74% of marketers now consider Facebook a staple in their lead generation efforts, showing how critical of an element it has become. In this article I want to share 7 tips I have found to be the most effective in my own Facebook marketing.
Read on to discover how you can consistently drive new leads and engagement with your content on Facebook.
Recommended for YouWebcast: Content Marketing Best Practices for Entrepreneurs and Growth Marketers in 2015
Facebook Marketing Tip #1: Entice Facebook Users With Exclusive Fan-Only Content
Your Facebook Fans need to feel appreciated and I find the best way to do this is by offering exclusive deals or information to my Facebook Fans.
Hiding valuable content behind a “Like-gate” is one way to make Fans feel special. Like-gating restricts specific content to only those Facebook users who have Liked your Page. Sending Fans to Like-gated content or deals will give them an element of exclusivity and superiority.
Don’t “Like-gate” just to gain Fans. You can entice users to become a Fan through a Like-gate, but must continue to provide exclusive offers to them in the future. If not, you risk Facebook users becoming your Fan for an offer and then Unliking your Page afterwards.
One way to maximize the number of people you are engaging with is to provide Fans with unique weekly offers. Sephora engages with its Fans through “Fan Fridays” as seen in the example below. This weekly promotion rewards Fans with giveaways, coupon codes, and exclusive first looks at upcoming products. I love this idea as the changing offer each week gives Fans a reason to check-in with the brand on a consistent basis.
Another way to increase your Fanbase and get users excited about your Page is to offer a Like-gated contest entry. Like-gating will help you to maximize the number of entries and shares your contest gets. An example of a Fan-exclusive contest from a radio station can be seen below. A Hunter Hayes fan would be drawn in by the chance of free tickets to see their favorite artist, prompting them to become a Fan of The Seattle Wolf. We will discuss Facebook contests a bit more later on.
Hiding information behind a Like-gate is another way to make Facebook users hit Like and be glad they did down the road. I enjoy giving Fans a free ebook as a reward for becoming a Fan. Ebooks work great as they give Fans educational content right away and provide a glimpse at the type of content you’ll be posting on your Page in the future. Depending on your industry, free written content may be more valuable to your target market, and can provide you with tons of new Fans and potential leads.
The Wishpond example below is a perfect illustration of this. Becoming a Fan would give individuals access to this valuable ebook to help them transform their business blogging.
Special Fan-only content can help you gain new Fans and retain existing customers. It is a way to get Facebook users to not only like your Page but nurture them into sales over time.
Facebook Marketing Tip #2: Post Content That Gets Fans Excited About Your Products
Sharing information about products is great, but always convey the benefits to the customer and how it solves their problems. Those that generate excitement and engagement are the most effective.
Avoid rambling on about yourself or selling too aggressively, which Fans find distasteful. Just posting a picture of your product with a link to purchase is not exciting or engaging.
Showing new, exciting uses for your product and how it can benefit your Fans is engaging and appealing to your Fans.
As an aspirational brand, Nike uses motivational product posts to encourage and inspire Fans. A perfect example of this can be seen in the picture below:
The post displays one of Nike’s latest styles of running shoes, but uses a caption and picture that Fans would see as encouraging and motivating rather than pushy.
You can also ask Fans questions that incorporate a product, as this generates conversation around your business. Coca Cola’s example below works perfectly. I love this post as it gives Fans a creative summer treat idea, generates discussion with the season-related questions, and subtly displays the product.
A question post such as this makes Fans want to get in on the discussion and voice their opinion. They’re a fun way to interact with Fans and keep your business at the forefront of their minds.
Another unique product-related post idea is showing Do It Yourself (DIY) projects that use your products. The post from Walmart below is my favorite example. This DIY craft project involves a lightweight scarf and kids flip flops, both available at Walmart. It’s a fun idea that generated a lot of shares, likes, and comments and gave Fans a creative summer activity.
A few other ways to showcase your products and engage Fans include:
- Fill-in-the-blank posts
- “Like vs. Share” photo posts
- Trivia fact posts that relate to your product/industry
Facebook Marketing Tip #3: Post Inspiring Quotes To Engage With Fans
Not all of the content you post on Facebook needs to be product or sales focused. Occasionally I like to engage with Fans through fun or inspirational quotes. This can be very beneficial to your image and the experience you give your Fans.
A great example of an inspirational quote post from London Drugs is shown below:
Here’s why I think this post works:
- It doesn’t relate to a product or service of the retailer, but maintains the brand’s connection with Fans
- It gives Fans a positive feeling, making them happy to be a Fan of the London Drugs Page
- It generated a large number of shares to Fans’ own personal networks, spreading London Drugs’ Facebook reach
Facebook Marketing Tip #4: Create Chatter Among Fans With Promotional Posts
In-store and online promotional posts are a great outlet for connecting with Facebook Fans. When you find out your favorite store is having a sale, you want all of your friends and family to know so they can get in on the deals. This works the same way on Facebook. When you share information about your latest promotions, your Fanbase will share this material with their own personal networks. This expands your reach to new audiences and creates conversation about your brand. An example of this can be seen in the post below:
You can also use events and holidays to generate conversation about your company in a fun, light-hearted way. Whether it’s summer, Christmas, or Mother’s Day, events and holidays are a great way to get Fans excited and engaged. A great example of this type of post can be seen below:
This post generated massive Facebook hype for DavidsTea by using the event Nurse’s Appreciation Week. The brand communicated their message in a friendly and encouraging way, without coming across in a sales-pitch tone. If I had nurses on my Facebook friend list I would definitely want them all to know about this offer, and that’s exactly what the brand had hoped for. It generated over 16,500 shares to personal networks and over 1000 comments, likely resulting in plenty of new DavidsTea Fans.
Facebook Marketing Tip #5: Entertain Your Audience With Quick Visual Videos
Short, intriguing videos keep content fresh and entertaining for Fans and have the potential to be shared virally. It’s best to create visual videos with little conversation so that Fans can watch in any location and understand the message, even without sound.
Videos don’t generate as much engagement as photos because they require more time and effort for users to process. I have found, however, that when Fans interact with a video it is a deeper, more valuable engagement. They have taken the action to click play and spend time with the content you have created, producing a deeper bond with your business.
My favourite videos are sweet videos that Fans can relate to and connect with personally. These types of videos make you feel certain emotions and are therefore more memorable.
The following is an example of a video Facebook post from Dove titled “Real Dad Moments”.
I think this post is fantastic for a number of reasons:
- It’s just one minute long, short enough to keep the viewer’s attention but still long enough to convey the message
- It’s heartwarming and on-trend with Father’s Day in June
- It generated over 2,500 shares for the brand, along with countless likes and comments
By evoking emotion with the June theme of Father’s Day, Dove generated conversation and left Fans with a positive feeling they wanted others to experience.
Facebook Marketing Tip #6: Track Post Engagement With Facebook Page Insights
Facebook Page Insights is an analytical tool that you need to take full advantage of. This application allows you to monitor your Page’s performance over time. Track how many people are liking, commenting, or sharing your content, and benchmark specific posts to determine the change in your Fan engagement over time. You can test various types of posts with your Fans and see what works the best for your Page. As seen below, analyzing each post’s engagement level allows you to see what material your Fans enjoy the most.
Insights also provides you with demographics on your Fans. The age and gender of your Fans is a key indicator to the type of content you want to be posting. I also find it helpful to see the date and time when my Fans are online. This allows me to test posting at different times of the day to see what generates the most interaction and communication with Fans.
You can also use Page Insights to see where Fans are being referred to your Page from. Did they see a friend comment on one of my posts or did they click on one of my Facebook Ads? It’s important to figure out what method of lead generation is working the best for you. You can also look at who “Unliked” your Page and what prompted them to do so.
Facebook Marketing Tip #7: Involve Fans with Facebook Photo Caption Contests
Facebook is the perfect platform for running contests for your Fans. Many types of contests can be run directly on Facebook such as voting contests, photo contests, and sweepstakes. My favourite type of Facebook contest is a photo caption contest. They are a fun way to get Fans involved and creating content without having to put in too much time or effort.
Choose a fun picture that represents your business and let Fans caption away. This keeps Fans thinking about your product and engaged. The example from Saks Fifth Avenue is great:
Why does this post work?
- It plays off its target market’s interests by showcasing a pair of hot pink stilettos with a signature Saks New York background
- It has a cute, appealing intro “Caption our heart – or at least our Saks Shoe Tumblr”
- It explains the prize incentive right away to entice Fans to participate
Customers love Facebook contests because they’re easy to participate in and share with friends. Contests that involve user-generated content are the most highly shared, as participants can effortlessly show off what they’ve created. Photo caption contests are interactive and you can also use the submissions for your own marketing purposes in the future!
When used correctly as a 24-hour communication and interaction tool, I believe Facebook can be a marketer’s best friend.
I’m glad that I could share these 7 tips that I have found the most advantageous in my own marketing experience. Give them a try and you’ll end up with a wide variety of engaging Facebook content, and Fans that love to follow you.