Marketing a product or service on social networks is completely different from marketing on open platforms such as search engines. Before you start creating an advertising campaign on Facebook, it is probably important to understand the fundamental difference between marketing on both platforms.
Whereas most search engine users come seeking answers and therefore are mentally prepared to be sold to, people who visit Facebook in particular, are of a completely different mindset. People who search for products on search engines are usually at a specific stage of the buying funnel, and their goals and objectives are often very clear. For example, a user that types in buy nike shoes into Google is clearly at the latter stage of the buying funnel.
On the other hand, it is not easy to understand the mind frame of a Facebook user as far as what stage they are in the buying funnel. Facebook users are typically not typing keywords into their news feed to search for products or services.
People generally log in to Facebook to connect with friends and family, to socialize, to share their photos, and to update others on what they’ve been up to. Most simply aren’t trying to find an answer or solution to a particular problem. Therefore, the chances of Facebook users being disinterested in your product or service is considerably higher than with search engine users.
However, it is still very possible to sell on Facebook. In fact, relevant studies reveal 51% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after liking a brand on Facebook. Furthermore, stories of brands selling on Facebook are common, even when specific elements of traditional marketing that wouldn’t ordinarily work on social networks are employed.
It is important to realize however, that most companies that successfully use traditional marketing techniques to promote their products on Facebook are already established brand names with merchandise in high demand. A small business that social network users are not familiar with cannot adopt the same techniques. Such attempts are often viewed as spamming, and this could seriously tarnish a small business and its reputation.
This is why it is so important to make people aware of who you are and what you do through a Facebook brand awareness campaign, and build a relationship with as many users as possible so that when they are actually in the buying funnel, they won’t have to visit a search engine to search for that specific product or service.
For example, say you want to get more leads for your new local business. At this point, you don’t know who would be interested in your products or services. You could start out with a fairly broad local awareness ad campaign targeting users by age, gender, interest and geographic location.
This aim at this point is not necessarily to generate sales but to drive awareness about your brand, arouse interest and get people to engage with your content and talk about your brand. You can also further engage users with some great blog posts about your products. Once you have generated sufficient awareness, you can use custom audiences to remarket to website visitors and people who’ve engaged with your Facebook page, using a strong call to action. You can also show optimized lead ads to people based in specific locations who have visited specific pages of your site.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling refers to the process of connecting and building relationships with your prospects on social networks with the ultimate goal of converting that audience into customers.
Clearly, the entire sales process in general has been transformed radically in recent years. Today’s consumers are mobile, digitally driven, and socially connected. They are wiser, much more informed, and more critical of companies in general. Furthermore, consumers can, in a matter of seconds, find honest opinions and reviews on products and services with a simple search.
Social selling requires complete focus on the way today’s consumers tend to shop and buy. Social media marketing is essentially all about engaging people in conversations, using content marketing strategies to get them interested in you first and foremost, and then seeing if there is common ground for doing business. Companies who are successfully selling on social networks today don’t “sell”: they build relationships and provide value by helping, entertaining, engaging and educating their target audiences.
To sell successfully on Facebook, you will need to build relationships and actively participate in conversations with your target audience in order to remain top of mind with them. People buy from people they know, like and trust, and Facebook offers the opportunity for you to let businesses build relationships with their target audiences. You need to share relevant, interesting and useful content with your audience and avoid self-promotional sales-speak about your business, products or services. But most important of all, you’ll need to be social, approachable and willing to show your personality and engage with your target audience.
Understanding Your Target Audience is Key
Social selling requires an in-depth understanding of your ideal target customer. What will grab their attention? What is their average age? What are they already talking about on their social networks? How do they communicate? What type of lifestyle do they enjoy? Are they typically students or professionals? What unique challenges, problems, needs and desires do they have?
The reality is, selling any product or service that people actually want means competition, and usually lots of it. There will inevitably be other businesses on Facebook informing, educating, entertaining and engaging with your ideal target customers and prospects. At the end of the day, these individuals will ultimately buy from the business that shows they understand their needs, problems and challenges, and has been interacting and engaging with them as they will remain foremost in their minds.
At the end of the day, the power behind successfully selling your product or service on Facebook lies in the relationship that you are able to build with your customers and prospects on the platform. Facebook is designed to help businesses of all types to engage and develop meaningful relationships with their target audience. However, researching and understanding how to connect and engage with that target audience remains a key task.
If you want to sell successfully on Facebook, you’ll need to build relationships through the regular sharing of educational and informative quality content. You’ll also need to nurture those relationships to remain in the forefront of your target audience’s thoughts. This will strengthen relationships with your target customers and prospects, and ultimately lead to the regular generation of qualified leads and increased sales for your business and brand on the platform.
How to develop a social media engagement strategy