Facebook is more than just another Social Channel. It’s an advertising medium, referral engine, publishing platform and entertainment channel all in one. And if it’s not part of your marketing mix, then you risk missing out on one of the most powerful tools in your sales toolbox.
Here are 6 tips to help you understand how you can use Facebook as a great tool to help you attract leads and customers for your contracting or construction business – whether your customers are home owners, or other businesses.
1. Don’t just focus on “Followers”
This might seem counter-intuitive, but don’t get too bogged down focusing on building a huge following of people who “Like” your page, and nagging everyone you meet to follow you on Facebook. These people represent your “organic” reach – and building a substantial following is actually very difficult. And up until a couple of years ago, it was the only way to connect with people on Facebook. But the good news is that Facebook has made it a lot easier to reach people – with paid advertising through promoted posts.
Don’t get us wrong, followers are not a bad thing. It’s just that you shouldn’t spend a lot of time, energy and resources trying to build up a huge following, because they won’t see many of your organic posts, because they will be drowned out by paid posts from your competitors and other advertisers.
2. Do focus on Advertising
If the bad news is that Facebook has made it more difficult to reach your organic audience, the good news is that they have made it easy to reach them through advertising. Facebook’s targeting tools are simply unmatched.
Traditional media, like direct marketing, does a good job of targeting by geographic or demographic profile. Digital media does a better job by adding a level of efficiency, because you only pay for results like clicks. Google and other search engines up the game even more, because they insert your message into the customer journey, helping customers find you while they are actively searching for your services.
But Facebook’s ad-serving platform goes even farther, by helping you to identify and target your prospects by their individual profile characteristics, and inserting your message into their stream of content.
Imagine if you could create a television ad, but only target it to a very small, defined, target audience.
That’s the power of Facebook marketing.
3. Be Engaging.
Facebook wants to keep their audience engaged. So they reward you for creating posts that people like – and punishes you with lower reach and higher costs for posts that people ignore or dislike. Take advantage of this, by creating ad campaigns that are engaging, sharable and entertaining.
How do you do this? Start by thinking of Facebook like the world’s biggest cocktail party. No one likes that guy who spends the whole time talking about himself, or is too pushy about his job. Don’t be that guy. Instead, follow the lead of people who are masters at working the room; ask questions, get people talking about themselves, start conversations, offer advice. In other words, create content that adds value and draws the audience in, so they will engage with your posts, like them, and share them.
If you do this well, not only will Facebook reward you with lower costs and higher reach, but your prospects will reward you with their attention, their connections, and their business.
4. Use the Entire Toolbox
You wouldn’t show up at a job-site without the right tools. The same principle holds for your social media strategy. Facebook has a suite of very powerful and robust tools that will turn you from a novice to pro – and help you hone your activities and connect with prospects. Here are the our top 4:
- The Facebook “Pixel”;
a pixel is a small bit of code that you can include on your website, like a cookie, that let’s us track Facebook users when they are on your site, and your website visitors when they are on Facebook. They can really help you understand how your traffic finds your site and interacts with your ads. And it lets you ‘retarget’ your ads to visitors who are interested in your services.
Facebook provides a boat-load of really valuable data to show you how your audience interacts with your posts. Learn what’s working, and what’s not, and fine tune your message to connect with your audience.
- Publishing Tools;
there are some fairly simple tools that you can use to schedule your posts, and otherwise make it easier to manage your profile.
- “Look-Alike Audiences”.
Once you have a list of people who like your brand or profile, you can upload this list to Facebook, and they will apply their magic algorithms to analyze your list, figure out what they have in common, and will pull together a list of ‘look-alikes’ who will also probably like your content. Yes, it’s a bit spooky. But it is also the most efficient targeting tool known to man!
5. Work It!
Unfortunately, as with most marketing programs and business initiatives, it’s not a case of ‘set it and forget it’. You’ll need to stay current with relevant content, review your traffic and interaction, and respond to customer queries and comments.
Fortunately, there are some pretty simple and easy tools to help you do this, most of it can probably managed from your phone or tablet, and you can probably manage it well in less than an hour or two a week. And when done well, you’ll be rewarded with leads, prospects and customers far more efficiently and effectively than other advertising channels.
6. Don’t forget about B2B
Many people are under the impression that Facebook is not an appropriate channel for B2B marketing. But those people are thinking of Facebook just as a Social platform, and aren’t thinking of it as an advertising platform.
That’s like saying “I only use trade magazines to market my company, I don’t use TV advertising”. You use trade journals for the targeting. You use television ads for the reach. Now imagine if you could create television ads, but only target them to a very small, highly focused group of people who represent your target market (like HVAC specifiers, or Property Managers), who are predisposed to be interested in your ad. And you can track them discretely as they engage with your ad and click to your site. That’s the power of Facebook marketing.
And if you are in B2B marketing, you can still beat your competition, before they figure this out.
So give it a try. If you are already on Facebook, you know how engaging it is, and you might as well put that to work for your business. If you are not a ‘power Facebook user’, don’t worry that you’ve missed the boat. Most of these Facebook ad programs are still fairly new, and your competitors are probably still getting up to speed with them as well. And Facebook is a great environment to try out small tests and campaigns, so you can learn the ropes and figure out what works without a significant financial commitment.
And if you need some guidance in getting started, we at Pivot are happy to help.