In 15 years, Facebook has gone from a simple website connecting Harvard students, to the most dominant social media site with over 2.4 billion users worldwide. In this time, it has transformed from a simple networking platform to a marketing and advertising giant. For 2018 Q4 alone, Facebook reported over $16.6 billion in ad revenue.
Facebook ads dominate the social media advertising space. According to FitSmallBusiness.com, the average Cost-Per-Click (CPC) for ads in the Apparel industry is about $0.45. This is significantly less than most industries. Still, running Facebook ads can be expensive. You want to make the most of your social media presence.
While organic traffic is still important, it has a lot of competition on Facebook. Not only are more people advertising on Facebook, but you’re also contending with the Facebook algorithm that shifted its emphasis to posts from friends and family in 2018. After all, people join Facebook to connect with the people around them, not to be advertised to.
Whether you have a big budget or no budget at all, there is plenty you can do to increase your Facebook presence. Here are 4 steps you can take to make your marketing strategy effective:
- Plan Your Content
- Target Your Audience
- Post Engaging Content
- Pay Attention to Post Frequency and Response Time
Plan Your Content
Scheduling your content, whether with a calendar or a social media tool, is the first step in any successful social media strategy. While there are many theories on when the best time to post is, you may experience more exposure at different times of the day and different days of the week.
Because social media is always evolving, stay up-to-date on when the best time to post is. Currently, the common thought is that posts on weekdays around midday receive the most engagement. Keep in mind that this will change. If your competitors all start to post and promote at 1pm Wednesday, the chances of your content being seen go down.
Planning your content out in advance will give you a road map for what you want to post. Whether it’s for the week or for the next month, timing out when you will post is the first place to start. Keep track of what posts perform best to see if there is any correlation between engagement and posting time.
Target Your Audience
Think about who you are trying to reach before posting. With thousands of other posts vying for attention, it’s better to be specific than general. For instance, if you are selling trendy apparel, your customer will be different than if you are working to establish yourself as a source for spirit wear.
Knowing the age, gender, and interests of your audience is crucial to have an impact. For a good idea of who to market to, take note of the people already following and engaging with your business. Is this your typical customer? Is this who you want to reach? If so, cater your posts to them.
If you’re trying to break into a new market, it may be helpful to create personas. Personas are fake people that fit the demographics of the people you want to reach. Give them names, ages, genders, but also likes and dislikes, interests, job title, and other pertinent information. Brainstorm with others to create more personas. Creating these personas will give you a handle on who your target audience is.
Post Engaging Content
Whether you’re sharing other people’s content, or posting your original content, make sure what you’re posting will encourage engagement. You want to post things people will want to like, share, and comment on. Since Facebook gives priority to posts that people engage with, your posts are more likely to be seen if they’re high quality.
When sharing content, know how Facebook marketing differs from paid search ads. Wordstream puts it like this: “AdWords (Google’s ad platform) helps you find new customers, while Facebook helps new customers find you.” Facebook users aren’t using Facebook to find you, but are being directed to you by their interests. This is why the majority of your posts shouldn’t directly promote your business.
Facebook users don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to. Facebook, as well as other social media platforms, is where you should be soft selling. Going in for the hard sell will result in your post being ignored. Remember, the primary reason people use Facebook is for a social experience, not to be sold to.
Instead of promoting your business directly, connect with your users through social selling. Do a show and tell where you ask your followers to post pictures of their favorite shirts. Post content that informs and delights your audience. Share industry news. Fill your feed with quality posts and create community engagement.
Pay Attention to Post Frequency and Response Time
If you want to use Facebook to promote your business, you can’t do it halfway. Unfortunately, the topic of post frequency is a complicated one. If your business has 10,000+ likes, the rule of thumb is to post twice a day.
However, if you are a smaller business, posting that often can be detrimental. Why? If you’re spamming your followers’ feeds with posts, they’re likely to get annoyed, and maybe unfollow you. Quality is always better than quantity. If you’re sharing posts and they are engaged with, continue the good work. But if you’re posting frequently and everything is going unnoticed, reconsider your approach.
Posting less does not mean responding less. Users commenting on your wall need to be responded to promptly. Just like offline, everyone appreciates a good listener. Listen to what your followers have to say and respond. When you engage with people, whether it’s a sentence or a like, your posts will generate more interest, which can lead to more sales.
Marketing on Facebook can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Like anything, you get back what you put into it. By being active on the platform, sharing quality content, and responding to your followers, you can grow your base. Facebook works best when you’re building a community around your business.
By social selling, users will have a connection with you and your work. When you share promotional content, this connection will make it natural for them to engage with that as well. From here, you can generate leads to grow your business.
For more info on growing your social media presence, download our Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Your T-Shirt Business today.