How to increase your engagement on Facebook

Reach out to the people you already know, says Nick Bowditch, Facebook’s Head of SMB.

A lot of small businesses have a customer database. Often it’s a list of email addresses or phone numbers of customers who have bought something from your business before, downloaded your e-book or signed up to your newsletter. These customers recognise your brand and are going to be advocates for your business.

Imagine if you could show advertising content exclusively to those customers. The cost of your advertising would reduce, the engagement with advertising would increase and your business would see a greater return on investment.

Now businesses can achieve this on Facebook.

Facebook’s Custom Audiences tool lets you upload a contact list of people you would like to reach with an ad. Simply upload the list of customers from your database and then create an advertising campaign that is targeted towards them. It is a great way to reach specific audiences with customised messages. Once your contact list is uploaded, each person on your list is given a unique code and this is then used to match your customers with their profiles on Facebook.

Over the last few months, Facebook has seen great results from small businesses that have used Facebook’s Custom Audiences tool. A tailoring small business has seen x20 ROI on their advertising spend, a theatre and events small business has seen over x35 ROI and a mobile play centre business has secured bookings for the next nine months by targeting their existing customer base on Facebook.

When used in conjunction with Facebook’s Offers tool, a small business can maximise their results. Recently, an e-learning small business was able to sell more than 100 special modules of their curriculum to existing subscribers via Facebook’s Custom Audiences, whereas before they had not sold a single unit.

Combining Facebook’s Offers and Custom Audiences also allows businesses to be more generous with an offer because the recipients of the offer are likely to be loyal customers.

But let’s take this one step further.

At Facebook, we strongly recommend small businesses take a ‘test and iterate’ approach to their advertising and marketing on Facebook.

But, how do you test whether the marketing to your target audience is working? Or, if you know it is working, but want to reach customers who are very similar to the people in your target audience, how can you do that? Easy, create a Lookalike Audience using Facebook.

Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences tool lets you reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business. When you use Custom Audiences, you can choose to create a lookalike audience that targets people who are similar to your Custom Audience list. Lookalike Audiences can help you reach people who are similar to your current customers for fan acquisition, site registration, off-Facebook purchases, coupon claims and brand awareness.

About the author

Nick Bowditch is the Partnerships Manager and Small Business Lead, at Facebook Australia & New Zealand. At Facebook he works with its small business community to help them grow and thrive online. His work includes running workshops for SMB owners that equip them with knowledge and skills so they can better use Facebook to grow their business.

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