by: Katie Hellmuth Martin
Advertising on Facebook is a very visual and of-the-moment kind of thing - so is the holiday season! Both Thanksgiving and the December holidays including Christmas and Hanukkah. If you want to reach your fans - those who voluntarily clicked "LIKE!" on your Facebook business page, you're going to have to lay out some cash to Facebook to have your posts be seen by these very followers.
We were recently discussing in the Tin Shingle member-only forum that the advertising push has forced more businesses to advertise and re-think their holiday marketing strategies. On top of that, certain paid ads are censored. For instance, there is a text to image ratio, where you can't exceed 20% of text on an image. Facebook will review your ad and will stop it from running. This also goes for the wildly popular and beautifully designed quotes that people pass around to keep spirits up or to motivate a reader base.
Let's discuss some strategies your business can take while trying to get the word out this holiday season:
- Start early and focus on building your newsletter. Successful marketing knows that building early buzz is key to popping out a new offering or product. You want to get your fan base jazzed. Deals are what people want the weekend of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Want in on a deal this Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday? Sign up for your newsletter to get early bird deep discount codes.
- Create an "offer". Pick a product of yours that you can deeply discount without losing much profit, and experiment with Facebook's "offer" tool.
- Target, target, target. You want to spend every cent wisely at Facebook. You can do this by targeting which ads get seen by which Facebook readers - fans and non-fans alike. We discussed this with social marketing guru Nathan Kirk in a #SocialTuneUp (which you can watch here). When promoting Palmetto Cheese dip, he targets several ads to areas of the country where they are trying to get people to buy the delicious cheese dip in grocery stores.
- Boost page posts, both updates and photos. When you create a "verbal" update (aka one where you just type in your thoughts), or if you share a photo or link, you can boost just that post so that it has a higher chance of showing up in News Feeds of your readers, and/or the right side column. I recommend boosting for $5, but you can pick your budget for that particular boost. It runs for 3 days or until the $ budget is met, whichever comes first. If you're running a few posts at a time, consider pausing one to save dollars and keep the focus on the very current post.
- Use cool photos - try square ones. Vertical pictures get cut off at the top and bottom when they display in your business page's news feed. Facebook is always tinkering with their layout, so this may change, but a safe bet is to use a square image. Then you can best control how much of the image is displayed - hopefully the whole thing! In the iPhone iOS7, you can select to take a square picture, so it's getting easier and more trendy to share and display square photos.