You may have at one point thought that Facebook’s days were numbered (data breach anyone?) but that just hasn’t been the case. Facebook’s popularity has actually increased. I’m going to give you some statistics to consider: 68% of Americans use Facebook (compare that to the 35% that use Instagram or the 29% on Pinterest) and as of 2018 Facebook has 2.27 billion active users. Keep in mind that Facebook is the #1 social media platform used by businesses. I think it’s safe to say that Facebook equals one powerful marketing tool.
The Perks of Marketing with Facebook Pages
There are many benefits to creating and maintaining a Facebook Page for your business. Unlike a personal Facebook profile, a Facebook Page can be “Liked” or “Followed” by an unlimited number of people. You also don’t have to manually approve their follow; it’s instantaneous.
When a person likes your page, they will receive automatic updates from your page in their news feed. Another huge positive is that Facebook Page is completely free. But don’t get too excited – marketing on Facebook still requires effort and strategy so let’s begin!
Creating Your Facebook Page
One of the first decisions you’ll be making is deciding on what photo to use. This part is actually simple – use your logo. Don’t fret if you feel like that is too impersonal, feel free to use a photo of your employees or something more individual to your brand as your cover image.
Next, in the “About” section under your company logo, provide the basics of what your business does. Don’t put too much information here, that will be saved for the full about section. Include what your company does (again), what makes your business unique, and any facts that you think your audience may find interesting. If you have a brick and mortar location, put your address and hours here as well.
Always consider your audience when writing. Facebook tends to be more casual, so strive to keep your tone friendly and conversational.
Posting on Facebook Pages
Posting on Facebook Pages requires a strategy. One of the first rules is to not post too frequently, potentially overwhelming (and annoying) your followers. When you are posting, limit it to only information that you feel can be potentially useful to your followers. Consider the following for ideas of what to post on your wall:
- New product announcements/news/special events
- Coupons/sale codes for products
- Links to your blog posts
- Links to articles related to your company/industry
Always ask yourself if what you’re posting benefits your followers in some way. Don’t post more than a few times each day, any more than that and you may be hurting your business rather than helping it. Be sure to use Facebook Insight, a wonderful analytical tool, to watch for any trends on what is and isn’t working.
How to Market Using Facebook Groups and Facebook Marketplace
Facebook now allows you to create brand-based groups to go with your Facebook Page. You can directly attach your company to the group, giving you more authority. Facebook Groups are essentially discussion forums with a timeline. They do require more time since they require a lot of engagement. Plan on checking in on your group multiple times a day.
Facebook Marketplace could be an ecommerce dream come true to anyone selling a product (think Craigslist meets Facebook.) By setting up a shop you can list products, have a separate “Shop” option on your Facebook Page, and your products will be searchable to any Facebook user. If your business is product based, you really can’t afford to miss out on this.
Facebook has their targeted advertising platform down. Since Facebook collects so much user information, their ads are phenomenal at targeting specific ages, geographic locations, and education levels. The downside? The cost.
You can pay to run your ads either on a per-impression or per-click basis. Facebook will show you what bids for ads similar to yours are going for so that you know that you’re paying the average cost for your industry. You may also set daily limits so that you don’t risk going over your budget.
The options for your ad format are plentiful (video, canvas, carousel…) and deciding what type depends on your personal marketing plan. An easy way to narrow down your ad subtype is to look at what your competition is doing. By going to their “Info and Ads” tab you can see what ads of theirs are active.
Facebook takes some getting used to. It takes time to learn its many features, but the effort is worth it. Set a few test campaigns and see what happens. B2C (business to consumer) really can’t afford to not utilize Facebook and all its possibilities. Like anything worthwhile, it takes time, patience, and most of all practice, to get it right.