Facebook marketing is simple, or so it seems. While Facebook makes it really easy for you to get started running ads, as a marketing platform Facebook is becoming more and more complex.
There are so many opportunities to use Facebook as a marketing tool that you couldn’t hope to understand them all without some help.
That’s what I’m here to provide.
I’ll be the hand that guides you through the Facebook landscape and helps you become familiar with the resources that will prove most powerful for your business.
Stay tuned, we’re about to cover the ins and outs of both organic and paid Facebook marketing, the strategies you’ll need to use each most effectively, plus a huge list of powerful tips to optimize all of your Facebook marketing from here on out.
Let’s take a look at the basics first.
Organic vs. Paid Ads
Let’s make one thing clear first, there are really only two ways to market your business on Facebook.
Organic Facebook Marketing
The way most people first come to “market” their business on Facebook is the organic approach. They create a Facebook page and do their best to create a loyal following by sharing content related to their business.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a highly important tactic. There is just so much more you can be doing to be organically marketing on Facebook. We’ll cover plenty on that topic in just a second.
Paid Facebook Ads
The other way you may already be marketing on Facebook is through paid ads. This should seem like a more familiar way of marketing to most businesses. You pay for your ads to be displayed to your potential customers across the Facebook platform, and there is a direct exchange of money for impressions, clicks, conversions, etc.
The thing that most businesses don’t take advantage of are the tools that allow you to target your ideal buyers most effectively. Once again, we’ll be covering lots more on that in a minute.
Up next, we’ll look at how to make the most of organic Facebook marketing.
How to Make the Most of Your Organic Facebook Marketing
Organic Facebook marketing is incredibly popular because it’s essentially free. As an added bonus, if you do it right, you can create a loyal community around your brand and generate tons of exposure which lead to—you guessed it—sales!
In order to get started with Facebook marketing, you’ll need a business page. This may seem elementary, but I see too many businesses marketing on Facebook with a sub-par page that is representing their brand to the world.
Fill In the Blanks
Make sure you fill out the “About” section of your profile completely. Include everything you can and leave as little blank as possible. Include what makes your brand unique and what sort of benefit someone would receive by becoming your customer/client. Facebook is a great way for prospective customers to get to know your brand, so make sure they can find the information they’re looking for without leaving the site.
Choose the Right Photo
Include a high-quality, professional profile photo that clearly shows what your brand represents. Your logo is usually the best way to go. Make sure people can recognize your picture when they search for it (it will be very small). That way, they can “like” your page and not give up when they can’t find you. Your picture is all over everything you post, so make sure it’s the right one.
The content that you share with your community can have a massive impact on the amount of people who engage with your brand on Facebook and beyond. The types of content you post should vary, but everything must provide value to the people who follow your business page. Otherwise, what reason do they have to follow your brand?
Personal Insights Build Trust
Letting your followers behind the scenes of your business helps to establish the trust necessary for people to buy from you. I’m talking about pics of the burst pipe at the office or the company camping trip. Show them that you’re real people and they’ll be that much closer to liking and trusting you.
Informative Content Establishes AUTHORITY
You want your following to see you as an authority in your industry, so give them the proof. If you write an informative blog post that helps your audience, post it. If you create a killer video about how to accomplish a complicated task, make sure your community sees it.
It doesn’t even have to be yours. Including informative articles related to your industry that your following will benefit from is a great way to provide value.
Keep Your Posts Authentic
The most important thing to remember about Facebook marketing (and any marketing for that matter) is to be authentic. Be yourself, be true to your values. Avoid salesy copy or posts that push the hard sell on your following or you’ll run the risk of alienating and losing them.
Another important thing to remember is that you’re forming a community around your brand, and that means no one-way streets. If someone comments on your post, reply. If your fans take the time to engage with what you’re sharing, be sure to thank them by responding.
Be sure to post consistently. That will look different for every brand but you’ll want to make sure you’re continually engaging with your audience. Don’t expect to grow a massive following posting three posts in a week and then forgetting to post for a month. That’s just not the way organic Facebook marketing works.
Quality Over Quantity
This is a big one! Be sure to post quality content every time. Rather than posting a ton of quick and easy posts that don’t really deliver value to your audience, take the time to post a few truly excellent posts instead. They’ll do far more to establish trust and showcase your industry expertise.
Replicate What Works
Finally, once you’ve determined what type of content your audience responds to best, try to create more of it. Use engagement signals to determine what key factors go into a well-received post and implement them in everything you share.
Facebook Marketing Pro Tip: You can create custom audiences to share your content with. If you feel like a piece of content may be more valuable to a portion of your audience, segment them and target them specifically.
Build a Community
I’ve talked a lot about marketing to your community, but not everyone has an established following and most of us could stand to grow ours. The more people we reach, the better, right?
Some of this community building will be done naturally with the content you share and the time you spend engaging with your existing following. However, the following tactic can help the process immensely.
Simple contests and giveaways can send your brand engagement through the roof. If you have something great to offer (everyone does), give it away for free to a randomly selected user, or one that fulfills your goal at the highest level. Make sure they have to share about your contest to be entered to win. You’ll see people from their networks joining in, liking, and following you. The exposure generated by contests can be invaluable.
One of the best ways to establish your authority and showcase your expertise is by participating in Facebook Groups related to your industry. These are typically groups of people gathering to discuss a certain topic or industry in detail in order. With regular participation your can establish yourself as the go-to person in your industry and people will come to your pages to find out more about what you have to offer.
You can also start and build your own group in order to be the leader of a group more specifically related to what you offer. Just remember to be a regularly active participant in these groups or you won’t gain much traction.
Focus on What Works
Everyone has a Facebook marketing tactic that works better for their business, so be sure to try many and focus on the few that work best for you.
Social listening tools like the one from mention.com allow you to track when people are talking about your brand online (yes, Facebook is online). One of the best ways to solve customer problems is to respond to rants and complaints about your brand. You may be able to turn a disappointed customer into a raving fan with a simple gesture. Start saving customer relationships like this and you’ll see your churn rate decrease and your repeat business boom.
You can also find positive comments and testimonials and use them as social proof in your marketing. Ask to share what the person has posted and use it to show your community how great your brand really is.
Making the Most of Your Facebook Paid Ads
Paid ads are the social media giant’s bread and butter. They make things so easy to get started and help users see a positive return with very little effort.
That said, not everyone experiences that positive return, and of those that do, there are very few that are making full use of the massive number of tools and features available to them.
What does that mean?
It means that there is money being left on the table.
Here are a few ways to ensure you’re doing more to optimize your Facebook marketing through paid advertising.
Promoting a Page/Post
We spent a lot of time talking about organic Facebook marketing, and this is typically the next step a brand will take to expand the reach of their business page or specific posts.
You have the ability to create ad campaigns to generate likes to your page or post. If you want to generate engagement before/during an event or simply increase brand awareness, you may want to create a like campaign.
You can also promote your posts to gain more exposure to your blog posts, videos, etc. If you find that your fans really like something you’ve shared, it may be a good idea to share it with people like them to expose them to your brand and drive them to your page.
You do this by creating a lookalike audience to your fans, which is something we’ll cover in the next section.
Targeting Specific Audiences
One of the reasons Facebook marketing is so powerful is that it gives you the incredible ability to target highly specific audiences based on all sorts of demographics, interests, and much more.
Demographic and Interest Targeting
For example, you could target women over 55 that live within in Muskogee, Oklahoma, have recently been married, and are interested in deep sea fishing (if you really wanted to). My point is that you can fine tune your targeting to the point that your ads are only bring displayed to people who would genuinely be interested in seeing them.
You can also import your email list and, depending on its size, market directly to people who have already had some interaction with your brand. This type of marketing is incredibly effective and is one of the best ways the utilize the power of Facebook paid ads. (More on Facebook retargeting)
Another way to make use of Facebook’s extensive targeting features is through the lookalike audience feature. You can market to people who match the characteristics of your email list, your fans, or the people who have visited your website. Once again, marketing to people who know and are interested in your brand is extremely effective and one of the best ways to spend your marketing budget.
There is little room for waste in Facebook marketing, so determining your ideal buyer and their defining features is a great way to start making the most of your Facebook marketing budget.
The Facebook Pixel
Speaking of marketing to people who have visited your site, we need to talk about something groundbreaking. While it’s been around for a few years, the Facebook Pixel is still not being implemented by most companies.
What it does is allow you to track a variety of specific actions a person may take while on your site. Everything from a pageview to a checkout can be tracked, and you can use that information to show specific ads to a specific group of people.
For example, if someone views a product page for an item in your online store, you’d be able to show them an ad with a picture of that item and a coupon code to reel them back into complete the purchase.
You can (and should) also exclude people who have already purchased from you to ensure they’re not being bothered by an ad and money isn’t being wasted on a group that won’t act on your ad.
There you have it, the basic principle for marketing on Facebook. Now let’s look at some tips to take these Facebook marketing strategies to the next level.
Ready to evaluate your current Facebook marketing efforts? Take a look at how to perform a content audit here.
Tips For Marketing on Facebook
Now that we understand how to effectively market on Facebook, it’s time to look at some powerful tips that will help you optimize both your organic and paid Facebook marketing.
1. Identify a Specific Audience
This may be the most important Facebook marketing tip you learn today. Identifying a specific audience is the most important rule for any marketing. You simply can’t hope to market to everyone effectively; your message will get drowned out amongst a sea of competitors. Be clear about who it is that you want to sell to, and focus your marketing message specifically on them. Select content that works best for your target and be specific when creating an audience for your paid ads.
2. Fine Tune Targeting
This tip ties into the first one pretty strongly, and for good reason. Targeting is one of the reasons Facebook marketing works so well. Facebook knows an incredible amount of information about its users, so they can help you target in an incredibly specific way. You can post content to specific segment of your following, and every paid ad you run should be specifically targeted to a fine tuned audience.
3. Put Plenty of Emphasis on Multimedia
The whole world of marketing is turning to pictures and video. In an age with dwindling attention spans, they tell the story faster, plus they relay emotion more effectively and incite a stronger emotional response.
Facebook marketing is no different. In fact, Facebook favors multimedia and provides it with better placement. Create engaging content and ads using pictures and videos and you’ll see your response improve dramatically.
4. Strategic timing
There are specific times that are best to post to Facebook. You’ll be able to reach more people as their newsfeeds will be less crowded at these times. These special times will vary a bit from industry to industry based on their demographic, so determine yours by testing.
Use Facebook Page Insights to help you discover when the best times are for your business.
5. Stand Out
Facebook marketing is becoming more and more popular. For that reason, it’s becoming a bit crowded, and people are used to scrolling past anything that doesn’t strike their interest immediately.
Do your best to stand out right away. Do something different than everyone else in your industry. Find a way to promote your own unique spin on what you do and relay the benefits people will receive from your company in a fun, interesting, and engaging way.
6. Involve Your Fans
The more you can involve your following, the more connected they’ll be to your brand and the more likely they be to buy from you and recommend you. Hold contests, giveaways, and promotions that only your fans can participate int.
Give them special deals with promotions and discount codes that only they get. The more special you can make them feel, the better.
7. Schedule Your Posts/Don’t Automate Everything
Take some of the load off by scheduling your posts. You can schedule your content to be released at specific times, so take advantage of the ability to do all of the scheduling at once and forget about it.
That said, don’t automate everything. Timely posts about current events or goings on in the world or your industry will give your fans something to react to, engage with, and prove that you’re not a robot.
8. Change Things Up (New and Unique Posts)
While it’s good to replicate the types of posts that work, don’t post the same type of posts on the same schedule every week. Instead, throw in a curveball every once in awhile to catch your fans off guard. It’s a great way to test new opportunities as well.
9. Test and Optimize
Testing is one of the most important facets of Facebook marketing. Don’t just assume that you’re doing everything right. Chances are, there is room for improvement and you’ll never know how you can optimize your Facebook marketing until you start testing.
Post different types of content, post at different times, write new ad copy, use different images, then track your results. Facebook gives you an extraordinary amount of feedback, so there is no excuse not to. Always be optimizing!
10. Increase Sharing With Social Sharing Plugins
Be sure not to miss out on opportunities to expose new people to your brand on social media. A great way to increase sharing of your content is by including social sharing plugins on your website. It makes it incredibly easy for people to share your content if they like it.
Now that you’re virtually bursting at the seams with new information, it’s time to put it all into practice. Use the strategies and tactics outlined about to start marketing your business today. Then use the list of tips to continually optimize your Facebook marketing strategy.
Here’s to your success,