Principles for effective Facebook marketing

Frederic Gonzalo is a speaker, trainer and consultant for Gonzo Marketing. He helps SMEs make the shift to digital marketing. One of the main questions businesses generally have is about Facebook, a platform with 1.8 billion active users worldwide [1] and close to 50 million business pages by SMEs. Frederic gives us a few basic tips for successful marketing on the social media network.

Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) – Has Facebook replaced corporate websites?

Frederic Gonzalo (F.D.) – Absolutely not. You have to work on your own platforms first. These include a website, blog, newsletters, brochures and any audio and visual content. Then you can get into social media. Social media is a content amplifier.

CCMM – But do companies have to be on Facebook these days?

F.D. – Not being on Facebook, from a marketing point of view, is like not having a Google AdWords campaign: you don’t stand out on the web. The point of Facebook is to reach new people to draw them to your site and have them get to know your brand.

CCMM – How do you build an effective presence on this platform?

F.D. – First: There is preparatory work that needs to be done, because social media is part of a larger content strategy. From this strategy you develop a publication calendar, which is used as a work schedule. Having this kind of calendar is key. It allows you to identify ad campaigns, decide on the best time to share newsletter content, draw attention to legal holidays and more.

Second: Facebook’s advertising functionality. It’s a great tool. It’s a user-friendly platform, but the number of options available can be intimidating when you’re starting out. There is the range of targeting, what you can exclude and include, interests, budget, format (carousel, video, canvas…). Experience helps you sort through it. It’s pretty much trial and error for at least the first three campaigns. How do you avoid that? Appoint a community manager, hire an agency or take training.

Third: Find out about improvements to Facebook so you can take advantage of new functionality or adapt your practices. Adjustments are made to the platform almost daily. This is why it’s a good idea to have a community manager.

CCMM – Do you have a tip for ads that stand out?

F.D. – Two words, which, while overused, are still fundamental: original and authentic. For originality, try to tell a story, play on emotions. For authenticity, use images or testimonials from people who have participated in one of your activities or tried your product … The message will be seen as authentic because it’s not you saying you’re the best; it’s someone else.

CCMM – How do you judge the performance of content on Facebook?

F.D. – Ask yourself two questions: Was there referral traffic? Did the content generate conversions? These are two examples of performance indicators.

When it comes to ads, too often people wait to the end to analyze performance. Don’t be afraid to do it sooner. For example, you’re running a 10-day campaign. A few hours after launching it, start looking at the reaction. Do likewise after 24 hours, then after two or three days, and, finally, at the end of the campaign. The beauty of the digital world is that you can change the campaign in real time or deactivate it if you have a new idea.

CCMM – Should all posts be sponsored?

F.D. – This is a question of strategy and budget. Some companies sponsor their best content; others allocate a minimum budget for each post.

CCMM – Being on Facebook means having to be vigilant about one’s e-reputation. What should we be watching for?

F.D. – Barely 30% of brand owners take the time to answer questions in the comments on social media. This is a statistic that has been coming up for the past three years, and I find it astounding. But it also represents an opportunity for brands that want to stand out. Users are still fairly surprised when companies take the time to respond to them. Responding to comments helps build a positive customer experience.

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Stay on top of new functionality on Facebook:

  • Jobs, available as a beta version in the U.S., similar to a job market.
    Employers can post jobs and employees can do searches. This is paid functionality.
  • Workplace by Facebook, tested for over a year by companies around the world. In Montréal, employees at the Club Med sales office tested it.
    This functionality is like a corporate intranet.
  • Business listing, similar to Kijiji, for products and services for sale.

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