A Web Designer’s Guide to Marketing on Facebook
There are many articles to be found on how creative professionals can market on Twitter, Pinterest, even Linkedin. Yet not many seem to push Facebook as a social media focus specifically for web designers. Many experts mention LinkedIn, Twitter, Behance, Instagram, and other creative portfolios as top social media networks for creative professionals, and it’s easy to see why.
You have to go where your audience is. Web designers should market themselves to businesses, startups, non-profits, and one of the best places to connect with professionals in the corporate world is LinkedIn. Twitter is great for making connections with other web professionals who can lead you to new clients, and Behance is a common portfolio platform that many use for research.
Yet Facebook is also an excellent platform on which web designers can create important connections, and it doesn’t take as much time as you would think. You may decide that Facebook is not the platform for you to spend the majority of your time for social media marketing, but it still is too valuable to completely pass up.
According to the Facebook statistics updated January 1, 2014 from StatisticBrain, 1,310,000,000 Facebook users are active monthly, with the average amount of time users spend on Facebook at a time being 18 minutes. Every 20 minutes, 1 million links are shared. The other interesting part about Facebook is that it is available in 70 different languages, making it an excellent worldwide marketing tool, especially since 75% of Facebook users are outside of the US.
The networking opportunities alone are enough to warrant at least some activity on Facebook. The good news? You can easily get some exposure and build connections without spending too much time on Facebook. The following are the right tips and tools that will help you efficiently make the most of your marketing efforts on Facebook. At the very least, follow the advice below for setting up a page, just to give your audience one more place they can easily find your contact information and connect to your website.
Fill out the About Page Thoroughly
Blue Zoo Creative has an excellent About page with plenty of helpful information.
One of the areas that seems most pages drop the ball is on their About page. Many times, I have tried looking up information on a business on Facebook, only to find nothing helpful because their About tab only contained the business name and a link to their website. Keep in mind, too, that usually I don’t want to click on website link because I don’t want to leave the Facebook app on my phone unless I know for sure the company is worth it. And I am not alone – 556 million daily active users visit Facebook via mobile.
So be sure your About section contains a thorough description of you, the services you offer, your expertise, and any other fun facts your audience may want or need to know. Include your business phone number, business location, your website URL, and other social media links so that once a visitor sees how amazing you are, they can further check you out or contact you.
Create a Stunning Page
Show off your skills with a killer custom Facebook page design. After all, how can a prospective client believe you actually have the skills you boast on your About page if your Facebook cover and other customizable aspects look less than impressive? So, create a cover photo that shows just how effective and appealing your designs can be. Of course, use your logo as the profile pic. And customize the Page Tabs as well (see the next section).
Just be sure that whatever images you create relate to your brand. Some businesses even create their cover photo to look like the header on their website. Keeping all of your online marketing visually connected is an excellent way to make sure your brand is not only recognizable but also memorable.
Use Facebook Page Tabs
If you haven’t already done so, make sure that you customize your page tabs. The Facebook page tabs are a separate app, so there are multiple apps you can use. Andy Pitre on Hubspot provides this tutorial for manually creating and installing custom tabs, but it requires some coding. Or you can use a WYSIWYG tab app, such as Decor.io, the Woobox Fanpage tab creator, or ShortStack. You can even get fancy by using the Welcome Tab app from Facebook. This app allows you to create a welcome page for new visitors that prompts them to Like your page before seeing your content.
Different businesses create different tabs, and many simply leave the tabs as the normal Facebook ones, such as Photos, Videos, and Likes. However, you may want to add some unique ones like the Coca Cola page above to help yourself stand out.
For those who really want to get into marketing with Facebook, keeping track with an activity tool really helps. While you can just view your page’s activity log, it can be easy to miss something, especially if you don’t check it every day. You may want to try a service such as Hyperalerts that sends activity notifications to your email inbox based on preferences that you set (how often, types of posts, etc).
Use Facebook Ads and Promoted Posts
Facebook brand page posts have an organic reach of only 6.15% these days, which many say is a sign of Facebook pushing pages to use sponsored posts. Thankfully, you can promote a post or run a Facebook Ad for as little as $5 and you can still target a certain audience, including your own website visitors or mobile users. In fact, one study by Nanigans found out that Facebook ads in 2013 averaged a 152% ROI (return on investment). This ROI and the advanced targeted audience options alone are worth having a Facebook page.
Just make sure that your ad is interesting, compelling, and gives users an incentive to move to action. As with any advertisement, include a clear call to action. To see more tips on targeting an audience and setting up Facebook ads, take a look at the ad help page. The Zenzwork Blog also gives some excellent advice on Facebook Ads vs. Promoted Posts based on their own experiment. One point Teresa Bassham makes in her article is to limit Promoted Posts so as not to hurt the organic reach of non-promoted posts. She also found that ads reach a targeted audience, whether or not they are fans, while Promoted Posts reach your fans. So, deciding which to use will depend on your goals for each specific marketing effort.
Fill with Relevant Content
Filling your page with the right content is arguably the most important part of a successful Facebook Page. A study from Kentico found that 32% of fans unlike a page because of uninteresting posts. This may take a bit of experimenting to find out what your fans really like to see from you, but some excellent ideas are your blog posts (and hopefully you have a blog), interesting projects, items in your portfolio, video tutorials, sharing of other’s posts, ask for feedback on projects, and contests.
Change up the type of post you share as well to keep it fresh. For instance, don’t always just share your blog posts. Ask questions. Share funny or interesting tidbits that your fans post. And when you really want to engage, add in some video tutorials or ask for feedback. Contests or giveaways are also an excellent way to get new likes, which is why you will want to create an ad for these types of posts.
Post More Efficiently
The same Kentico study mentioned above also found that another 28% of fans unlike a page because of too many posts. Facebook is not like Twitter in that you can send out multiple posts a day. Most people are on Facebook to interact, and if page posts keep getting in the way of them seeing their friends’ posts, then they are going to get annoyed enough to unlike the page.
Simply get smart with your posting. You may need to experiment a bit with your audience to see which days they are most active. Socialmediaexaminer advises to post in the evening, after business hours, with the best times being between 10pm and 12am. Keep in mind your fans’ time zones. If you have fans across the world, you may need to post twice a day to reach all of your fans. You can always use Facebook’s scheduled post option so that you don’t have to be posting when you want to be relaxing.
Be Active on Your Personal Account
Just as with the "olden days", successful networking means you have to make meaningful connections. The best way to do this is to spend time with people. On Facebook, this means you will need to get active on your personal account. This means that you will need to be friendly, polite, and outgoing – and refrain from always trying to insert a plug about your business. Networking is about meeting people, lots of people, who remember you later.
So, engage with friends by commenting on or liking their updates. Request to be Facebook friends with your friends’ friends when you have a connecting conversation on a post. Request friendship with those you are connected with on other social media. And share and create interesting updates. The best networkers are those who simply love to meet new people and know how to figure out a connecting point with them. Eventually these connections lead to "he knows someone who knows someone that needs a designer for an online campaign".