Facebook is now bigger than the largest country on the Earth – 1.4 billion users log in each month, narrowly edging the population of China.
Most small businesses are coming on board by creating Facebook pages. Many are working to establish a social media presence for their brand, and the importance of a sound social media strategy can’t be understated.
Facebook’s numbers alone are staggering, and other platforms are making their own moves to create spaces for brands to reach their audiences. It’s more important than ever to understand the shifting social landscape.
Let’s take a look at three important trends and what you can do right now to adjust your strategy. Using these approaches will help you tap into a refined, targeted audience of people who matter to your brand, instead of a diluted audience of the masses; an audience that will cost more and deliver less.
1. Twitter Strikes A Deal With Google
On February 5th (2015), Twitter agreed to allow Google access to its data stream in return for tweets appearing in Google’s search engine in real time. The concept isn’t revolutionary; Bing and Yahoo already integrate tweets into their search results. It’s Google’s firm grasp on the search market – 75% of all search traffic is conducted through their service – that makes this deal noteworthy. How do you take advantage of this? It’s simple:
- Focus on tweeting rich content, pictures, videos, blog posts in order to make your brand more visible on Google. Here’s a great list of tools for creating stunning infographics.
- Carefully think through your message. Your tweets will have a dramatically larger reach, and your new audience deserves that second (or third) thought. Leveraging the appropriate hashtags will generate more engagement.
- Invest more time in building a solid Twitter presence. Tweets that will be placed more prominently in Google search will naturally drive more traffic to Twitter, and will ultimately grant more exposure beyond non-registered users as well.
2. Advertising Is Necessary
It’s no secret that as Facebook’s stock rises, organic reach declines. If you want to be more visible in news feeds, you’re going to have to invest in social media advertising. If you don’t like it, tough; opting out just isn’t an option anymore. But, there is good news: social media advertising is extremely affordable. It allows you to reach the most qualified audience, even if you don’t have deep pockets.
- The goal of any business is to find prospects and convert them into customers. Social media allows you to do that through paid amplification. Facebook is a great platform for beginner advertisers. You have a minimum ad spend of just $1 per day and you can take advantage of Facebook’s advanced targeting platforms to reach a highly defined audience.
- Facebook’s algorithm is reducing the number of overly promotional posts, so the stakes for news feed visibility are higher than ever. Clearly, Facebook wants you to invest in ads to expand your reach. Make sure your organic posts aren’t too ‘salesy.’ They need to be helpful and insightful, and answer the questions your customers are having in the buying cycle. In conjunction with daily posting, run ads to drive more traffic to your site or to gain more fans.
- Measure your advertising results through analytics. Facebook and Twitter provide free analytics, such as the number of clicks to your website, and the cost of each click to help define and improve your ad strategy.
Here are three types of Facebook campaigns that are great for beginners:
Promote your page: Use the ‘page likes’ objective to promote your Facebook page and grow your fan base.
Send people to your website: Use the ‘clicks to website’ objective to drive more referral traffic to your website.
Boost your posts: Use the ‘page post engagement’ method to boost posts that will appear on your page and in the News Feed.
3. E-commerce Will Become Social
Twitter and Facebook have started testing “buy buttons” – opportunities for consumers to make purchases directly from a post or tweet, without leaving the platform. If you’re a merchant, leveraging the buy button is bound to increase your conversion rates. It’s also going to be game-changing in terms of e-commerce analytics. Why?
It’s Facebook’s destiny. Facebook was bound to become one of the largest marketplaces in the world, giving businesses a chance to transform their e-commerce strategy. With over 1.3 billion active users on Facebook, the “buy button” allows users to make purchases in just a couple of clicks.
- Keep an eye out. The ability to track actual purchases and report on those metrics will be revolutionary. The most common problem Facebook advertisers have is this: Users are clicking ads, but who is actually making a purchase? The metrics from the “buy button” will help answer this question.
- The “buy button” is also going to help gauge how effective your ads are. Measuring the results of your campaigns, and making adjustments to your creative and positioning, will increase conversions and build your bottom line.
- Get a head start and think about how you’re going to take advantage of this unique functionality before it even exists. Beat your competition to the punch.