So you’ve started your company (congrats!), and you’re ready to begin connecting with current and potential customers online. But where to begin? Maybe you already have a personal Facebook account for staying in touch with friends and family. But did you know it’s also a booming online marketplace? While Facebook is a place whose mission is to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together,” it’s also a place where business can thrive. As the largest social media platform, with a whopping 2.8 billion daily users, it behooves any business owner to create a Facebook Page and implement Facebook marketing strategies for their product, business, or brand.
Get Started with Facebook Marketing
Creating a Facebook Page for your business can help you reach billions of potential customers daily, build brand loyalty, compile an email list for your business by collecting emails from your followers, direct and increase traffic to your website, gain a deeper awareness of your followers, and even keep an eye on your competitors.
While later on in your Facebook marketing journey you may decide to use paid marketing techniques like paying for ads and/or sponsored posts to grow your business, it’s free to create and maintain a Facebook Business Page. Since users willingly disclose personal demographic information like name, age, location, interests, gender, language, marital status, education, and employment to Facebook, if and when you decide to pay for promotion you can use this data to create targeted ads, thus lowering overall marketing costs.
Create Inspired Facebook Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve created your Facebook Page, start asking yourself questions about your product or brand to help reach your business goals. One of the most important places to start when planning your Facebook marketing strategy is to pinpoint your target audience. Since Facebook is used by so many people, it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out how to reach the right people. You can start narrowing it down by determining the demographics of your target audience such as where they’re located, what they’re interested in, what their behaviors are, information on past purchasing activity, and more. Users often provide this information to the platform, making it easier for you to define and narrow down your ideal target audience.
Some other ways to help establish your strategy are defining your goals. This will look different for everyone, so it’s critical to ask yourself concrete questions surrounding the process. Do you want to reach more people? Drive traffic to your website? Build up your email list? Gain more followers? Work on customer relationships and engagement? Whatever your goals, naming them clearly will give you focus when it comes to your Facebook marketing strategy.
Once you’ve determined your goals and your target audience, it’s time to make a content plan. This plan should include what to post, when to post, and how to stay engaged with your current and potential followers.
Types of Facebook Posts
While you may not analyze various types of Facebook posts when using the platform for personal use, it’s critical to understand the varieties of Facebook posts available to you when using Facebook for business. Each type of post serves a different purpose and can help further your strategy.
Words are the messengers of your brand. Make sure they are well-chosen, error-free, convey your message, and stay true to your company, product, or brand. Engaging social media copy is something that prompts your followers into action and that makes them want to come back for more. Posts and captions that are both entertaining and educational create a good balance. While the Facebook algorithm favors photos and video content, plain text is still valuable for connecting with your followers. You can use these kinds of posts to tell stories, share information, motivate your audience with calls to action, get feedback, and ask questions.
It’s no secret that we are drawn to images. And 40% of marketers predict that in 2021, between 51% and 80% of businesses will heavily rely on visual content. Facebook posts with images receive more engagement and are more likely to be remembered than plain text posts. Posting striking photos grabs the attention of people scrolling and is a proven way to generate interest in your brand or product.
In a 2018 HubSpot survey, 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business they support. When you post a video to your Facebook Page, it automatically plays in the News Feed without users clicking on it to begin, making video content very hard to ignore or scroll past. And since Facebook’s algorithm favors videos, use that to your advantage and boost follower interaction.
A link post shares a URL with your followers. Link posts serve a few different purposes: they are similar to text posts in terms of conveying information, but often have a visual component as well, adding an extra layer of appeal. Sharing a link can also be a way to provide information from industry allies and start a conversation with your followers. Plus, Facebook Insights has shown that link posts have more reach than text posts.
Pinned posts offer a direct way to highlight a previous post on your Facebook Page. This can be an effective way to keep an important post easily accessible at the top of your Page, to give new followers an idea about your product, business, or brand, and ensure key information or news is the first thing visitors see when they visit your Page. Best of all, nothing is permanent: you can update your pinned post as information changes, keeping your Page current and on track with your goals.
Facebook Stories is a feature where users can share brief text, video, animation, or photo posts that appear at the top of the Facebook app and disappear after 24 hours. Stories can be a fun and effective way to share content and engage with your followers in an authentic, unplanned, in-the-moment way. Photos appear for five seconds and videos can be up to 20 seconds long, and users can reply to them using Messenger. Facebook Stories is an effective business tool: you can include snippets of your brand’s behind-the-scenes moments, call attention to important information or current deals, and organically foster more interaction and engagement with potential customers and current followers.
Other Ways to Engage on Facebook
If you’re ready to stream videos directly into your followers’ feeds, start using Facebook
Live. Launched in April 2016, Facebook Live appeals to marketers and viewers alike because of its fun, intimate, easy way to connect and communicate in real time—from your desktop computer or simply a cell phone. Shortly after launching, the Facebook algorithm prioritized Live video because it was earning 3 times more watch time than regular video. It has continued to trend upward: in 2020, Live video viewership on Facebook rose by 50%. Try using it for your business and see what kind of feedback you get!
Facebook Watch Party
Another way to bring followers together and engage with potential customers is by hosting a free Facebook Watch Party—it’s almost as good as hanging out in person, with the added perk of inviting as many people as you want, from all over the world! Experiencing the video live and with friends and followers is a special way to engage in real-time. If you’re launching your brand, a new product, or are simply hosting a conversation, try a Facebook Watch Party.
Did you know you can use your Facebook Business Page to post job listings either on Marketplace or in the Jobs bookmark? Facebook’s jobs listing feature is free and provides access to the billions of people using Facebook daily. When you’re ready to expand your company, tap into those numbers to find your next hire. You can add the job post as well as review and track applications, connect with applicants, and schedule interviews using Messenger.
Messenger and Chatbots
Speaking of Messenger, using the service to connect with and respond to customer messages is another way to build brand loyalty. A 2018 survey found that 61% of daily messaging app users in the United States said they had messaged a business in the last 3 months. Being available to current and potential customers is a savvy business decision. And while you may be able to keep up with some of the communication on your own, you can’t spend all day responding to questions from followers. That’s where Facebook Chatbots come in.
Chatbots are automated response tools available 24/7. Chatbots use AI to greet interested customers, make appointments, answer basic questions, and perform tasks. Best of all, you can program your bot to help you in the ways you need—so you are more available to apply the human touch to other areas of your business.
If you use Facebook regularly—for personal use or your business—you’ve likely seen people raising money for a cause. These fundraisers can be for individuals, family members, or charitable causes. Facebook doesn’t charge any fees for donations raised for charity but does charge a small fee for personal fundraisers. Raising money for a worthy cause unites people aiming to reach a common goal. Perhaps a fundraiser to clean up beaches leads to an actual beach cleanup in person. Creating a fundraiser on your Business Page can be a dynamic way to foster camaraderie and generosity among your followers and ignite a fire within your Page’s community.
Host a Q&A
Facebook’s Q&A is a feature that allows users to facilitate real-time question-and-answer sessions. This tool serves as a way for business owners to introduce themselves, share products and/or expertise, and get feedback directly. A text-based program, Q&As can be accessed via desktop as well as iOS and Android.
Creating a Facebook Group is another way for businesses to boost engagement. With 1.8 billion people using Facebook Groups, it makes sense to create a space where you and your followers and potential customers can connect. Groups are places to build community: they’re where members can float ideas, ask questions, and even share gripes if necessary! Groups are places where business owners can offer special offers, deals, and content that can add value to their product or brand and allow group members to feel exclusive, ultimately deepening brand loyalty.
Turn Clicks into Customers & Traffic into Sales
Since Facebook’s main goal is connecting people from all over the world, there are plenty of opportunities to get feedback using the platform, either directly from followers or customers, or by or using Facebook’s analytic tools.
Remember that while there are plenty of tools to help collect, track, and measure data, synthesize information, and provide notifications, the human connection is still at the root of a brand’s success. Interacting through a Q&A session, responding to a customer’s problem, promptly answering a follower’s question, or simply engaging on a human level is as crucial to growing and maintaining your brand as paid ads.
Facebook Business Suite Insights
Facebook’s Business Suite Insights is an analytics tool provided for free by Facebook. This built-in tool synthesizes demographic data of your Page’s visitors such as age, location, language, gender, relationship status, education, Page Likes, Facebook usage, and past purchasing activity. Using the Business Suite Insights can help anyone looking to maximize promotional campaigns, increase web traffic, and encourage return customers. You can use the data provided to target specific users—which leads to another important topic for Facebook marketing: advertising.
Facebook Ads & the Facebook Pixel
If you feel like the organic reach of your Page just isn’t enough, consider paying for Facebook Ads. You wouldn't be alone: according to Social Media Examiner’s 2021 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 93% of social media advertisers use Facebook Ads. With the billions of daily users combined with the ability to create specific content designed for a targeted audience for a relatively low price, it’s a smart place to spend marketing dollars.
If you don’t want to pay for advertising just yet, incorporate the Facebook Pixel. Facebook Pixel is a free analytics tool business owners can place on their websites to collect data and help explain users’ actions on your website. This data can help create targeted ads in the future, remarket your product or content to repeat visitors, and track important data such as conversions from Facebook. When you decide you’re ready to pay for advertising, you’ll have the data ready so you can make smart and financially savvy marketing and advertising choices.
Learn Facebook Marketing
Taking a social media marketing class is a great way to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of Facebook and other platforms. Check out Noble Desktop’s social media marketing courses available live online or onsite at Noble’s NYC headquarters. Noble Desktop’s Facebook Marketing class provides an in-depth look at creating targeted ads, leveraging Facebook groups, and creating business pages within the platform. If you want to dive deeper into various platforms in addition to Facebook, consider Noble’s comprehensive Digital Marketing Certificate. The course has a unit on Facebook marketing and participants will learn how to develop business-based social media strategies and manage successful digital marketing campaigns for the platform. You’ll also spend time studying social media content marketing and learning how to build a brand identity and engage with a target audience on Facebook. Additionally, you can use Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me tool to find other Facebook marketing and social media marketing courses in your area.