
Speaking of hashtags, this is another relatively new feature on Facebook that shares a lot in common with Twitter. Hashtags are essentially a way to catalog different terms which have the pound (#) symbol in front of them. It turns a term you use into a clickable link. For instance, you could type something as simple as “#ForInstance,” and the result is a clickable link that, when followed, will reveal a slew of material that has used that particular hashtag.
One superb way to use Facebook Hashtags is to increase your reach within a particular niche you’re interested in. The reasoning here is that people you’re attempting to cater to within your niche are busy searching niche-related terms. That’s the entire idea behind SEO. However, with hashtags, you have a chance to use trending niche terms immediately for a quick, direct result. You can use them in status updates, embedded posts, and other types of Facebook ads and posts.
4: Promoted Posts
When you create a post on Facebook, it’s typically seen by those who visit your page and it may be displayed in some News Feeds depending on certain factors. But if you want your post to reach more people, whether it’s a new post or one you like that’s been collecting dust for a while, Facebook’s Promoted Post feature is a great avenue to explore. This allows you to create a spending budget, select various parameters, and to launch your post with new life so that it’s seen by more people.
Third-party apps like Qwaya allow you to quickly create and test a wide range of ads, even allowing you total control on what you want to keep and use, but oftentimes you will find that a simple Facebook post can act as well as an ad when promoted. What’s important to remember here is that not every post is worth promoting.
You might not want to create a new post and instantly promote it. First, see if you can gain organic traction with a high-quality, interesting, and pertinent post. If it’s Liked, shared and viewed by a good portion of people, then you can set it over the top with the Promoted feature. You’ll see a drop-down menu of options to choose from, allowing you to expand the reach of your post.
EdgeRank is Facebook’s algorithm and catalogs and ranks material based on three variables: Affinity, Weight and Time Decay. The exact values and details are only known by Facebook, of course, but you can come to understand enough about these variables to help you leverage EdgeRank. A good example of this would be the Affinity factor, which is a one-way measure of interactions between your material and users. Increasing this (your engagement) increases the Affinity value of what you’re releasing, so your material may end up in more News Feeds.
The important thing to remember here is that you should always try to leverage EdgeRank by releasing material that’s worthy of marketing on Facebook. In other words, make sure that you’re always focusing intently on quality; make sure that you’re always delivering interesting, pertinent material to your audience. Keep it entertaining. Push for more engagement with your material.
The five methods listed above give you a few prime examples on how to use various Facebook features to leverage your marketing campaign. Each one of these five methods is worthy of its own article, even if its own novel, so recognize that there’s a lot more to using these methods than the examples given.