If you're looking for more from Facebook advertising, you're not alone. According to Marketing Land, the percentage of retail orders from social media actually decreased from the previous year. Overall, less than two percent of holiday sales in 2015 could be attributed to social media conversions, but Facebook still remains the largest social media platform, and its capabilities offer incredible potential - even if it's not driving sales. These simple tactics will help you make the most of Facebook advertising and improve your social media marketing overall.
Tap Into Purchase Behavior
When Facebook partnered with several data brokers in 2013, they suddenly had access to information far more powerful than how much time its users spent crushing candy. Now, you can target by demographics, interests and behaviors. Under "Purchase Behaviors," for example, you can find people who bought Kindle e-readers and immediately see how each category impacts your reach. That's a powerful tool for connecting with prospects.
Many marketers focus heavily on acquisition, but according to Invesp, it can cost five times more to bring in a new customer than to attract a past or current one, so you want to retain your customers. Directly reach your existing audience by uploading your current list of email addresses or phone numbers into Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to directly target those users. This will reinforce your brand, while giving you the opportunity to increase customer value over a lifetime.
Find Lookalike Audiences
With its "Lookalike Audiences" tool, Facebook sources the top 1 percent of its users who most closely match your established customers' behavior. Your customer list may only have a thousand names, but you can easily connect with millions of others who have the same profile using this tool. And even if you don't have any sort of electronic customer list, you can mirror your Facebook fans.
Empower Your Fans to Tell Your Story
Social media is essentially a megaphone, and just like in the real world, people tend to listen to the recommendations of their friends. Messages from customers who tweet or post on your behalf will have far more impact than messages coming from the corporate account. Engage your customers by running a contest on Instagram or Pinterest, offering discounts for posts or creating a scavenger hunt. Over at MakersRow.com, you can see how one apparel company increased their conversion rate by 40 percent using brand ambassadors.
Make Use of Tradition
Marketers turn to traditional media to introduce a new product, build their brand or reach people who aren't online. It can be an effective part of your strategy, but it's not so easy to track — unless you count email. It's at least as prevalent as direct mail now, so you can consider it part of the traditional mix. That's good news according to MediaPost, which shows that last year, email drove 20 percent of all online holiday orders. Combining traditional media with social media allows you to reach existing and potential customers at multiple points along their journey to purchase.
Keep Track of Your Results
Because social media platforms regularly alter their algorithms, you need to closely monitor your campaigns. This will show you what's working and what's not, even as you tweak your campaigns to keep up with changing rules. Maximizing your investment on any platform takes careful planning and review, but the returns you'll start to see in your social media will be well-worth your efforts.