As we move toward the holiday season, more online retailers are interested in unlocking spend on Facebook and other social media platforms. However, quick wins will lose momentum if not anchored by a larger plan.
Start-and-stop ad campaigns that focus on generating e-commerce in a single click will struggle because they fail to take into account customer behavior and competition. A lack of understanding can be costly as more traditional retailers compete with businesses that were ‘born and bred’ in Facebook.
Here are some winning practices that will not only distinguish your business from the competition this year, but also help you determine how this channel fits within your overall marketing plan.
If you have a Facebook presence, then it has generated direct traffic to your site.
Do you know how Facebook referral traffic differs from other traffic? Before you label it low quality, take the time to uncover the pages or site elements that do interest the Facebook users that navigate to your site directly. Use these pages as landers for your Facebook campaigns, and use what you’ve learned to further optimize your fan page.
2. When you run Facebook ads you should be on web analytics overload.
Ads that link to your site have a much lower bounce rate when targeted to current fans. When launching a new or unfamiliar product, consider marketing directly to your Facebook fan base first. Their loyalty and larger attention span for your messages might make them a strong beachhead for new products.
Conversions from Facebook traffic can be latent: We’re talking 30 days from click to purchase. Lengthen the window in which you are recognizing sales conversions for Facebook. Realize that this week’s ad spend is not wasted if sales roll in a month from now.
Don’t sell your Facebook traffic short. Your Facebook ad campaigns might be focused on sales conversions and sign-ups, but the ROI on your advertising dollars is augmented by returning traffic. Track visitor loyalty (# of visits) and recency (frequency of visits) for Facebook traffic.
3. Grow fans organically and deepen relationships.
Your welcome tab should ask people to like your page. Consider going beyond a simple request. Implement a reveal like-gate that incentivizes fans to like your brand in order to access exclusive offers or content.
4. Line up your promotional schedules.
If you are offering savings on other channels, then you should also be offering them on Facebook. This is not an audience that signs onto the platform with the intent to purchase, so give them a reason to click through.
5. Hedge your bets on different channels.
Are you skeptical about the future value of Facebook users? Or the lifetime value of Facebook users as compared to customers who originated from other social platforms or media channels? If this is the case, then use Facebook as a vehicle to collect e-mail addresses. You can optimize toward a known e-mail sign up CPA on Facebook the same way you do in paid search.
6. Find out which products are most social, feature them and watch sales increase.
7. No two customers on Facebook are alike.
It is important to really know what you are selling to customers.
Customer #1 buys on speed, price and convenience.
Customer #2 buys out of passion for and personalization of the product.
Customer #3 buys whatever is latest and greatest.
It’s important to distinguish which base you serve and roll out a campaign strategy that matches their needs.
Customer #1 would not mind following a link out of the platform if the ad stresses an offer or pricing promotion. In fact these types of customers need a strong incentive in order to convert on a single touch
Customer #2 is acquired as a fan most cost effectively with advertisements that message their passion for running, wine, motorcycle riding or whatever it may be. These passionate customers can then be retargeted with e-commerce focused ads.
Customer #3 is difficult to convert because they are compelled by what is new and different. These customers are best acquired on a CPA basis. Many fashion retailers have a good sense of how to convert these leads with a mix of other channels and over a longer period of time than typical for a single Facebook ad campaign.
8. Cash in on your forays into Facebook advertising year round.
You’ve spent money building fans, engaging them with new content and promotions, driving traffic to your site from Facebook, and amplifying customer activity on your site back to Facebook with sponsored stories. Don’t walk away from the value you’ve created on January 1st!
If you are looking for a good dashboard statistic that measures the level of engagement you have on Facebook look at the People Talking About This metric for your brand page. This is the number of unique people creating stories about your brand and it should climb sharply during the holidays. Make sure you continue to provide quality content to fans and avoid the receding of valuable conversations and shares.
9. Being yourself online saves you money.
Your voice on Facebook should be authentic and your promotions, content and online events should be easy to participate with and share. Some of our best results have come from working for brands with an online community manager. Knowing the fan base really well decreases the time and cost associated with developing the media and messaging for social platforms. This frees up resources needed to quickly scale ad campaigns and measure the results.
10. “If no one passes a link to your site to their friends, or recommends your site to their friends, that says a great deal about your business, none of it good.” –George Michie
Promote sharing of your content. You’ve invested in building a reputation. That reputation spreads to new customers, thus making you money. Simple.
First, create content or promotions that will excite your core customers. They should be able to learn about it on social platforms like Facebook, but it should exist on your site as well.
Second, share it in many different ways on Facebook. Let people interact with your posts. Create sponsored posts to extend the reach of your content to your entire fan base.
As people get excited about the content they discover on Facebook and link to it on their own blogs, your business will drive more SEO value from the channel.