With the recent controversy surrounding Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, you may be thinking that the social media giant is on the fast track to becoming irrelevant—but not so fast!
For small businesses, Facebook can be an effective platform for reaching out to and engaging with customers.
In fact, according to recent reports, ad spending on Facebook actually increased in March. Facebook is also expected to continue to be one of the most successful technology and social media companies in the coming years.
That’s why for small businesses, Facebook is still a powerful tool for growing your brand presence and for generating leads.
Here are 5 creative ways to use Facebook to grow your business:
1. Launch a Contest
Contests are fun, especially on Facebook. And there’s no better way to engage your audience on the social network than by holding a friendly competition. But not every contest held on Facebook will generate the response you want. Before diving in, first identify the marketing goal you’re trying to achieve.
Do you want to gain more customers, or promote an special sale? Depending on your end goal, you’ll have to adjust the contest entry method so that it responds to the right audience.
If you want more followers, require that all eligible participants like your Facebook page. To promote a sale, ask contestants to share your promotion on their social media accounts. Be sure that your contest is in compliance with Facebook’s Promotional Terms.
2. Create Paid Ads
You see them on your Facebook feed. Some are relevant, others not. If you’re a small business owner, paid advertising on Facebook is a fantastic way to boost your organic marketing without breaking your budget.
Facebook’s Ad Manager is designed to measure up to 10 different objectives such as: page post engagements, page likes, click to website, website conversions, offer claims, local awareness, and more. After selecting your objective, Ad Manager will ask you to select your target audience. If you’re looking to spread brand awareness you may want to select a broader audience than if you were trying to drive local foot traffic to your business.
Ad Manager also allows you to create a custom audience through your company’s contact database. For a single image ad, Facebook recommends that your image is 1,200 x 628 pixels with little to no overlaid text.
3. Post (and Boost) High Quality Content
Posting regularly on your Facebook page is a surefire way to keep your business top of mind for customers who are interested in your page and your products or services.
If you’re struggling to think of content pieces to post, consider posting about industry information, product updates, or your own blog post. To extend the reach of a post outside of the audience who follows your page, you may want to consider boosting it. For as little as $10, you can select the size of an audience you want your post to reach. When considering which post to boost, choose high-quality posts that your audience will find interesting and share with their friends.
4. Create a Facebook Group
Facebook groups are a way to connect with your audience and drive qualified leads to your site. But don’t think that you have to create a group focused only on your business. Groups were intended as a way of increasing discussion of shared interests.
When setting up a Facebook Group, make sure that it’s centered on your industry or a specific niche. For example, a restaurant owner could create a group where members can discuss their favorite recipes. Once you’ve established a group, you can promote free offers in the form of an eBook, webinar, or report.
5. Go Live!
Facebook offers a cool feature known as live-streaming, which allows you to film a live video to your page followers in real-time. If your page has a large following, live streaming is the second best way to connect with your audience without actually having to host an in-person meeting. Numerous reports have shown that live videos are watched three times longer than recorded videos.
If you’re unsure what type of livestream content to broadcast, consider hosting a Q&A, create a How-To video, tease new products, or take a quick tour of your business.
Before broadcasting, pick an interesting and catchy title to draw viewers into the livestream and be sure to test your equipment so that viewers are able to see and hear you clearly. Always end your livestream with a call-to-action, like “Sign up today!” or “Learn more on our website.” If you want to consolidate your Facebook efforts, you can also livestream videos to a Facebook group.
Facebook’s ad capabilities and social features is still an effective and cost-efficient marketing tool to grow your business, so before you deactivate your account, think twice—because you might be losing out on a worthwhile investment.