3 Tips for Successful Social Media Marketing for the Self-employed and Small Business Owners

Between fake news campaigns and troll factories, communication on social networks has become an extremely complex – and precarious – topic. The role that social media plays in private life must be defined by everyone for themselves. However, there is no question that Facebook, Instagram are valuable marketing instruments that hold great potential, especially for small and individual businesses.

If we look at the world of marketing as a poker table, then social media has changed the game in such a way that the basic stake has been significantly reduced so that you can now play with a small stake. Large-scale branding used to be reserved for those who could afford TV advertising and full-page advertisements in glossy magazines ( with the exception of guerrilla marketing). Today, your own brand can be presented to tens of thousands of people for just a few 100 dollars – and that within a much more precisely defined target group than traditional forms of advertising can offer. Therefore, especially regionally, you can use social media to achieve a lot with a small budget and the right strategy. But direct marketing campaigns in social networks are also a good way to reach new customers across regions. Pure online companies usually use them as the main channel for customer acquisition (in addition to SEO). Thanks to cookies and analysis tools, the success of a campaign can be tracked down to the cent. If it is successful, the online company’s sales can be controlled to a certain extent via the advertising budget. A simple calculation example: If, with a Facebook advertising budget of 15 dollars per day, I achieve two sales on my website that bring me 25 dollars net profit, I should increase the budget of the campaign. When your marketing spend exceeds the direct revenue generated, your ads need to be more effective. 

1. Community building, interaction and target group design

The first step to a successful social media campaign is community building. That means: getting to know the target group and interacting with them. You identify your target group as part of the market analysis. The interaction with your target group can take place, for example, by setting up a Facebook page about the product or company. This page should be regularly updated with content that deals with the topic of the company and is interesting for the relevant target group or offers added value. With shares, likes and interactions, the reach of the site and the reputation of the company grow.

Community building is basically possible without spending a budget. It is strategically smart to create a schedule for contributions that offers thematic and media variety and encourages the audience to interact. In terms of media, there should be variety between videos, photos, short texts, shares from other sites and information about your own offer.

With a little budget for like ads and the promotion of successful wall posts, the construction of the page can be accelerated. In the case of successful like ads, the “like” entry from a relevant target group costs around 1 to 5 cents. It is advisable to generate at least 1,000 likes and thus convey a certain reputation before the site is used to promote ads.

Once this point has been reached, it is important to develop relevant targeting for ads. The better you got to know the community while building it, the easier it is to identify the right parameters for it. Those who advertise on Facebook and Instagram have endless targeting options. The target group can not only be narrowed down according to location, age, gender, language or relationship status, but also according to interests and interaction with other sites.

When narrowing down the target group, there is also the option of either including or excluding people who have already “liked” the page. In the vast majority of cases, it is advisable to exclude them. After all, the goal of the site is to inform the existing community organically (and free of charge!) About the company, the product or the service with interesting contributions. If the site community is not excluded from the target audience, or if the ad stays the same for too long, the same people may see the same ad over and over again. When campaigns are running, you should therefore always keep an eye on the frequency of the ad. You can find this in the Facebook Business Manager. At the latest from a frequency of 2, the ad and / or target group should be revised. It is also possible to invite people who have responded to an ad to “like” the advertising page. This will further accelerate the growth of the community.

2. Tools, technology and deals

If you place ads on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger, you use the Facebook Business Manager. Ads for all platforms of the company are created and managed there. Advertisements that bill according to CPC (Cost-Per-Click) can be implemented without further technical measures. Facebook is paid for every visitor who clicks on the ad and gets to the company’s website. How much the click costs depends heavily on the relevance and design of the ad, and also on the product being advertised and the target group addressed. As a general guideline value, 5 to 15 cents can usually be assumed for CPC for successful click campaigns. This means that with a budget of 15 dollars per day, around 70 to 200 relevant visitors will be directed to the website.

A billing based on conversions is a much better guideline. Facebook is only paid if a visitor advertised there completes a certain action on the website. This can be a sale, an inquiry or a newsletter subscription. In order to enable billing according to conversions, the so-called Facebook pixel must be installed in the right place on the website. It signals to Facebook that the desired action has taken place.

The conversion costs involved in a successful campaign depend heavily on what the conversions bring to the company. Conversions that cost one dollar are often too much for a newsletter subscription. If you close a sale for a very expensive product, however, conversion costs of several hundred dollars can still be profitable.

In addition to the Facebook pixel, we recommend connecting to the Google Analytics statistics tool. This makes it possible to understand, among other things, where visitors to a website come from, how they move and where they are most likely to jump off again. It should be noted that the provisions of the GDPR shown in the data protection declaration must be complied with (this also applies to the Facebook pixel!). With the AdSense advertising tool, Google offers small businesses another channel that can generate particularly relevant visitors to the website even on a small budget.

3. Ad design and the landing page

Regardless of whether it is CPC or conversions – in the end it is important to design appealing ads for the target group. The right strategy depends heavily on the target group and the product. Basically, short, concise texts with a specific call to action are the secret of success. The correct use of emojis can also increase the success of an ad. However, the most important factor is traditionally the images or video material of the advertisement. Special attention must therefore be paid to the visual component.

Read more about the topic of SEO here:

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Facebook gives advertisers the opportunity to try out different texts and images for the ad. The algorithm now ensures that it is automatically delivered with the most successful image-text combinations after a test phase. Depending on the budget, the success of a campaign can be assessed after a few hours or a few days. The most important factor is of course the costs and the conversions achieved. Facebook also awards a relevance score for ads, which can be viewed in Business Manager as soon as the campaign has been served for a while. This score assesses how well the ad fits what the visitor can expect on the landing page.

The most important thing to conclude: The success or failure of a campaign is inevitably related to the design of the landing page. There is no point in picking up potential customers on social networks if the landing page does not suit them appropriately and if they ultimately decide on the desired action. The design of the landing page is therefore an important topic that should be given appropriate attention. In addition to the visual factors, information management, text, calls to action and search engine optimization also play a decisive role. Unfortunately, with more detailed explanations, this article reaches its limits. So more on that – maybe – another time.

In the following article, we have explained in detail the tools required for content marketing.

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