6 Secrets Of Mastering Facebook With A Start Up Budget

Hungry entrepreneur looking to make money online? Social media is probably your best bet when you’re just starting out. Cost-effective, with a minimal barrier to entry, and practically ubiquitous: social media marketing is a start up’s best friend. And when it comes to social media: Facebook is the BIG one. There are ecommerce brands that literally wouldn’t exist without the power of a good Facebook ad.

Facebook can make or break your start up’s marketing strategy, so it is important that you’re prepared. Don’t be tempted to throw money away with meaningless Facebook ads or videos that no one is reacting to. Instead, be sensible and stick to the ‘3R’ rule. Make your content regular, make it relevant, and make it right for your target audience. Read on to find out how.

Familiarize Yourself With Your Competition

The savvy marketer reviews what other people are doing, and makes it better. So, start with your competition on Facebook and see how the social platform is working out for them.

Look at other business Facebook pages and review their engagement strategies. What words and tactics are they using to get people to react? How are they balancing the ratio between visual content, video, and text? What words are triggering people to share their posts? Are they advertising their products and services? This initial research phase should help you set a sensible benchmark for your own Facebook marketing efforts, as well as give you some much needed inspiration for your own content strategy.

Think about what else you’re competing against on Facebook: people’s friends and family, and a funny video they’ve just been tagged in. Your content should emulate native Facebook updates, rather than blatant advertisement and promotion. One easy way to cut through the social media noise: humor. Whether it’s witty wordplay, or a wacky video, being funny on Facebook is a sure-fire way to get a reaction.

Share Your Message Effectively

What’s the point of your Facebook page? What are people going to get out of following you? Nail these two value propositions, and you will find it a lot easier to promote your brand on Facebook. You should always start with a clear idea of how you are going to provide value, and then live up to that promise in your posts. A Facebook strategy that is devoid of any real messaging will fail to take off and inspire people.

How to find your online tribe on Facebook? It is worth joining Facebook groups that allow you to post freely about your business, encouraging others to give you feedback. This is also your opportunity to directly communicate with potential customers, and get people excited about your start up journey. Be sure to join relevant Facebook groups, as otherwise you can end up wasting time on false leads and angering local communities. You also need to take community rules very seriously – if you anger a moderator, you may get barred from a group.

Put Yourself In Your Customers’ Shoes

What does your audience want to see, read, hear, learn, and watch? Why are they here?

So many start ups get their marketing strategy wrong because they’re too involved with their own services and products, forgetting to put their customers first.

When planning out your social media calendar, follow the natural rhythm of people’s lives. What’s making them sit up and take note at this time of year? What events or milestones are they planning for? What sort of content is going to help them make the most of their time, or help them kick back and put their feet up?

Facebook buyer personas can help you plan content more effectively, ensuring that your content is 100% targeted at the right people, and that you aren’t wasting any budget. Use these buyer personas to plan out your seasonal engagement strategy.

Use Insights To Feed Your Content Strategy

Your Facebook page is useless without content, so schedule new posts weeks in advance to ensure the page remains active. It is a good idea to keep a record of which posts so well, so that you can continue to grow your brand’s voice in the right direction. Image and video-based marketing is very effective on Facebook; customers scrolling down their feed tend look at images rather than text, so make sure your content is varied and visual.

Facebook gives you easy to decipher information on the effectiveness of your posts through Facebook Insights, which is accessible at the top menu on your Facebook page. Only you and your staff members can access this information, which will inform you on how many viewed your post, how many liked and commented, etc. (They also give advertisers a whole ton of data on ad campaign reach). Use all this free data to your advantage to weed out the type of content that isn’t doing you any favors.

Master the Facebook Algorithm

One of the biggest secrets behind mastering Facebook is learning how its algorithm works. Facebook no longer shares every post to every follower, so you need to diverse a strategy that allows customers to receive your messages in the most cost-effective way. This is when the ‘3Rs’ become important:

Create Regular Posts

Keep to a post schedule where you are posting at specific peak times when your audience is most likely to be on social media. Don’t let your page become neglected during the busy season.

Keep It Relevant & Engaging

If your customers do not interact with your posts, Facebook is more likely to regard your page as spam and limit your page’s reach. Make sure your content is relevant to your customer base, and that there are clear calls to action to encourage engagement.

Make it Right For The Audience

Make sure each and every post is fit for your target audience, and that you have a good balance between informative and commercial content.

Invest in Facebook Ads

Facebook adverts are a start up’s best friend, and Facebook advertising is easy enough for anyone to have a go at.

 

The best thing about Facebook as an advertising platform is its powerful customer data machine that allows you to get granular with audience targeting, right down to people’s niche interests and neighborhoods.

 

Here are some start up Facebook advertising tips:

 

  1. Experiment with ad copy, especially your CTA (call to action): it can have a big impact on campaign success
  2. Test different campaigns with the same audience to get a feel for your ideal messaging
  3. Video adverts tend to be more successful, so don’t be afraid to shoot one yourself
  4. Ad sequences that build up a story over time tend to be more compelling than basic ‘sales announcements’
  5. You need to constantly monitor the revenue generated through Facebook ads, and don’t be afraid to pause a campaign that isn’t doing much for you.

Making money through Facebook isn’t rocket science. Like all the other digital platforms available to you, you need to make sure that you measure results effectively. Use all the data that’s coming through to you in order to keep your social media team accountable, and don’t shy away from questioning Facebook ROI.

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant

I’m a content marketing extraordinaire, and I enjoy nothing more than helping brands expand their reach to meet new business goals. I spend my time dreaming up effective content strategies and I just love being instrumental in the success of brands of all shapes and sizes.

How to Successfully Sell Products And Services Online and possibly reach millions!

Setting up an online store is one thing, but running a successful and sustainable business is a whole other ball game. From finding a profitable niche, to social media marketing, this article will help you establish an online business that will go from strength to strength. If you’re in need of a little inspiration, check out our video content of entrepreneurs around the world sharing their experiences and trade secrets.

Find a profitable niche and serve a clear target audience

Finding a profitable niche for your product offering or service is the first step toward success in setting up an online business. Here are some useful things for you to consider:

  • Defining an audience would be a good place to start. The more specific you can get in terms of demographics, buying habits, and interests, the better. Choosing an audience that you can relate to can make this process easier, as you can get into their mindset more, so start looking close to home
  • Now you should start to identify the problems that your niche audience need to solve. You can do this by researching any challenges, pain points, aspirations, and desires that they have. What are they looking for in life? What do they want to achieve with their careers? How do they form relationships? Start on social media and Quora for an insight into popular community topics. Other options include niche forums, how to websites, relevant blogs and Google Trends data. Thorough keyword research using KeywordTool.io and Google Adwords will also offer a valuable insight into your audience’s search queries, lifting a lid on their habits
  • Collating all this data should allow you to create a well-rounded buyer persona. This is essentially a profile of your target audience, which you should revisit frequently and base your future business decisions on
  • Competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you should do a thorough analysis of a any online competition before charging ahead in a niche. Knowledge is the key to getting your store to stand out from the crowd
  • Last but not least, you should head over to Clickbank.com, the largest affiliate retailer of products on the net, to search for products in your niche and see which ones are worth selling. You should look out for the Gravity number that takes into account the number of affiliates who have sold one unit in the past 7 days – the more people selling, the more profitable the niche is likely to be (but beware of signs of over-saturation)

Pushed for time? No sweat. Try an easy ecommerce solution

If you want to get your online store up and running fast with minimal work, you should consider subscribing to an ecommerce platform, rather than commissioning a custom developed site. Of course, for some startups, custom makes sense — but only pay for features and functionalities that support business growth and take you up to your MVP.

When it comes to easy online store setup that doesn’t need too much planning, many of the market-leading ecommerce SaaS products offer free trials, so that you can get a good feel for the product before putting your eggs in one basket.

Here are a few things worth looking out for:

  • The platform should offer a range of professional free themes, with a couple viable options for you. Free themes are perfect for first time online entrepreneurs and those on a budget. Check out the themes on offer before subscribing, as otherwise you may end up wasting money on unnecessarily customization
  • 24-hour support and community forums are invaluable for first-time entrepreneurs and the less techy business owner. This support can help you whenever you encounter problems with the platform, and even give sold advice for growth hacks and ways to boost your conversions. It’s always nice to network and meet with other startups and ecommerce brands, so try to go for ecommerce technology that fosters that
  • Select a payment plan that works for your budget. Look for opportunities to pay smaller monthly amounts rather than giving  a percentage of each transaction, especially if you are expecting to grow quickly. Shopify is a great platform for starting a online store with this in mind, with a range of payment plans available. If you already have a WordPress site, the WooCommerce plugin will be a good option as it can easily transform a WordPress site into a store
  • Marketplaces are a great place to sell for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to grow revenue quickly, as you get access to a huge customer base from day one. Whether you go exclusively marketplace, or set up something a little more multichannel, make sure you adapt your strategy accordingly.  If you’re looking to sell on Amazon, here are three important points to remember when producing your product listings.

Invest in social media to boost your sales

  credit: pixabay

Social media is the modern marketer’s dream. It’s a relatively inexpensive, and sometimes even free, way to showcase online brands of all shapes and sizes.

Social media planning? Refer to your buyer persona again and review the information you hold on your target audience. Ultimately, your brand needs to be posting where your target audience is. Bear in mind that the day of the social media demographic has been and gone – users now frequent multiple social networks at once for different purposes. Nowadays, it’s more important that you are active across many platforms, but posting the right kind of content on each one.

Check out this article for a roundup of the social networks that matter, what sets them apart from the rest, and resources to help you hit the nail on the head with your social advertising.

What matters the most on social for a growing brand is to mix experimentation with business goals. Explore different options and experiment with content formats, but always keep the eye on the ball. In the early days, you can’t justify spending loads of time on social if you’re not seeing a steady stream of social referrals, sales, and customer engagement.

Just remember that the key to all this is to properly research your target audience and your niche to ensure that you will generate adequate sales and be able to operate at a comfortable profit margin. Good luck!

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant

My work is a labor of love: I get to collaborate with inspiring people and businesses from around the world. I help set them on the road to success by producing effective content marketing and social media strategies.