Social Media is about conversations, but the big question for brands has always been how to translate that into business results. Marketing specialists and bloggers have been struggling to shape relevant and active online communities with the hope that one day the fans will turn into leads creating ROI.
For full guide on how to get started with a Facebook page, grow likes and boost your reach take a look at this 25 step game plan.
Good content is a must
Just like with blogging, on social media good content is where you start. You need to know your audience’s needs and have a plan to feed the conversations regularly. Here are some ideas and tips to inspire you:
- Conversation calendar
In order to keep your fans engaged, you need to communicate with them on a regular basis. Prepare a list with topics that might interest them and a conversation calendar where you plan when to publish which topic. Synchronize that plan with your blogging calendar.
- Don’t sell directly
It is in our nature to try and sneak in a marketing message every now and then. In order to make sure you are not overselling, follow closely the key indicators around such posts. Facebook calculates a spam score based on the negative feedback you receive per post and if they represent a high percent of the clicks, your page’s reach will significantly decrease. If you notice that your spam score is increasing – stop, take a deep breath and revise your messages and content strategy.
- Ask questions – let your fans talk
A good tip on engaging fans is simply to make them talk. They have liked your page because they have an interest in you, so ask them questions, for example how they feel about your blog, product or service. This is a great way to crowd source ideas and let your fans feel closer to your brand.
- Listen and respond
Monitor the conversations on a regular basis and never leave a question without an answer. This is a simple rule to follow with your comments section too. Social conversations are a good way for you to learn more about your fans’ needs. Also, never forget that a negative fan post can escalate very fast and create a crisis situation for your company.
- Benchmark against your competitors
It is good to monitor what your competitors are doing in order to engage their fans as apparently your audience is similar and you might find good ideas you want to modify and try.
From conversations to conversions
In order to translate your conversation into conversions you need to make sure your potential leads have the chance to easily find your website or blog at any given moment. Analyze your fans’ behavior and find the moments and situations when they are willing to engage further and visit your website or blog. For example you can:
- Provide exclusive content or deals directing fans from Facebook to your website
Create exclusive content for your fans on Facebook, something attractive they can find only there and then make them visit your website in order to see the full message or take advantage of the special deal you have posted. This is a good tip not only for converting leads but also for making fans come back again and again to your page. You can go even further and create exact frequency for those posts. Make sure your fans learn that frequency and little by little they will start anticipating those specialties let’s say every Monday.
- Make sure to add a website link to every piece of interesting content
By delicately adding a link to your website on e.g. an attractive image post, your fans will have the opportunity to further engage with you – this time on your conversion spot. Make sure to find the right balance and not scare away the crowd by flooding your content with links. The idea here is to make sure people get easy access to your website and not spend time to go and look for it.
Good content is not enough
You need to make sure your good content also gets out there and reaches the right audience. Facebook changed the game by offering targeted advertising and tools to closely follow the path from conversations to conversions. And the combination of relevant content and well-targeted Facebook ads proves to be the success formula. Here are some ideas on how you can use some of Facebook’s cool features for advertising.
- Upsell or target the right fans
In case you know exactly whom you want to show your ads to, Facebook Audiences is the right feature for you. Just upload a database with their e-mails, phones or Facebook IDs and the social network will take care of the rest. There are two main scenarios you can use it for:
- Reach Out to Potential Clients
Let’s say that you have a chain of stores and you had an in-store campaign offering vouchers for discounts. Everyone could get that offer if he/she signs up and provides you with contact info. After the campaign you are left with a database with leads that apparently are interested in your products. A wonderful way to remind them of your brand and convert them into regular customers is to reach them via Facebook Audiences advertising.
- Upsell to Current Clients
Maybe, you have a decent customer base and there is a new or upgraded product you want to offer them. Facebook provides you with the opportunity to show an ad only to your current customers.
NB: Make sure you have your clients’ permission to use their contact info for marketing purposes!
- Advertise to specific client profile
Facebook goes even further by offering to find potential customers for you! All you need to do is provide the social network with a solid database with contacts of at least 500 people that match your client profile and Facebook will find and show your ad to similar users.
- Facebook ad ROI made possible
Facebook has introduced conversion tracking for their ads and that has changed the game. Now, you can track very precisely how many actual conversions you have had from your Facebook ad campaign. You can also assign a value to such an action and thus easily calculate your ROI.
How to do that? You need to generate a snippet of code and place it the < HEAD > tags of a specific page of your site. Facebook can then follow each person that clicks on your ad when away from the social network and then tell you if that particular person has converted into your lead. It can’t get more precise than that!
You need to place the snippet of code on a page where you expect the conversion to take place like for example your sign-up page; request a demo; check out page; newsletter sign-up; etc. The more conversions you get, the more Facebook learns what type of users are the most appropriate leads for you and starts optimizing and showing your ads to people with a similar profile. How cool is that!
What is your experience with generating leads on Facebook? Have you used any of Facebook’s ad features?
You can reach Roza on Twitter @RozaTsvetkova.