Why and how do you market your business on Facebook?
There are many unique strategies for how to do Facebook marketing depending on the company, goals, industry, resources, etc. The important part is to make sure you are using or learning how to use Facebook for marketing because with over 1.56 billion active users a day spending an average time of an hour on the platform per day, Facebook’s audience is huge. The audience is not just social users but potential customers as 78% of American consumers purchased products they saw on Facebook. So it is safe to say, Facebook offers an extremely large and powerful platform for marketing.
Facebook is a place for conversations and interactions with an abundant focus on creating value between family, friends, and groups. As a brand, Facebook offers a platform to become a friend-like page through a planned and personalized approach. Overall, Facebook business marketing allows brands to raise awareness, communicate with customers, implement advertisements, and measure detailed analytics.
Social media marketing: Facebook basics
To begin, there are some Facebook basics to understand before building your Facebook marketing plan. The first is understanding the 7 different types of Facebook posts:
1. Text Facebook post
The most simple type of Facebook post includes only text.
2. Image Facebook post
Images can include a wide variety of content including photography, infographics, graphics, etc. Including visual content is extremely important as a Facebook post with visual content receives 2.3 times more engagement than a post without visuals.
3. Video Facebook post
Video posts can vary in length and objective, for example, a video can be a news clip, a GIF, or an educational tutorial. Facebook will automatically play the first 10-seconds of a video when a user scrolls by the content.
4. Facebook Live videos
As suggested, Facebook Live is a live video stream that is broadcasted through Facebook. Examples of Facebook Live content would be a tour of your business’ new space or highlighting an event your business is hosting.
5. Linked Facebook post
A linked post is when an external URL is linked to the post. When creating the post, paste the copied URL and allow Facebook to auto-populate the image, title, and meta description and then make sure to remove the pasted URL. The post will still link to the page, this just allows the post to look more clean and crisp because there are fewer characters.
6. Facebook instant article post
A Facebook instant article is content that opens like an external article, although it is loaded within Facebook in order to maintain quick loading times and easy transition to benefit the user experience. An instant article is indicated through a gray thunderbolt icon.
7. Virtual reality Facebook post
A virtual reality post is a 360-degree video allowing the user to turn their phone to view the entirety of the area, such as a 360-view on top of a mountain or from a boat in water.
Next, you should know the definition of two key Facebook terms.
Reach – how many people saw a post
Engagement – how many people interacted with a post, including likes, reactions, shares, clicks, or comments
Now since you are aware of these few Facebook basics, let’s get into the fun stuff, learning about the Facebook algorithm!
The Facebook algorithm explained
The significant Facebook algorithm update in 2018 caused a massive shift in the way marketers approached how to use Facebook for marketing. While there were multiple changes, the focus was on the Facebook post algorithm that prioritized and ordered the news feed based on family, friends, and groups, causing fewer posts from businesses, brands, and media to be seen. This caused a decrease in organic search results and an increase in brand competition. Yet, regardless of the Facebook algorithm change, the platform remained an extremely beneficial business social media marketing tool.
The Facebook algorithm determines the order and presentation of a user’s news feed based on what content is most valuable and relevant to the user. The shift increased Facebook’s dedication to not increase a user’s time on the platform but rather an increase in quality time. A transitional approach as most social media platforms’ objective is to encourage the user to spend more time scrolling.
Since this new objective influenced the Facebook algorithm update to prioritize content that would be of more value to the user thus leading to ‘quality time,’ Facebook defined quality by how meaningful a user’s interactions are and with whom, specifically the concentration on relationships with friends, family, and groups. In order to gauge meaningful connections to prioritize similar content, the new Facebook algorithm concluded that certain actions and behaviors marked higher-quality interactions.
Interactions that indicate more meaning are the actions that take longer, therefore, having more of a purpose and significance to the user. These interactions are termed as active interactions and are actions that include commenting and sharing. In comparison, passive interactions are actions that are mindless and automatic without much thought to the relationship with the content or person. These actions include likes and click-throughs because they can be quickly accomplished while continuously scrolling through the feed.
The following 6 factors reflect active interactions, therefore, expressing authenticity and connection.
Comments on posts reflect expressing thought and prompting conversations.
2. Commented replies
When users reply to comments it indicates full conversations.
Reactions include “love”, “haha”, “wow”, “sad”, and “angry”, which reflect an emotional response to the content beyond the exhausted ‘like.’’
Shares are another form of thoughtful action to express interest, ideas, or opinions.
5. Engagement on shares
Additionally, shares that are engaged with are further prioritized because it indicates the development of meaningful interactions.
6. Shares over messenger
Another form of shares that greatly implies meaningful interactions is when users share a post with another user or group over messenger. This action individualizes the content to a specific conversation, greatly influencing relationship building.
The overall prioritization concentrates on initiating and continuing conversations between users. The new Facebook algorithm indicates that Facebook wants its platform to grow connections and relationships, and to do so, it requires interactions and conversations between users. Other factors that impact news feed rankings include:
- The amount of time spent viewing a post will increase ranking because it shows more interest in the content.
- The timing of a post can cause the content to be higher on a user’s news feed if it’s posted at the time the user is on the platform.
- The type of post (e.g. image vs linked content, etc.) can influence prioritization as some content holds higher value because of its natural ability to encourage meaningful interactions.
- How informative or educational a post is often indicates a higher level of meaning and the ability to urge thoughtful interactions. Although, how informative a post is heavily relies on individual interpretation, such as some users find local news informative while other users find traveling blogs informative.
- How complete your business page presents your brand with a higher level of reliance and trust because it provides users more information and details on your business.
As a brand, ranking higher organically on a user’s news feed significantly increases the likelihood for users to view, interact, and purchase from your business. To do so, the business needs to develop a Facebook marketing plan that incorporates the Facebook algorithm in order to successfully promote the brand and complete conversions.
Optimizing your organic Facebook marketing plan
Facebook business marketing starts by developing a comprehensive strategy by personalizing the Facebook algorithm to your brand. Understanding how Facebook prioritizes posts will impact how your brand approaches, strategizes, and implements your Facebook marketing plan to promote a higher organic ranking.
The following 10 Facebook marketing tips are contingent on the Facebook algorithm in order to successfully and authentically use Facebook marketing.
1. Build a comprehensive Facebook business page
Below are some specific Facebook business page tips that will significantly impact your Facebook marketing strategy as a solid business page is the foundation of your social media presence.
- Create page: Unlike a personal account, a business must create a page rather than a profile account because this allows multiple people to manage the brand’s page.
- Select industry: Facebook will provide a list of categories and industries for your business to select from.
- Import profile and cover photos: Choose profile and cover photos that are on-brand and recognizable by users. Often times, a business’ logo works well for the profile photo.
- Write a short description: In the “about us” section, write a short, descriptive bio about your company, such as what your company specializes in, and add personality to the description.
- Create a username: The username controls what the business’ custom Facebook URL is, therefore ensure that the username can easily be associated with your business.
- Manage team roles: As mentioned, a business page can be managed and edited by multiple people and granted specific access based on their role in regards to the page. The team roles include, admin, editor, moderator, advertiser, analyst, and jobs manager.
- Choose the CTA button: At the top of a business page, there is a CTA button that is changed according to the business’ preference. Some button options include, Contact Us, Sign Up, or Send Message.
- Customize tabs: On the left column, there is a list of tabs (Home, Posts, etc.) that can be edited and customized to include information or content relevant to the brand. For example, a business can add a tab for its Twitter or Pinterest feeds.
- Verify page: A verified page warrants trust because it confirms that your company is credible and dependable. A verified page is shown by a gray or blue checkmark next to the brand’s username.
2. Promote Facebook account through other marketing platforms
Drive traffic to your Facebook page by including the social link on other platforms, such as your website, email newsletter, or tradeshow material. As a brand, you can get creative on what material could include the social link or customized URL, such as on a restaurant’s menu or on your business app. Promoting your Facebook business page builds social awareness as well as acts as a CTA for customers to start or remain engaged with your brand. This step is applicable to your other business social media accounts as well.
3. Create and post quality content
As always, quality content is the foreground of a successful social media marketing strategy. As for Facebook business marketing, quality content is determined by multiple factors with the overall goal of aligning with the new Facebook algorithm for meaningful interactions. Below are three components of quality content:
1. Post a variety of content
Facebook posts for business should not only contain a variety of content (videos, images, articles, etc.) but should be for a variety of purposes. Specifically, social media marketing is not a space for continuous selling, it is about building brand awareness and loyalty which goes beyond sales and instead focuses on building relationships. Therefore, the posts should primarily be educational, entertaining, or personal, followed by a significantly smaller portion of product or services promotion. For example, the social media marketing 80-20 rule states that 80% of your content should be used for entertainment, education, or information, while 20% should be used for promotion of your products or services.
2. Post meaningful content
Meaningful content will be dependent on a brand’s targeted audience and should be defined using audience metrics and insights. Start by analyzing which content is receiving a higher engagement rate, specifically active interactions, and outline these trends, then start publishing similar content. Ensure that you are constantly analyzing the metrics so you are aware of engagement changes or the development of new patterns in order to keep posts relevant.
3. Post conversational-driven content
With Facebook’s emphasis on connections, publishing content that encourages conversations will significantly boost your post ranking. Some approaches include asking questions and writing on current and relevant topics.
4. Target video content
Facebook has noted that videos drive the most engagement and interactions as compared to other post types. Therefore videos are a proven source for starting conversations or increasing interactions and should be used as a tool to engage with your audience and increase brand awareness. Since videos automatically play the first 10 seconds, the beginning of the video is critical to captivate the user’s attention and keep eyes focused during the video’s entirety.
In addition, there is a strong priority for Facebook Live Videos as these are powerful foregrounds for discussion. In fact, live videos on average receive 6-times as many interactions than regular videos, which already receive a higher number of interactions. Live videos provide real-time interaction with the user and the brand, making the connection more relaxed and personal. When filming a live video remember to reintroduce yourself and the purpose of the video, as people can join in at different times throughout the video.
5. Create and/or engage with Facebook groups
Groups are considerable spaces for meaningful interactions because users willingly join groups they are interested in and therefore are more open to discussing the subject of the group. And, with over one billion people using groups per month, there is a community of active users that are excited to participate in the conversation. Depending on your industry and business, it may be more suitable to either create a dedicated group or partake in a relevant group.
6. Explore and connect with influencers
Influencer marketing is a profitable opportunity that continues to grow across social platforms. Since influencer marketing is such an impactful marketing strategy, it requires the specific dedication to develop and implement as a segment to your overall Facebook marketing plan.
See this blog post to learn more about using influencer marketing for your business.
7. Encourage team engagement
Maximizing your resources includes encouraging employees and team members to share and interact with your content. Since users are 16 times more likely to view a post from a friend compared to a brand, if an employee shares the content then it is coming from an individual user rather than from a business, thus increasing the reach and probability of engagement.
8. Limit external content linking
Facebook prefers content to stay within its platform, rather than linking to or opening external content. While including external links, such as blog posts or news articles, is a great way of adding a variety of content, it should not be the sole focus. Instead, try limiting external content to that of higher significance and space it throughout your content calendar.
9. Refrain from engagement bait content
Posting frequently can be a difficult task because it constantly requires new content which can be difficult to obtain and curate. Therefore, reusing content is often the solution to maintain consistent posting, which can still be accomplished without being repetitive. Instead of reusing content, try repurposing content, such as posting the same photo but with a unique caption highlighting a different objective or transforming a quote into a graphic. Using the same content does not mean it needs to be in the same format or for the same purpose.
10. Track insights and implement findings
As always, analysis is the key to success. Facebook business marketing is not just about being creative, but about being strategically creative. This means tracking what posts are performing well or changes in your audiences that can improve future posts.
A few noteworthy insights to track is the reach and engagement of posts and posts that caused poor reactions or unfollows. It is not just analyzing what content is doing well, but observing what content is doing poorly in order to refine and improve your Facebook marketing plan.
These Facebook marketing tips are authentic ways that take into consideration Facebook’s algorithm to promote higher organic reach and engagement. Remember, quality content is still the most important strategy for Facebook marketing because valuable content that benefits users will ultimately be deemed meaningful by your audience, and therefore Facebook. Yet, organic optimization is not the only component for a Facebook marketing plan, as paid advertising is an extremely beneficial and valuable strategy.
Optimizing your Facebook paid marketing plan
Facebook is one of the most rewarding social media platforms because of its high ROI on paid social ads. Developing an organic Facebook marketing plan is essential to building a brand’s social presence and awareness, and paid advertisements are a way to escalate those efforts for more immediate conversions. Below describes first how to create an effective ad for Facebook ad optimization.
1. Ad Manager vs Power Editor
Facebook provides two editor options, Ad Manager and Power Editor, when initiating ad creation. Power Editor is a more robust option for complex campaigns that require extended control, often used by advertising experts. Most businesses use Ad Manager, which is still a very comprehensive option, and what is used for this setup.
2. Choose the objective
The next step is choosing the ad campaign objective among the following 3 categories. These will help guide the ad creation and analysis process, as each step and question can be referred back to, “What is the objective or goal of the Ad campaign?”
- 1. Awareness: The Ad objective is to introduce the brand to the targeted audience by increasing a post’s reach.
- 2. Consideration: The Ad objective is to increase interactions with prospects.
- 3. Conversion: The Ad objective is to convert prospects into customers.
Under each category are sub-categories to further refine the objective.
3. Define the audience
Facebook Ads offers a comprehensive targeted audience section that allows the brand to narrow the targeted audience. Audience settings include demographics such as age or relationship status and detailed targeting such as users who like a certain page or have specific interests. In addition, Facebook allows you to target custom audiences, otherwise referred to as a remarketing ad, which is an audience that has already engaged with your brand at some point in the sales funnel. Another option is choosing lookalike audiences or targeting a Facebook user that resembles a current audience niche such as loyal customers or frequent interactors.
4. Define the budget
Facebook offers two budget settings, daily budget and lifetime budget.
- Daily Budget is used when the ad will run continuously and the average spend will be set for each day.
- Lifetime budget is used for ads with a predetermined duration and the allocated budget will be evenly spread out among those days.
5. Define the schedule
The schedule depends on how long you want the Ad campaign to run and therefore the appropriate starting and ending date and time. This is also affected by the chosen budget option.
6. Create the ad post
This portion is the actual creation of the ad, including ad type (video, photo, graphic, etc), ad format (single visual or carousel), creative assets, caption, and CTA. Also, at this point, make sure to preview the ad via the desktop and mobile screen to ensure the ad formats correctly.
7. Analyze for Facebook ad optimization
These steps outline the components for creating effective Facebook ads, the next step is to measure the actual effectiveness of the ad campaign. To view the ad analytics, visit the ad manager page and then view the results. The dashboard shows the insights including estimated spend per day, cost per action, frequency of someone viewing the ad, etc. Compare these results with the ad campaign’s objective in order to evaluate the Facebook paid marketing plan.
Building a Facebook marketing strategy requires attention and planning for each aspect of the platform. From creating the business page to analyzing Facebook ads, each contributes to the overall success of Facebook business marketing. When the appropriate time and resources are dedicated to it, Facebook marketing can be a great channel for your business.