As a startup, you've probably already invested a considerable amount of your time into Facebook marketing. But, if you're like 95% of startups with a limited budget, Facebook has produced much fewer results than you anticipated. If you are part of the other 5%, this post is not for you. Keep going strong!
So why do some posts get seen by hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people?
Unlike common belief, boosting a Facebook post is not the answer, in-fact un-optimised Facebook posts tend to be much more expensive to boost, and may very well result in putting your business into more financial strain, rather than help you grow. So before covering how to get more eyeballs on your posts, let's dive into what makes a great post.
Focus on one audience
The first thing before creating a Facebook post is to identify the target audience. The target audience should be as specific as possible.
To identify the target audience, we've created a few questions;
- Are the products designed for a specific gender?
- What is the target age group?
- Are the products designed to be exclusive?
- Which brands does the ideal customer follow?
- What are the social groups the ideal customer is likely to be part of?
- What hobbies might they have?
- What are their typical spending habits?
By answering these questions, a "persona" can be identified. A persona in this case of the "ideal shopper". The vast majority of the Facebook posts should be designed to attract people who look and behave like this persona.
Examples of Personas
Children's clothing brand
Let's assume we have a designer clothing brand, for children aged 5-16, and our mission is to produce a gender-neutral clothing line that is affordable. So what does our "ideal shopper" look like?
Using the questions above we can develop the persona;
"25 to 45-year-old parents, that have children in school. Our ideal shopper is also part of parenting groups on Facebook and can be within any income group. This shopper is also likely to follow brands such as; Original Marines, Carter’s and the likes. The ideal shopper also regularly visits public spaces such as parks and spends ±10% of their income on clothes for their children. The ideal shopper is also likely to be involved in voluntary and charity work within their community".
Hand made souvenir shop
Even when a business has the potential to reach people from all walks of life, the ideal shopper persona should be as specific as possible. So following the questions again, who is the ideal shopper for handmade souvenirs?
"18 to 65-year-olds, that have recently travelled to our store location, or that have had an event happen recently such as the birthday of their partner. The ideal shopper is likely to be involved in DIY and has a deep appreciation for handmade items. This persona is also likely to have purchased similar items within the last 6 months and is likely to be a collector of some sort."
As you can see from the above examples, the key is to be as specific as possible.
PRO TIP: Don't assume anything
When building a persona never assume anything, only build a persona after conducting research and confirming interests, and other hypotheses about the ideal shopper.
A common misbelief
At this point you're probably asking yourself; "But! My products could reach such a wider audience, why limit myself to such a specific group of people?"
The answer to these questions and many more like them is; Branding.
By narrowing down on a target audience the posts will be consistent, and as a by-product of being so specific, the target audience will be much more likely to share and interact with the posts. This is where the magic happens, the target audience feels part of your brand, and they will bring it to wider audiences organically.
Use original content
This should be a no-brainer however unfortunately we see it way too often where a brand simply re-posts images/videos that went "viral", or "borrowed" from third-party sources. But why is it such a big deal to use original media?
- Facebook will always prefer to show a specific piece of content by the "original" creator.
Let's assume we post a picture of an Apple laptop, and Apple also post the same picture. Facebook will have to decide which post to show, since showing both might feel spammy. Considering that Facebook knows that; Apple is typically the first brand to release pictures of a specific laptop, Facebook is more inclined to show their post.
- Using non-original media could be illegal
- Original content is far more engaging
Just spend 5 minutes on Facebook, and pay attention to which posts you like, share and comment on. Which video you view, and which ads you interact with. If you're a typical Facebook user, out of those 5 minutes, you've spent 4 minutes interacting with original content. This is because you're already trained to ignore "fake" or "sketchy" posts. With that comes the subconscious ability to skim over non-original content. This only should serve as proof as to why original content is so important.
Quality goes the distance, Quantity puts you in quarantine
Facebook's main goal is to keep its users engaged on its platform. The best way for Facebook to do this is by proving its users varied content whilst satisfying the user's interests. But why are we explaining this? Simple. Many believe that by posting every 5 minutes, they have the opportunity to canvas their audience's wall. This cannot be further from reality. Facebook uses a formula to make sure this doesn't happen.
When we post on Facebook, Facebook gives us an impression allowance(how many people can see our post). Typically this allowance starts at around 10% of the current followership (smaller percentages have been observed for pages that have larger audiences). Every time we post, we are given a new allowance drastically lower than the previous. This prevents Facebook users from spamming other Facebook users.
So how do get more allowance for our next post? Simple. Create quality engaging posts.
When a post receives good feedback (keeps users on Facebook), Facebook rewards us with more impression allowance towards our next post.
PRO TIP: When posting videos, upload to Facebook
A small "hack" in this system exists when posting videos. If you've created a video and want to share it on Facebook, don't just post your Youtube link, but instead re-upload the video to Facebook. As we explained earlier, Facebook wants to keep users on its platform thus it will prefer showing a Facebook video rather than moving users to Youtube.
Use a personal brand
If you follow the tips we shared above, then you're already improving the potential of reaching a wider audience. However, a phenom remains on Facebook. People, in general, do not like to interact with pages, and would much rather interact with a person. There are various reasons why this happens, but in its most simple form, we as humans prefer to deal with people. This is why we recommend investing more time into your personal Facebook posts rather than your page posts.
A few great examples of personal brands;
- Gary Vee
- Neil Patel
- Melanie Deziel
- Sabry Suby
Reaching more people
Following the tips shared will help to increase the reach of your posts but two key questions remain;
- "What if I have little to no followers?"
If your page doesn't have much of a following, join groups your target audience is likely to be part of and actively contribute to these communities. Members will quickly take note of you and will want to follow you for more updates.
- "When should I boost a post?"
This is a much broader topic that deserves a separate blog post. However, a simple "hack" is to boost posts that receive above-average engagement. This makes sure you're promoting content your audience is interested in and wins you additional brownie points with Facebook.
Bonus: Generate revenue from your posts
To close the loop, we'll need to generate revenue from our posts. A great way to do this is by tagging your products directly in the posts. This is non-intrusive and because the posts are very well targeted and engaging, your conversion rate will typically be much higher. To automate a big portion of this process, you may connect your Lifeboat online store directly to Facebook & Instagram.
In this post, we've gone over the importance of using original content, the value of quality content, and even increasing sales through building a personal brand. We hope you found this helpful to increase your e-commerce sales, and if you did please leave a comment below, if you didn't let us know too.