Facebook and Instagram– the big-shots of social media. Market and schmooze for your blog through these platforms and you’re all set. Instagram is Facebook-owned. The two giants share data to effectively reach the right audiences.
The demographics are huge and the engagement is high. If you play your cards right, you could even rake in organic traffic from Facebook and Instagram without actually paying for the highly targeted ads.
Like getting leads, Facebook and Instagram marketing should lead your leads toward specific goals, and each of these goals are beneficial for your blog and business:
- Get more Likes/Follows for your page. The more followers you have, the more clout you have. Build your audience, and then captivate them. Before long, they’re doing your marketing for you…
- Gain engagement to your social media posts. This is where your audience does your marketing for you. Every activity shows up to their friends, and those friends are led back to you. If they share your posts, your brand is getting out there, without you lifting a finger.
- Get organic traffic to your blog. If they like you enough, they open your About page/profile themselves and go to your blog.
Likes/Follows, engagement, traffic– they all lead to sales!
Why you should advertise on Facebook and Instagram
I’m sure you know how powerful Facebook is. But in case you have a skeptical partner, or you yourself need stats:
- Active Facebook users have surpassed the 1 billion mark way back in 2012. 2015 ended with a report of 1.59 billion active, daily Facebook users.
- Instagram announced 300 million users in January of 2015. And now they have 400 million active monthly users.
- People get their news from Facebook these days. It’s a news sharing platform now (and this is how misinformation can spread) (more on this below). Where the news is, the ads must also go!
- Instagram gets you 25% more engagement than other social platforms. Look at these Facebook and Instagram engagement comparisons from Elizabeth Dean on Wordstream.
Work it first before you pay it
Like I always say here at Blogelina, get your blog ready to be seen, before campaigning to get more people to see it! Make sure your Facebook page or Instagram album has enough delicious content to cement your brand to those who do end up visiting. Make it irresistible for them to Like and Follow your page, because wow, you’ve got awesome content there!
Almost every technique on getting blog traffic revolves around content: guest posting, post promotion, the works. The same goes for social media.
|Present your brand through a unified profile photo and cover photo. Make an effort. Hire a graphic designer if you have to!||Your profile photo should pop even as a tiny thumbnail. Pay for a logo. Aim for brand establishment from the start.|
|Choose a ‘signature’ post or several. Are you going to post cartoon jokes? Celebrity memes? A mix? What reason would your potential followers have to follow you?||Choose a theme and a filter. Yes. As odd as that might sound, choosing an Instagram filter and sticking with it is part of your brand. Populagram can give you insight on what your demographic likes.
Your theme would involve what sorts of photos you post, including the layout of your photos.
|Charm your audience by Liking, Commenting and Sharing posts from pages they already Like and Follow. As long as what you Share doesn’t stray from your own ‘signature’.
|Use the hashtags. Not just to tag your posts, but to find your competitors and their followers– whom you can ‘steal’ of course. They’re your target followers too!
Go to their profiles and like and comment on their photos.
If you follow: more or less 10% of the time, they follow back.
If you follow AND like a photo or two: you get more than 20% follow back.
If you follow, like AND comment: you get more than 30% follow back!
|External posts matter. It shows people you’re up-to-date and relevant, and that they could even simply follow YOUR page and they’d still be updated on what other pages post!
Be a reliable, relevant source!
|CTA required. Ask them to share or comment. Ask them questions!||CTA is overdone. Instagram users prefer subtle, witty captions.|
|For both Instagram and Facebook:
Instagram 411: How to Use Hashtags Like A Professional
Hashtags are a bit of a dark horse to many bloggers. Beginners and veterans alike can overdo or underuse them. They’ve been demonized as trying too hard, but in fact, hashtags are essential for your audience to find you.
- Your brand hashtag – #Blogelina
- Your core service/product – #blogging #blogginghelp #blogging101
- The specific hashtag for that particular post – #whiteboard #contentcalendar #tea
- The location-specific hashtag – city, county, country! #NY #NYblogger #eastcoast
Those four hashtag categories should always be present in your posts.
Look at Instagram’s Search and Top Posts section for insight on hashtags, or use tools like IconoSquare and Webstagram for the metrics and facts on what Instagram hashtags are relevant and huge for your demographic.
Bonus pro tip: Place your hashtags in a comment right below your post rather than with your caption! The hashtags still work, but your caption is clean, especially if you cross-post your IG post to your other social platforms. Have you seen Facebook posts littered with hashtags? They didn’t look good, did they? And of course, Twitter can only carry so much characters. You need to make the most of them!
How much it costs
Facebook is accessible to many businesses at a flexible rate you can set, according to how much you want to spend per day, $20? $30? It’s up to you.
4 Types of Facebook Ads
You’ve seen them. Each type depends as much on your brand as your budget. If your brand is more about personal connections, you might prefer the Page Post ad because your ad would only appear if the user has specific interests aligned with your brand.
The Marketplace Ad
The little Facebook ads you see in a column/sidebar to the right. These are the cheapest options. Good springboard. Like Adwords, you get character limits for every line, plus an image. Make the most of them!
These ads are triggered by actions. Your audience see Sponsored Stories in their newsfeed when their friends have interacted or engaged with your Facebook page.
This ad goes to your existing Likers/Followers. It’s like a nudge to them that your page is active, and oh, you have a contest or a survey they should join, for a chance to win a prize. If your page has been idle, this is the perfect ad to tell everyone you’re back in action.
“Everyone” could be 1000, 5000, all 12,000 of your followers, or just those living in New Haven. The more you want to reach, the more you have to pay.
The Page Post ad
The most expensive and the most effective Facebook ad.
Instagram ads, on the other hand, are based on CPMs (cost per thousand impressions). Some say it costs as little as 2 cents per view, or $3 per thousand views, and some reports figures at $350,000 to $1million.
I haven’t tried it myself yet. I’ll report back and update this when I do. In the meantime, here’s what you can do on Instagram without having to pay.
Instagram Marketing Tricks
To set up your Facebook ad, charm and be charming, and when you’re ready, go here.
For Instagram, there are marketing tricks absolutely free and yet absolutely effective.
- Giveaways! Contests! Even non-brands do this to earn followers. They give away something connected to their niche. For example, I’ve seen pet owners give away certain pet supplies to those who follow and/or join them in an actionable hashtag, just to make their account of Little Scottie have more followers!There are two rules for this: ONE: You have to clearly state that the giveaway/contest is not affiliated with Instagram, and TWO: You mustn’t inappropriately tag content/ask users to do so.
- Build/create an actionable hashtag. Just like in Twitter, hashtags can become powerful tools in marketing. Make one unique and yours, so that users identify it with your brand. Hashtag campaigns can spread worldwide overnight. But it’s traceable back to you.
- Find causes that support your brand’s values and support them. What do you blog about or what is your product’s core value? Family? Healthy eating? Reading? Explore hashtags. You’d be surprised at the communities already existing and just waiting to be tapped. It’s an instant and huge audience!
- Once you have your followers, charm them with relatability. Simple posts like, “When you want to sleep, but sleep ran away from you” is something your audience will have experienced themselves. This type of post also gives you an avenue for wit. Instagrammers love wit.
- Approach big fish in your niche. These are the ones with 4-6 digits of followers. Influencers! One mention from them can give you 4-5 digits of additional followers in one day! But be careful. Look at their posts and see if they get at least 5-10% of the number of their followers in engagement. If they have 10,000 followers, do their posts get a consistent 1000 likes?Many of these big fish are open to advertising, paid or non-paid.
- Don’t post too much. The #1 reason people Unfollow people on Instagram? When all they see is YOUR posts in their feed. The Instagram feed doesn’t scroll indefinitely. You have to keep that in mind. Don’t crowd your followers’ feed.
- It pays to follow the big companies. They’re the ones who pay for marketing pros, and you can, um, get inspiration from what they do. Haha. Stealing ideas and presentation isn’t bad, especially if you’re only absorbing an aspect of photography styling, and making your own captions and spins on campaigns. Acknowledge them when you do “copy”. Just think as they’d think. Would you mind this if it’s done to you? If not, it’s all in good fun, then. Besides, it’s extra publicity to THEM too.Instagrammers are smart. They love honesty and humility, and they revile duplicity.
It’s all about personality. Both Facebook and Instagram see their marketing schemes as an avenue for you to make people love your brand.
Ready to take on Facebook and Instagram? Are you already there?
Share your experiences, the costs and the rewards!