If you have been using Facebook to promote products, events, sales, specials… as well as your corporate identity and your viewpoints then you’ve probably experienced some organic success, some limited amount of reach, perhaps even some post banter, and some increase in traffic to your website.
That’s why Facebook news that Promotional Posts (as opposed to ads) will be getting less airtime may well have felt a bit like a punch in the stomach. Just think of all that hard work you’ve already put in, you even have had your content calendar for 2015 virtually nailed in readiness, then all of a sudden your plans are up in the air again… What do you do?
Well, like everything else in this world you will have to pay to promote yourself at sometime and the Facebook free ride is coming to an end.
So how will this change affect you? Your corporate identity? Your brand awareness? And ultimately your sales and your profits for 2015?
Here’s some sound advice for promoting your corporate identity on social media, despite Facebook’s latest move.
Building Your Brand with Facebook in 2015
At FoPM we always like to think positive and this change could be a good opportunity for you to rethink your brand strategy and gain more / new customers.
Limit your promotional posting
Nothing new there you ask. As a rule of thumb no more than 20% of the updates on your Facebook business page should be for promotional purposes. “What do I post then if I only sell products?” Focus on the benefits of your offerings and post valuable, informative content that is relevant, useful, and in response to demand. With the new changes, you’ll risk clients missing most of your posts if you’re too focused on promotion.
Prime your followers for Promotion
You might be wondering how you can build your corporate identity without reliance on transparently promotional material. How can you promote an upcoming event without providing place, time, and booking instructions? Visuals, content sharing, and content creation are just a few ways to endear people to your brand by connecting with them emotionally…and this practice primes people for succinct promotion. When you understand the mentality and the needs of your target audience, you will create posts that not only work to build your corporate identity, but that stir the emotions that will make them receptive to that 20% promotional material making it more effective and efficient.
Promote without Promoting
If you understand the concept of leading questions, you’ll have an easy time grasping this concept. The idea is to encourage conversation about your upcoming event, new product launch, sale etc. in the comments section of a post, but without promoting the product itself. Simply post a photo of a new product, or ask a question about venue preferences to get the conversation started. Then, work on introducing your intended subject in the comments. Caveat: Do not overuse this tactic; do not mislead your Facebook followers. Instead, deliver valuable information, stir emotions, and build trust as you communicate. You may also include links in the comments.
Bite the bullet and sanction a Facebook advertising budget.
The best way to get your promotional material to the people who can make a difference is through Facebook advertising. For a minimal fee, you can get your promotional material out there, to a targeted audience. Don’t be too discouraged: Facebook’s delivery system is tight, meaning that your payment will result in highly effective targeted marketing. You have two options: Facebook Ads Manager and Facebook Boost Your Post. Both are effective – but you’ll have to experiment with each and track the results to find the formula that works best for your brand. Let’s be honest, everything Facebook has introduced so far has been a success, so there’s no reason to think the change won’t be!
Don’t promote your business from your personal FB page
No one agreed to be your Facebook friend with the intention of wading through promotional posts about your business.
The idea is to position yourself as the expert in your field. As you build trust and expert status for your brand, you’ll notice you’ll feel less of a need to promote, and more of a need to maintain relationships with loyal clients. This is good – this is the goal. Remember, it takes five to seven times more money to net a new client than it does to retain an existing one. It is also said to take up to seven points of contact with a potential new customer before they agree to buy from you, whether those points be from cold calling, advertising, meeting, emails, content marketing etc… So it’s far quicker to gain sales from your existing customer base.
If you get this right you’ll find that loyal clients are promoting for you, and new clients will seek you out to you to ask about your next event, your new product, or ways to sign up for your newsletter.
Use this news from Facebook to build your corporate identity, organically and you’ll enjoy rewarding conversations with ideal clients, who will in-turn deliver your valuable message to their friends without the FB filter.