Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase brand recognition and loyalty, create more opportunities to convert prospects to customers, increase inbound traffic, decrease marketing costs, improve search engine rankings, and the list goes on. But if you haven’t been seeing optimal results from your social media efforts, you’re not alone and the good news is, it’s fixable.
Your business needs to effectively be on social media to keep ahead of competition. Take Facebook for example – a platform of over 2 billion users; their average visit time per session: 20 minutes. This type of massive exposure comes at substantially lower price than that associated with traditional marketing, like billboards and magazine ads; and it brings better results. Social media allows you to not only reach a massive audience, but to reach the right audience by targeting based on location, age, interests, and so much more.
This guide will show you how to get the most out of your social media efforts. You’ll learn how to generate leads, drive traffic to your website, install a code on your website to track these visitors and remarket to them later, how to incorporate branding, and more.
The content below is split into two parts based on the top of the Facebook sales funnel, which is drawn out below. Part 1 deals in brand awareness, the top of your funnel, and part 2 deals with generating traffic and conversions for those in your funnel. The third part of the funnel, “New Customer”, is achieved by maintaining the social presence you’ll create by following the processes listed in this guide – continuing to engage with your audience to provide customer service, answer questions, and continuing to offer value.
The Facebook Sales Funnel
Lastly, before we dive in, note that although this guide focuses heavily on Facebook (and Instagram since they are owned by Facebook and easily integrated), these tactics and strategies are relevant across different platforms.
Let’s get to it.
All of your social platforms should be branded in a way that is cohesive with your organization’s overall brand. In other words, when a customer goes from your website, to your Instagram, to your Twitter, all content should have the same look and feel and be easily recognizable. If you use bright colors, carry that color scheme over to your Instagram and Facebook feeds and incorporate that in to your posts as well. Use your brand’s logos and make sure they are highly visible. The more a customer comes to recognize your brand, the more they will come to trust you. People buy from names they trust.
If you haven’t already created a brand guide for your company, start by determining what feeling you want customers to have when they think of you. What message do you want to get across to your audience? This will then help determine the aesthetics of your brand.
Remember, people buy on emotion, so it’s vital that your ads and content have an emotional aspect to them. Well-designed graphics and photos are key when it comes to social media. It’s no secret that strong visuals grab attention faster than anything else. A good image can drive engagement and elicit emotion, while a poor one can leave a negative mark in a potential customer’s mind about your company. Again, make sure your visuals are in line with your brand – consistent lighting, theme, colors, and fonts.
PRO TIP: Note that if you already have a clear mission statement, vision statement, and list of core values for your company, determining the above should be a natural step. If you don’t have these lined out, take some time and start with the mission statement – why does your company exist and what purpose does it serve? Once you know what your company stands for, you can derive the visual elements and brand voice to represent that.
Write it down (yes, on paper) – what is your objective for your social accounts? If you don’t know why you’re on social media in the first place, you won’t get much out
of it. Set a specific goal, which could be different for each platform. Are you looking for brand visibility, do you want to drive product sales, or are you looking to position yourself as a thought-leader in your industry? Your objective will help to drive your content later on.
Social media clout is a big part of Google’s algorithm when it comes to your search engine rankings and where your company shows up on the pages of Google. Therefore, if you set up your platforms with this in mind, you’ll see the impact on your search engine rankings.
Pro Tip: on Facebook, create a cover photo that is branded, eye-catching, and consists of a clean image with text that flows to a related call to action button in the bottom right. For example, the cover photo below draws attention to the “Sign Up” call to action button. You can have anything here, such as Book Now, Contact Us, Send Message, an arrow pointing to a download for a coupon, etc.
Follow the steps in the action plan below to make sure your pages are optimized for search results.
The number one way to build brand awareness at the top of the funnel on social media is by posting engaging, relevant, valuable, and shareable content. This can be any combination of images, videos, infographics, how to’s, funny or inspiring content. Commit to a regular posting schedule and don’t forget to engage (respond, comment back to everyone, engage with your followers).
When it comes to deciding what to post, use the 80/20 Rule – less than 20% of your social media posts should be self-promotional, while the other 80% of your content should be focused on giving your audience value.
The 80/20 rule is key to ensure that you’re properly leveraging the power of social media. People feel assaulted when they are bombarded with self-promotion. The majority of your posts should focus on education (tips, tricks, information, studies, etc.) and lifestyle – don’t be afraid to show your brand’s voice! Use humor, inspiration, or show community involvement that your company participates in (Pro tip: if you’re looking to reach a millennial audience, they want to see how you have an impact on the bigger picture – what causes do you support? How are you going to make the world better?).
Here are some quick tips on the different types of content:
Even better, use live video. According to Facebook Newsroom, people are 3X more likely to watch and comment 10X more on live videos (Facebook, 2016). Utilize Facebook Live and Instagram stories as much as possible. Raw videos are perfectly fine! They don’t have to be professionally produced videos.
Thought-leaders are influencers in the space of their industries. Content is key to become a thought-leader. Interview experts in your industry about tips customers would find useful – for example, if you run a fitness studio, interview some top trainers on best practices for weight loss, strength gain, or sticking to an exercise routine. If you are a landscaping company, maybe you write a blog post on the top questions you should ask potential lawn care companies before hiring them.
The key is to use your own experience and generate content based on solutions you can solve for your ideal client.
Pro Tip: Host a free webinar on a certain pain-point your target market has, and give away your best information. For example, if you are a fitness studio, you might share your best tips for creating a workout routine and nutrition plan to reach a weight loss goal. Create a sense of urgency for these webinars, such as having a limited number of spots available, and providing it only at a certain time (you can provide the recordings to those that signed up, but didn’t make the live broadcast after
the live showing has passed). You can use social media to market this sense of urgency by using posts that promote your webinar and the benefits, and that you only have X amount of spots left!
Again, people buy from companies they trust. Nothing is more powerful for building trust than social proof. Tell the stories of previous clients you’ve helped and focus on their transformation; in other words, before they found your company, they struggled with [insert pain point here], but now they’ve seen [insert results they’ve experienced].
Furthermore, encourage clients to share their experience on social media – referrals are often the strongest source for new business. When people see social proof
of your company and the results you can provide from someone they trust (their friends on their newsfeeds), you become top-of-mind and immediately trusted.
Infographics are shared 3X more on social than any other content (Mass Planner, 2015). Create branded infographics (make sure your color scheme and logos are visible) highlighting the results and benefits of your events. (footnote) Source: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/50-social-media-video -marketing-stats-2017-infographic
Hashtags are how people can search and find posts on social media. They act as keywords and can help drive new followers to your accounts. After you have a good understanding of your target market and their interests, you can create a list of hashtags to use on your posts that will help them find you based on things they are searching for.
Use the tips below when creating your company’s hashtag strategy.
Part 2 of the funnel is driving traffic to your sites and profiles, and pushing new prospects and leads to the next steps of the customer journey.
Pixel The Pixel is a piece of code that you include on your website that allows you to track conversions from ads, optimize your campaigns based on collected data, and retarget specific audiences later on.
To install it, go to your Ads Manager menu and find the “Pixels” link under “Measure & Report” > “Events Manager”. From here, you can follow the set up instructions to install it yourself or simply send the code to your developer.
By posting engaging and relevant content and always including your website URL in each post, you’ll notice traffic to your website dramatically increases. You can use the Facebook Pixel or a tool such as Google Analytics to monitor statistics such as website visits, length of visit, behaviors while on your site and what pages they visited, and where they came from. Social media can be one of your biggest sources of referral traffic if done right. You can begin generating new leads using social media with some of the tips below.
Pro Tip: Remarket to these people later using data from your Facebook pixel. For example, for those that came to your site, added a product to their cart, but didn’t check out, create a custom audience of all those in your pixel event that added to cart. You can then run an ad with a 10% off code reminding them to complete their checkout and it will show on their newsfeed when they get back to Facebook later.
Social media is one of the most powerful tools a business could have for highly effective, and low-cost marketing. Facebook allows you to create custom audiences, based on anything from demographic data, to interests, to whether they’re a fan of your competitors, or whether they’re already a customer. It allows you to target your ideal customers, get in front of them where they are the most (on social media), and such provides a low-cost marketing tool.Before you begin to run ads, be sure you thoroughly understand your audience. This will help structure your marketing messages as well as the content you create and post. Think about their pain points – what problems or challenges do they face that your product or service can solve? Deliver value!
When you understand what matters to your ideal demographic, you’ll also find other interests they have and can begin targeting them there. You can input these interests under the “detailed targeting” section on the ad set level of the Facebook ads manager.
Pro Tip: insert your competitor’s page name here to target their fans.
If you’re noticing great engagement (in the form of likes, shares, and comments) on a post, that’s a sign that you’re providing something of value to your audience. Boost those posts to increase the amount of people that see it, and then take note of what the post consisted of. What elements lead to increased engagement? Was it funny, was it extremely useful or provided great information, or was it a beautiful photo? Those are the types of posts you’ll want more of – your audience will talk back on social media and tell you what they want. It’s your job to listen.
If you’re a local business or focus on a specific area, boost your posts to your local markets. Facebook allows you to build custom audiences and even re-target those prospective customers that may have seen your ad but didn’t convert.For example, if you’re a restaurant, post your daily specials or happy hour using an eye-catching photo, and boost that within a certain mile radius of your location.
Be sure that any ads you post lead to a landing page that is set up to capture information, such as an email address. Also make sure you have a strong “ad scent”, meaning that the landing page follows the content of your ad and has a strong call to action (customers should know exactly what you want them to do next when they get to the landing page).
For example, if your a local magazine and your ad is for a free guide to the top date night ideas in your area, once clicked, that ad should lead to a page specifically designed to capture the email address of your prospect in exchange for the guide. You don’t want that ad to lead to your website homepage, where there is no information on the date-night guide or it’s not easy to find and takes more than one or two clicks to get to.