The mysteries of Facebook.

Would you believe (assuming you don’t remember) that this powerhouse of global sharing technology which has overrun our very existence has only been around since 2004?  

Just eleven years into its history, Facebook is ranked as the number two most visited website in the world, with 1.44 billion active users each month. Alexa, an internet ranking website, says that Google is the only web page with more hits.

Facebook is a juggernaut of marketing power that anyone can use. What was started as a photo and information sharing site among college friends, has also quickly turned into an important advertising tools for all businesses. It’s the best way for a smaller business to connect with their customers on a daily or weekly basis.

As Facebook grows, they find more ways to keep their users active and engaged with the platform.  Your job is to get in front of the right people with your Facebook page by providing relevant, quality content.  You also want to stand out against everything you are competing with on the Facebook algorithm – it’s not just your competitors you should pay attention to.

So how do you figure out how to create the perfect Facebook audience, reach more prospects and attract more customers to your business?

When I first started Hatchbuck, we had 174 Page Likes.  Now, we have over 11k followers. Here are the steps I took to grow Hatchbuck’s Facebook Likes by 6400%:

Target The Right Demographic

You find pockets of people everywhere on Facebook that react and respond to content they see in their News Feed.  To ensure you find the right audience for the content you are producing, you must start developing your buyer personas.  You can find all kinds of people so creating specific buyer personas becomes important in order to increase ROI.  You’ll want to effectively engage a small portion of these users instead of trying to reach them all.

Start with the demographics of your customer base and the demographics of you best customer.  As a business owner, you know the difference between a great customer and one that sucks your resources dry.  It’s key to pay attention to your promoters.  Then, do some research on them.  See what they like and dislike about your product.  What features are their favorite?  Why did they choose you over your competitors?  

You may also want to get some psychograpic data on them.  What are your customers interested in?  Is there a common theme?  For instance, if your ideal customer is an HR professional who is a middle-aged woman, maybe there is a strong possibility that she also loves music.  This is very useful data to know because that’s how you can connect with your ideal audience.

The Strategy

As you know, Facebook has cracked the whip on organic reach, making it harder for small businesses to get in front of their Facebook audience.  By using some marketing spend effectively each month on Facebook Ads will help you get in front of the right people, so you can grow an engaged audience.  

Start with your content strategy.  

You want to be providing relevant, quality content for your ideal audience.  You can stand out from your competitors and start to develop your place in your sphere as a thought leader.  You may need some freelance help getting started or a marketing partner.  A strong, content marketing strategy is a long term investment but it gets the ball rolling for more visitors to your site, increased brand awareness and recall, and higher engagement from your audience.  

Get those Likes.

Pump your Facebook Ad budget into a Likes campaign.  Play with their audience builder, A|B test ad copy and creative, and start seeing what works for your business.  You can set something up and let it run for a while before making adjustments to your audience.  If you find a sweet spot with the right ads and audience, increase your spend to get the most out of that pocket.  I’m always adjusting and testing new audiences on Facebook and I tailor the messaging to that audience.  Once you start seeing the stream of relevant likes come in, the more excited you will become about your Facebook strategy.  Be sure to keep your targeting in the United States or even try your city and community if you are more locally based.  The key is to get the most ROI out of your marketing spend and you don’t want to boil the ocean with your online ads.

Now Boost!

Once you have a decent sized audience built, start pulling back from your Likes campaign and adjust it to the quality content you have started to produce.  It’s good to have this buffer time so you can start to develop the right type of content for you and your business.  You can start to see how often you need to post on your blog.  We try to post once a day on the Hatchbuck blog!  While this strategy may be overkill for your audience, still consider challenging yourself with more content.  The more quality content you can share, the more reach you will have.  

Feature a blog post on your Facebook page with a boosted post.  The reason you want to have an audience built up is so that you can target these boosted posts directly to your audience.  This practice gives you a higher relevancy number on your ads and gets more eyes on your content.  You will get more post likes and also comments.  

See how this system starts to hum?  A targeted audience comes in through the Page Likes campaign and then they become engaged when they see your Boosted Content.  Boost is a great word for this process because it does help boost your engagement, your reach, and your confidence as a small business thought leader.