Advertising on Facebook is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reach new and potential customers. If you're a retailer looking to boost foot traffic using social media marketing, Facebook can help.
This week, the social media giant published a guide to help retailers improve their digital marketing campaigns. It aims to help retailers hoping to make their businesses "omnichannel" — the industry buzzword for unifying the customer experience across various sales and advertising channels, such as online, mobile, in-store, direct mail, television and others — by using social media to drive in-store sales.
Just as with any other type of marketing, launching and managing social media marketing campaigns is an art form that requires a strategic approach in order to make the most of your advertising dollars. Although Facebook's marketing guide is written for members of its Preferred Marketing Developers (PMD) program — in other words, the company's retailer clients — it also offers valuable information that small businesses can use to improve their own Facebook marketing strategies. [20 Social Media Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses]
To help retailers better connect with customers and increase in-store sales using social media, Facebook's marketing guide is broken down into three sections: Discovery, Personalization and Return on Investment (ROI). Here's how Facebook marketing can help merchants grow their businesses:
- Discovery. Facebook marketing works under the premise that most people don't know what they want. Leverage this idea with Facebook News Feed, where retailers' large-ad format can be seen throughout the day as customers log in. Facebook says its users check their accounts an average of 14 times per day, so News Feed is a good place for retailers to showcase what they have to offer and help customers discover what they never knew they were looking for. To maximize reach, Facebook also offers News Feed ad units that are optimized to drive in-store sales.
- Personalization. Social media marketing is all about offering the right product with the right message at the right time. The challenge is that customers aren't static — they access Facebook using all types of devices anytime, anywhere they want, making them more dispersed and varied than ever before. To help businesses overcome this challenge, Facebook lets businesses time their campaigns, as well as target messages to specific audiences. This allows small businesses to create more effective, highly targeted and personalized social media marketing campaigns.
- ROI. Measuring social media marketing ROI can be very challenging for businesses, many of which struggle to find a way to convert an online ad to an in-store purchase. While analytics tools can reveal how and which ad units convert to online and mobile sales, it's much more difficult to track which ones lead to in-store sales, if at all. To address this, Facebook offers a tool called an Offline Conversion Lift metric, which lets advertisers determine how their advertising purchase is leading to sales, whether it happens online or offline. Combined, Facebook says its data (from Q3 2013 to Q1 2014) reveals that retailers that advertise on Facebook receive an ROI of eight times their ad spend.
Facebook's marketing guide can be viewed and downloaded by non-PMD members at InsideFacebook.com.
Originally published on Business News Daily.