Introduction to Facebook Marketing
Did you know that about 1.09 billion internet users log in to Facebook daily, with the number growing at a staggering 16% each year? It is one of the most popular social media platforms that account for 77% of all social media logins. Little wonder, then, those millions of ambitious online entrepreneurs are tapping into this beehive of viral activity related to both- personal and business accounts.
According to a Quicksprout survey, 80% of social media users in the United States prefer connecting with brands via Facebook.
Facebook is a brilliant medium for engaging visitors, building authority, driving traffic to your website and increasing your credibility as a brand. It helps you laser target your audience, and convert these interested people into leads, ultimately creating a base of loyal customers. Thus any business can leverage the power of Facebook to boost engagement, optimize their presence and build a solid brand.
Yes, it can be challenging to master the nuances of social media as it’s a dynamic platform that keeps adding, deleting and modifying features. However, once you progress through the learning curve, your business can benefit tremendously from the power of a buzzing Facebook page.
Think of it this way. You’ve recently met a woman/man you fancy, and would love to spend the rest of your life with them. What would be your best approach? Befriend them. Get to know more about their likes and dislikes, while striking a meaningful friendship based on common goals and interests. You may ask them out for coffee initially, build a rapport, and then do long dinner-movie dates. Eventually, you may pop the question, and spend the rest of your life with the man/woman you really dig.
What do you think would’ve happened if you would have simply walked up to them on seeing them for the first time and popped the question? Chances are they would’ve thought you are nuts, and simply scooted in the opposite direction to never see you again in this lifetime. A perfectly wonderful chance ruined.
This pretty much sums up how the social media works too, and why it is such a brilliant platform for increasing your chances of success. It helps you build a rapport with potential customers through engagement and conversation. You can’t simply launch a business and expect people to queue up for buying. Any astute business person will realize that the customers buy from brands and people they love. People have got to love you and your brand to be able to relate to it and buy from you. This can be super effectively accomplished through engagement, conversation and constant communication with potential customers.
Social media marketing isn’t different from dating. You’re wooing your customers through engagement, making your brand appealing, offering value to potential buyers, and finally turning them into lifelong buyers.
Facebook helps you create a strong base of loyal customers who act as your brand evangelists. They help spread a good word about your products or services within their social circle.
Did you ever move countries or cities? What was it like? A bit of culture shock? Of course, it can be perplexing to a new language, diverse people, and a different culture. You need to know about the accepted norms to fit in or learn about local customs and behavior before you gain the complete trust of locals.
This is how Facebook or any social media platforms works too. There are spoken and unspoken rules of the game that you must learn to adhere to if you want to build a desirable brand and profitable business.
One of the biggest advantages of using Facebook for your business is that it’s a highly versatile platform that can be channelized to achieve multiple business goals. Your business goals can be anything from increasing conversions to building authority to boosting engagement.
With its multiple tools, resources, and functions, Facebook can you achieve virtually any business goal. Think of it as an online counterpart of a water cooler or an erstwhile town square. People collect near a water cooler (or town square in earlier times) and discuss just anything they fancy that brings them together. They share jaw dropping details about the latest breaking news or Game of Thrones episode while forging strong connections over shared conversation. It gets so interesting that they actually look forward to the next informal, engaging meeting at the designated spot.
If you’ve attended a cocktail party where you barely know anyone, you’re doing pretty much a live version of what social media or Facebook marketing entails. You try to spot people who might be interested in you or who you share common interests with. There is a preliminary introduction where you get to know people. You crack jokes, build a connection by engaging others, have a meaningful conversation, and eventually promised to stay in touch with people. If you are interesting and authoritative, people will remember you (brand building) and look forward to meeting you again.
Facebook is an online cocktail party, where brands and customers are getting to know, and benefitting each other. When you post attractive and rich stuff that your public appreciates, people like your brand. They find it familiar and appealing, and establish a connection, which eventually helps when it comes to making a purchasing decision. Facebook is not merely a platform for selling (though it serves this purpose well too), it is also a powerful resource for building relationships.
Let’s take two newly launched brands of soaps. “Soap X” barely has a Facebook presence. They channelize all their resources print and billboard ads, hoping to make their brand familiar and desirable among their target audience. “Soap Y”, on the other hand, has an effective Facebook presence. It posts thoroughly researched, easy to share, interesting and valuable information related to hygiene, skin care, and beauty.
Their target audience loves to share the posts the Brand Y because it makes them look really smart and well-informed within their social circle. The brand’s page is abuzz with activity, with people liking and sharing lots of posts. If people are given a choice between Brand X and Brand Y on a supermarket shelf, which brand do you think they are likelier to pick? Brand Y will have a more engaged audience, which may make its recall and recognition value higher. People can relate to Brand Y on a more personal level because it has made an effort to establish personal connections with its target audience. This is the true power of social media, which can be used to grow a variety of businesses.
You’ll learn some of the best Facebook marketing strategies right here, which have the potential to skyrocket your business. Hop aboard, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
14 Facebook Marketing Tips for Beginners
Here are some highly proven and effective Facebook marketing tips to keep you ahead in the learning curve if you are just getting started with the seemingly big bag world of social media marketing.
1. Build a Business Profile
It’s astounding how many people make this faux pas and lose out in the bargain. As a basic thumb rule, never ever do business through a personal profile. Build a distinct business Facebook page that effectively represents a brand. These pages don’t appear too different from personal profiles but have a series of tools through which your audience can endorse your brand by liking the page, viewing regular updates, and commenting on your posts.
Creating a distinct brand page maximizes your business’s chances of reaching out to a large number of interested customers. Also, it is against Facebook’s Service Terms and Conditions to use personal profiles for anything other than personal interactions.
Also, if you’ve created a personal profile page for your brand or business, you should consider converting it into a business page. This way you’ll still retain your personal account, while simultaneously having a business page.
Keep in mind that a profile can be converted into a business page just once. Once you’ve converted the personal account into a business, Facebook transfers your profile picture along with the cover picture to the new page. The page’s name on the personal account becomes its business page name. Facebook offers tons of features that help move information from the personal profile page to a business page (takes 14 days from the date of conversion).
Choose friends from your personal profile to like your Facebook page automatically; however, posts on your personal profile will not be transferred to the new business page. The business page can also be managed via your personal account.
To convert your personal account into a Facebook business page:
– Click on https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/migrate
– Next, go to the “Get Started” button and follow all instructions to successfully migrate a personal business profile into a proper Facebook business page.
Having a business page offers me you multiple advantages, including the opportunity to laser target customers through Facebook’s paid promotion feature and the ability to create events.
2. Create an Appealing and Memorable Vanity URL
Yes, the social media is as much about visual brilliance as it’s about content and substance. Vain as it sounds, your page has to look gorgeous to pique the curiosity of people enough to come and explore it.
Once you’ve built a business page, Facebook assigns a random number to the URL, which means your page looks something like facebook.com/pages/businessname/232716552.
A pro tip if you want to increase your page’s shareable value or make it easy to find is to create a more identifiable, appealing, and memorable URL such as Facebook.com/BusinessName.
Go to General Account Settings, and change your URL into a more recognizable page name from the Username option.
3. Add a Recognizable and Attention Grabbing Cover Photo
Next, add a stunning cover photo to create a desirable visual effect. Facebook allows 851 x 315-pixel cover images right at the top of your business page (Check Facebook Image Sizes & Dimensions). Optimize your cover photo to grab the attention of your target audience, hook them enough to explore more about your products/services, and offer an efficient mobile browsing experience.
Your cover photo is the first thing people spot when they visit your page because it occupies considerable space, and strategically sits right at the top of the page. Here are some tips to keep in mind to optimize the appeal for your Facebook cover photo:
A – This seems like a given, but it’s still not funny how many people actually overlook it. Follow Facebook’s guidelines when it comes to creating a cover photo because it’s just not the smartest thing to lose your page for a cover photo guideline violation.
Read the full terms and conditions before you go about uploading a cover photo for the business page. In general keep in mind that your cover image is public. Don’t make it misleading, irrelevant or deceptive. Also, don’t infringe someone else’s copyright simply by lifting images from various sources.
B – Ensure that the image is optimized to the right size and resolution. It should be 828 x 315 px on a desktop interface, and 640 x 360 px tall on a mobile interface. Make sure you get these dimensions right while designing the photo, otherwise you’ll keep tweaking it while uploading the image. Design anything smaller than this, and Facebook will end up stretching the image, making it look unprofessional and tacky. To make your task easier, you can simply download a pre-sized Facebook cover photo template with a simple Google search.
C – The placement of profile pictures on Facebook makes it tough to view a section of the cover photo unless it’s clicked on. In addition to the profile picture, the page name and buttons also hide a section of the cover photo. Keep this in mind and don’t include important pieces of imagery or content in these portions, which aren’t immediately visible or viewable to users.
Since Facebook positions your profile picture on the left, it is a good strategy to right align your cover photograph to maintain a balance, and make your brand/product clearly visible, while also appearing more aesthetically elegant. You will be able to attract greater focus to the brand or product by right aligning your Facebook cover image.
Ensure the photo is visible for mobile viewing since more than half of your user base will view your page from handheld devices. Compared to the desktop, a larger portion of your cover page is hidden by the profile picture. The page name also appears on the cover photo, which impacts its visibility. Keep all this in mind before designing your cover photo.
D – Try incorporating your Facebook cover photo with other design elements on the page to maintain consistency and uniformity in your brand’s visual identity. If the dominant colors in your logo are red and yellow, stick a cover photo where red and yellow are prominently displayed. Don’t see it as an isolated or individual design element. Rather make the cover photo a part of a larger overall canvas that balances multiple design elements to draw optimal attention on your Facebook page.
Some of the best business pages combine their cover photo and profile picture and make it look integrated, like two sections of a single brand canvas. This is a subtle, yet compelling way to conveying your brand identity.
4. Add an Awesome Profile Picture
Facebook allows you to upload a recognizable profile picture such as a company logo image of your products/services or a headshot if you are a solo entrepreneur. If you want your target audience to find and like your page, choose your profile image smartly. Keep in mind that it is also displayed as a thumbnail image next to every update.
The dimensions of a Facebook profile photo are 180 x 180 px (160 x 160 px on desktop machines).
5. Optimize The About Section
When people need more information about your brand/business, they are most likely to browse through the “About” section of your page.
Ensure the page is optimized for social media and search engines by including a detailed and impactful description of your business using the most relevant keywords that define the enterprise/brand. Give visitors a good feel of what the page is about in the opening lines of your description. A brief section of the detailed “About” description will be extracted and displayed under “Short Description by Facebook.
Include as many details as possible that visitors may find useful in your “About” section, including a phone number, physical address (if required), website URL, email, business opening hours, price range, a link to your product and service catalog and other relevant information.
6. Earn The Very Responsive Badge
One of the first things you must aim to accomplish after creating a business page is earning a “very responsive to messages” Facebook awards pages who have a response percentage of 90% and a response time of less than 15 minutes over a period of one week.
Having this badge makes customers view you as a prompt, communicative and reliable business which makes an effort to connect with customers. It shows you are tuned into your audience’s queries and care enough to offer them a speedy response. Even if you can’t give an immediate solution to the customer, try and keep your response time high by replying and letting them know that you will get back to them with a solution as soon as you’ve figured it out. It makes you come across as professional, friendly and concerned.
7. Include Milestones
Use the “Milestones” feature on Facebook to highlight your brand’s most notable achievements. Events you can include under the milestone feature are the year your brand/business was launched, awards it won in the past, product releases and other noteworthy accolades.
Users will find your brand more credible and authoritative when you display your accomplishments. Basically, a great way to blow your own trumpet and keep customers in the loop about your brand’s evolution.
8. Call to Action
Facebook has included in what is being hailed as one its best business page features. It allows visitors to place easy, visible, and effective call to action buttons on their page. Select from one of the pre-defined call to action buttons such as “contact us”, “book now”, “sign up”, “use app” and more. This is a great tool for linking the relevant website page or landing page with your Facebook business page.
How to Add a CTA button to Your Facebook Business Page:
– Log in and go to your Facebook page
– Click on the “Call to Action” button positioned on top of the page next to the Like button.
– It’s no rocket science really. Make it easy for your customers to do what you want them to do by telling them what they’re supposed to do.
9. Create Unique Page Tabs
Facebook offers a set of predefined page tabs such as About, Photos, Likes and other similar options. However, you can also create custom tabs that can perform functions similar to landing pages within the business page. The tabs are located at the top of your business page. For example, if you want to invite entries for a draw or competition, create a custom “enter competition” or “submit your entry” tab for the purpose. Link it to the submit entries page on your website.
How to Create Unique Page Tabs?
– Sign in to your business page. Select the “More” tab.
– Next, select the Manage Tabs option from a dropdown list.
10. Post Best Blog Content
Most businesses rely on social media to offer their target audience a steady stream of valuable and interesting content. Avoid populating the timeline with every blog post. Cherry pick only the best ones that are entertaining, useful, relevant and informative.
Several blogging platforms offer a feature where the software automatically updates each new blog post and publishes it on your page. All you need to do this sync your blog page with your Facebook business page, and auto-publish content. However, it’s best to publish content that will engage interested fans, and keep them hooked.
Also, each time you post a blog link on Facebook, the page pulls a short description along with an image. This description is extracted from your blog page’s meta description (the description that is specifically created to show up as the page’s description on the search engine results page preview). Ensure your meta description is relevant, accurate and well-written.
Without a properly written meta description, Facebook will simply pull out anything it finds without the relevant keywords and phrases, which is a huge lost opportunity. It will hamper the overall user experience, and not attract customers to your business.
Sum up your posts in under 155 characters by drafting a power-packed meta description. Don’t waste your valuable space real estate in including preposterously long links to the post within the post. The thumbnail URL is enough to send visitors to your blog post. Use your space wisely for piquing the reader’s curiosity or grabbing their attention.
Many newbie marketers misleadingly believe that posting frequently increases the visibility of their posts. Facebook’s algorithms aren’t as straightforward. It all boils down to the quality of posts, and the engagement it attracts. Posting more frequently won’t help you reach more people unless you are targeting people in different time zones and have a clear objective for posting frequently.
Poor quality posts that receive little response end up affecting your statistics, and can even go on to reduce your visibility among your followers. Facebook has slick practices in place to filter out low-quality and irrelevant posts. Put up top quality posts only, and watch your numbers soar.
Give importance to quality over quantity by being selective about your posts. Don’t overwhelm your target audience by drafting multiple posts. Rather, take the time to create delightful posts that your audience will love to share within their social circle.
Adorn your posts with high-quality visuals and videos to increase their appeal. Facebook posts with interesting and relevant visuals witness 2.3x greater engagement than imageless posts.
Even if you have a blog with several posts, optimize it for Facebook by adding new videos and slick images. Any fool-proof social media or Facebook strategy includes images, videos, infographics, tables, charts and screenshots that offer tremendous value to your audience.
Follow the 80-20 social media thumb rule, where 80 percent of your posts are dedicated to non-promotional posts (aimed at increasing engagement and establishing connections), while 20 percent posts are channelized towards directly promoting your products or services.
People don’t really fancy being sold to on social media. They view it more as a platform for discussion, communication and forging connections. Therefore, your social media strategy needs to be subtle and more directed towards building a brand and making connections, which eventually turn into loyal customers.
11. Focus On Offering Value
As any internet or social media marketer will tell you, you must give value first to receive business from your customers later. Initially, the focus is only on building connections, credibility, and authority. Don’t focus on hard selling in the early stages of your business.
For instance, if you run an organic products e-store, the standard marketing strategy would be to post images of your products and urge customers to buy them. However, this isn’t how Facebook or social media marketing works.
Instead of hard selling your products, create blog posts about healthy, organic recipes using ingredients you sell. Share links of the recipes on your page. At the bottom of these recipes, subtly mention that these products can be easily sourced from your website.
In the above example, ensure your content strategy includes a variety of recipes catering to conscious eaters or health buffs such as “20 Easy to Make and Healthy Lunch Box Recipes For Kids” or “Simple and Healthy Smoothies for Diabetics” or “15 Healthy and Delicious One Pot Organic Meals.” Do you get the drift?
Oreo’s Facebook page is crazy popular because they connect with their fans by offering them tons of delicious, innovative and fun Oreo recipes, complemented by tempting images. They also use a bunch of clever and appealing hashtags. Who can resist?
Social media users lap up content that has high utility or informational value. They also love to share content that makes them look really smart among their friends. Post high-value, intelligently written and useful content, and people will be more than happy to spread the word.
Dove is another brand that has its social media strategy brilliantly figured out. They created a video a couple of years back, which earned them thousands of Facebook page likes and about half a million Facebook views. The brand was barely mentioned in the video. Dove was simply focused on telling stories that evoke emotions and make their relatable.
They told stories about everyday women and encouraged their fans to tag women who inspired them, thus helping the brand get its word out without aggressively marketing their products. Women found these stories relatable and connected with the brand on an emotional, nostalgic level.
Did you know that Facebook posts with images receive 84 percent higher link clicks than those without visuals? It’s simple. Present people with stuff that looks stunning, is easy to understand and evokes some emotion.
Tell stories through pictures. It’s called humanizing your brand. People love behind the scenes stories about businesses and brands. They like to think that they are dealing with real people who care about them and not factory bots.
Create everyday slice of life or behind the scenes posts about your business. Introduce your customers to your employees. Give them a peek about how the products they use are actually created.
Pictures of real people help people connect with your brand. While using images for Facebook posts, focus on people’s faces. Facial profile images work well for Facebook posts.
Rather than using images of the product, include lifestyle images. You need to tap into your audience’s aspirations by showing them the lifestyle your product/service represents. Use images that induce a strong sense of nostalgia. Make image galleries and collages if you want to share multiple images to make it easy for your audience to access all images in a single post rather than creating multiple, confusing posts.
Use bright, high resolution and eye-catching images. Low-lit images with dull colors don’t receive much traction on the social media.
Well, people may say they are annoyed with constantly seeing pictures of where their friends are dining or what they are up to. However, the fact is, they are still viewing it. According to Social Media Examiner, images make up for 87 percent of the content shared on Facebook.
Just browse through a few business pages, and you’ll discover how a majority of them use stock photos rather than original images. Use real, natural photographs rather than generic stock images. Posts that have original, real pictures come across as more relatable and organic.
Another smart tip is to integrate your Instagram images in your Facebook feed. Tap on the settings option in your Instagram account, and link your Facebook account. Every Time you take a picture, tap on the Facebook icon for sharing those pictures on your Facebook news feed.
13. Make Content Easy to Share
It is a golden nugget of wisdom in internet marketing circles that if you make anything too complicated for your audience, they are less likely to do it. This explains all the spoon-feeding (click here, visit our page, buy now etc. links).
People generally have less time and a shorter attention span when they are browsing the internet. They won’t spend time trying to figure out things if it looks complicated or if they don’t know what action to take.
Make sharing your posts a cakewalk for them by using prominent “Share” or “Like” buttons on your blog page. Use the Facebook Follow button to increase your reach. People can like your page with a single click, while also viewing the total number of likes received by the page. This sort of validates your page or offers social proof to prospective and existing customers.
Adding Facebook social share buttons encourages your web audience to connect and communicate with your brand on Facebook, while also increasing the reach of your content by sharing it. With the Facebook Like Box, visitors can view your follower count and check recently posted content.
14. Schedule Posts in Advance
One of the most efficient ways to run a Facebook business page is to schedule your posts in advance either weekly or monthly. There are lots of last minute things which come up and can distract us away from a fixed schedule. This may pose a challenge to the pursuit of posting a steady stream of relevant and interesting content designed to engage your target audience.
Once you’ve identified the best time to post on Facebook, use applications such as HubSpot, Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts for a particular date and time weekly or monthly. You can create an editorial calendar for the entire month. Consider festivals, holidays, and events etc. for the month while planning “hot” or viral posts in advance. The posts can be planned at the same time in advance every week for the entire week.
However, having said that, maintain a balance between pre-scheduled and timely posts to avoid turning your page into an automated machine where it loses a human touch. Ensure you’re creating some real time posts too for engaging with fans or striking up a conversation to get their views on a recent development.
How to schedule posts in advance?
– Start creating a post as you normally would.
– Click on the down arrow sign located adjacent to Publish, and tap on Schedule.
– Just below publication, choose the date and time when you wish to publish the post.
– Select Schedule
– You can also delete or make changes to scheduled posts.
– Click edit to make changes to your post or select the down arrow icon to reschedule or delete the post.
Best of Luck!
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