Facebook’s product team—lead by Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook— is in West Africa this week to hear how creatives, developers, and entrepreneurs in the region are using mobile technology to create services, content, and businesses that address local needs. Francesca Sacasa, Facebook’s Head of Partner Services for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, presented a masterclass in innovative ways to tell brand stories at Social Media Week Lagos, Nigeria — the region’s top annual new media and technology conference. Here are some of her insights about how small businesses can use Facebook and Instagram to grow their businesses.
Tip 1: Be where customers are – on mobile
Your customers are on mobile, which means your business should be, too. If you have a smartphone and a Facebook Page or an Instagram account, you have a mobile marketing strategy. Through the Ad Manger app on Facebook or Business Tools on Instagram, you can create ads right from your phone. With an Instagram Business Profile, you can add more information about your company and help customers get in touch by adding your business location, an email address or phone number. You can also get insights from within the app into who is following your account and how each of your posts is performing.
Tip 2: Bring the in-store experience to life online
With tools such as video and Live on Facebook, or Stories on Instagram, taking your brick and mortar business online is simpler and more powerful than ever. Two million small businesses on Facebook already use video to connect with customers directly from their phone, and over 150 million people use Instagram Stories every day.
Tip 3: Create thumb-stopping creative
Video, Live, and Stories are just a few of the many ways that telling a story has become easier and more engaging (especially for sales). When it comes to telling the story of your business or selling a product, remember to show, not tell. With creative apps like Instagram’s Hyperlapse and Boomerang, great natural light, a simple tripod, and interesting backdrops, you can turn any space into your creative studio.
Remember to repurpose the assets you already have. Turn beautiful product images from your website or brochures into a carousel ad, or ask to feature content your customers have shared.
Tip 4: Connect with customers, in any part of the world
The number one reason businesses succeed or fail is their ability to attract customers. With the powerful targeting tools available on Facebook and Instagram, you can reach the customers that matter to you. Your business can use Custom Audiences to re-engage customers who have purchased from you previously, for example.
Tip 5: Measure, measure, measure
Success starts with knowing your goal. Whether it’s getting more customers to your store, more downloads on your app, or higher quality leads, Facebook and Instagram have the tools to help you achieve and measure real business results. One of these tools is the Facebook Pixel, a piece of code for your website that allows you to report conversions, build audiences and get rich insights on how customers use a website. The pixel can help you understand how customers view Facebook and Instagram Ads across multiple devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers.
Bonus Tip: Tell a story
People today are looking for more than just a product or service. They want to understand the story behind a business and see what makes it special. So, find your voice and share your business’s story. By posting authentic content, you can show people what makes your business unique and forge a lasting connection with your customers.