There’s no denying it.
Facebook is an indispensable tool for marketers.
Do you know what? I’m thrilled to see that businesses have awakened to just how powerful the platform is.
But there is a slight problem.
Only 45% of marketers think their Facebook marketing is effective. Considering that Facebook has 1.18 billion daily users, and each user spends on average of 50 minutes on the platform, this is surprising.
I expected Facebook to be a slam-dunk win for marketers.
Instead, many people have been emailing me with concerns like these:
“I’m not getting the rave results on Facebook that others are boasting about.”
“My Facebook marketing campaign sucks.”
“I don’t get any ROI on Facebook. What am I missing?”
These concerns got me thinking.
Why are some businesses crushing it on Facebook while others are scrambling?
Is it that they have a larger following? More time and money to invest? A better strategy?
I’ll tell you what. I don’t think it’s any of these.
Sure, they may have an impact.
But I’ve noticed that the power players on Facebook all have one thing in common.
Their audiences are hyper-engaged.
Every post is welcomed by an army of people rushing to like, share, and give their input in the comments.
I’ll admit that it’s a remarkable but challenging thing to achieve.
The sheer amount of content published on Facebook makes it difficult for brands to get noticed.
Some businesses report as much as a 42% drop in their reach per post.
With all the features available to marketers, it can get a tad overwhelming to zone in on what works.
So, I’ll make this super simple for you.
You can market your business on Facebook using three options.
- Business pages
- Facebook groups
- Paid campaigns
In this article, I’ll give you the most effective strategies to leverage each of these options.
By the end, you’ll know exactly how to energize your Facebook audience. Put the steps to work, and you can expect your engagement rates to triple.
Sound good? Stay with me.
The real reason your Facebook engagement sucks
If we were to autopsy all the Facebook marketing campaigns that flopped, the cause of death would be unanimous.
Failure to do audience research.
As a marketer, you’re in the people business.
It means your true north should always be the people that you serve.
This isn’t a new idea. You already know it.
Why do so many people skip out on the audience research phase?
It’s killing their marketing campaigns.
Social media is one of the greatest intelligence-gathering tools you have at your disposal.
Use it. Get to know the people who’re trying to reach. Your marketing campaigns won’t work without that insight.
There’s no easier way to do this research than on Facebook itself.
Find the audience insights tool on your business page and explore the data.
I recommend that you get an overview of your audience and then go through every one of the subsections.
You’ll get crucial information like top-performing posts, actions on your page, organic reach, engagement rates, and more.
These will give you a good idea of what you’re working with moving forward.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about how you can add some fire to your Facebook marketing campaigns.
Part one: Supercharge engagement on your Facebook business page
Facebook pages are the primary way to connect with your fans.
Some businesses use it as a window shop to showcase their products and services.
That’s a misguided approach.
Your Facebook page should be used to provide an extraordinary experience for your audience.
You already know all the bells and whistles of optimizing your Facebook business page.
There are loads of articles on that, so it won’t be my focus.
Instead, I’ll give you some high-impact strategies that you can use to drive engagement on your page.
1. Host recurring engagement campaigns on your pages.
You Facebook campaigns need to be well-thought-out and well-executed.
What do I mean by engagement campaigns?
Contests, giveaways, promotions, and events all fall into this bracket.
It takes some creativity to host these campaigns continuously.
However, the recurring factor is imperative.
Marketers usually have one or a series of campaigns when they’re trying to push a particular objective.
For example, to grow their email list, they’ll host a giveaway.
The problem with this approach is that hosting one-off campaigns will not keep your audience energized in a lasting way.
I want to help you nurture the kind of engagement that has staying power. More importantly, it won’t be costly to keep up.
Also, with recurring campaigns, you don’t have to come up with fresh ideas every week. You can set your weekly promotions in motion and be done with it.
Here are some ideas for recurring campaigns.
Have daily or weekly giveaways. You may be thinking, “Isn’t this going to be expensive?”
It doesn’t have to be.
There are lots of low-cost options for giveaways. You can use branded merchandise, information products, or samples of your product.
This is going to generate exposure for your products, which will no doubt lead to sales. It pays for itself twice over.
Alternatively, you can partner with other Facebook pages to do giveaways.
Partner with a different business each time to keep your audience anticipating something fresh.
Have themed days. This is an excellent idea that costs nothing to execute. You can assign each day of the week a theme and create content around that theme.
Here are a few examples.
1. Have trivia days where you host a quiz. You can also tie this in with product giveaways to reward fans who get it right.
2. Have opinion days where you give your audience two or more options. Then ask them to pick their favorite.
3. Have a quick-tip day where you give your audience actionable how-to advice on a relevant topic.
4. Have a fact day where you give your audience a little-known fact about your business or industry. You can also ask them for their own facts.
5. Have coupon campaigns for different products and services. This one is guaranteed to drive sales.
These are just a few ideas to get you started.
Take note of how the content in each campaign differs. It’s important that there’s a mix, so you don’t come off as too promotional.
2. Create a distinct brand culture and promote it every chance you get.
I will always be a champion of brand culture.
Culture gives your fans something heartfelt to be committed to. It also gives your business a guiding principle to shape all the decisions that you make.
It can eliminate all the friction when it comes to making creative and operational business decisions.
If it doesn’t fit with your established culture, you just don’t go through with it.
That’s a smart and efficient way to make decisions for your business.
Now, the first step to creating a distinct brand culture is simple:
Decide what you want the world to know and feel about your business.
It’s that easy.
Of course, there are some details that you need to work out to make that decision.
- What do you do to provide a rich and unique customer experience?
- How do you treat your employees?
- What are the values of your business?
- What will you stand for no matter the cost?
Once you work out these details, you’ll have a foundation for your brand culture. Stick with it, and use it at every pillar of your business.
Be sure to showcase that culture on your Facebook page.
If you want to highlight the way you treat your employees, feature them on your page.
If there’s a social cause that your business is committed to, feature your team supporting that cause.
Culture has an emotionally gripping effect. Your fans will be way more engaged because of it.
3. Reward your Facebook fans.
Your Facebook fans are the fuel of your marketing campaign.
It’s important that you show them how much you appreciate their support.
Here are some ideas.
Have discounts and coupons exclusive to your Facebook fans. There’s no doubt about it: exclusivity sells.
Reward your Facebook fans with discounts that are not found anywhere else. You can use the Facebook offers paid campaign to promote your codes.
How do you make sure that nobody else but your audience gets this offer?
Make your offer campaign a “dark post.” This means that it won’t get published on your page for everyone to access.
Offer exclusive products or services to your Facebook fans. Facebook allows you to set up shop on your business page.
Here’s what I mean:
This option may not be available to all accounts.
If it is available, you can have special offers that you don’t give to your other online audiences.
This will give not only give existing fans a reason to stick around, but it will incentivize others to join.
4. Use more video content.
Video is becoming central to every marketer’s content strategy.
It’s with good reason.
By 2018, 79% of website traffic will be video content.
You can publish videos natively on Facebook or use the live-streaming feature. This is a fun way to drive engagement on your page.
For live streaming, you have to be respectful of your audience’s time, but you can go on a bit longer.
For native videos, I recommend keeping it short.
56% of all videos published in the last year were shorter than 2 minutes. That seems to be the sweet spot for engagement.
Part two: Leverage the power of Facebook groups
Facebook groups are a marketing dream come true.
Think about it.
You have all your most engaged fans gathered in one spot.
I’ve experienced this first-hand. They’ll give you feedback, look out for your interests, and be the first to purchase your products.
Here are some strategies to reap the most benefits from your Facebook groups.
Keep it exclusive.
You don’t want to have an open group that anyone can just join. It won’t have the same impact.
First, you want your group members to feel special.
Second, you need to protect the integrity and quality of your group.
If your group isn’t closed, you miss out on these two essential elements.
The entry method that you use will differ based on the type of group.
If it’s a product-specific group, then the paying members get access.
If it’s a branded group for all your fans, you need to be more creative with how you grant access.
Of course, you don’t want the barrier to entry to be so high that nobody joins.
But you still need to have a gatekeeper.
The best idea is to have people request access by submitting their email addresses. You get to build your email list in the process.
Create personalized welcomes for new members.
Personalization is the future of marketing.
It’s why 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a business that refers to them by name.
First, you should create a general welcome video or post for new members. You can pin this at the top of your Facebook group.
But you can also personally shout out new members.
Yes, it takes some time, but it’s well worth it.
If you have a solid gatekeeping method, like an email list, it won’t be difficult to pinpoint new members.
In that welcome, you can thank members for joining and ask them to introduce themselves.
I recommend having a script or guidelines for introductions.
This is going to increase the chances of people introducing themselves, as they don’t have to come up with an entire story from scratch.
For example, you can guide new members to include their names, their location, what they do, and something fun, like their favorite food.
Safeguard the integrity of your group.
It’s important that members feel safe and free as a member of your group.
Set some rules and stick to them. If someone doesn’t abide by the rules, respectfully boot them out.
These community guidelines are crucial for a few reasons:
- Moderating your group will be an easy task because you’ve established what can and can’t fly.
- You keep members happy and without complaints.
- You prevent fires from starting. Where there are people, there’ll be disagreements, but you keep that to a minimum with clear guidelines.
Use your groups as a way to build an army of brand advocates.
This is how you create intense engagement.
Get group members hooked on you, your business, and what you stand for.
How do you achieve that?
Expose them to your brand culture.
Tell your brand story.
Be authentic and transparent.
I promise you that, if your message has resonance, your Facebook audience will become evangelists for your brand.
Create exceptional content for your group members.
It’s important that you provide value with great content.
Here are some examples.
- High-quality visual content
- Well-thought-out posts
- Cheat sheets and checklists
- Online courses
You can direct your audience to download this free content in your header image.
Distribute top-notch content to your group members for free, and they’ll feel compelled to return the favor.
Reciprocity is one of the principles of persuasion. It works wonders.
When you have paid offers, your Facebook fans will convert much easier than if you hadn’t provided value for free.
Part three: Amplifying your results with paid campaigns
Facebook ads have gained massive popularity in recent times.
In fact, 75% of brands pay to promote their Facebook posts.
Most marketers focus on how many people they can reach with their Facebook ads.
That’s a valid objective.
The more people who are exposed to your ad, the more demand you’ll receive.
What are some ways you can achieve a wider reach?
- Boost or promote your posts.
- Target both custom and lookalike audiences.
- Use remarketing campaigns.
These strategies will no doubt affect engagement.
You can also select “engagement” as your campaign objective when you create these ads.
But this isn’t our focus.
I want to give you the most impactful techniques for getting people to interact with your ads.
Not only that, you want people who are shown your ads to feel compelled to engage with the rest of your content.
When it comes to engagement, I’ve found that there’s one element that crushes all the others.
Your ad creative.
This refers to all the elements that it takes to render your ad visually.
Images, copy, and call to actions fall in this bracket.
You want to test, optimize, and iterate all these elements.
Let’s get into the details.
Optimize your Ad format and placement. Facebook allows several options to toggle this element. You can use video, carousels, slideshows, and more.
I recommend that you experiment with each of these and see what your audience responds to most.
Have a compelling value proposition. This is where you highlight what you can do for your target audience.
Whether your ad is to convert customers or drive leads, this is important.
Highlight your unique selling point (USP). Many people believe that their value proposition and their USP are the same things.
While they can be tied together, there’s a difference.
Your value proposition tells your target audience “why you.”
Your USP tells them “why no one else.”
So, highlight what makes you different from your competitors.
Craft a heavy-hitting headline. You’re likely tired of hearing how important headlines are.
I’ll say it anyway. Without a gripping hook, there’s no way anyone will follow through on your call to action.
In fact, they may not even read it.
Include high-quality and emotive visuals. It’s important that you have images or videos that are clear and crisp.
Note: high quality does not mean stock photos.
Instead, ensure that you have a strong focal point that draws people in. Be mindful of color psychology and use bright colors with sharp contrast.
Persuade with social proof. The more likes, comments, and shares that your ad has, the more impactful it will be.
I recommend allowing your posts to gain organic traction before you promote them. This way, you can collect social proof, which will improve the ads’ performance.
Have a strong call to action. Be clear, concise, and compelling with what you want viewers of your ad to do.
Using the call-to-action button is not enough. You want enough visual cues to let your audience know that they need to click through.
As such, you should also include a call to action on the ad image itself.
You wake up every morning to a swarm of notifications on your Facebook page.
People like, share, and comment on every piece of content that you put out.
This isn’t a surreal scenario. It’s an actual possibility.
How do I know?
There’s a tribe of people on Facebook waiting for you to engage with them.
If you focus your energy on building and energizing your community, your marketing campaigns will thrive.
As for engagement? It will simply be a natural product of your efforts.
Don’t interrupt your audience with a string of promotions. Your Facebook assets are so much more than a way to make sales.
Educate, entertain, and inform users with the best-quality content.
They will engage, and they will root for the success of your business, every step of the way.
What have you been doing to keep your Facebook audience engaged?