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Facebook advertising best practices in 2018

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How to optimise your marketing on the world’s largest social media platform

With over two billion users as of the second quarter of 2017, Facebook is still the top social media platform. People use Facebook as a way to communicate, connect, seek recommendations and search for answers. Facebook is only second to Google in terms of search volume. Businesses also use it to advertise and promote their products. It was just reported that Facebook’s third quarter ad revenue was $4.7 billion. Thus, it’s a platform that seems like it was built for marketers.

Facebook also stands out as a social platform because it has a wide variety of users, from teenagers to baby boomers, including 88 percent of all individuals aged 18 to 29 and 84 percent of all those aged 30 to 49. And these users spend plenty of time on the network. The current average amount of time spent on Facebook is 35 minutes per day. Chances are, no matter what you sell, your audience is on Facebook.

If you currently advertise on Facebook or haven’t tried it yet, there are a lot of things to look at for 2018 and beyond. In this blog, we’ll look at what to expect and prepare for in the coming year.

Chatbots act as friendly customer service agents and more

Yes, they actually are a good thing. Chatbots are becoming smarter and easier to customise. Facebook currently has about 100,000 monthly bots on Messenger. These bots are being used for customer service to offer quick answers to common questions. They may act to raise awareness, acquire new customers, enable transactions and provide support.

Facebook recently introduced Messenger Platform 2.0, which promises a new set of tools for businesses. A Discover section will be able to assist with browsing to find the best bots depending on their needs. Chat extensions will bring bots right into chat in the moment. Messenger Codes can bring offline traffic online.

Bots provide a cost-effective way to provide a more personalised experience. Marketers can now use bots to connect with customers online in a completely new way. If you’re not sure what to do with a bot, here are some ideas. First, create a character. Then develop a character’s voice so they are more human and less bot. Test it in situations, thinking of creative ways you can give users a reason to use the bot.

Messenger campaigns deliver high CTRs

Facebook Messenger is a powerful tool with 1.3 billion users who are currently active. It can also provide your business a way to begin a conversation. Facebook Messenger campaigns can be tailored based on who you want to target. These types of campaigns tend to be successful when done well. An example comes from marketing expert Neil Patel, who shared that one of his Facebook Messenger campaigns saw 88 percent open rates and a 56 percent click through rate (CTR).

Messenger campaigns can be treated somewhat like an email campaign. Being very targeted in your offer and succinct with your language will help. Again, you have a lot of room to create a very specific audience.

Post engagement ads strike a cord

Only about 19 percent of all Facebook ads are post engagement. These types of ads are created to engage your audience and prompt them to like, comment or share your post. Even though a small percentage of these are being used, they perform very well with a 142 percent CTR. These types of ads are also less expensive and have low competition. So don’t forget about your current audience. Yes, it’s great to get new fans but keep fostering the relationship with those who have previously engaged with you. You have the opportunity to keep building the relationship so that your followers become loyal customers.

Targeted campaigns offer a personalised feel

Facebook allows you to get very granular in who you want to target. So, use that to your advantage and create a personalised experience. People almost expect a personalised experience now, as if you were speaking just to them.

Here’s an example to illustrate how to get personal. You are a life coach that has a specific program that helps high school students prepare for college. You’ve created an ideal buyer persona of a college educated parent in a certain age group that has a child under 18. You could also further target by income bracket and interests. Then you can create a specific ad, targeting those parents who may be worried about their child’s transition to college.

Influencer marketing

The world can often be easily influenced by others. When a social media profile reaches a certain magic threshold, he or she can be considered an influencer. The key is to connect with Facebook influencers that align with your brand. And these profiles don’t have to be celebrities. If you’re a home decor brand, you might find your audience would rather take advice from a professional like an architect as opposed to a TV star. Why? Because architects are experts. They’ll also come off as more authentic than a celebrity who says she loves your furniture. Build meaningful relationships with the thought leaders in your space. Don’t just ask someone to endorse your product because they have 100,000 followers. Be strategic in who you think could influence your audience.

Video rules

No surprise that video is a top trend. CISCO reports that 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic will be video by 2020. That’s about all the convincing you should need. But keep it short. Your audience isn’t expecting a monologue. So, start simple. And always have a strategy. Don’t just create video because you think it’s mandatory. Tell a story with your video. Think about how your product can change someone’s life or solve a problem. Back to the home decor example, instead of just doing a simple video of a staged room, add more personality. Show your audience 10 different ways to use one vase. Or create a series of videos where a decor item travels the world. Users may find these helpful and entertaining. And maybe, they’ll want to buy that vase, too.

Leveraging trends for results

Each of these Facebook trends has the potential to elevate your brand. However, they might not all be right for you. That’s going to depend on your industry and buyers. Choose what fits within your current online marketing strategy. Then measure your efforts to understand what resonates with your audience, and leverage that to help you get the results you want.

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