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Want to know how to best leverage Facebook for your business?

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Avoid mistakes, focus on mobile and learn the tricks of the trade from digital expert Stephen Scheeler, Senior Advisor at McKinsey & Company and former Managing Director of Facebook ANZ.

Apple iMac computer

Don't Bombard Audiences with Your Sales Pitch

A lot of small businesses make the mistake of thinking that good content on social media equals a sales pitch. However, the best way to engage potential customers is with appealing stories and not a non-stop flow of information about your products and services.

Constant advertisements that nobody is engaging with is not only ineffective in growing followers and selling your products/services, it’s likely actively repelling potential customers.

While some content related to your products and services should form part of your business’s social media content strategy, it shouldn’t be the only part that is considered. The formula for building a following on Facebook is really no different than traditional marketing – it’s about creating a compelling story around your product, service and brand, and then connecting with your customers in a way that is relevant to them.

An authentic voice tells your story better

It’s really pretty simple – think about the core elements of your brand and then connect with your customers on Facebook in a way that illustrates these values, with compelling content, frequent updates, and in an authentic voice.

An example of a small business that I think does that well is Tumbletown, a mobile play centre based in NSW. 

Their two specific goals for their Facebook presence are to build brand awareness by growing its fan-base, and to increase and drive sales.

Tumbletown's Facebook strategy focused on three key things: 

Engaging content: Tumbletown used its Facebook page to share unique and entertaining posts, such as photos of its play centres in use.  This was designed to increase the number of likes, comments and shares its posts achieved so it could, in-turn, expand its reach.

Facebook ads: It used a paid Facebook strategy to increase the number of fans it could engage with. At first, this involved targeting a broad audience of males and females aged 18-45. Two weeks later, it narrowed its reach to females-only, and as a result doubled the effectiveness of its ads. 

Promoted posts: Tumbletown also used promoted posts to boost awareness of engaging posts so it could showcase to a broader audience. Through photos and updates, the business showed how its play centre could be used at different types of events.

Tumbletown has seen fantastic results so far, including: 

  • Increased fan base from 110 to more than 54,000 followers.
  • $15,500 revenue secured per month after two months of advertising on Facebook.
  • 18 new bookings received over three days after boosting two Facebook posts via mobile.
  • Triple the amount of bookings year on year as a result of advertising on Facebook. 
  • Fast-tracked its franchise business plan to meet customer demand.

Focus on mobile

If you’re using social media to drive sales, the key focus here is one word – ‘mobile’.

The rise of mobile is the single fastest adoption of technology in history. In Australia, 89% of people own a smartphone, and there are over 15,000,000 active Facebook users. So how can you reach people who are looking at this screen in their hand and not at traditional media?

The obvious answer is to go where your customers are - social media. It’s where they go to discover what matters to them about their friends, family and brands. In fact, 59% of Australian Facebook users access the platform over five times a day, and 64% of consumers are likely to trust a brand if their social interaction with a brand is a good experience.

The advertising options combined with Facebook's targeting tools is a great way you can reach your audience and achieve your marketing objectives – from driving brand metrics like awareness, consideration and purchase intent, to driving a direct response such as an app install, or to make a purchase online or in store.

Test which tools work best for you

There are some great new tools to reach more customers on Facebook, each with a different goal or purpose. Here are the ones you need to know about, so you can see which would work best to help you reach your marketing goals.

Facebook tools 

Promoted posts: This form of advertising allows small business to easily create an ad directly from their brand page.

Mobile app install ads: Perfect for small eCommerce businesses who want to promote their app at a really cost effective cost per acquisition (CPA). Business owners can set up mobile app install ads directly.

Simple ads interface: The new objective-based interface makes it really easy for small businesses to create an ad in Facebook if they’ve never done it before.    

Reach and frequency tool: The new tool allows advertisers to specify the exact audience reach and frequency they want to access through.

Get the most out of your business tools

Facebook is an excellent tool for reaching and interacting with your customers. To explore a great range of other tools to help you reach your business goals, check out Telstra’s Business Tools, including the Otto tool finder, AppFinder™, and Tech Enquiry service today.

Originally published 13th February 2014. Updated 5th August 2019.

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