Facebook fan pages always seem to get a bad press, but they can be an incredibly useful marketing tool if you use them wisely. On the other hand, they can be a colossal waste of time and resources, as plenty of small businesses have discovered.
However, if you’ve had a poor experience managing your own Facebook page, don’t permanently discount it as a marketing option. There are proven ways to make fan pages pay off without sucking up your precious time.
Why Are People so Down on Facebook Fan Pages Anyway?
Before looking at how to optimize your Facebook page, it’s worth acknowledging that there are some genuine issues with fan pages as a marketing tool. For one thing, fan pages struggle to achieve strong organic reach. Even if you have half a million likes, content posted to your page could reach just 2 percent of your followers, a pretty dismal return. Many people complain that the system has been rigged by Facebook to force companies to pay for organic reach via promotional products.
Changes to Facebook’s news feed algorithm have also had an effect. Before, you could barely succeed by posting low-quality content with a sensational spin. Now, sensationalized content or kitty pictures is less likely to gain traction.
There’s also a deeper problem with marketing on Facebook. That’s because people normally don’t log into Facebook to make purchases. They are there to connect with friends and family, so on the face of it, Facebook isn’t a hospitable environment for marketers.
Despite these problems, some marketers continue to successfully use Facebook fan pages to drive sales. What is their secret? Well, every sales campaign is different, but there are some common themes used by ace Facebook marketers.
Target Your Niche Cleverly
Like most sectors of the marketplace, Facebook is intensely competitive, but this doesn’t apply to all market niches. If you can find products that are not being promoted aggressively on the social network, your pages have a far greater chance of extending their organic reach.
One reliable tactic is to experiment with different niches. Find products that you think are under-served by Facebook marketers. Now, carry out cheap tests to see if they deliver conversions. You should be able to tell which niches have the most potential by spending $5 or less per product.
Build Your Audience Quickly by Purchasing Likes
Facebook fan pages require large audiences to succeed. Companies with a couple of hundred followers won’t be as credible as those with thousands or even hundreds of thousands.
While it’s preferable to build your audience organically, buying likes is definitely an option to consider. If you adopt the niche-targeting method described above, buying likes could be the only way to generate energy behind your campaigns.
Develop a Loyal, Engaged Facebook Following
Fan pages can also be used to build loyal followings with a deeper level of engagement. This doesn’t have to conflict with niche targeting. After all, if you consistently offer new products that other marketers don’t provide, you will be delivering a service with broad appeal.
Many local businesses have built formidable followings by using Facebook as an extension of their local community. By offering advice about local issues, seasonal deals, and discounts for local people, small businesses can attract customers and develop their organic reach. As people talk about their products, small businesses gain reach via the new Facebook algorithm.
Provide Relevant, High-Quality Content
By now, it’s a truism to associate high conversion rates with high-quality content, but it bears repeating. If you don’t offer content that people want to consume, you will never achieve a high organic reach.
In fact, many marketers recommend cutting back the frequency of your posting schedule and concentrating on posting fewer, better-researched and -produced blogs or videos. Focus on creating content that is relevant for people in their day-to-day lives, and try to make it as “evergreen” as possible. That is, mix up content like promotional deals with content that won’t lose its relevance within a few weeks.
Use Facebook Insights to Drive Better Reach
Facebook Insights is a powerful tool for any site manager, so use it to your advantage. It allows you to track all of your recent posts to find out which ones delivered a high level of organic reach (from your followers) and which ones delivered paid reach (from advertising).
By analyzing the data carefully, you can get a good idea of what kind of content your followers appreciate and tailor your posting strategy accordingly.
You can also use organic post targeting to deliver content to specific groups of your followers. This can be used to test promotional material so you don’t waste your energy marketing to the wrong audience.
Manage Your Pages Effectively
Sometimes, Facebook fan pages lose organic reach because of poor management. If comments go unanswered, customers will perceive your company as negligent. If you don’t schedule your posts properly, followers could either be flooded with too many posts, or lose interest if you are out of touch for too long.
This makes it important to establish the right management roles. Many administrative functions can be delegated to junior staff members without handing them full admin powers, so spread the workload efficiently.
However, don’t give everyone admin privileges. It’s important to maintain a consistent brand voice and image via your Facebook page. Having too many admins can lead to rapid changes in content, images, and engagement, so try to keep things simple.
Be Realistic About Your Facebook Strategy
It’s easy to get carried away with Facebook’s potential marketing power. However, a reality check is necessary. A well-managed Facebook page is an asset for many reasons, but selling products is not the major benefit. Your page can be used to engage with customers, nurture your brand image, and distribute content, but don’t rely on it to drive revenues.
Few businesses use Facebook alone to reach customers, yet that doesn’t mean you should abandon your fan page as a marketing channel. By analyzing your traffic, targeting the right niches, engaging with customers and posting high quality content, you can turn Facebook into an effective marketing channel. Just don’t be afraid to pull the plug if the data shows that your page isn’t delivering.