Most farm businesses will start their online marketing journey on Facebook. It is by far the most popular platform for starting a farm brand. So how can you make sure you are leveraging all the capabilities of Facebook as a business tool to push your farm brand forwards?
Many people don’t understand the difference between Facebook boosts and Facebook ads, in fact, some people aren’t even aware there are two paid options on Facebook for advertising. So what is the difference and why does it matter?
When you post on Facebook your post will only be shown to a small percentage of your business page followers, if these followers engage with the post, then Facebook will show the post to more of your followers and so on.
Facebook Boosts are essentially you paying a fee for your post to be shown to more of your followers, their friends and those Facebook deems to have similar interests/demographics to your followers. This can be a very useful tool if you have a large well-engaged follower base who fit your ideal customer well and are likely to have friends who also fit your ideal customer.
However, this is rarely the case for small and new farm brands on Facebook. There is a good chance most of your followers are people you know who you have invited to like your page to help gain some exposure. If this is the case Boosts will have little benefit for you, particularly as you have no control over the targeting.
Facebook Ads on the other hand can be targeted and controlled by you. These work independently of your current follower base, you choose the content of the advert, you choose the targeting and you can get a far more detailed analysis of the results. You can also exclude people from viewing your adverts such as excluding those who might be offended by your advert, yes that does mean vegans if you are a meat box business or similar.
When using Facebook Ads, it is important to make sure you have chosen the most appropriate advert type. When you go to the Ads section of your Facebook business page you will see there is a selection of options including “get website visitors” and “get messages”. These will vary slightly depending on how your page is set up for example if you don’t have a website linked you won’t see this option and if you have a Facebook shop there will be advert options relating to that as well.
Firstly, you need to consider what the goal of your advert is. Do you want to increase your followers? Or do you want people to make a specific purchase? Do you want people to contact you for a quote?
Consider what journey you want the customer to go on and how that benefits the business in a specific way. You can then craft an advert that is highly targeted and has the best possible outcome for you.
This is something we are asked all the time when it comes to Facebook Advertising. The truth is there is no one size fits all solution. If you are new to Facebook advertising, I would start with a really low budget maybe £10-20 per advert to test what works for you without committing to big money. The results might be on the small size but at least this will give you a good basis from which to scale up your spending.
Secondly, I would take some time to work out how much you can reasonably spend per sale on advertising. To do this work out how much an average customer is worth to you and then work out the gross profit on an average customer, this should give you an idea of how much you can spend per customer while still making the sale worthwhile. Then make sure you don’t exceed that when preparing adverts.
I normally prefer to run Facebook Ads over a set time period of 5-14 days rather than run them continuously, this allows me to review each Ad and improve it for the next time. It also means you aren’t always sending out the exact same advert to the exact same audience who may end up going blind to it.
I also segment my adverts and my advert spend between different subsections of my ideal customer depending. For example, if you have a selection of products focus on one at a time and target it at one type of person at a time. You can always run multiple adverts at the same time with a spilt advertising budget.
One of the most common issues I see with Facebook adverts is a lack of planning beyond the advert itself. Make sure when you are doing Facebook adverts that you have planned the customer journey beyond the advert. If the advert is going to take the customer to your website consider where on the website you want them to land, try to ensure you keep the number of clicks they need to do to a minimum. The use of landing pages can help you in this area. If your advert is about contacting you make sure it’s a contact method where you can reply very promptly or if needed look at using automated replies or bots.
You also need to ensure you can track your customers beyond their advert click. Has your website got Facebook pixel set up? If not make sure you get this sorted. Speak to your web developer or us if you are unsure of how to fix this. Facebook Pixel works a bit like google analytics it tracks your customer once they land on your site if they have come from Facebook and links the two sets of data together.
Lastly, make sure you niche down your audience when using Facebook Adverts. You will be more successful in targeting a smaller audience of say 30,000-100,000 rather than trying to target millions across the UK.
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Here is a link to a recent talk on social media marketing for farm diversification