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Effectively using Facebook as a Business

As a Denver Website Designer, a lot of my clients ask how they can reach more customers and new customers with Facebook.

Facebook said this year in June 2016 that it is prioritizing family and friends on users' newsfeeds, so you'll find that as a business page, your posts will be viewed by about only 1-2% of your audience–meaning: hardly anyone sees your posts! Even if you have a lot of likes, there's a 98-99% chance that users that have liked your page won't see your posts.

And, if you post something that is considered by Facebook to be promotional, that percentage of your post displaying goes down to nearly 0%. What is a promotional post? These are determined by Facebook, and are typically posts created for the purpose of getting people to buy a product; or posts that promote giveaways, promotions or contests; and finally posts that re-use the same images or content from paid ads.

Placing ads on Facebook are nearly 100% more effective than free posts (of course) or even boosting posts. And, using Facebook Ads will allow you to advertise promotional content such as a contest, a 20% discount, etc, whereas free posts with these elements are almost entirely hidden from users.

So, if you want to be seen on Facebook, buy some Facebook Ads! You don't have to spend a lot, you can spend $1 and if you target it right, it can put your business in front of lots of potential customers.

To be most effective, here are some Facebook Ad tips:

Using Facebook ads can be very effective and will get you in front of new customers as well as your existing audience of users who've liked your page, since just regular posts are not being seen by 98% of Facebook users.

So how do you market your business effectively on Facebook using ads?

1. Find your Audience: Where's the best place to find customers?

Which users do you want to see your message?

You can target the ad audience by Demographics (physical location), Interests, Behaviors, Connections, Lookalikes, and even Custom Audiences. Choose wisely, and narrow that audience down to the customer profile that you know will be interested in your services or products.

Selecting your Audience:

If you narrow down your audience to a very specific audience, your ad can still reach 1,000s of very targeted Facebook users that are most likely to be interested in your services. You can setup audiences by targeting their Behaviors, such as "Gardening" so that you know that they maybe interested in your seed company, for example. See some of the choices in the screenshot below – you create this in the Audiences area of the Ad builder in Facebook.

Example of Facebook Audience Targeting Options

2. Add a Value Offer to the Ad:

Such as a a Top 10-Tips, giveaway, discount, or a how-to video on something related to your business (such as a "How to grow green chile seeds"). You can have users put in their email info to get an email with your video, tips sheet, or other giveaway. Use a discount: 20% off (or more) one item would be a great coupon to offer. This will get people to click on your ad.

Create an ad that stands out – show a person with emotion (happy/sad/in the garden...), use colorful images or text to stand out. Red, yellow orange green are the top performing colors.

Create motion with a person's eyes or the composition of an image – show a closeup image of an appealing person looking towards your offer, people will follow their eyes to your copy!

3. Followup & Landing Pages:

Once you get a user to click to your website, then you want to build the relationship – on the landing page you link the ad to, connect with the customer.

• Create a landing page that relates directly to the ad (whatever offer you used in ad, same imagery)

• Collect their email and first name with a subscribe form on the landing page with a free offer such as a 20% an item coupon. You can use any number of email services to get these embeddable forms, such as MailChimp, VerticalResponse, or even Wix's Shoutout.

• Ask that they like you on Facebook, and try to get them to engage with posts. See more in my tips at the end of this article.

Did you know that 98% of online store users do not purchase anything on their first visit? First time users are typically just checking out your store, and getting to know your business before they purchase. Online users are researchers – the ultimate Window shoppers – so they'll check you out and if they're serious, they'll most likely plan to come back later. But – they may forget! So, make sure to collect their email address so that you can reach out to them after they've visited your site.

A simple followup email or even an email newsletter on a regular basis will help keep your business in their minds, make sure to include a link to your website or even the landing page or product if you are able to. I can't tell you how often I get email newsletters from businesses that FAIL to have a link to their website – a huge no-no!

Take it another step – and send them a series of emails after their visits,

• After a couple days, send them an email with a followup on the product or promotion they looked at. Keep an offer that they can use immediately (20% off one item)

• After a week, send them another email that says "Didn't find what you're looking for? Check out our other related products/services"

• Send monthly newsletters with new promotions and or products/services – stories about your employees, services, goodwill, etc are also great ways to stay in touch!

4. Ongoing tips for general Facebook use:

I recommend that you still post in addition to using paid ads, but don't bother much with promotional posts since they most likely won't be seen by 99% of users. Instead post stories, tips, or other fun and interesting content that your users will want to read. If people engage with your posts by liking or commenting or sharing, they will be much more likely to see more of your regular posts in the future.

Below is a fun post for Sandia Seed Company, these types of posts have a lot more engagement than posts directly to a product page to purchase:

Respond to Customers on Facebook Quickly: Make sure you're on Facebook often, and that you interact with your users quickly in a positive, friendly and informative way. If a customer reaches out with a message question or comment, reply quickly. Type clearly and completely, make sure there are no typos and use complete sentences. In other words, be professional! If a potential or existing customer asks about a product, reply with a link directly to that product on your website along with your own added details of the product. Facebook tracks how fast you respond, and shares that with customers, so if they see you respond quickly, it adds to your creditability as a business.

Have fun with Facebook! It's a great way to engage with your customers. It has even become, from what I've seen, the new "customer support" for many users, people often post their questions (and sometimes complaints) on business Facebook walls vs. calling or emailing, so it's good to stay on top of it!


5. Google AdWords is Best for Online Sales:

I also advise all my clients to use Google AdWords, especially online stores, as people use Google to search when shopping, not Facebook. Facebook is a great way to engage with your customers, and increase brand awareness, but if you want to see more direct sales, using Google AdWords and setting up specific ads targeted to specific keyword searches and audiences is a better bet for online sales. Of course, using many of these techniques above for your Google AdWords ads will also help you followup with customers, since 98% of users usually don't buy anything on their first visit. It's always good to offer a discount or promotion in exchange for an email address on your landing page so that you can followup in the weeks after they visited your site and keep your business in front of them.

One more tip:

How to size your images for Facebook Ads:

Below Facebook image Ad Specs info came from Facebook:

  • Recommended image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels

  • Image ratio: 1.9:1

  • Text: 90 characters

  • Headline: 25 characters

  • Link description: 30 characters

  • Your image should include minimal text. See how the amount of text in your ad image will impact the reach of your ad. See examples below:

Facebook Ad Specs Sizing


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Reach out with questions or for a free design estimate:

As a website designer and graphic designer, I love sharing great tips and tools that make designing easier. As part of my website design services, I train clients on how to update their websites or to do their own SEO (search engine optimization), so I post many of these tips for my clients to train them how to use Wix and other tools to keep their website up-to-date. Keeping websites current is the best way to get found and to keep people coming back to your website. 

Check out all my Design & SEO tips and resources in my blog

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