Beginner's Guide for Facebook Marketing
As the largest social network in the world, Facebook has more than 1.23 billion active users, 62% of whom log in on a daily basis. The question is: how do you target all of those users with your marketing?
The good news is that the Facebook advertising platform allows you to focus and show your product to the demographic profile that you’re looking for. You can target by location, gender, age group, demographics and interests. In this guide, we will show you the basics of how to use Facebook to your advantage. It will benefit beginners who want an introduction into marketing their business on the world’s largest social network.
How Can You Market on Facebook?
Facebook has three tools (pages, ads, and groups) that can be used by anyone. Each of these options has its own purpose, and they can be combined for greater reach.
Facebook pages are similar to profiles, but for businesses, organizations, and public figures. Users can “Like” and "Follow" a page, which means they will automatically receive updates from that page on their news feed. Users also have the option to “Like” a page but not follow it.
While profiles require a mutual relationship between friends, pages can be liked by anyone without a requirement for the page creator to accept a fan. They also don’t have a restriction on the number of friends/fans they can have.
Advantages: Pages are free and easy to set up.
Disadvantages: It can be hard to get a foothold and build a fanbase with a page.
Facebook offers a fantastic targeted advertising platform. You can create ads targeted at specific geographic areas, ages, education levels and even the types of devices used for browsing. With the wide variety of ad formats available on Facebook, you are able to direct users to a certain page (eg. facebook page, facebook post, webpage, etc), or respond to a certain call-to-action (eg. click on "Like", sign up, make a purchase, etc)
Advantages: Ads have powerful targeting parameters.
Disadvantages: Ads can get expensive depending on your goals.
Facebook groups are similar to discussion forums, but with additional features that pages and profiles have (like a wall). You can create groups related to your industry or product offerings as a way to reach out to potential customers.
Advantages: Groups are free and have high levels of engagement.
Disadvantages: Groups can be very time-consuming.
How to Market with Pages
Facebook pages are the simplest, easiest way to get started marketing with Facebook. Unfortunately, many companies don’t use them to their full potential; or worse, use them badly. These guidelines will help you avoid making those mistakes.
Profile Photo and Cover Image
Your profile photo should be your logo.
As for the cover image, it will depend on your business purpose of creating a Facebook page in the first place. Some use photos of employees, while others use fancy artwork and put their contact information in the cover image. The main focus is to pick an image that could enhance your brand by drawing the eyes of your visitors.
The “About” section is prominently placed right below your company logo. Make sure you put good information here, telling people what your company does, why you’re different, and other interesting details. If you can, take the time to write it specifically for your Facebook audience. Be sure to fill in all of your data under “Basic Info.”
Just remember to keep it friendly and informal. A casual tone usually works best on Facebook.
Think about what the priorities are for your visitors. If you’re a physical store, you may want to make a tab for location. If you host webinars, perhaps you could use the Events tab to let people sign up and join your webinars. Social media is about engagement, so the more (and the more closely) you get your fans to engage with you, the better marketer you will be.
Post Useful Information to Your Wall
What you post to your wall will show up in the news feeds of everyone who has “Liked” your page, just as it does when you post something to your personal profile.
So, make sure what you’re posting is useful. Don’t clog the newsfeeds of your fans.
Here are some ideas for the kinds of things you might want to post on your wall:
Links to articles related to your industry or your company
Links to your blog posts
Coupon codes for fans to save on your products
New product announcements
Links to online tools your fans might find useful
Again, make sure that your posts are useful. Also, don’t post more than a few times each day unless there’s a special event going on.
Engage Your Fans
Getting your fans involved with your page is a great way to inspire loyalty.
Here are some examples:
Ask open-ended questions on your updates
Ask for opinions on a new product idea or project - this can be a good way to convince your fans that your company cares about what they want.
High user engagement will send a signal to Facebook that this article is popular among users and it will encourage them to show your posts on top of the Facebook News Feed.
Spam is one of the quickest ways to lose fans. Before you send out any updates, ask yourself if it honestly adds value to the conversation. If not, don’t post it.
Study Your Statistics and Results
Facebook offers some really great analytics for pages. Pay attention to them. If you see a big surge in fans, look at what you’ve posted recently and see if you can figure out a reason for the trend. Then, post more of such content.
Because it gathers so much demographic information about its users, Facebook has one of the best targeted advertising programs online. You can target users based on virtually anything you might find on their profiles, as well as track your success with each segment.
Ads can be run on a per-impression or per-click basis. Facebook shows you what bids are for ads similar to yours, so you know if your bid is in line with others in the industry. You also can set daily limits so there’s no risk of blowing your budget.
Types of Facebook Ads
There are a number of ad subtypes to choose from.
You can create ads that direct to your Facebook page, or to a site not on Facebook. You can create ads to promote a Facebook event, complete with a RSVP link. You can create ads for mobile app installs and app engagement.
Powerful Targeting Options
You can target virtually anything on a user’s profile. You can start with the location as this works particularly well for local businesses. Besides location, you can choose basic demographics including relationship status, age, workplace, education (including major and years of attendance), birthday, and much more.
You can also target people based on their interests. Say, for example, you have a product that’s targeted at soccer fans. You could enter soccer or sports in the Interests field.
Or, maybe you’ve written a book and you’re sure that people who like another certain book will like yours. Enter the book’s title under Interests, and you’ll specifically target those users.
Customize Your Ads
The other big advantage to tightly-targeted ads is that you can create different ads for different demographic groups. Better-targeted ads are going to garner better results.
If you have a bakery and you are targeting users that are interested in different kinds of pastry, cakes and sweets, you can create individual ads for each of the product categories. You are able to instruct Facebook to only show ads to people who have indicated in their Interests that they like a particular kind of product that matches what you are offering.
Users Can Hide Your Ad
People can “Like” an advertisement (if it’s that type) or hide the ad. Upon closing an ad, Facebook asks the user to specify why they didn’t like it.
Facebook isn’t just powerful. It’s flexible. No matter what type of company you run, it has enough different marketing options that you can tailor your marketing efforts to fit your company, your budget, and your time constraints. Time to set aside some time to start running some test campaigns.