Facebook remains the most popular, profound, and powerful social media platform available on the internet. With over 3.5 billion active users, this accounts for nearly half of the global population. In Australia alone, Facebook traffic continues with steady growth rates:
- From 42.3% of Aussie usage in 2015 and rising to 44.3% percent of the population projected in 2020, and
- This figure is expected to reach 44.6% in the next two years.
With this kind of local and world-wide saturation, many marketers are looking at the best ways to manage and master Mr. Zuckerberg's famous Facebook platform. In this light, here are the five most powerful marketing methods and tips to tackle this platform in 2020 and beyond.
1. Posting Videos for Peak Popularity
In the past, it was often said a picture was worth a thousand words and today's videos would likely equate to a million or more. According to imagery experts in the social media marketing industry, visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared compared to all text presentations.
Videos allow a business to be concise in their presentations to capture a viewer's interest in a matter of mere seconds compared to many minutes. Social media success depends on a brand's ability to condense large data presentations into smaller snippets of information that are more easily digestible. It's content that's long enough to maintain interest while short enough to leave consumers hungry for more.
PRO TIP: Even though it may seem counter-intuitive, be sure to have videos properly subtitled for the best results. This way they'll connect with the hearing impaired. In certain circumstances, people may not want sound emanating from their devices. Also, some users prefer reading along with these images, might be looking for more clarity or a direct quote from this type of content.
2. Getting More Quality and Quantified Results
So now the question shifts from whether or not a business should be posting to finding the best ways to ensure these images will successfully connect with today's consumers. The most popular method of ensuring videos and other online content will be effective on social media is by using the A/B (or split) testing approach.
For those unfamiliar with the process, A/B testing pits at least two similar, but slightly (or sometimes vastly) different concepts against each other prior to presentation to the public. They're posted to a smaller audience in a head-to-head competition to see which one will beat out the other in a popularity contest.
While it might seem a bit sophomoric, it has been proven to be very successful in online marketing methods when following this type of process:
- Create and choose a pair of content-based options
- Share each variation to a smaller segment of followers
- Track and analyse results to find a clear winner
- Go on to post the best variation to achieve better results with a larger audience
- Start the process over again before releasing the next presentation
PRO TIP: Take A/B testing a step further and share the results, both successful and less than effective, with staff members. Given this information, getting those creative juices flowing for future Facebook ventures will lead to continued success.
3. Using Lead Generation Forms
The previous tips remind me of my dear old Dad who offered similar advice when he said, "Measure twice and cut once." However, in this case, we should be "Using the right tools for the right job." When marketers are implementing the paid advertising option available on Facebook, businesses can use Lead Generation Forms as part of these marketing campaigns.
Also known as an instant form, lead generation forms allow people to quickly share basic contact information and other data with a business. These forms are especially useful for those on mobile devices and some of the best practices include:
Freebies and Incentives: Getting something for nothing is an excellent way to achieve internet interaction. It doesn't necessarily need to be something tangible such an actual product. Offer a discount, a BOGO (buy-one-get-one at no cost or at a reduced amount), free download of important information like a how-to-guide or white paper.
Questions and Answers: Often the easiest way to get interaction and engagement is to come right out and ask for it by posing a question. Whether it's a simple yes-or-no query or an open-ended question, you'll likely get these types of responses from these posts. You can also make a preemptive strike by providing answers to frequently asked questions aka FAQs.
SMS and MMS: Included in these forms is the ability to use SMS (Short Message Service) of up to 160 characters which is one of the most widely used text platforms on the internet. Although it requires a data package, MMS (Multimedia Message Service) allows the attachment of pictures, video or audio content with messages and is one of the more effective text platforms utilised online.
PRO TIP: Ensure you communicate to consumers using SMS and MMS using shorter more positive messages rather than an annoying interaction that leaves a bad taste in their mouth and on their device.
4. Getting More Engagement
Along with the suggestions as highlighted previously there are many more ways to increase engagement on Facebook and other social media platforms including:
- Connecting with a charity or local community fund-raising event
- Add a relevant hashtag or two about the topic
- Start a survey or take a poll
- Follow trending topics but avoid red-button issues like religion and politics
PRO TIP: Consumers enjoy offering their opinions on the internet and like to know their voices are being heard so be sure to respond to all their online interactions.
5. Being a Helpful Adviser
Speaking of advice, instead of coming off as a pushy salesperson seeking an immediate hard-core sale, the better approach on social media platforms comes from a friendlier avenue. Behind many of those "likes" and "shares" often comes from some insightful information or the advice of a friend.
This is exactly the type of route businesses should be taking when traversing and posting on Facebook. Instead of coming off as a pushy salesperson going after a hard-core sale, businesses should be offering audiences helpful, friendly advice. For the sake of this example, let's say you're a yoga instructor with a studio selling relative products. Consider posting targeted pieces about:
- Top 10 Yoga Workouts for Busy Mums
- Which Yoga Mat is Right For You - Aren't They All the Same?
- Yoga For Beginners: The Complete Guide
- What Are Yoga Socks and Blocks - Do I Need Them?
Rather than pushing for session sign-ups and posting purely about the products you have available for sale, use a "back-door" approach in a subtle CTA (call to action) at the end of the article. When it comes time for a sale or sign-up, your audience will remember you as someone knowledgeable in the industry, a trusted friend and adviser.
PRO TIP: For more of this kind of relevant and valuable information, feel free to read similar articles on the IICT Journal and blog. More importantly, sign up for a risk-free, 120-day trial membership today. You'll see how to reap the many rewards of being covered in every modality of your business without the hassle of continuing education requirements.