Facebook is becoming such a powerful marketing tool for small businesses and livestock producers alike. Right now in the midst of Fall sale season, I am running several Facebook sale promotions for cattlemen. As we’ve been using Facebook to market our own business, major brands and many farmers and ranchers, we’ve learned a lot (and yes, made some mistakes!) by marketing cattle on Facebook. I’ve also seen a lot of other producers struggle with marketing their livestock on Facebook. So I want to share some of my strategy secrets that we’ve learned doing Facebook for large brands and regular cattlemen that I think will help you have more success marketing your livestock on social media.
Twitter isn’t the best platform
It’s easy to make the case for Facebook since one in seven people are on the platform. However, the same can’t be said about Twitter. While the blue bird is still a favorite for some people, we would be hard-pressed to find someone who can tell you they’ve sold cattle on Twitter. It’s a good place to connect via hashtags and advocate for agriculture, but for livestock producers, it will be difficult to effectively market your livestock here.
You can target people interested in your breed
Are you an Angus breeder? Do you know that people in your target audience read the Cattleman Magazine? You can target your Facebook posts to people who like the American Angus Association or the Cattleman Magazine or both! By strategically turning posts into ads, you can reach your target market within the agricultural industry.
It doesn’t take a big ad budget to run ads on Facebook
Seriously. $5 will go REALLY far! We’ve even run ads for as small as $1 (that’s the lowest you can go) that have been successful. If you are just getting started with Facebook ads, start small and work your way up once you’ve seen what works for your page.
The Facebook “Boost” button is NOT the best option
Referred to by social media marketing experts as the Facebook Easy Button or Money Trap, it’s not the best way to create a Facebook ad. Please try to avoid using it. When you boost from your page by pushing “the easy button” you don’t get quite as many options as you would if you use the Ads Manager. This is a BIG DEAL especially in agriculture because you can’t target as many people and you can’t set the language of the people you want to target. This means that you could be paying to target people interested in cattle who don’t speak English or maybe don’t even live in the United States. That’s not a good use of your money and your page will get spammed with messages you can’t respond to (unless you are fluent in Spanish!). Use the ads manager to create a boosted post and you’ll have a LOT more control over your ads.
Crop Your Own Photos Otherwise Facebook will do it for you
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen really great cattle mutilated by a Facebook crop. You would never allow an ad for your livestock to go to print if your cattle don’t look their best and the same should go for Facebook and Facebook ads. You can crop the photo in photoshop (or a similar photo editor, it doesn’t take much to crop a photo!) to make sure your livestock will look good in a carousel ad (the scrolling squares) or a link preview (like when you post the link to your sale catalog.
Just posting when you have a sale is one of the WORST mistakes you can make
Facebook is SOCIAL media which means you need to be social. Just simply posting your sale photos is not going to cut it because people are not on Facebook to get sold to. We didn’t open up Facebook to see your sale cattle. Sorry, that was harsh. However, we did like your Facebook page because we want to see your cattle sometimes! We all spend hours, that’s right HOURS on Facebook each day to see what is going on in the world, to be entertained, to learn or connect with people. So make sure that you post other content besides sale photos.
You can’t turn a print ad into a good Facebook post
At Ranch House, we design a lot of beautiful print advertisements. Honestly, each time I see a new one our designers have created, I’m in awe. While these ads look gorgeous and stand out in print magazines, they weren’t meant for social media. Can you post your print ad on your social page? Yes. Can you boost it and turn it into an ad? No. Why? Because it has waaaaayyyy too much text. Also, I can tell you that your print ad posted on Facebook is not going to do well because no one can read the text or even see the photos! It’s too small! Especially when most of us are looking at Facebook on our phone. I’m not saying to never post your print ads, you can. However, posting actual photos, videos and graphics designed for social media will perform MUCH better.
Custom Graphics will help Get You Likes
The No. 1, very first thing I recommend to every client or potential client who asks about our social media services is custom graphics. Well designed profile and cover photos make your Facebook page stand out from the crowd. I like to compare it to the design of your website. If you want to have a good website design so that people can understand who you are and what your businesses is all about (side note we can help you with that) you want to have a good Facebook Page design. Also, we’ve found that paid likes ads (yes you can run ads to grow your audience!) perform so much better when a client has custom graphics that allow someone to really understand what and who a business is when compared to a Facebook page that just has a logo as the profile photo and an iPhone ranch photo as the cover photo.
NEED MORE HELP WITH YOUR DIGITAL MEDIA?
Ranch House has a whole team of digital marketing experts with a background in agriculture. Whether you need help getting started with a website, launching a Facebook page or promoting your business on social media, we can help with your digital media strategy. To get started on growing your digital media presence email firstname.lastname@example.org today! Also, if you learned something new in today’s blog we invite you to sign up for our email newsletter to make sure you never miss a great post like this.