Reaching over 1.2 billion people every day, Facebook is king of the castle when it comes to social media. Depending on your target audience, the nature of your product and the budget you have to work with, there are a host of different options available to you if you decide to advertise through Facebook. Here are our top five ways to promote your message effectively using the free channels of Facebook.
Bombard The People On Your Friends List
If you’re involved in an event and want to boost sales or attendance from your friends, start by creating a page and event on Facebook. Invite all of your Facebook friends to the event and to like the page, but make sure you space these invitations a day or two apart, creating two separate reminders of the event. If there are several of you involved in the event, everyone ought to change their profile picture to the poster or details of the event to reiterate the message across the feeds of your mutual friends. Maximise the impact of this by ensuring you all change your photo at the same time. Do however pick your invitations and messages carefully; if there are too many notifications from you your friends and acquaintances may start to regard them as spam.
Be Aware Of Who You Are Actually Reaching
Business pages have a reduced organic reach, and not everything you post can be seen by all of the people who’ve liked your page. Whilst Facebook can make a lot of money out of the paid advertising of these pages, these paid adverts don’t necessarily translate into a high click- through rate. Use a personal profile to build your personal brand, but be aware of who can view what you’re posting. For maximum exposure allow the posts to be viewable by everyone. Maintain a professional image and ensure that you vet everything you’re tagged in. Also remember that the more of other people’s posts and pages you like on Facebook, the more they will be able to see of the things you post and the more they’ll reciprocate the relationship.
Remember That Timing Is Key
The amount of time people spend on Facebook varies daily, with a regular pattern emerging weekly. Unsurprisingly, engagement with Facebook is a third higher at the weekends than in the week, and on weekdays it’s Thursday and Friday which see the highest traffic. Perhaps more surprisingly, the best time to post is now mid-afternoon in the week; it would appear this is prime time for seizing on work-time boredom and procrastination. Beyond the peak times recommended in these studies, consider your particular target audience. If you’re aiming at young professionals, lunchtime and late into the evening are most likely to reach a high quantity of your target market. If, however, you’re targeting new mums who will likely be at home, early/mid-afternoon may be a preferable time. Also bear in mind that you can co-ordinate this timing across several platforms, scheduling several things to go out simultaneously throughout the day across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (to name but a few of the platforms available). Adding links between the pages in your posts will ensure the maximum engagement of your audience across the channels.
Aim To Go Viral
In order to catch the eye of the scrolling youth that dominate social media you need a witty piece that engages with a particular issue. Ideally this will be an issue that people tend to be opinionated about and comment on. A great example of this is the Innocent Smoothies engagement with Bic’s ‘for her’ range of pens. In taking a feminist stance against a gendered product Innocent Smoothie obtained thousands of likes and shares across social media, becoming the subject of various online articles. The witty replies of the Innocent Smoothie staff to comments particularly amused followers, the fast response rate allowing for escalation of the post. The fact that stationary is so far from the remit of a healthy drinks company became irrelevant. In part this is because Innocent had three of the key factors that work best for a viral post: great visuals (in the photos they provided), engagement with a hot-topic issue and fast responses which progressed the story through humour.
Teamwork Pays: Make Friends Not Rivals
Working with another company or event similar to your own through cross promotion can double your reach. A free post for their company costs you little time and effort and is unlikely to affect your own following. The returned post, however, will expose your brand to your target market, boosting your overall reach and drawing in additional likes. Connecting with others within the industry is also likely to teach you what works best in social media across various industries; this knowledge will help you develop a wider online strategy.
Alongside the free methods detailed here, Facebook has a huge range of paid advertising options available which, if properly utilised, can target a small, highly relevant demographic for maximum effect. Price can vary from pennies to thousands, but if you’re looking to save your cash, use the above tips and methods to reach out to the largest possible audience for free.
Alexandra Jane writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate jobs are currently available. Or, if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.