3 Facebook Mobile Marketing Tips

Is your constantly-updated, pixel-perfect Facebook page failing to attract new business? Maybe you’re neglecting some of the social media giant’s most devoted fans: mobile users.

A recent Facebook-sponsored study from research firm IDC revealed just how addicted the average smartphone user is to the social network. In March, IDC surveyed 7,446 iPhone and Android smartphone owners (ages: 18-44) in the U.S.

The results were eye-opening to say the least, and points to a very active group that, when targeted properly, could be a significant source of growth for your small business.

The survey discovered that Facebook use (70 percent) trailed only behind email (78 percent) and Web browsing (73 percent) as the most popular activity on smartphones. In terms of connecting with friends, using Facebook’s direct messaging features (40 percent) was the third most popular connectivity, after text messaging (49 percent) and voice calling (43 percent).

Small businesses that ignore mobile Facebook fans do so at their own peril. Why? Let IDC explain.

“Facebook ranks as a top-three activity done on smartphones. 70 percent of respondents use it. Among these Facebook people, 61 percent use it each day. Reading one’s news feed is the top activity at 77 percent,” said the report.

Still not convinced? The average person checks Facebook nearly 14 times a day and spends nearly two and a half minutes posting, replying and liking each of those times.

Luckily, Facebook has rolled out some new features that can help point those mobile users to your front door.

3 Mobile Marketing Tools for Facebook

Be Nearby

Currently in beta, Facebook’s Nearby is a new product that serves as a neighborhood guide — that is, if it were curated by your friends (think FourSquare for Facebook).

Nearby uses your social graph to recommend places of interest. The beauty of Nearby is that it uses friends’ likes, check-ins and tags to generate recommendations.

A Facebook spokesperson described it to Small Business Computing thusly: “For instance, if you’re looking for a sushi restaurant in New York City, ones that your friends check-in to, have recently rated, Liked, tagged photos of, etc. will likely pop up, making the restaurant more relevant for you to check out.”

If your business could use an influx of customers, then consider adding Nearby to your social media marketing arsenal. The first step: create a location for your business (if it doesn’t already exist). Then simply get social, start posting and encourage your customers to check-in, share likes and tag away.

People tend to gravitate to places and things their friends recommend, and Nearby is a great way to expand your business beyond your current customers to their network of friends.

Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Facebook Offers are simply virtual coupons. If you’re already using Facebook’s Ad Manager to track and manage your ad spend on the social network, you’ll find it’s easy to get started.

Businesses can select from three types of Offers, namely in-store only, in-store and online, and online only. Brick-and-mortar shop owners looking for a little more foot traffic will want to stick with in-store only, which allows customers to redeem an offer via a printed coupon or by flashing their smartphone.

Does it work?

Using Facebook Offers, SweetFrog Frozen Yogurt notched a 2.9 percent redemption rate. It doesn’t sound like much on the surface, until you realize that in some of its stores, cash registers were ringing to the tune of more than 10,000 in-person redemptions.

Promote Your Posts

Does your Facebook page only have a handful of likes? Gathering social media momentum can take time, which can make it hard to keep updating a page that barely anyone sees.

But there’s a way to get your posts in front of more Facebook users, one that doesn’t let all the hard work that you put into constructing an engaging Facebook post go to waste.

As its name suggests, Facebook’s Promoted Posts service turns a post into an ad that shows up in other Facebook users’ desktop and mobile news feeds even if they don’t follow you — provided that it adheres to the company’s advertising guidelines, of course. If you have an Ads Manager account, you can turn any recent post on your Facebook Page into an ad by selecting the Promote option that appears near the bottom of the post.

Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, Calif. used Promoted Posts to drive a 19 percent increase in both monthly reservations and monthly gross revenues. Promoted posts helped Bone Suckin’ Sauce, a seller of BBQ and marinade sauces, increase its online sales by 83 percent.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Internetnews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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