Facebook has become the common marketplace for almost everyone. And learning to leverage the Facebook platform for promoting oneself is a staple part of every organization’s operations whether it be within Nepal or outside of it. And as easy as it looks, there are common mistakes that people do while trying to market themselves out there. So, it is vital that every entrepreneur knows to use this platform to their advantage.
So, the most basic thing to kick start is, creating a Facebook page! You may ask, why not a profile instead just like I have? Well, as much as Facebook is a place to connect with other people, it is also, as already mentioned, a common marketplace. So, Facebook has created this place for us to indulge in business effectively. The major difference between a page and a profile is, on a page, you don’t have friends, you have people who like your page and follow it. Additionally, and the most important is, you can push advertisements to check insights of your progress on a page, which is not possible on a personal profile.
Next up, you need to define your business in the ‘about’ section, give your business details and contacts and describe to the customers and potential customers your business values. What this is going to do, in short term, is help people know who you are and in the long run, it will help you gain the trust of your customers.
The third step would be creating content. On Facebook, everything works via pictures and videos. So, basically, you need to post things. For example, you are a physical clothing store, so, like how you display the items on the shelf of your shop, you need to display the items on Facebook as well, via pictures and videos. So, you need to click a picture of your product and upload it on Facebook.
And here is a small tip, a 1080*1080 sized picture or video works best for Facebook posts because it fits well both on a desktop screen and a smartphone screen. Not that other sizes don’t work, but this one is like an ideal size and it’s said to have a greater reach.
Now, while we are talking about reach, the word may sound ordinary, but it is something that makes the most impact on Facebook. Reach, in very basic terms, is the number of people to whose profile your content appears. There are two types of reach, organic reach and paid reach. Organic reach is when your content appears on someone’s profile because they have liked your page or follow it. And this happens without any payment made to Facebook which brings us to paid reach. Paid reach is when you pay Facebook to make your content appear to someone’s profile who has not liked your page but is a potential liker or follower.
Organic reach is when you invite people to like your page and they do whereas paid reach is when you push advertisements to make people like or follow you. There are ways to increase your organic reach like, running contests on your page, giveaways and such that create engagement on your page and the friends of your followers come across your page and then like it. And this is vital because it holds the same importance as word of mouth communication does in physical businesses.
Having said that, a large portion of Facebook marketing happens via Facebook boosts or paid promotions. When you create a page, you have an option that says, ‘boost’ and when you click on that option, you come across various different things, among which two are the most important, defining your audience and defining your budget. While defining your audience, you have to keep in mind, who your customer is and what kind of people would be interested in your business.
In reference to the previous example, you are a physical clothing store, so your customers are usually people, who follow fashion trends, who have an interest in shopping, who possibly follow models or film stars, etc. So, these are the kind of interests you look to. Defining your audience also means defining the geographical area you want to reach. Maybe you are based in Kathmandu only, so you would want to boost or push advertisements to people within the perimeters of Kathmandu because other than that, your audience is not relevant. Facebook also gives you a green signal that determines if you have defined your audience properly.
The second step is defining your budget. How much would you want to spend, one dollar or 10 dollars? The general and the most accepted approach is the more money you spend, the more people you reach. You have an option to spend one dollar for a day or two dollars over two days or 10 dollars over 7 days. You can choose the number of days and the count of your dollars according to your requirements.
But as easy as it sounds, in Nepal, boosting can be tricky. Tricky, because Facebook as an entity is not present in Nepal, it is an international company. And you might have noticed earlier, you can spend only in dollars and make payments via online medium! And the most challenging is, the online payment gateway present internationally is not established here in Nepal. So, in short, you have to have an international payment account like PayPal or such to make payments, which is not possible because we are not based outside of Nepal.
So, as a startup or a very normal entrepreneur, how do you get dollars? The most common practice is you borrow your relative’s or friend’s international payment account who lives outside of Nepal and pay that person in rupees while he/she injects money in their international account in the form of dollars. This is if you want to handle your boosting by yourself. Otherwise, it easier would be to hire yourself an agency that indulges in providing boosting services.
The steps mentioned above are the very basic things you need to know before you get started with Facebook marketing for your business. Furthermore, you will have to make sure, you give prompt relies to comments and messages of your customers, post and keep your page updated on a regular basis, write captions and descriptions of your products in a simple, understandable and friendly way. These things are going to make your business seem genuine. Also, it’s vital to have a review section where people drop their feedback.
And not to forget, you have the insights section, where you can check the results of your activities and plan further on what strategies to choose to grow your business.