We spend a lot of time talking about SEO here at SEOSiteCheckUp.com (go figure!). The fact is, though, SEO isn’t the only way to get traffic to your website. It just happens to be one of the best.
The reason why it’s so incredible has to do with free, targeted traffic. Instead of going out and trying to “grab” customers and turn them into buyers with a catchy ad, SEO is all about getting the customers to come to us. And when they do, they’re almost always in the mood to buy.
So it’s a great deal, all around.
But as internet marketers, we need to be versatile. Especially with all the changes going around Google. Who knows what they’ll do next (we have a few ideas)?
For this reason, it’s worth knowing about the other methods of traffic generation. Methods that may not be as effective as pure SEO, but given the evolving web, may become integral to the success of any online business.
I’m talking about PPC (pay per click) advertising – specifically, Facebook.
Now, when most people think about PPC ads, they think about Google Adwords. And it’s no wonder why – Adwords has been the most popular ad network for quite some time. But there’s a problem. Since the CPC (cost per click) is determined by a bidding system, the companies with more money are always able to get the best deals. These companies by ads in bulk, raising the bidding prices for all small business owners.
Past a certain point, it’s difficult to use Google Ads and still make a profit as a small business. So even though Adwords is such a popular service, it’s not necessarily the best for a small business.
Let’s take a look at Facebook ads
Facebook ads have a bit of a bad rap. They’re still relatively new. Not many internet marketers really know how to use them effectively. Too often, people buy Facebook ads thinking they’ll be like Adwords – they couldn’t be further from the truth. If you try and use Facebook ads like Adwords, you’ll lose a lot of money very quickly.
So let’s avoid that.
Rule #1 of “social advertising”: the customer is NOT looking to buy something. People don’t get on Facebook to buy new products or shop around. No, they get on Facebook to socialize with their friends. They get on Facebook to be entertained.
So if your ad says “10% of next purchase at Jack’s Boot Shop!,” odds are, no one will click that ad. And even if they do click it, where’s the ad going to take them? Straight to your business page. This is very unlikely to convert to a direct sale.
With Adwords, it’s all about making direct sales. You put an ad up and hope that when people click on it, they like what they see and decide to buy something. With a Facebook ad, this is NOT going to happen 99% of the time.
Don’t think of Facebook ads as a tool for direct sales and conversions. Instead, think of Facebook ads as a relationship builder. Sure, you might not be able to get an instant sale with Facebook ads. But you can build up a strong community. You can increase brand awareness. You can build an incredible foundation that will significantly help your website out in the future.
Facebook ads require a lot more time to convert into sales. But the end result will be a much bigger volume than you could’ve gotten with an Adwords ad. Plus you’ll also have a built-in community, which is—if you hadn’t heard—the new e-mail subscriber list.
Your goal should be to get people to your Facebook business page and “like” it. Once they’ve done that, they’ve effectively “subscribed” to all of your future updates and posts.
What’s the best way to do this?
The answer lies in the picture. Remember – people are on Facebook to be entertained. If you have a stock photo of your business logo, no one is going to click it! But if you have a hilarious picture that’s related to your business, you’re going to get a LOT of clicks.
For example, if you owned a computer repair company, you could feature a picture of a person destroying their computer in a comedic fashion. A picture that’s immediately eye-grabbing and entertaining.
This is vastly preferable to a picture of “Bob’s Computer Repair.”
And really, with Facebook, your picture is all that matters. If you can find a funny-yet-relevant picture, expect to see your click-thru rate go through the ceiling.
Alright, so we’ve reached that point – the point where the majority of businesses have social profiles. Nice!
Unfortunately, the vast majority of business owners don’t have a clue how to run their Facebook pages. I’ve got some news folks – your page isn’t going to do anything on its own! It’s not like you can just set one up and automatically get new customers and build relationships with old ones.
But if you know what you’re doing, you absolutely can do both of those things.
So let’s get started!
What’s Facebook For?
First off, Facebook is unlike virtually every other business medium out there. Facebook isn’t about selling to people – it’s about socializing. People don’t go on Facebook to buy stuff. People go to Facebook to talk to their friends. Chat with their friends. Write on walls, post pictures!
NONE of that involves buying or even THINKING about buying. Therefore, the first strategy for an effective page is to STOP SELLING.
That might sound a bit odd. We’re talking about business here, after all! Well, the truth is, if you can’t get away from selling, you’re going to have big problems as far as your brand is concerned.
Anyone who “likes” your Facebook page won’t do it to buy something. They’ll do it because they like how your brand looks if one of their friends sees they like it.
Read that 80x or so and let it sink in. Now, there are other reasons why someone will like a page, but in general, it’s because they agree with your brand – they want to make it a part of their personality.
That’s great news, obviously. So if you want people to like your page, give them something they can be proud of!
This starts before Facebook. It starts with building a brand from the ground up that delivers massive value to everyone who uses it. Because these are the “cool” companies – the companies people like AND “like”.
And once you have that brand, don’t ruin it for the sake of giving your fans a coupon!
What can you do?
So it’s not a good idea to sell to your customers. What is a good idea?
Inspire them. Make them laugh. Interest them.
We’re on social media here. People’s attention spans are very short. And for many people, Facebook is only an option after a long day’s work. So you need to be quick and to the point.
One of the best ways to engage your users is to post pictures with quotes. Inspiration quotes, funny quotes, interesting quotes… anything will do. Of course, for the best results, they should relate to your business in some way.
These are very easy to come across. Just search for specific quotes that would relate to your niche, put them on a great-looking stock photo, and there you are!
Your business is a part of an overall bigger picture – the market that your business is in. In that market, there’s a lot going on. The goal of the Facebook page is to find out what’s going on in your market and connect with the people who are going through it. Provide input on events going on in your market. Give people insight that you have from running your business that they would never get any other way.
Connection – that’s the name of the game on Facebook. Before posting something, ask yourself if it’s helping you connect with your audience.
So where does making money come into all of this? Well, what Facebook is incredible for is building your brand image – getting people to view you in a favorable light. Because when people view you in a favorable light, they’re much more likely to buy your products down the road.
Realize that Facebook is an investment. You’re not going to get immediate buyers – it’s not like PPC ads. But, over time, you’ll develop a following on your page – a following that will buy your products and will also tell their friends about your business, because you’ve provided value to them and haven’t tried to milk them for everything they’ve got.