15 Tips Retailers Need to Be Using on Facebook
With over 2.01 billion monthly active users, Facebook holds powerhouse potential for retailers—that’s more users than Twitter and Instagram combined. Year over year, Facebook has generated 17% increase of users, spanning all over the globe, various demographics, and age groups.
Facebook is a marketer’s dream platform. Think about all the information that users willingly hand over to the social network—age, location, likes, dislikes, marital status, etc. Retailers can use Facebook to drive traffic to their website and brick-and-mortar location, and to increase their overall sales. But, before you can really start making money on Facebook, you need to have an idea of what you should be doing.
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Today, organic reach has dropped to an all-time low, and many expect it to be gone in the near future. You can’t just start posting a link to an article once a week and expect results. But, luckily, the platform has a ton of features that can help you increase your ROI. Here are 15 tips that retailers need to be using on Facebook in order to reach maximum potential.
- Use a Schedule
Consistency is key in the social media world. One big mistake that many business owners make is posting to Facebook erratically. If you only post once every other month and in no particular fashion, your audience is not going to care about your content. You want to make sure you are posting regularly and on a consistent basis.
The first thing that you want to do is sit down and decide on a Facebook plan. Decide how many times you want to post per week—some companies post every single day, some post multiple times per day, some post three times a week. It’s up to you.
SocialBakers found that top brands average one post per day on Facebook. They also found that if you just post once per week, you risk losing your connection with your audience. Generally, it’s advised to post 5-10 times during the week. The exact number you decide on is up to you.
A great way to make sure that you stay up-to-date on your posting is to use a social media schedule. Once you decide how often you are going to post, create a schedule that shows you what you are going to post, where you are going to post it, and when you are posting it. We recommend using an Excel spreadsheet—it’s what we use to create our social media editorial calendar.
There are also a number of free tools out there that can help you create a calendar and organize your information. Just make sure you have a clear plan and schedule to keep you consistent. We also recommend using a scheduling service—like Hootsuite or Buffer—to schedule your content out in advance.
- Use Variation
You know how annoyed you get when you see the same commercial over and over? People get just as annoyed when they see the same thing over and over on their social media feeds. But, unlike with television advertising, repetition isn’t going to get you any wins on Facebook. If one of your followers starts getting annoyed with seeing the same thing from you, all it takes is one click to unfollow you—and, if you are lucky and they don’t unfollow you, chances are they will start to just overlook anything that you post.
Therefore, you want to make sure that your Facebook page is fun, interesting, and engaging. You want to share your content in a wide variety of forms. You can use photos, videos, Facebook Live, contests, events (we’ll get into these two a bit more later on), and more, in order to mix it up. You can then go into your Facebook Insights to see which types of posts do best and start to use those more regularly in your schedule.
- Use Videos
Video has completely changed the digital landscape in the past few years. While advertising has always been a visual world, today video is revolutionizing the industry. It is estimated that video will account for 79% of all internet traffic by 2020. Don’t believe it? Consider this: today, more video content is uploaded to the internet during one single month than has been produced for network television in the past three decades.
Today, 61% of businesses use video in their content marketing strategy, and 64% of those believe that video has led directly to increased sales. This is a great way to increase your organic reach and engagement. And, luckily, Facebook gives you the ability to use video without having a ton of knowledge or experience in videography.
In order to reach your highest potential with Facebook video, there are a few best practices that you want to follow. First, make sure that any video you use is uploaded directly to the Facebook platform.
Research has shown that videos uploaded directly to Facebook get more organic visibility than videos that are hosted by YouTube, Vimeo, or other third-party sites. They also found that these videos receive 40% more engagement. You can play around with where and when you upload your videos to see how it affects your engagement levels.
You should also consider using Facebook Live.
This feature allows you to live broadcast to all of your followers at once. One of the great things about Facebook Live is that not only can your users tune in live, they can also stream the video at a later time. Normally, users will receive a notification that you are streaming and can watch it then or save it for later.
- Use Events
Next time your business has an event, consider heading over to Facebook events to help promote it. This can be a great way to catch users’ attention and interest. However, many businesses overlook this facet of Facebook because they don’t understand how to use the feature.
In order to best utilize Facebook events, make sure you are setting it up correctly to get the best engagement and participation. First, create your event and properly name it. Don’t have some boring name—make it something fun, something that will grab people’s attention.
Then, make sure you add a thorough description of the event. Include all of the necessary information, like price, schedule, participants, location, time, etc. Also, make sure that you include a link to your website to learn more. You also want to make sure that you use a great photo for your event. Facebook recommends using an image with 1920 X 1080 pixels.
- Use Emojis
One of the biggest pros of Facebook, and social media in general, is that it gives your company a chance to humanize itself. You get to show your followers that you are just a company full of individuals, and put a face behind your brand.
Emojis have become a mainstream communication method, and they are a great way to show off your brand’s personality on Facebook.
- Use Contests
Contests can be a great way to engage with your followers on Facebook. They can also be a way to increase your audience. There are so many different types of contests that you can run. It doesn’t have to be something super difficult—it can be as easy as “like to win.”
The type of contest you run depends on your creativity and how well you know your audience. Here is an overview of some of the different types of contests out there:
Like to Win: As mentioned earlier, one simple type of contest is a “like to win” contest. This is the most common type of contest on Facebook today. For this to work, you need to share a high-quality image of one of your products, and simply ask your fans to like and share the post for a chance to win the product.
Comment to Win: This runs on the same premise as the “like to win” contests, but, instead of liking the photos, your fans must leave a comment in order to win. You could ask them to just leave a comment or to tag a friend, or you could even ask a question that they answer in the comment section—maybe something like “What do you like most about our company? Comment below to win a free [insert one of your products].”
Fill in the Blank: This is another simple type of contest that you can run on Facebook. For this to work, you just need to write some type of incomplete sentence and then ask your fans to complete it.
Photo Contest: A photo contest is a fun and engaging way to interact with your fans. Just ask your fans to submit a photo to you on Facebook, and either you pick a winner or you let the most number of likes from your community pick the winner.
Caption This: This is another great way to engage with your fans. You can ask them to caption one of your photos, and whoever has the best caption wins. This type of contest can be very popular, and tends to bring out some great creative captions.
Q&A: Q&A is a type of contest that you can execute in a number of different ways, depending on how creative you want to be and how much work you want to put in it. It can also be as simple as posing a quick question on your page and asking your fans to submit the right question back to you.
Crowdsource Contest: A crowdsource contest can be an extremely useful, fun way to engage with your audience. In this scenario, you get your fans to help you solve a problem. Maybe you show them three or four different logos, and you get them to pick their favorite. Or you could get them to help you name one of your newest products. This is another contest that really relies on how much creativity you want to put into it.
- Use Testimonials
Testimonials are a powerful way to show potential customers who you are and what they can expect from you. If you can show that your current customers trust you and are happy with you, then you can help convince potential customers to trust you.
In order to add testimonials to your Facebook posts, you have to first have testimonials. You don’t want just any testimonial—you want the best of the best. Therefore, you need to ask your most loyal and best customers to write you a testimonial. You can do this by using your email marketing to target those customers and ask for a review.
While any type of testimonial will work, try to think ouside of the box when you are presenting your testimonials to your potential customers. Think of photos and videos (we’ve already discussed the power of videos) to help make your case.
- Use Current Events
Current events can be a great way to reach your audience on social media. If there is a big event or something newsworthy going on, work on crafting your posts around that.
Maybe the Super Bowl is coming up. Post content centered around that, like recipes for tailgating. Or share a photo of your employees in their team gear. You can also work in trending hashtags to help boost your organic visibility. Maybe the Oscars are going on and you own a fashion boutique; work that into your posts. Ask your followers who wore it best, or ask for their opinions on the best-dressed lists.
This is a great way to not only use variation, as we discussed above, but to keep your posts relevant. Keep your ear to the ground and work these events into your schedule.
- Use Other Brands
We’ve already talked about how you should be using variety in the content that you post on Facebook. Every now and then you need to switch it up a bit. One way that you can add variety to your posts is to bring in other brands and work with others to expand your reach.
Tag other companies’ pages in your content, and reach out to them. Post on other companies’ pages. Engage with brands throughout the platform. These are great ways to reach a wider audience. However, when doing this, you need to make sure you remain tactful. Don’t spam other pages—you want to make sure that what you are sharing is helpful or encouraging.
It could be as simple as “We like your content,” or as complex as creating a blog with another company (cough, cough). The goal here should be to work together with other companies that share a similar audience to yours, and to get as much exposure as possible for both.
- Use Chat
The whole reason that you are on social media is to engage with your audience, right? Well, it should be. And, to be successful at that, you need to make sure you carry on consistent communication with them. Facebook Chat is a great way to do this.
Make sure you have Facebook Messenger set up on your Facebook page. You can also integrate this with your website. This service provides a real-time opportunity for your audience to engage with you if they need to. Even if they don’t start chatting you up, it is reassuring for customers that they can get in touch with you ASAP.
One great plus to this is that this feature also comes with an app—on both iOS and Android—so that you don’t have to be tied to your desktop. With this addition, you can take Facebook with you on the go. Search for the Facebook Page Manager, which shows you page activity, insights, and more, and it lets you respond to your fans on your mobile device.
- Use Multi-Product Carousels
Facebook Advertising is a huge benefit to the platform and should be a big part of your overall social media strategy. Facebook’s advertising platform is one of the most advanced platforms out there—it even rivals Google’s AdWords. Facebook ads can help you reach a larger audience and laser-target those that you want to reach. This is great for retailers that are trying to find new customers and show off their products.
A great addition to Facebook’s ad capabilities is their new Multi-Product Carousel ad type. These ads allow advertisers to include 3-5 images, in addition to a headline, link, and call to action. This is a great way to display multiple products in one single ad. You can tell a story, explain how a product works, show a group of products that go together, and more.
The possibilities are endless, which is great, considering that these ads are very effective. Data collected shows that these ads can increase your click-through rate by 72%, drive 10 times more traffic to your website, and decrease your costs.
- Use Targeting to Reach Website Visitors
Remarketing, or retargeting, is the practice of tracking existing website visitors and serving them ads based on the product or landing page that they have previously viewed. This is in hopes that they will convert on the second touchpoint.
It makes more sense to try to convert someone who already knows about your company and brand, instead of someone who has never heard of you before. There is already a connection there, so it’s more likely that they will buy from you, as long as you stay top-of-mind.
Facebook is a great platform for remarketing. People don’t just browse the platform looking for something to spend their paycheck on, but if you can retarget people, you can stay top-of-mind and, hopefully, be able to convert them when they are ready.
In order to do this, you have to use a piece of code called a Facebook pixel. You can find this in your ad center. You will need to place this on your website so that Facebook can gather information on the people who visit your site. Once you have it installed, you can create a custom audience for those people. Here’s how to set it up:
- Go into Ad
- Click on Audiences in the top left corner under Facebook Ads
- Click on Create Audience
- Click Custom Audience
- Choose Website Traffic
- Choose your settings and click Create Audience
13. Use Targeting to Reach Email Subscribers
Just like using your website visitors, retargeting to your email subscribers is a great way to stay at the top of your audience’s mind, but this is even more granular. These aren’t just people who have stumbled across your site—these are people you have an even closer relationship with. They’ve given you a piece of valuable data—their email address—and have asked to receive content from you. Take advantage of this.
You can create a custom audience to target your email subscribers in a similar way. Here’s how:
- Go into Ad
- Click on Audiences in the top left corner under Facebook Ads
- Click on Create Audience
- Click on Custom Audience
- Choose Customer File
- Either upload your customer file or import it from MailChimp
14. Use Barriers to Hide Content
By adding barriers to your page, you can hide your valuable content and tease others to like your page. This makes your page feel more exclusive and special, and will drive more likes to the page.
In addition to adding exclusivity, you also create a sense of belonging for your fans. You can send them special deals and post information that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. This top-secret page will encourage others to want to become a part of it, too.
- Use Your Analytics
A huge mistake that many retailers make is not using the data that Facebook provides them. Your Facebook analytics is a wealth of knowledge on many facets of the platform—your audience, your posts, etc.—and it’s right there at your fingertips. This data will help take the guesswork out of your Facebook strategy.
You can see which type of posts your audience is engaging with the most, and then you can add more to your schedule. You can also see when the best time to post is, and add that to your strategy. Those who go into posting on Facebook blindly are not using all of their resources and are setting themselves up to lose both their audience and engagement.
Facebook is a social media giant that can be a great way for retailers to reach new and existing customers, but it does take work. It’s an everyday task that should be a big part of your overall marketing strategy. However, with the right amount of time and effort, you should be able to see a positive ROI from your work.
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Brittany Currie is a Marketing Manager at Visiture, a full-service search marketing agency located in Atlanta GA and Charleston SC which specializes in serving medium sized eCommerce businesses focused on increasing their internet presence and reaching online business goals.