Part 1: Instagram, Twitter or Facebook? Where Should I Advertise for Books on Social Media? (read here)
Part 2: How to Market Your Business on Instagram (read here)
Part 3: How to Market Your Business on Twitter (read here)
Part 4: How to Market Your Business on Facebook (read here)
When someone says “social media,” chances are the first thing you think of is Facebook. Even with new social media platforms sprouting up every other day, Facebook is still the king and OG of the social media world. If you are considering taking the plunge into social media, you should definitely start with Facebook.
First off, if you haven’t created a Facebook page you should probably go do that right now. Once your page is up and running, you will need to fill it with content that is up to date and relevant. Be sure to include your store hours and contact information (website, phone number, address etc.), as these are the details that most people expect to find on a business Facebook page.
It’s also important that your page looks professional, which means having a high-quality profile picture and cover photo. If your business has a logo, we recommend using it for your profile picture as it will be the first thing people see when they search for you on Facebook. As for the cover photo, try a picturesque shot of the interior or exterior of your store, or perhaps a photo of a particularly impressive in-store display. Whatever you choose, make sure it is relevant to your business and has a high image quality.
Content Strategy and Schedule
Unlike other social media platforms like Twitter, be wary of bombarding your followers with too much content too often. Aim to post 3 – 5 times a week, mixing it up with content that promotes your product and store promotions, along with fun articles that you think your customers would enjoy (Buzzfeed’s books section has lots of great literary-themed articles).
When you’re first starting out, try publishing themed posts on a weekly basis. For example, if you always get new books on Mondays, create a post every Monday featuring these new titles. Check the engagement level for those posts after a few weeks (you can find this in the Posts section under “Insights”). If you’re getting good engagement from your followers, then definitely keep up what you’re doing. However, if your engagement levels aren’t great, try changing the graphic (if you aren’t including a graphic then try adding one) or the text of the post. It will take some time to get a feel for what your followers want to see, so don’t get discouraged if your first posts aren’t getting much engagement. Feel free to experiment with posting different content— just remember to always stay relevant to your brand.
Boosted Posts vs. Advertisements
Once you get into a rhythm of posting your content, you might reach a point where you feel confident enough to start spending money on advertising on Facebook. First things first, should you boost a post or create an advertisement? Or maybe you’re wondering, “What’s the difference?” Good question! Let us guide you through it.
When you post content on your Facebook page you have the option to “boost” it, which essentially is a way of paying money to ensure your content is seen by the specific audience you wish to target. This is great if you’re posting about a special promotion and you want to make sure it shows up on your followers’ newsfeeds. Boosting a post is as simple as clicking on the “Boost Post” button in the bottom right corner of a post. From there you can choose which audience you wish to target (we like the “People who like your page and their friends” option), how much you want to spend, and the length of time the post will be boosted.
One drawback of boosting posts is that you can only choose one audience to target, as opposed to advertisements which allow you to target multiple audiences. If you’re just trying to reach your existing Facebook followers then this isn’t an issue. But if you want to target new customers, or re-target old customers whom you’ve lost and want to regain, then the audience options in Facebook advertisements might be a better choice.
Creating a Facebook ad requires more work than simply boosting a post, but there are some serious benefits you won’t get with a boosted post. Firstly, you need to decide what your creative and copy will be. When it comes to the creative, you have some options—you can choose from a single-image, carousel, or video ad, or a slideshow that displays a mix of video and images.
If you decide to go with an ad featuring an image, keep in mind that in order to ensure it delivers properly, Facebook requires that any text on the image not take up more than 20% of the total space. How do you measure that, you might ask? Use the Facebook Overlay Tool to upload your creative and check where you stand with their text guidelines. It is also worth noting that this same rule applies to any images in your boosted posts.
Another benefit to creating a Facebook advertisement is that you can target multiple audiences, which will be discussed in the next section.
Targeting Options: Creating Lookalike and Custom Audiences
Facebook’s lookalike and custom audiences give you the ability to target very specific people based on a variety of factors. Lookalike audiences allow you to create an audience that is similar to your page followers. All you have to do is go to the Audiences tool, click “Create a Lookalike Audience,” and choose your Facebook page as the source. Once you select a location, you can then choose the audience size based on a scale of 1% – 10%, with 1% being those who are most closely aligned with your page followers. Facebook then finds people in that geographic region who have similar characteristics and behaviour traits as those who like your page.
Another option is creating a custom audience, which will afford you more audience targeting possibilities. You can upload a customer list file (think newsletter subscribers), which Facebook sorts through and then finds those people’s accounts (creepy, yes, but also very useful!). You can also target those who have unsubscribed to your newsletter as a way to try to win them back. Before you upload your file, make sure you take a look at Facebook’s best practices for data preparation in order to maximize your results.
You can view the results of both your advertisements and boosted posts in your Ads Manager. Here you can view the reach, result (link clicks or post engagements), cost per result, budget, and end date for your campaigns. For boosted posts, we suggest also going to the “Posts” section under Insights on your Facebook page to view additional performance metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and negative feedback.
All this information can seem a bit overwhelming at first, so feel free to take it slow. Create your Facebook page first and establish a routine of posting content that fits with your brand. Once you’ve conquered that, try boosting a couple posts that promote product you think your followers will like, and tweak your audience and budget until you begin to see favourable results. Once you’re comfortable with boosting posts, try creating a Facebook ad, and even take a stab at creating tailored lookalike and custom audiences while you’re at it! If you’re only going to use one social media platform, with over a billion active users Facebook is the top choice (in our opinion), even if it means taking baby steps to get there!