We saw in the previous two posts (How to develop a Facebook strategy in just 9 steps: Part I and Part II: Fanpage and content strategy) how to find out if Facebook was indeed the right network for your small business and how to launch and provide your fanpage with quality content that attracts and dazzles your fans. We will, with this post, jump right into the action of the contests, the advertising and, of course, how to measure the results.

7. Participate and win!

Beginnings are tough in social media marketing for all small businesses especially as the entire community needs to be built from scratch. For this reason, a good way to start your Facebook campaign could be with a contest, quiz or competition (If this sort of initiative matches your goals and your business that is). You will then reach more fans, attract them and, most importantly, gain the loyalty of your current fanbase, if it’s developed correctly of course.

First of all you need to have a clear set of goals. What do you want to achieve? Where are you going with this? Only then you can move on to the next step and select the type of contest or quiz most suited to your needs.

There are two basic types in Facebook; the sweepstakes and the contests. In the former, users will just leave their answers on a site (“Yes” or “No” answers to a post or voting for the best picture) and, if luck comes their way, their answer could be the winner. The latter requires an extra layer of creativity from the candidates. Uploading a picture, posting an anecdote, an original post… All of these would convey a greater loyalty of the fan.

My advice?

Find a contest used by a big company and try to use for your business what could be useful, original and, at the same time, keep your budget balanced. Following the examples of big companies and learn from them is always a good idea. You will need to use an app to create a good contest or competition. These are the most commonly used:

And always remember:

  • – Link the promotions between all your social networks (cross promoting)
  • – Give prizes that are relevant to your audience, to the people that you really want to reach and engage. Also take the following into account; If your reward is an iPad or an iPhone all types of fans will participate regardless of their interest for the page. These fans are likely to unfollow you once the contest is finished.
  • – There are the Facebook rules for contests. Read them before going forward!

8. A little bit of well oriented advertising and off you go!

One of the biggest hurdles for small businesses when they try to increase the reach of their posts and contents is that they have to go against the rest of the “News” displayed daily on their fans feeds from other companies and, worst of all, their friends. How can you increase your reach? How can you make sure that your content is going to be seen and it will go viral? Well, with advertising.

Usually the word “advertising” scares small bussineses as it brings a cost that up until now was too high, even in Google Adwords. The advantage that you have in Facebook is that if you use the advertising correctly, you target it right and it’s interesting and attractive then trust me, the ad will be much cheaper. You can even use different types of advertising so you could adapt them to your monthly budget.

As mentioned previously, find out what do you want to achieve first before you decide to go for it:

  • – Is your goal to direct traffic to your website? Use a CPC advert then. It’s more complicated to use as you will need to optimize the bid daily and it requires more creativity in the ad design. Commonly this type of advertising could cost you around €15-€30 weekly. You can check how to launch it here.
  • – Do you aim to direct traffic to your fanpage and thus gain more fans? Create an Advert. Much more simple process as Facebook changes the bid automatically so you don’t have to worry to optimize it. Clicks are also cheaper and if you manage to pull off an eye catching campaign, it is very effective.
  • – Are you in for the glory, I mean notoriety? To increase the social reach of your brand? Try then to tick the box CPM instead of CPC on any of the ads mentioned previously. With this setup you would only pay for each thousand views and not for clicks. Obviously I wouldn’t advise the use of this system if you are looking to get more clicks.
  • – Lastly, do you want to show a new product or an activity of your business? Make a post about it and promote it. This system hasn’t been around for long but it’s working out quite well so far. With as little as £7 your post will be displayed in the walls of the friends of your fans, on the walls of the friends of the friends of your fans and so on and on for the next four days. Yo also can orient your advertising to a language and type of fan of your choosing.

My advice?

Try to launch your Google Adwords and Facebook advertising at the same time. Latest research shows that Facebook influences users in a way that, even if they don’t click on the ad on the social network, they would do it once they see the ad of the same company in Google Adwords.

9. Measure and Redo!

Ok. So you have taken a few steps towards the goals that you set. But, is it working correctly? Let’s take a quick look at Facebook metrics to find out and if you aren’t obtaining the results that you expected, you can modify the strategy.

Facebook made it easier to check the stats last year. You will need to go to the admin of the page and click on “Show” displayed on the top part of the screen. You will see the graphic displaying the metrics of your fanpage

To find out what does each number and each line of the graphic represent, you only need to hoover the mouse arrow over them to have the explanation displayed. You can also modify the dates so you can find out, for instance, the results during the period of the launch of your campaign. You can even export the graphic to Excel.

Other tabs will show you the demographic information of your fans (Gender, nationality, languages, etc…) However the most important information, in my opinion, is the recently added “engagement” of each of your posts.

It’s in here where you’ll find out which posts are working well and which aren’t and which times and days generate more answers from your fans. Take into account that the percentage of normal engagement of an organic post (a post not influenced by any advertising) tends to reach a top of 10% of your fans. Under 4-5% you could consider changing it to a different time or day. Or even alter your content strategy.

But don’t just rely on the stats offered by Facebook. If you want to get a more round result, use some of the free tools that can help you monitor the impact of your brand or post in the social media:

We could talk for days about Facebook as there are loads of details that we know could be useful for your different campaigns. It’s quite difficult to summarize them all in just three posts.

Stay ready for the next posts in SWIt where we’ll continue to talk about the latest upgrades of the social networks that can help you with your social media campaigns.

Doubts? Tips? Data to add? Don’t forget to write a comment o visit our Facebook fanpage!

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