Facebook has been around for 16 years now. It’s not new that having a business on Facebook has never been this fruitful. Since the time Facebook transformed itself into an advertising social media platform, things are changing quarter on quarter.
As easy as it is to market your business on Facebook, it has got costlier too. Over the years of using Facebook as a digital marketer, I have discovered a ton of insights that makes Facebook one of the best platforms to get high qualified sales, traffic or any business goal that there can be for an online business.
I mean, C’mon, Facebook has 1.66 billion users every single day & 2.5 billion users month on month. Sure, not everyone on this platform is your potential customer, but even if 1% is your potential enough, you can’t afford to completely ignore this platform.
Social media platforms may come & go, Facebook is here to stay. Facebook is the benchmark, it’s the S.I unit of social media marketing. Facebook is the Google of social media.
Personally, I don’t like Facebook, I least use it. But as a business professional, Facebook is the main weapon in my arsenal.
In this post, I will help you find answers to the following:
- What is Facebook Marketing?
- Why should you market your business on Facebook?
- How should you carry out the marketing campaigns on Facebook?
- How to find someone to market your business on Facebook?
This post is for you if you’re finding it difficult to establish your business on Facebook and meet your marketing goals on this social media giant. Don’t you want to leverage what Facebook knows about its users and convert better than any other social network?
If you answered Yes, I promise you’re going to get hooked onto this post. Since I’ve poured data, best practices, tips, marketing strategies, case studies & much more.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
What is Facebook marketing?
Facebook marketing is all about building an engaging & active audience for your business on the platform. The sole purpose of having your business on Facebook is to build an audience of real people who’re interested in buying products and/or services you have to offer.
Marketing on Facebook is a part of inbound marketing, where you leave the solution to problems you solve across the internet in a way that potential customers reach out to you. Like advertising on Facebook, being active on Facebook groups or any internet-based entity where your target audience spends most of their time.
Inbound Marketing is basically being helpful & relatable to your audience, upfront. Understanding their needs, goals & problems so that you can tell them how you can solve it.
The best way to solve those problems is to be available on platforms where the target audience spends a lot of time. This way, you not only solve their problems, but you also come across new problems that they’re already posting on various entities of Facebook (Pages, groups, walls, etc.)
Almost everything that’s done as part of marketing is inbound marketing, except cold-calls/messages & email marketing. Email marketing is a classic example of outbound marketing, where you reach out to your audience, potential customers or existing customers with offers, new updates & other relevant things.
But we will restrict our discussion to inbound marketing and move on.
If you don’t already know, but you need a Facebook Page to market your business on the platform. You can use your Facebook profile, but you neither have the required tools & most importantly, you don’t have insights into the posts you make.
Insights reveal a lot of information about the activity happening on your business page & it further helps you make educated decisions about your content creation strategy for your business on Facebook.
There’s a lot of talk in the town that Facebook is losing its grip in the social media jungle. There’s another thing going around that Facebook organic reach is nearly 0% so there’s no scope for emerging businesses to grow without paying for ads.
It’s both true & partially untrue.
Let’s take a look at it in the subsequent section.
Understanding the Facebook algorithm
Ever since Facebook came live, the algorithm has kept evolving. With more users, it was trained to ‘personalize’ the news feed.
Because that’s what the users wanted, updates from their friend & family, posts from the pages they’ve liked, important news, etc. However, with the increasing user base, the algorithm kept getting stricter & stricter for the business pages.
The last major update in the algorithm was named Facebook Zero, which was outright brutal on the business pages. The algorithm would show less public content from the business pages and more content that induces interaction between people to people.
Facebook has publically showed concern about the platform not being appreciated by its users for being a waste of time. The core reason for this happening is people watching fewer updates of their loved ones and more content from business, both sponsored or organic.
The ultimate goal is to make people love the platform as a medium to interact with loved ones.
So I’m not surprised if news feed has fewer ads than before, which not only makes the competition tougher, but it also makes the ad price even more expensive.
Here’s a video, directly from Facebook sharing some insight about the algorithm updates & how it will impact the businesses.
With all this happening, what’s the escape for marketers?
Well, Facebook has given a hint.
The algorithm is designed to see more updates from people to people. So what if you create content that engages with people and this engagement appears on the news feed of the audience you targeted in the first place?
Look, Facebook is the boss here. You cannot overpower it, what you can do is bend the rules in a way that you reach the right place without much of a monetary effort.
It is clear that Facebook wants you to pay more to reach the audience, which is right by the way. However, why spend more when you can do it without paying for it?
Shift focus from creating content for pages (that sits on Facebook page & dies there underneath a behemoth of newer content) to interactive content that’s shared & talked about by real people.
Unlike the search engine algorithm, Facebook doesn’t update the algorithm that often. So it’s a relief for marketers.
Bottom line: Creating thought-provoking, interactive content & shareable content that has the highest organic reach.
Is Facebook still relevant for marketing your business in 2020?
67% of advertisers believe that Facebook is the best social platform for marketing their business. If you belong to the remaining 33%, this section is the right fit for you.
Number don’t lie, never. So here are some fancy but true numbers for starters:
- 2.5 billion monthly users with a buyer’s intent, use Facebook every month
- 1.3 billion logs in every day
- 90 million small, medium & large businesses rely on Facebook to meet their business goals
- Though organic reach is dead, Facebook groups are a great source to gain organic reach.
- 100 million hours of content is watched on Facebook worldwide
- The average price of an ad decreased by 2% and the impressions of the ad increased by 34%
- More than 7 million advertisers are actively meeting their business goals on Facebook
Facebook is the benchmark for marketers, it’s the first thing that comes to their mind when someone talks about social media marketing.
A study conducted by buffer found stunning results. 93.7% of businesses that were surveyed were using Facebook for marketing their business on social media.
Furthermore, 60% of consumers that made a purchase found that brand on social media.
I totally understand Facebook was losing the grip in past years because of zero organic reach. But it’s not the case anymore. Facebook groups that have been under the rock for all this while, has taken the front seat. Groups are more engaging than the parent pages.
Facebook has bigger plans for groups & messenger, an entity that has 1.4 billion users month on month, cannot go unnoticed. Though the messenger is for minting money, but for groups, it’s a different story.
Facebook groups will keep the company alive by letting the users meet their goals without paying a dime. Running a high engagement group will turn out to be highly fruitful for marketers.
If someone wants to grow organically, the Facebook groups are the answer.
Growing organically is again a thing on Facebook. Last time I checked, you can only post in 5 groups a day. But if you find high engagement groups & add value to that group by posting and engaging in comments, you can really grow organically like it was a couple of years ago.
So is Facebook still relevant, hell yeah!
How to start marketing your business on Facebook?
Now that Facebook has become a synonym of search, it is common that people would consider Facebook for marketing their products & services even if they don’t like using it.
That’s a personal preference, business isn’t personal.
However, the first thing to understand is Facebook isn’t for everyone, so it every other marketing channel. Every business has a unique set of audiences & hence approaching those audiences becomes very subjective.
Just for the sake of example & to make you understand, say you own a casino or run gambling platform and want to market your business on Facebook. Even the world’s biggest casino brands aren’t on Facebook, the world’s biggest alcohol brands cannot market on Facebook.
Not only Facebook allows it, even if Facebook knows the users having an interest in alcohol or casinos. Facebook just won’t let you create a page for that.
So this came out of understanding the target audience.
As mentioned above, over 2.5 billion people use Facebook every single month, not finding someone relevant is not acceptable.
But here are some questions you should ask yourself before you begin marketing your business on Facebook.
- Does Facebook allow marketing your business?
- If yes, How much do you know about your target audience?
- Does Facebook provide an ambiance for your content to work?
Every social platform has its own persona. Instagram is a visual-based social platform, where images & videos dominate. You cannot promote your blogs (unless you gain 10k followers to get the swipe up feature)
I’m recently seeing a lot of misleading posts on Instagram just to get more likes & follows. For example, people are uploading selfies with the hashtag #DigitalMarketing when they’re not even remotely related to digital marketing.
Similarly, Facebook has a different persona. Users of all interests spend time here. People have mixed emotions & a really distracted mind if you can create content to grab their attention.
For example, businesses from the educational background find it really difficult to gain organic reach. Very few portions of users visit Facebook to learn something. Even if they do, they get carried away by distracting content.
I’m building this plot to help you do your homework before you jump into creating a Facebook Page which we will see in the next section.
So let’s dive into knowing a little bit about the Facebook page & how you can utilize it to scale your business to new heights.
What is a Facebook Page? How to create, manage & maintain a Facebook Page?
A Facebook page is the online home to your business. That’s where people turn up to find updates, services & other relevant information about your or your business. Creating a Facebook page for your business is highly beneficial in many ways.
Okay, you get it. Facebook page is for businesses, but of what kind?
Literally, any business can find space under the roof of Facebook to promote their business. You should either have a ton of money, or a ton of experience, or both.
Before you begin marketing your business on Facebook, you might need to understand what type of businesses can survive on Facebook.
While you can create a Facebook business page for pretty much anything, but if your page is violating any of the Facebook Page Policies, your page will be banned soon after someone reports it or Facebook finds it.
But I’m sure, you’re not one of those criminal masterminds, who’d indulge in such violating activities.
So who should use Facebook for marketing their business?
- Local shops/businesses
- Public figures
- Product & Service-based businesses
- Non-Profit Organizations & NGOs
Facebook has taken care to cover almost all the business categories (that won’t explicitly violate Facebook Page Policies) but if you’ve not already created a Facebook Page you will be guided by Facebook.
You can even convert your Facebook profile into a Facebook page easily.
Note: If you use a Facebook profile to promote your business, Facebook will shut the profile & you won’t be able to hide for long. Since this process is manual, there’s no chance of misunderstanding.
Best practices for maintaining a Facebook Page
I’m assuming that you already have a Facebook page for your business. You have the page decently engaged but that’s not what its meant for. You should be leveraging the humungous population present there.
In order to do that, here are a few things you can do:
- Adding relevant photos speak stories on your behalf. Photos take a lot of rounds on all social media platforms. Even though videos are being promoted a lot, images are an all-time favorite.
- Have an appealing cover photo/video, Since that’s the first thing people see, have an image or video that acts as a hook & people know about you in one shot.
- Set up & use Facebook Business Manager: Facebook calls it “One-stop shop to business assets, business tools & employee access to these assets”. Learn more about the business manager for your page & how to set up one for your business.
- Describe your business in terms of how you can solve your target audience’s problems. Begin with the USP. Keep it short, to the point & something that tickles emotions & logic in equal proportions.
- Create a username that uniform across all social media platforms. Don’t forget to claim a unique URL of the business page and not some random characters that Facebook provides.
- Add page to the shortcut that sits on the left of the Facebook news feed. Fixed!
- Setup page roles if you’re having multiple taking care of various activities like moderating user-generated posts, editing posts, & other administrative tasks.
- Set up goals for your business with the help of tools available on Facebook. These tools are designed to help you achieve that goal.
- Add CTA on the top of your business page. Facebook provides a lot of customizable elements that can be added in order to meet various business goals. You can add buttons at the top of the page, have people do the most important action for your business.
- Organize page tabs so that the followers can see the most important section at the top. The idea is to help them navigate easily, without much effort.
- Verify your page, if you’re eligible. Facebook will manually verify the details asked. If you’re a public figure, you’d need to submit nationally approved documents. There are two types of verification badges, grey and blue ticks. Grey is for verified businesses, brands & blue tick is for verified individuals, celebrities & public figures.
- Fill out About section, that’s how people know about you and/or your business.
- Do not buy likes & followers, it’s as unreal & tempting as a Pokèmon. You will be tempted to buy, but don’t. The algorithm is designed to focus on engagement (even if it’s coming from users who don’t follow your page) and not the number of followers your page has.
- Maintain a good response time, that’s a signal to the algorithm that your page is user-friendly & interactive.
- Embed your business page on your website, blog & emails. Facebook makes it really easy & simple to like & follow the page.
- Cross-promote on other social platforms. It’s easy to add links & connect Facebook account.
How to attract more customers on Facebook? (Facebook marketing best practices)
I began this post assuming that you already have decent traffic & followers on Facebook and you want to scale & grow the count even further.
Chances are you already have a budget, if not in terms of money, surely in terms of time.
With these two things in mind, let me share the best practices you should follow in order to grow your followers multiple folds
But before I share anything on this, I want you to come up with a one-liner of what you’re going to do with the audience you build on Facebook.
Are you going to monetize their attention? Are you going to sell your products/services organically or through ads? Or you simply want a community of loyal fans on social media who can buzz about your business as a token of love.
Knowing this is important as it will help you come up with the right amount of context in the content you create.
I can help you with the strategies, but the execution part is on you.
If you want to win at marketing on Facebook, you need to be super possessive for content you post on the platform. Staying in the know of the features that Facebook releases, keeping an eye on the trending stories & content, looking out for opportunities from existing content by your competitors are a few of many best practices that can help you stay in the game.
However, this section is dedicated to helping you familiarize & double-triple down the overall marketing strategy on Facebook.
If you’re looking for what format of content you can post on Facebook, here’s the guide.
I’m here to discuss the hardcore strategy to help you grow your business, the cosmetics can wait or will be linked.
#1 Create more video content
Facebook is promoting video content like crazy. That too the ones that are natively posted and not links to external sources.
Since more than 50% of Facebook users use the platform on mobile, Facebook auto-plays the videos without any sound. So adding an srt file containing the closed captions is a necessary step.
The trick is to create a recall value so that the target audience can recognize the brand just by listening to it.
Furthermore, Facebook is evolving as a search engine. Facebook is making people search for something and returning things they’re expecting.
#2 Create humorous content
We live in a world where everyone is understanding memes & dark sarcasm. People are getting better with humor and higher-order thinking ability, plain & direct content is boring and doesn’t get entertained by us.
Think about it. You too do not respond to plain content that follows traditional ways to grab attention, it seldom does any good.
Great content helps you create great brand awareness. Furthermore, the Facebook algorithm loves content that sparks a conversation.
So your job is not only to create content that has hooks that engage with the sub-conscious mind. If you want to hook the audience, tickle their emotions, logic & ethics.
A perfect blend of these elements will drive a lot of engagement.
#3 Use Facebook messenger to engage the users
Facebook has made its messenger as an extension for your business. You can market your business either as a push notification service or install the bots for messenger on your website to make it easy for your end-users to interact.
A user would only wait for 10 minutes for a response before switching to another brand.
The bots can be used to either generate leads or nurture the existing ones. You can set up drip messages to establish a relationship with the leads you generate.
The messenger can run in-app & in-browser so it makes it easy to generate leads & have customer interaction irrespective of the peripherals of the end-users.
How cool is that? Facebook cool!
#4 Retarget & Remarket with Facebook Pixel
Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you place on your website so that Facebook can track user interactions and let you show ads accordingly.
Another great thing that the pixel lets you do is retarget or remarket to the audience who’ve visited your website & did not convert the way you wanted to.
Ever noticed ads on Facebook from Amazon of the products you added to cart but didn’t buy or just peeped. That’s because of the Facebook pixel.
#5 Set SMART goals for your campaigns
Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based) goals to track key metrics on social media.
Social media platforms are bad with sharing numbers & traffic source, so it’s on you to design mining data for your own benefit.
- Shubham Davey (@AskDaveyJi) March 3, 2020
A study was conducted by SproutSocial in 2018 that revealed very useful insights as part of setting goals.
- 34% of business wanted to spread awareness about their brand
- 21% wanted to increase engagement in the community
- 11% wanted to generate more leads from Facebook
So first analyze a goal, conclude a goal, very specific goal you want to achieve on Facebook. Setting the right goals is the most fundamental element for any social media campaign, let alone Facebook.
Setting goals need a lot of clarity, you should know exactly what you’re serving & what problem you are solving.
Like my goal is to help people/company grow their businesses online. People have little to no clarity about marketing businesses online, I’m solving this problem.
Every move I make is to meet this goal, be it social media posts, blog posts, research & experiments, content repurpose and whatnot.
That’s my goal. You should have it too.
#6 Know your audience on Facebook
Since you understand the goals & problems you’re solving, it’s easy to find the audience who’s probably looking for a solution online, if not specifically on Facebook.
Once you know the audience, you know what content will solve their problem. The only thing you need to worry about is the format of content you should create & how you hook the audience with that content.
These are the two variables you should keep juggling in every campaign.
The audience is a very subjective topic which needs a lot of details and depends on factors like
- Location (country or region)
- Income (if applicable)
- …. and a lot of details
It completely depends on the product/service you offer.
As mentioned above, just having a clear goal would reveal a lot about your target audience. Brainstorm for digging in, create surveys, read case studies, research on the field, interview people.
These some ways I can think of that can help you understand your audience.
But since we’re talking about Facebook, let me share a cool way to get a lot of insight about your audience right from inside of the platform.
Facebook Insights sits on your page depending on the theme you choose. Generally, it can be found in the top ribbon of your page, as shown below.
This will give you detailed insights about every individual element you can utilize to run your business on Facebook like followers, likes, reach, page views, reviews, interaction on the page, posts, videos stories & messages.
But this data helps you understand the users who’ve interacted in the past, even if you opt to view today’s data. But the Audience Insights on Facebook Ads will help you understand the audience in advance.
Simply navigate to Facebook Ads manager & click on the menu in the top left corner and then click on Audience Insights under Analyze and report section, as shown in the image below.
Once you’re inside the research tool, you will be asked to choose an audience to begin with:
To begin with, I’d select Everyone on Facebook. Enter your target location in the “Location” section on the left. Add interests that you want to target, add all of them.
See the data populate and you can know so much about your target audience in a few clicks.
How you use it up to you, but here’s what you’re going to get
In demographics, you will get to know about the ethnicity of the people you’ve chosen to target, like gender, marital status, qualification, job title, etc.
In the likes tab, you will find similar pages that they like so you can take inspiration from them & create parallel content for them.
In the location tab, you will find the top location (countries & city) & language.
This data is intended to help you research for creating ads, but you can do that to create a strategy for content creation for your business page.
#7 Engage with your target audience proactively
Since you have a lot of data about the audience you want to target, you know exactly where your audience spends most of their time.
This makes it easy for you to reach out to them upfront.
The basic idea of social media marketing is not only brand awareness, but it’s also building a loyal audience, tickling emotions & logic is equal proportions.
Gone are the days when simply posting on the Facebook page would bring a tsunami of engagement. While organic reach on Facebook is already a joke, Facebook is promoting groups a lot. You can leverage that to gain traffic to your page, people are highly active on Facebook groups.
And if you haven’t already noticed, posts from Facebook groups have started showing on the news feed, which gives a broader reach.
But there’s a catch.
Last time I checked, you can only post 5 times a day in any group. Facebook locks you out if you post more than 5 times.
So choose the top 5 groups & be highly active in terms of comments.
Next thing you can do is build a community of your own, you can promote it on your blogs, emails, & other social media profiles. This way, you build a community, you completely own. Even if you get kicked out of the groups or the group shuts down for some reason, you have your own community to rely on.
#8 Know the best time on Facebook
There’s no point in posting if no one’s watching or consuming it. Though the life span of a Facebook post is 3–4 hours, it’s not enough time for your post to reach the audience you’d expect to reach.
Considering the mass population you’re targeting, it’s nearly impossible to even reach 10% of that in the given time. Furthermore, with an average CTR of 9% and conversion rate even less, you’d be left with nothing to celebrate.
You need to exactly pinpoint and click that publish button (or schedule it) at the right time.
Though, there’s no textbook that teaches you that right time. You have to study that from the data available in Facebook insights & Facebook Ads manager.
There have been numerous studies & observation that tells a lot about the best time to post on Facebook, but it all burns down to who you’re targeting & with what intention.
I can mention some generic time found out in the studies that will be best for almost all businesses, but when you start the ball rolling, you’ll come across better timings to post.
- Wednesday has the highest engagement in the week
- 11 am to 1 pm has the highest engagement on Wednesday
- It’s okay to post during the weekdays but be cautious about the working hours of your target audience
- Off the weekends, Sunday has the least engagement. It’s obvious, why
Note: Pay attention to the lifestyle of your target audience. If they are living in a different time zone, it’s important to post according to their time zone.
Posting frequency is a debatable thing for obvious reasons, in most cases it has been found that posting more than 2–3 posts has been fruitful only for pages with more than 10,000 followers.
With pages less than 10,000 followers, it’s better to post 1–2 posts a day and share in high traction groups for more exposure.
#9 Schedule your posts in advance
Once you have got hold of the best time to post on Facebook you can schedule event-based posts in advance. This keeps you in a safe zone as you won’t miss the best time of posting for your page.
Especially, if your target is in different time zone. Facebook has been very possessive for humans to operate the scheduling process and hates it if third party schedulers post it on your behalf.
With this data in mind, you can schedule the most important links to your business website on Facebook in a duration of whatever you think is right.
You can even schedule for the whole month. Facebook allows you to schedule for up to 180 days in advance. You can never miss a deadline now, thanks to Facebook.
#10 Determine the budget & strategy for Facebook Ads
I said this post will be about organic ways to marketing your business on Facebook, but if you’re serious about growing your business, you cannot ignore the idea of running ads to reach an even broader & highly qualified audience.
In a survey, it was found that the second most important aspect for Facebook marketers is the budget for ads.
Sure, you have to earn every bit of the loyal audience but there’s a workaround for this, it’s Facebook Ads.
With more than 7 million advertisers & average CTR of 9%, paid marketing of Facebook has become mainstream for marketers.
Facebook Ads are becoming more and more expensive, but it’s also becoming more and more fruitful, obviously if done right. Though the budget is a little sensitive & subjective matter, you should be aware of users you’re targeting.
If you have a website, you can even use the Facebook Pixel to retarget the audience who’s visiting your website & leaving without a purchase.
To begin with, you need to be one first gear with minimum budget & check how deep the water is. Spending everything in one day in order to reach a broad audience is not at all a good idea, especially when the CTR is just 9% and your budget will be spent on unusual clicks.
Make sure you make a perfect blend of branding, CTA & buyer’s ambiance.
Note: If you have multiple stores across cities, you can create multiple child pages under one brand.
Success stories of businesses on Facebook
Facebook has the highest ROI when it comes to social media marketing, thanks to the huge population present on the platform.
With Facebook Ads making it really easy for a business to reach newer audiences, the platform has helped businesses of any capacity, find success.
Let us peep into some of the examples of brands of all sizes that ran successful campaigns & what they did in those campaigns.
One of the biggest independent banks in Australia that operates completely digital on mobile. Xinja’s goal was to stand out against other banks who were already running ads in their operational region.
The brand came up with a campaign that targeted Australians aged 18–45. Xinja placed the pixel code on their website so that they can remarket by creating a lookalike audience on Facebook.
This has helped Xinja to not only establish as a brand but also to reach a highly related audience who’s most likely to convert.
#2 Kyoto Yamachiya
The Japanese health supplement brand that ran ads on Facebook & Instagram in order to drive more sales. The result was a pleasant surprise for them. The sales shot up by 45% which was significant for their brand.
Not just a 45% increase in sales, but people added various products to cart 2.8 times more than their previous campaign. Furthermore, all this at 2.5x lower cost.
Kyoto Yamachiya is a leading health supplement provider in Japan and this campaign encouraged the authorities to spread the word out & expand in other regions of the globe.
Source.one is a logistics company based out of India, and the company used WhatsApp business API.
The company used WhatsApp Business to stay in touch with customers & help business partners. This helped the company grow its revenue by 30%.
WhatsApp is widely used in India as the primary mode of communication. Source.one took advantage of it and used it to reach the supply chain.
Source.one would share the purchase history on WhatsApp right after they place an order. This was super easy for them to keep track of every conversation.
These are a few of many such stories that show how Facebook is getting back in the game. I have mentioned these many just to inspire you towards bringing your business on Facebook. You can find many such inspiring stories here & help yourself.
Final thoughts on Facebook Marketing
Facebook is changing. It’s evolving. It is becoming a synonym for social media marketing.
We are already in a time where businesses prefer to begin their social media marketing from Facebook, in spite of the fact that organic reach is dead and cost per ad is costlier than ever.
The reason behind this is the fact that what they invest in ads is recovered along with great profits. Furthermore, as per a recent study by HubSpot has found that 64% of businesses have increased budget for the year 2020.
It’s all open gates for marketers to grow businesses on the social media giant. All you need is the right understanding of the audience, the ambiance & the future goals.
You have the tools, you have the idea, & you have the audience to target, you need to get your minds to work & serve the community and meet your business goals.
I totally understand this post has been overwhelming. But I will be creating more content around this topic to help you digest the subject better and implement it even better.
I seek your help to spread the word about this work on your social channels by sharing this post with your caring friends. I also have an email list, I urge you to join the list and you will get a lot of value from the email I send you.
Originally published at https://shubhamdavey.com on March 14, 2020.