Hopefully by now, you’ve built your page and have familiarized yourself a bit with creating content, sharing posts and engaging with your community. If you’ve run into any problems along the way or have any specific questions, we’d love to answer them and help you reach you goals.
To briefly recap: Facebook is the platform of choice for starting your business’s online presence. It’s by far the most versatile, allowing you to share content like text and photos, spread the word about sales or events and grow your sales base by connecting to more potential customers.
But how do you successfully discern what your target audience wants to see from your posts? It comes from a firm understanding of who that audience is. There are some basic concepts to consider, and then we’ll discuss tailoring your content development to your brand.
Content rules the land – it’s what converts a visitor to your page into a follower, then potentially a customer. You need to make folks want to follow your business’s page by showing them content that is relatable and helpful. Users want to know they’re following a real human, so don’t be shy! Businesses and brands that post content about their founders or workers often see a boost in followers directly after. Post a photo of an employee with a quote about why they’re proud to work for you or a favorite part of their job, or post a photo of yourself and write about what inspired you to start your business or what sets you apart. Facebook users are more receptive to messages that come from a real person – we’re more likely to believe something about a product or service if we read it in a customer review versus hearing it from the seller.
Now, to hone in on your content: I provided some suggestions last month, but I want to share a helpful marketing tool to help you get inside your audience’s head – customer avatars. It may sound silly, but stay with me. Many great advertising strategies start with folks in a room creating generalized versions of segments of their target audience. You can find tons of customer avatar templates online to ease this process for you. Think about the types of people who are most likely to benefit from your product, and create a persona for each one, including age, occupation and the problems in their lives that your product will solve – the more thorough, the better. Think about what influences your customers. What are their personal values? What do they do in their spare time? What are their main concerns when making a purchase? Get creative here but don’t stress too much – it’s simply a guide for you to use internally when considering what your target audience is driven by.
For example, an organic farm could create a persona for a local woman, mid-40s, who has a goal to eat healthier. She puts her family first, and values a good deal, but is facing pushback at home from her husband and children when she proposes more vegetable-based meals. That’s a pretty cursory “avatar,” but it already points to the type of content this person might be drawn to. If I were trying to get her business, I’d start posting a recipe series, featuring crowd-pleasing dishes using current offerings at my produce stand. A customer avatar of a restaurant owner might lead you to share content about what you’re planting now to be ready next season, so they can start developing menu ideas. You want to spend some time putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and figuring out what drives them to make a purchase.
Remember, your post will only reach users that follow your business page (at first). Your followers are your most valuable tools to expand your audience. If a user interacts with your post, it’s likely that activity will be reported in their friends’ feeds, and your post along with it. Whenever you can add in something that entices users to interact, go for it! Ask a question, crowdsource tips or use any other phrasing that encourages your audience to comment. The more interactions a post has on it, the more likely it is that the Facebook algorithm will place that post in front of more people, like a snowball effect. Lastly, ask friends and family to follow your page, and if they’re willing, they can share your page’s posts on their profiles, turning their audience into yours.
Have a post you’re proud of, but it’s not getting the engagement you hoped for? No worries – Facebook makes it extremely easy to “boost” your post with some advertising dollars. The platform often asks if you want to boost it while you’re posting, but you can boost after publishing as well. Find the post on your page’s feed and click “Boost Post” (it’s typically at the bottom right corner). They’ll ask some questions about your content and a few other questions, like budget, duration and audience. Remember to reference your customer avatars when selecting your audience! Facebook, as you’re likely not surprised to learn, gathers all sorts of customer demographic data on their users, meaning you can narrow your audience based on geographic location, age, interests, etc. – whatever makes the most sense for you and your business.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We want this column to be a resource for our readers, so tell us what you want to learn! Email Associate Editor Courtney Llewellyn at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll address your topics in future columns.