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Facebook’s new algorithm   resulted in a substantial decrease in the organic reach of business posts as part of Facebook’s focus on providing an engaging experience for users.  Added to this fact is the increase in content posted by Facebook users and Facebook Pages which has resulted in more competition to appear organically in the Facebook News Feed.

Connecting with users on Facebook

So how do you go about connecting with you ideal customers on Facebook and engaging their attention with your brand offering?

While organic posts still have their place, given their lack lustre impact on the News Feeds means that alternative avenues need to be explored in order to reach your ideal audience.  Enter Facebook Ads Manager, the Facebook tool which allows you to create and manage your ads.  This opens up new opportunities of ensuring that you target your ideal customer.

Additionally, this tool enables a brand to specify hobbies or interests which you know you customer enjoys, using this to drill down further into serving an advert which will resonate with your ideal audience.

Identifying hobbies can be achieved through a customer survey.  This may reveal for example that your ideal customer loves modern art. You would then be able to include this interest when setting up your Facebook audience. If you do not know the specific interests of your audience then use categories and hobbies related to your industry.  For example, if you are in furniture, you may select an audience with a related interest such as garden and home or interior design etc.

Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Manager can be used to create a custom audience in various ways:

  • Uploading database of your customer’s email addresses
  • Creating a lookalike audience which matches your customers
  • Creating an audience based on online behaviour of your website visitors, audiences who have engaged with your app, game or Facebook content.

Facebook enables you to refine this audience through various filters so that your new audience fits into the demographics of your target market such as age, gender etc.

In order to encourage your viewer to click on your advert, it is ideal to include free content such as a webinar, white paper or eBook to facilitate audience engagement.

FaceBook Live

Another way of connecting with your ideal audience is with FaceBook Live.

As video content continues as a significant component of social media content, Facebook have embraced this medium too through their Facebook Live app.

Viewers can interact with the broadcaster during the live streaming through various emojis such as likes, loves as well as comments  which appear under the video in real-time.  The audience can see how many people are viewing a particular live streaming, while the broadcaster is able to see who’s viewing the broadcast.

Once the broadcast is over, the video is published on the corresponding Page or profile, enabling viewers to watch at a later stage.  Facebook also gives the broadcaster the option to remove the video post, in the same way visual or written posts can be deleted.

Facebook gives the following tips for Facebook Live:

  1. Create a teaser to build anticipation by informing people in advance of broadcasting
  2. Make sure you have a good connection – either WiFi or 4G
  3. Build further anticipation with a description of your live video before going live
  4. Let viewers know to click on your Follow Button on the live video to receive notifications when you next go live
  5. Connect with your audience by responding to their comments, answering questions and using their name to make the interaction more personal
  6. Facebook recommends broadcasting from 10min up to 4 hours, advising that longer broadcasts increase reach
  7. Facebook recommends trying different types of broadcasts and to go live frequently to nurture audience interest

Tip:  Do a practice video before going live

Want to iron out any problems?  Before you use Facebook Live for the first time, consider doing a practice run. Simply set Facebook’s “Who Should See This” privacy setting to Only Me. In this way, you get to see your presentation and make the changes which can make all the difference to your video when going live.

Connecting with your ideal customer means creating the opportunity to nurture your target market so that they are encouraged to become leads which in turn can become sales.  As organic reach is no longer a viable option, content marketers need to strategize, using Facebook advertising as an option to get your content to your ideal target market in order to build your customer base and grow your business further.

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