Facebook’s Hidden Gems: Underused Tools for Facebook Marketing
There's no denying: Facebook marketing, done right, works. It makes sense, just in potential audience alone. Consider these demographics published by Omnicore in January 2017:
- 87% of online users of age 18-29 are on Facebook.
- 74% of college graduates are on Facebook.
- 72% of online users of income more than $75K are on Facebook.
- 82% of 18 to 29-year-olds online in the U.S. use Facebook.
- 79% of 30 to 49-year-olds online in the U.S. use Facebook.
- 56% of U.S. online users ages 65 and up use Facebook.
The potential is huge, but so is the competition. Forty million small businesses have active Facebook pages – and we all know how much "noise" is generated by everything from memes to pictures of people's lunches. (What's up with that, anyway?) To rise above the chatter, you need to create campaigns that stand out through images and text, that target your ideal consumer, and that are easy to act upon. It's a simple list that translates into a lot of work.
Fortunately, there are apps by Facebook and third-parties that can help you achieve your goals – preferably without skipping that lunch you'd want to post about on Facebook.
Easy Apps on Facebook
Facebook provides some easy-to use tools, but people aren't always aware of them or how they can be effective. Here are two to consider.
Facebook Partner Apps
If you look in your settings under Partner Apps and Services, you'll find some easy-to-add apps Facebook has thoughtfully provided. These are great for businesses that have active Facebook pages with loyal customers. Some, like Request Time and Microsoft Bookings, let your followers book appointments with you right from your page. Delivery.com and Slice are great for restaurants.
You may have to sign up for these services elsewhere in order to use the app, but they can be a quick addition to your page that make it easier for customers to act on impulse and use your services.
Facebook Boost Post
We see it all the time – a note from Facebook about how a particular post is performing with the invitation to boost it. Technically, Boost Post is not an app, but it gives you the advantages of one by letting you turn the post into an ad, which lets you define target audiences to see it and measure its success. Many times, it's not worth the investment, but if you have a campaign-related post that's struck a nerve, turning it into an ad gets it to a larger audience, which can enhance the effectiveness of your campaign.
Apps to Know Your Audience
It's widely accepted that targeted advertising gives you better return on investment. However, first you need to know who your target customer is. These apps can help.
Facebook Audience Insights
Audience Insights lets you know about Facebook users in general; Facebook users connected to your page or pages; and Facebook users as defined by your parameters, such as interest. You can learn everything from average income to brand affinities.
Socialbakers Facebook Monitoring
You and your competition share the same audience, so it makes sense to know what kind of people are on their pages. This Facebook monitoring tool lets you search the Socialbakers database of over 10 million social media profiles. You can use it to find out the most popular Facebook pages in your industry or use the keyword search for more specific topics. (Be careful with that one; we found that sometimes the connections to the keywords were not especially strong.) From there, you can see a little about their audiences. For a subscription, you can learn more, but you can also check out the Facebook page itself to see who follows it and what they're interested in.
Apps to Create Ads with Impact
Ads can get tricky. They have to be familiar enough that people resonate with them while unique enough to stand out from the crowds. You need high-quality images and content, plus a catchy headline or tag line. Advertising agencies charge hundreds of dollars to do this, while trying to DIY can be a frustrating if less expensive experience. However, there are apps – some used by professional marketers – that can make it easier.
Inspiration Pro by Socialbakers
This is another handy tool from Socialbakers. Inspiration Pro lets you search its database of over 10 billion social media posts for specific content. You'll not only pull up popular posts but also events and campaigns. See what others like, love, share and respond to. Then save the best as a PDF or PNG to inspire your own campaigns.
If looking at 10 billion posts seems to daunting, or you want to explore Facebook ads in particular, AdEspresso has a searchable gallery of nearly 50,000 Facebook ads. Search by industry, placements, and even objectives. When you click on a result that catches your eye, you'll see the likes, comments and shares, plus a link to take you to the original post.
CoSchedule Headline Analyser
What makes a good headline? More than you think. It shouldn't just be informative and grammatically correct; it needs emotional punch, power words and keywords that will draw the attention of search engines. CoSchedule's headline analyser examines your headlines (or taglines) before the campaign to wage their potential effectiveness. The power word and emotion word analysis are especially helpful. It also predicts the sentiment response. It's a simple program - it did not understand context defined by punctuation, for example – but it can point out areas for improvement.
Did you know that 1.05 billion people only access Facebook on mobile? If you want an effective ad, it has to look good on the small screen. That's why Facebook launched its Canvas app, a post-click, full-screen immersive mobile ad experience. You create canvases with images, video, text and call-to-action buttons, loading them into the Canvas page. When a consumer clicks on your ad from the newsfeed, they can swipe or scroll through page, even zooming in on images. Because it uses the same technology that loads photos and videos on Facebook, it's also faster than the standard mobile web.
Apps to Improve Your Facebook Page
Facebook campaigns work better when you already have a strong Facebook presence. Here are some apps that can give you a leg up.
LikeAlyzer doesn't tell you about the results of a specific campaign, but this helpful Facebook app from Meltwater does give some excellent, comprehensive information on the health of a Facebook page. Not only does it rate your page's current effectiveness against average pages, pages in your industry and the pages of your competition, it gives concrete suggestions for improving your page's status. Use this information both before a campaign to beef up your Facebook presence and afterward to see how the campaign affected your page's popularity.
You can also use it to check on how your competitors' pages compare to yours. For example, if they have more followers and post more images than you, adding more memes and photos might boost your popularity. By the same token, if LikeAlyzer recommends asking more questions on every competitor page you check, it could the key to giving you an edge.
We all know content is king, but serving that king can get time consuming. Marketing experts suggest that less than 25% of social media posts should be promotional, so unless you want to fill your pages with photos of your dinner, you may have to search the Internet for applicable news.
That's where DrumUp comes in. It mines the web in real time, using the parameters you set to find stories that are relevant to your audience. Then, all you need to do is review, create a comment and publish the post. DrumUp even suggests hashtags to improve visibility (something LikeAlyzer recommends).
There are a lot of social media options to draw people's attention, but Facebook continues to be the behemoth – the big, loud party you can't afford to ignore. But like in a big, loud party, where you're trying to make an impression, you need to find a way to make yourself known. No app can guarantee success, but with great content and a good hook, they can make it easier to make the campaign that meets your goals.
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