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Getting starting with internet marketing?
Then you’ve probably heard you need to be on Facebook. It’s the biggest social network in the world, with 2.27 billion active users, nearly 1.5 billion of whom are active every day.
From a puny startup with Ivy League college kids share photos, it’s now become a major player in industries like media, marketing, and technology.
Recently, though, Facebook has been embroiled in scandal after scandal.
From Cambridge Analytica, to account hacking, to Russian interference, and more—is Facebook still worth investing time and energy? Or are its days numbered?
The answer is that despite the scandals, research shows Facebook’s users don’t seem to have changed their behavior.
You’ll still find your best marketing opportunities on the world’s biggest social network, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Spending time learning Facebook marketing is worth the investment.
Before we go into detailed strategies on how to market on Facebook, let’s answer the first question—is your audience even on Facebook?
The answer is, probably.
The most recent data by Pew Research Center shows that every age uses at least one social network site, with younger users with higher percentages.
Plus, both men and women use social media in about equal numbers.
And when it comes to which network people use, Facebook dominates the list. In January 2018, 68% of Americans used Facebook, with Instagram in distant second place with 35%.
(YouTube was included for the first time in 2018 with 73% of Americans using it, but was any type of user, not just members.)
In other words, no matter what age group you’re targeting, there will be more than enough of those users on Facebook.
Here’s how to get things set up and start promoting through Facebook.
The first and most obvious Facebook marketing tool for brands is Facebook Pages. Like a personal profile, a Page is the hub of information for your brand, be it a company, product, service, or even expert or celebrity.
Users can “Like” a page and “Follow” it, which means they’ll automatically receive updates from that page in their news feed.
But in order to see the posts every time they are added, you need to click the option to view posts first. Otherwise, it’s likely you won’t see the updates because Facebook wants Pages to boost posts (pay) for more visibility and reach.
So when you get people to like your page, it’s a good idea to recommend they follow you and see your posts first. It’ll save you a lot of money in the long-term if you don’t have to boost posts as much or often.
There are a few key differences between pages and profiles. To connect with someone as a personal profile, you’ll both need to confirm the friendship request.
When you have a page, people can like and follow without any approval from you.
Another difference is that there are no limits to the number of people that can like your page. If you have a personal account, you can only have 5,000 friends. But a page can have thousands or even millions of people who like it.
The best part of Pages is that they’re free and easy to set up. You can literally build a new Page in the next 15 minutes and look as professional as a Fortune 500 company.
(Though you probably won’t have as many likes without a lot of work.)
The downside is just that—they can be hard to get off the ground. Unless you’re a celebrity or major brand like Coke or BMW, it takes a lot of work to get more people to like your page.
But if you’re going to start with this, you’ll need to set up a professional page. Here’s how.
Unfortunately, many companies don’t use Facebook Pages to their full potential. Worse, some brands use them poorly and actually hurt their credibility.
These guidelines will help you avoid making those mistakes.
Profile photo and cover image
Your profile photo should be your logo. Simple as that.
The cover image is a different story. It’s really up to you to decide what to put here. Some use photos of employees, while others use fancy artwork and put their contact information in the cover image.
M&Ms does a great job blending their logo, characters, and product into their photos.
Pick a photo that will enhance your page and draw the eye of your visitors.
The “About” section is prominently placed right below your company logo. This is your chance to tell anyone coming to your page what your business does.
It’s short, so don’t try to fit everything in.
In the full about section, make sure to include more details.
Explain what your company does, why you’re different, and other interesting facts. If you can, take the time to write it specifically for your Facebook audience.
But if you’re in a pinch, you can just copy the text from the “About” page of your website or blog. Be sure to fill in all of your data under “Basic Info.”
Ford does a great job including their highlights and contact info on their info page.
If you have a physical business, you can add a few more features like location and hours. This page from Eighth Generation is a good example.
Just remember to keep it friendly and informal. A casual tone usually works best on Facebook.
Post useful information to your timeline
What you post to your wall will show up in the news feeds of everyone who has “Liked” your page, just as it does when you post something to your personal profile.
So, make sure what you’re posting is useful to your fans. Don’t post endless updates about the same thing, and don’t post too often, clogging the news feeds of your fans.
Major brands like Apple usually only post things they know will be interesting to their fans, like unique video ads, or product announcements.
Here are some ideas for the kinds of things you might want to post to your wall:
Again, make sure that your posts are helpful or interesting. Also, don’t post more than a few times each day unless there’s a special event going on.
Spam is one of the quickest ways to lose fans. If you do nothing but send out promotional blurbs about your company, without ever adding anything of value, then you’re going to have a hard time getting and keeping fans.
Before you send out an update, ask yourself if it honestly adds value to the conversation. If it doesn’t, don’t send it.
How to market with Facebook Groups
Facebook has had groups for a while, but they recently let you create brand-based groups associated with your page.
First, you’ll need a Facebook Page for your brand. Then you can create a group to go with that page.
This allows a little more control over the group since you can attach your company to it.
Facebook groups are similar to discussion forums, but with additional features that pages and profiles have (like a timeline).
You can create groups related to your industry or product offerings as a way to reach out to potential customers.
The great thing about Facebook Groups is that, like Pages, they’re free. They also tend to have high levels of engagement. On the downside, they can be very time-consuming.
To manage a Page you might only need to check in once a day (or even less) to post something and reply to comments.
With a Group, you’ll want to constantly monitor discussions, post questions, and manage members—perhaps multiple times per day.
How to market with Facebook Marketplace
If you have products to sell, Facebook Marketplace might be a game-changer for you. It’s similar to Craigslist but built into the Facebook ecosystem.
It’s a relatively newer feature Facebook is still revising, but it has huge potential for eCommerce retailers and other types of product-based businesses.
If you sell products like this, consider setting up a shop. This lets you list products on a separate “Shop” tab on your Facebook Page.
When you list products, they’re searchable across Facebook and others can find them.
If you’re in eCommerce, it’s a marketing strategy you need to start using as soon as possible.
How to use Facebook Jobs
Finally, you can post jobs to Facebook. This is another newer feature, launched in the last few years or so.
Of course, this isn’t typical marketing like most people use on Facebook, but it can be really helpful if you’re looking to hire someone. For example, freelance site FreeeUp lists job postings on its Facebook Page tab.
It’s just another way you can use the massive power of Facebook to help your company grow.