Social Media Meetup: Facebook advertising, groups and LinkedIn

In April, we had a really good Social Media Meetup at CambridgeSpace.

I actually thought that I wasn’t going to be able to accommodate everyone after 30 people signed up, but (luckily) a few dropped out (s is usually the case) and we ended up with a lovely group of 21 people for the evening. It was great to meet so many new people!

We started off (as usual) eating pizza and chatting. We then sat down and introduced ourselves before jumping into questions about social media. After a great discussion, this is what we had learned:

Are Facebook ads effective in driving sales?

The most powerful way to use Facebook ads is via lookalike audience. It’s a lesser-known feature that allows you to create a ‘lookalike’ audience based on your website visitors or your email subscribe

[Recommended read: What is a lookalike audience?]

You can connect your Facebook page to your business website via Pixel (a piece of code that enables your Facebook page to access data about your website visitors) and re-market to your customers who have visited your website via targeted Facebook ads.

You can also upload your email database to Facebook, and it will match the addresses to people’s profiles. With a lookalike audience, Facebook allows you to target people who have the same characteristics as people who have already expressed an interest in your business – how powerful is that!?!

To get better results from your Facebook ads you can also use cultural references to attract people to click or buy based on their interests. You should watch out for trending topics too, and find any connections to your business that might pop up.

Facebook profiles, pages and groups – what’s the difference?

We also touched on the question of Facebook groups vs. Facebook pages – and the differences and benefits of using each of them for business.

The basic distinction between them is that when interacting with Facebook groups, you can only join, comment and post using a personal profile, instead of a page.

Facebook groups are often hard work requiring lots of time, consistency with posting, and creating interesting content. It’s helpful to have daily themes that will keep people engaged throughout the week. You can also share updates that motivate to post their own content and share each other’s news. And don’t forget to be real!

How can I grow my business with LinkedIn?

The next topic we discussed was LinkedIn for businesses. People often see LinkedIn purely as a job hunting/recruiting platform, but it’s also is a powerful lead generation tool!

It’s important to remember that the LinkedIn environment is really different to Facebook or Twitter. It’s a strictly professional network for business discussions. Therefore, you shouldn’t be using cutie posts, cheezy motivational quotes or funny GIFs. On LinkedIn share only professional and high-quality content that’s relevant to your business.

You also need to understand the differences between a personal profile on LinkedIn and a business page, and when each of them should be used. As long as you’re freelancing or using only your personal brand to market your services, you don’t need to have a business page. A high-quality personal profile – All Star rating – is all you need to interact with others and build valuable relationships.

A side topic related to LinkedIn was about LinkedIn groups and the differences between simply posting links vs. engaging with other people in active conversations.

What’s the ideal posting frequency on social networks?

I’m always asked “how often and when should I be posting?!”

You can find endless resources online with infographics and analyses of the best posting frequency on social media, but the truth is it depends on many factors, such as the amount of content you produce (blog posts, videos, whitepapers, visuals etc); how much time you have to spend on social; and mostly what your own goals are (what are you trying to achieve on social media).

Someone will tell you that you have to post at least 5 times a day to get good results. I’d say that posting consistently 3-5 times a week can give you a good return on your investment. The most important thing is consistency. It doesn’t matter if you post 3 times a week or 3 times a day, as long as you keep posting regularly and keep your posts relevant to your audience.

Of course (like everything else in business and life), you’ll always get out as much as you put in. More input means better results, as long as you keep the quality of your content high.

Is Pinterest still a thing?

The last topic we discussed was Pinterest and how to use is effectively for a small business.

To be honest, I haven’t heard much about Pinterest recently. I know people who swear by it, but from my own experience, it’s just too much work for most small business owners.

On Pinterest, it’s important to spread your pins throughout the day, in order to have some of your content at the top of peoples’ feeds at all times. Another crucial element of Pinterest is high-quality visuals in portrait orientation. There’s only a narrow audience on Pinterest and it’s relevant for only a few industries (such as travel, fashion, DIY or food). And don’t forget, the majority of all Pinterest users are women!

Do you have any burning questions about social media? Tweet me at @lenkakopp or join my next Cambridge Social Media Meetup.