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Feel like your Facebook marketing is shouting into the void? Follow these tips
At 2.3 billion active users, Facebook is the dominant social media network. It's also a tough one for marketers to crack. Changes to Facebook's newsfeed algorithm mean it's getting harder for brands to surface organically, and advertising is becoming more competitive.
But Facebook marketing can still deliver an incredible return on investment. If you get your strategy right, you'll have an enormous and highly engaged audience at your fingertips.
Get your profile right
The first step in building your brand will be starting your business profile. There are a few details to pay attention to here.
1. Choose your category
Facebook will offer you several choices for the best category to describe your business. You'll be able to pick from:
Local Business or Place
Company, Organization or Institution
Brand or Product
Artist, Band or Public Figure
Cause of Community
It's important to get this detail right, and pick the category that best describes what you do. For instance, if you primarily service a local area and have a bricks and mortar office or retail space, choosing Local Business or Place will allow you to display your physical address, while Brand or Product won't.
2. Make the most of your photos
Your profile photo is the first thing users will see when they search for your brand, and it's going to appear on every post. You want to ensure it's not turning off potential customers.
You only have 180x180px to make an impression here. If you're a brand or business, it makes sense to use your logo. But if your logo is overly busy or includes a lot of text, it'll be hard for users to decipher and you may want to invest in a logo redesign.
If you're using a photo of yourself, make sure it's a close-up shot of your face, and that you're making eye contact. A full body shot will appear too small.
The next photo to focus on is your cover photo. You've got more room here to create something visually appealing. You can use this space for a call to action or for your brand message. Remember you can also use a 20–90 second video as your cover photo.
On the left hand side of your page you'll see your sidebar with a number of tabs. These tabs are usually categorized as:
But you can customize these tabs to better suit your business. Note how in the photo below, Mailchimp has added Email Signup as a lead generation tool.
SEO and marketing expert Neil Patel has customized his tabs as well, adding Series and changing the order to prioritize the kind of content he wants his audience to engage with.
Customize your own tabs to best suit your brand and highlight the content you want people to see.
4. Add a call to action
Give users something to do when they land on your page. Whether it's signing up for a newsletter, requesting a quote or heading straight to a page to buy your product, include a clear call to action on your profile page. You can read our guide to learn how to write a great call to action.
Get your content right
To succeed at Facebook marketing, you have to expand outside just the users who are searching your brand. You need to produce great content that shows up organically in users' newsfeeds and entices them to learn more about your brand.
5. Keep it visual
Imagery and video are essential. Short videos will perform best, and keep in mind that most users watch videos without the sound on, so you'll need to caption your video to get engagement. Facebook also prioritizes native video, so consider using its native video player rather than embedding a YouTube video.
If you're using static images, make sure they're high quality and that they're optimized for mobile. Also, consider sharing images in Carousel posts, which allow users to scroll through multiple images. It's a great way to get people engaged.
6. Offer value
Your content shouldn't focus too heavily on selling your product or service. If you're linking from Facebook to content on your website, make sure it's content that actually offers value to the reader. If you're keeping your audience on Facebook and offering your content there natively, don't just do brand promotion. Make users think or make them laugh. This will do far more for your brand than just endlessly touting your product or service.
7. Get interactive
Interactive content is one of the best ways to engage users. Quizzes and polls get users interacting with your content. You can even just ask open-ended questions that prompt users to comment.
8. Let your audience create
Make use of user-generated content. According to Salesforce, campaigns with user-generated content have a 50% higher engagement rate than those without. It could be photos of customers engaging with your brand, or you could run a contest asking for audience submissions. Anything that offers your audience the chance to create helps build brand trust and authenticity.
Get your engagement right
Once you have an audience, you have to interact with them regularly in order to keep them.
9. Don't antagonize your audience
This sounds like a no-brainer, but social media can be a brutal place. Any time you put content out in a public forum as vast and heterogeneous as Facebook, you can expect to encounter a few … well … assholes.
While getting embroiled in a flame war with a Facebook troll might offer some measure of satisfaction, it won't do much for your brand image (unless you're witty enough for your sick burns to go viral). Engage with your audience politely, answer their concerns with empathy and try to develop a thick skin.
Respond to comments quickly. According to SproutSocial, the average brand response time on social media is 10 hours, while the average consumer expects a response within 0–4 hours. Stay on top of comments and messages and show your audience that you're available and responsive.
11. Post at the right frequency
The frequency with which you should post on social media depends on the platform. More than 20 studies have shown the best frequency for posting on Facebook is once a day. Posting more than this can make your brand look spammy.
12. Post at the right time
Measure your audience's engagement to find the most effective times to post new content. Research suggests that 3PM on weekdays is the best time to post on most social media platforms, with Thursday afternoon being the absolute peak.
While this is a good rule of thumb, different industries see different peak times for engagement. You'll need to analyze your own audience's activity to see the best times and days to get the most engagement from your content.
Get your advertising right
It's much harder to be surfaced organically on Facebook than on many other social media sites. You'll need to put some money behind your efforts to build a successful marketing strategy. Make sure it's money well spent.
13. Target your audience
Facebook offers an insane level of specificity in its audience segmentation. You could target your ad, for example, only to be seen by 18- 34-year-old males in a 50 mile radius who are interested in rock climbing. Creating custom audiences this detailed is a goldmine for engagement. Just don't go so specific that you narrow your audience out of existence.
You can also use Facebook ads to retarget existing customers. You can import a list from MailChimp, or enter customer details such as email and phone number to find people who've bought from your in the past.
You can even go so far (and this is where it gets a bit creepy) as to target people who've visited your website, even if they haven't bought from you. Using a plugin called Pixel, which we'll go into in more detail later, you can create your custom audience from past site visitors.
14. Test different copy
Create different versions of your ad and then measure which one does better. This is an easy task in Facebook Ads Manager. The platform walks you through split testing.
15. Use different formats
Facebook offers you a variety of formats for your advertising. You can use carousel ads to showcase multiple products in the same ad. Carousels support both images and video. You can opt for a video ad, but make sure to keep it short and provide captions. Or you can create an immersive, interactive experience that brings together videos, images and text with Facebook Canvas ads.
16. Don't forget the landing page
It's likely that your ad will click through to a landing page that further showcases your product or service. If you're investing time and energy into crafting an eye-catching Facebook ad, don't drop the ball on your landing page.
Make sure your landing page is visually appealing and the text is easy to scan. Include a clear to call to action. To learn more about writing copy for landing pages (and the web in general), read our guide.
If you don't have a specific landing page to tie into your ad, think about using Facebook Lead ads. These integrate a lead form right into your ad so users can enter their information without leaving Facebook.
Get your analytics right
Once you have a Facebook marketing strategy, you need to measure it. Analyzing your strategy will show you what's working and what's not, and help you react quickly.
17. Use Facebook Pixel
We mentioned Facebook Pixel before. Facebook Pixel is a snippet of code you insert on your website. Not only does it allow you to target your ads to people who've already visited your site, it also lets you track people who visit your site from your Facebook ads. You can track traffic and conversions, giving you a clear picture of your ad's effectiveness.
18. Monitor trends
You should pay attention to what people are talking about and engaging with on social media so you can join the conversation. An easy way to do this is with a tool like BuzzSumo. It identifies topic trends and influencers to help you stay ahead of the social media discourse.
You'll also need to track what your competitors are doing. There are plenty of great tools for monitoring competitors' social media campaigns, but you can also do this manually if you know your top two or three competitors.
19. Track engagement
Facebook offers its own set of analytics to track how your content is performing. It breaks its analytics down into Reach and Engagement. Reach is the total number of people who saw your post, whereas Engagement measures the number of people who took some action on your post, including liking, sharing, commenting or clicking through.
Engagement is an important metric. You can see how many people engaged with your post organically, and how many came through your paid promotion of the post. You can also see how many people engaged with your post because it was shared by someone else (viral engagement).
20. Focus on sales
The most important metric for your Facebook marketing is sales. If all your efforts aren't translating into sales, your strategy isn't working. A tool like Pixel makes it easy to track sales directly to your Facebook marketing campaign. Pay attention to this metric, and if you're not seeing your results, change your strategy.