One of the very first tips that anyone is likely to tell you when you’re looking to get involved in online marketing, is that you need to be on Facebook and start Facebook marketing.
And the truth is, they’re not really lying! Recent figures suggest that Facebook continues to be one of the most popular social media platforms with more than 2.5 billion monthly active users, and 1.66 billion daily active Facebook users.
Those numbers don’t suggest this is a social platform that is likely to fade from the Internet marketing landscape anytime soon. So, swotting up on the basics of Facebook marketing will almost certainly be a time extremely well-invested for your brand.
But what is Facebook marketing?
Facebook marketing refers to promoting a product, service, or brand on the platform. There are various marketing tactics to reach and engage with your target market on Facebook, including:
- Posting regular content – There are different types of Facebook posts that a business can use, such as simple text, images, videos, links, stories, events and fundraisers. Posting regular content on the business page keeps followers engaged and interested in the brand.
- Running a Facebook ad campaign – Includes image, video and carousel ads that can be targeted to reach specific demographics, interests, behaviours, and locations.
- Using Facebook Messenger – communicating with customers, answering questions, and providing customer support.
- Creating and managing a Facebook business page
- Creating Facebook groups
- Partnering with influencers
- Using Facebook Live
Marketing on Facebook can help businesses of all sizes to increase brand awareness, generate leads, drive website traffic, and ultimately increase sales and revenue.
First of all… consider whether your target audience is on Facebook
Facebook being as ubiquitous as it is, the answer to this question for your own brand is almost certainly going to be “yes”.
Figures from Pew Research Center, for instance, indicate that as of February 2019, 72% of US adults used at least one social media site. Furthermore, while this percentage rises to 90% for the 18-to-29 age group that has helped to popularise social media over the last 15 years or so, even the figure for those aged 65 or over is still a perfectly respectable 40%.
So, social media isn’t just for marketing to the ‘young and hip’ anymore – almost any and every demographic that you can imagine is well-represented on these platforms. Facebook’s wide user base makes it an excellent marketing tool to build brand awareness.
Oh, and according to the same source, the proportion of US adults who use Facebook hovered at 69% in 2019. That was well ahead of the likes of Instagram’s 37% and Twitter’s 22%. So again, on the basis of these figures, it’s almost certain that Facebook marketing will be worthwhile for your brand.
So, what elements of Facebook do marketers need to be aware of?
The most obvious and central component of Facebook for marketing is the Pages feature. You’re almost certainly ‘liking’ and ‘following’ a fair few Facebook Pages already – for your favourite rock star or that great coffee shop down the road, for instance – and therefore automatically receive updates from that page in your news feed.
Pages aren’t quite the same as personal Facebook profiles. Indeed, they’re more public and outward-facing than those, as anyone can like or follow a Facebook Page without any approval from whoever is running that Page, as opposed to the ‘friend request’ system that applies to profiles.
Nonetheless, it’s quick and easy to set up a Page. Indeed, once you have done so and added the likes of an appropriate profile photo and cover image and started to post useful information on your brand’s Page, you’ll be well-placed to start building those ‘fans’ and ‘followers’ on Facebook.
While creating a Facebook page and posting content is easy, it is crucial to create a Facebook marketing strategy to achieve success on the platform. A well-defined strategy will help to ensure that your efforts are targeted, effective, and aligned with your overall business goals.
Here are some considerations for your Facebook marketing strategy:
- Defining your market will help you create posts and messaging that resonate to your audiences’ interests and needs.
- Setting clear goals, measurable goals will help you track progress and measure the success of your marketing efforts. Common goals include increasing sales, recruiting, and growing brand awareness in your niche or market.
- Developing a content strategy should include what, when, and number of times to post and how to engage with your audience.
- Your Facebook page should be complete and optimised, with all necessary information filled out and up-to-date, making it easier for your target Facebook users to find and interact with your brand.
- Using Facebook Messenger not only as a communication and support tool but as a means to build rapport with your customers.
- Boosting posts or running a full-blow ad campaign
- Installing Meta Pixel to track page visitors and analyse their behaviour, providing valuable insights for optimising your marketing strategy.
But there’s so much more to Facebook marketing…
While Pages are the typical focal point for brands spreading the word about themselves, their products and services on Facebook, there are various other features and tools on the platform that you might conceivably use to promote your firm.
These include the likes of Facebook Groups and Facebook Marketplace – the former more-or-less online discussion forums based on Facebook, and the latter enabling you to directly sell products through the social network.
Then, there’s targeted Facebook advertising, which is a whole other world in itself. Advertising on Facebook has proven to be highly effective for a variety of industries, including real estate, consulting agencies, healthcare, as well as ecommerce and retail. In a nutshell, we’re talking about the ability to create Facebook ads targeted at specific geographical areas, ages, education levels and so on.
With Facebook gathering such in-depth demographic information about its users, targeted advertising through the site can be extremely powerful.
Never underestimate Facebook’s sustained dominance
Facebook in general has a deserved reputation as an exceedingly flexible and powerful marketing platform for almost any and every kind of brand.
While it’ll doubtless take you some time to fully get to grips with the site’s assorted features, its continued primacy in the world of social media marketing remains largely unchallenged.