Facebook has become an essential platform for all types of businesses because of it’s robust and specific targeting options. The problem is, most businesses don’t have the proper expectations when advertising on Facebook.
Let’s not get confused: the main goal is sales for all your marketing channels.
That being said, Facebook is almost certainly not going to be the last point before someone makes a purchase. When you see an ad on Facebook, it’s because you fit a criteria that’s being targeted, not because you’re actively searching for a product (ex: AdWords or Bing Ads).
Just because FB is not the last click though, doesn’t mean it’s not important to driving sales. Stay with us here.
Why not just spend money on Google AdWords?
Every business is different, but generally speaking, the majority of a digital ad budget SHOULD probably go towards a platform like AdWords. It makes sense– why not just get in front of people that are ready to buy NOW.
The problem with loading your whole budget into search ads though is that…
- you don’t build the brand
- you don’t tell your story
- you don’t foster loyal customers
- you miss out on opportunities to expose your brand to new audiences
You could wait for a potential customer to search Google for ‘green sandals’, but that relies on already knowing what they want. That also puts you up against everyone other company selling green sandals– may the richest bidder win.
Or you could introduce yourself to someone on Facebook, tell them a little about yourself and why your sandals are better than the competition’s. Then when they’re ready to buy green sandals (something they didn’t previously think about buying), they know who to buy from.
Before we dive into what you should be expecting from Facebook, you have to first understand marketing funnels are…
What is a marketing funnel?
A marketing funnel is how you visualize a customer’s path to purchase. Your first goal is to get people into the funnel. Your final/ultimate goal is to get them to exit the funnel (AKA make a purchase).
For simplicity, let’s pretend you own a pizza shop called Happy Pizza.
The top of the funnel could be:
- someone who hears about your pizza shop from a friend
- someone who subscribes to your shop’s newsletter
- someone who follows you on social media
- someone who read your review in the Miami Herald
The bottom of the funnel is:
- someone who buys any food items
- someone who purchases catering
- someone who has their birthday party there
So what’s a Facebook marketing funnel look like?
On Facebook, the same concepts of the general marketing funnel apply, but the expectations, methods, and metrics differ.
Let’s use Happy Pizza again.
The very top: someone likes the Happy Pizza page (they’re in!)
Near the top: they like your latest post
Still near the top: they comment or share a post (slowly building trust)
The middle: they go to your website from Facebook (they’re on your retargeting list now!)
Lower middle: they sign up for email updates after they went to your website from Facebook (they’re on your email list now! It’s also clear they now trust you or are very interested)
Even lower middle: they go back to your website from Facebook / they contact you from info found on Facebook
At this point in the funnel, Facebook has done it’s job.
- you’ve made the connection (the initial ‘like’)
- you’ve gotten them to trust you (engagement, multiple website clicks, email address)
- you’ve expressed your brand’s story
Chances are, when the customer is ready to purchase a pizza they might go directly to your site, try to find your site via Google, go to your Yelp page, etc. Maybe it takes a few days. Maybe it takes month. In short, Facebook won’t get the last click before purchase, but it absolutely played an important role in the sale.
How do you get people in the Facebook funnel?
For simplicity, let’s assume everyone is entering the funnel at the very top (liking your Page). To get people to like your Page, you can:
- use Page Like Ads
- get people to like through your website (a widget or link on your site)
- invite customers and friends to like your Page
Let’s talk more about the Page Like Ads
Targeting is crucial so you don’t waste money and grab the most relevant audience. Here are the areas you NEED to target, in order of importance.
- People who gave you their email, but haven’t liked your Page
- People who visited your site, but haven’t liked your Page
- Similar audience to #1 and #2 + another layer of targeting
- Interest targeting
As a rule of thumb, target people closest to your brand first (current customers or people who trusted you enough to give you their contact info). Interest targeting is the farthest because you’re guessing that they’d be interested in your brand.
They’re in the funnel, now what?
To keep them moving downwards through the funnel, you can utilize a variety of tactics. Here are some of your popular options.
- blog posts
- engaging content
Because Facebook limits your organic reach, you’ll have to promote many of these tactics. You can target anyone you’d like, but you MUST target these 2 groups:
- people who visited your website
Over time, you will build trust with your funneled audience. Over time, they might purchase something…. but the last click will probably not be Facebook, and that’s OK. A sale is a sale is a sale.
One more thing…
The Facebook funnel is the same for just above every brand. The way to drive people through it though is different for everyone. Find the tactics that work for you, and be patient.