Now, let us look at 4 specific approaches to maximize Return on Investment (ROI) from your Facebook Campaigns:
1. Targeting followers and their friends rather than your "Custom Audience"
Just as Google Paid Search handles the "how/why" part of your potential customers (as your brand meets him when he's looking for a solution to his Google search query), Facebook takes care of the "Who" part. What this implies is that if you can define your target audience in terms of say their age segment/gender, then Facebook becomes a great medium to market as it lets you define your own "Custom Audience" according to demographic/behavioral characteristics of your Target Group (TG) in the above case and then advertise to this specified audience. For instance, for a brand selling baby products, the TG could be women in the age bracket 25-35 years old. Facebook allows you to promote exclusively to this group.
However, if you don't know the demographic and behavioral characteristics of your target audience precisely, or your target audience is very broad (say, for an ecommerce firm like Amazon), it is better to boost Facebook post to the audience - "people who've liked your page and their friends" instead of creating a "Custom Audience". Why? When someone sees a sponsored post of your company on his NewsFeed, it mentions to him how many of his friends have liked your company's Page, and there's likely to be higher % of conversions because the concepts of 'social word of mouth' and 'social proofing' would come to apply in such cases.
Fig 1: Custom Audience
Fig 2: Followers and their Friends
As you can see from the above two figures, in Fig 1, the brand (Asian Haus) is targeting me because I am apparently part of their TG and in Fig 2, the brand (Croma Retail) is targeting friends of their followers and that is the reason why I am seeing three of my facebook friends have already liked the page. In which case, do you think, I am likely to be more curious and probably visit their facebook page and like it then and there. For me, it's in the second case as the fact that my facebook friends already like the brand amplifies it's brand value and credibility for me. Hence, ROI will be more in the approach followed in Fig 2.
2. Providing an incentive to your followers to share your posts with their social network
When a facebook follower shares your Facebook Page post, it should be considered as one of the most powerful forms of engagement on Facebook, and it validates the essence of a social network. However, not every post has an innate "Sharable Value". In fact, only a minuscule number of posts go viral on Facebook and it is difficult to predict beforehand whether it would go viral. So, what do you do to tackle this challenge?
You provide certain incentives (monetary and/or non-monetary) to your followers to share your posts. Let's elaborate this through an example.
Fig 3: LeEco Page Post
What explains the huge number of shares in the above post on LeEco's Facebook Page (formerly LeTV)? You can see LeEco promises to gift a free smartphone for every 10,000 shares on the post, and they are able to receive more than 23,000 shares. This is a pretty sweet deal for LeEco and is a smart approach to significantly reduce the marketing cost. For every dollar spent, the returns are much more. Again, "social word of mouth" comes into picture because you would see one of your friends sharing this post on your timeline.
3. Promoting positive feedbacks received on your Facebook Page
Fig 4: Positive Review
In the above example of promoted post, the engagement level in terms of number of comments/likes is very high. If possible, boost positive reviews obtained on your Facebook Page, especially the ones which are comprehensive in nature. "Online User Reviews" have a direct bearing on new customer acquisition in this digital age. As 'Prateek Tandon' is a real person, whose credentials can be verified by anyone by visiting his facebook profile, such reviews present fair assessment of the brand in question and make an impact on potential users even if they get to see these posts as "Sponsored Posts".
In this review, a comparison was done with a bigger and established brand and the reviewer sought to prefer the smaller brand over the bigger one. This is certainly bound to generate some level of curiosity among users who are currently customers of the established brand.
4. Integration of 'See' and 'Do' Strategy in a single post
In the previous article on 7 most popular strategies employed by companies on social media, we saw that 'See' strategy (with brand awareness as the purpose) and 'Do' strategy (with driving website visits and sales as the purpose) are two of the most popular strategies, and that the companies having a social presence should employ both in what is called as an Integrated Approach.
But, when you post for the 'See' audience, you lose out on the 'Do' audience and vice versa. To tackle this, keeping 'See' intent as the primary focus, you could also post a short link to your website in the same post, so that it also caters to the audience with 'Do' intent, and not annoying any of the two audiences in the process. Hence, you can derive two goals from a single post which increases your ROI per post.
Amazon India does this in a smart way as can be seen below:
Fig 5: Amazon India's Facebook Post