Social media can be a powerful tool for small business owners, but navigating channels such as Facebook and Instagram to drive a desired business outcome can seem daunting – particularly if you are new to these platforms.
As a Client Partner for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods at Facebook, Liz Anderson has a deep understanding of the tools Facebook and Instagram offer, and how they can be used to achieve measurable business results, regardless of business size, industry or budget. Recently, we were fortunate enough to have Liz share her expertise with us as part of our Women in Focus webinar series. Here are some of the key takeaways from her presentation on maximising Facebook and Instagram for your business.
Choosing the right campaign objective
As Liz explains, Facebook’s paid advertising capability is designed to align with your specific business objectives. “The Facebook algorithm is like a really obedient golden retriever,” she says. “It’s very single-minded – whatever you tell it to do, it’s going to do, first and foremost.”
Liz recommends honing in on your primary objective – the one that is most important to you – before you consider your creative. The primary objectives which make up the sales funnel are:
3. Purchase or conversion
Struggling to identify which objective best fits your circumstances? “Maybe you’ve just opened up a new boutique or an e-commerce store and you want to tell people that you exist,” Liz suggests – in which case, the focus should be on generating awareness. Alternatively, if you’re finding that people do know about you or your brand, but you’re not getting sales, the focus might be on purchase or conversion.
Facebook Ad Manager also provides the option to select specific, metric-based objectives that align with your primary objective – for example, ‘video views’, ‘link clicks’ or ‘landing page views’. Once you have selected these, Facebook’s algorithm comes into play, working to deliver your campaign in a way that aligns with your overarching goal.
Crafting the right creative
Working with a smaller budget? As Liz explains, high production values for creative aren’t necessarily essential – and there are plenty of ways to create great content without a huge budget. “For example, you can create a great a video using your mobile phone and use a free app to edit it,” she says.
Ultimately, the format you choose may well be more important than the dollars invested. “The majority of the content that is coming through Instagram is video,” Liz says. “If you want to get the best bang for your buck, consider video or Instagram Stories,” she says.
As for the frequency, in a perfect world, Liz recommends posting new content once per day – but if this is unrealistic, you should aim to increase your output gradually over time.
Liz’s top tips for creating great creative:
- For video, share the most important information (including your branding) in the first three seconds
- The vast majority of posts and media consumed across Facebook and Instagram is consumed on mobile, so ensure your creative has been built for the mobile environment and view it on a mobile screen before you hit ‘post’
- Similarly, the majority of content on Facebook and Instagram is consumed without sound, so hit ‘mute’ and consider if what you are posting makes sense without accompanying sound
- Ensure that the copy adds value
- Keep videos and copy short and sweet
Using the right tools
If there was one key takeaway from Liz’s presentation, it’s that Facebook Ads Manager is a key tool for those looking to develop targeted social media campaigns.
“You might be using the ‘boost post’ functionality on Facebook or Instagram, but Ads Mananger enables you to see all of your different campaigns in one place, so you can delve in to see what’s working and what’s not,” Liz says. “It guides you through how to create a campaign, including how to select your audience based on key characteristics, for example age, location or personal interests,” she says.
Finding the right insights
Once you have created a targeted campaign, Liz recommends using Facebook Page Insights to measure how it performs, as well as identify areas for improvement.
“You should be monitoring Facebook Page Insights daily,” Liz advises. “The platform will serve you notifications to let you know when something is under-delivering or over-delivering, and give you tips and tricks to help guide you.”
Contrary to popular belief, Liz warns that likes, shares and comments aren’t always the best indication of how posts are performing. “Sometimes we might take in the message and it might be really powerful for us, even when we haven’t liked or shared it,” she says.
Looking for more information and insights to help you run great social media campaigns? Liz recommends checking out the following resources:
- Facebook Page Insights
- Facebook Help Centre
- Facebook Business
- Insights to Go
- Cross Border Insights Finder
- Facebook Blueprint (Liz’s go-to, for bite-sized modules, dos and don’ts, and how-tos for Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram)