So: you’ve got a dynamite new website. You’ve poured hours of work into readying your business, or your client’s business, for online supremacy, and you’re prepared to take the next step. Facebook marketing. A goldmine of opportunity, if you know what you’re doing.
Here’s the thing: you don’t know what you’re doing. Or, you have a pretty good idea, but you’d like to fine-tune your game. You’ve read our Facebook Advertising Tips, but marketing proper? You have some questions. You’d like to explore all the “free” marketing options at your disposal before you spring for Facebook ads.
It’s ok. We get it. We’re here to help.
We’ve put together our five best Facebook marketing tips to help you get the most bang for your online business’s buck. Use these if you’re in a bind, if you’re looking to optimize your social strategy, or if you’re just trying to get your Facebook marketing efforts off on the right foot.
Let’s dive in!
1. Set Up a Dynamite Facebook Business Page
Facebook, yeah? We know! We’re all jones’d up too! Let’s get right into engagement tips, shall we?
Not quite yet. Before you flex your Facebook marketing muscles, first things first: you need to set up a Facebook Business Page your business can be proud of. If your website is the Death Star—the mothership in your quest for online domination—your Facebook Business Page is a lesser, albeit still important ancillary ship that I would know if I knew Star Wars more better. It’s not the end all be all, but it’s still a damn important emissary for your business.
To create your Business Page, do the following:
- Head to Create a Page on Facebook.
- Of the six different types of pages you can create (Local Business or Place, Brand or Product, etc.), select the one that most accurately describes your business.
- You’ll be directed to a form to fill out some basic information about your business (address, contact information, etc.).
You have a beautifully vacant canvas upon which to front the vital and appealing facts of your business. You’ll want to head to Settings at the top right of your page, and, within Edit Page, change your Template from Standard to Business. This will give you access to a customizable call-to-action button (see: top right of the above image) and several other seemingly small but business-friendly features.
Next, equip your page with an eye-popping username, a profile picture (170×170), and, perhaps even more important than a profile picture, a cover photo or video (820×312). From there, your two most important page tabs are going to be About and Settings. Use the About tab to fill out more in-depth details about your business—what you’re about, where your customers can find you, how they can get in touch, and your hours of open service.
Head into Settings to manage page roles (add or delete admins, editors, and advertisers), connect your Instagram account, give your page a chatbot (Messenger Platform), set age and country restrictions, create comment filters, and manage a whole host of other features.
2. Leverage Facebook Messenger Bots for Customer Service
So you’ve got your website, and you’ve got your Business Page. You’re ready to start promoting posts, accruing likes, and getting your brand out there in manifold ways, right?
Still no. If you hadn’t heard enough about it by now, marketing today is about marketing human; and business today about is all about customer-centricity. You need to make sure your existing customers and would-be customers have all their questions answered and are comfortable with what you’re bringing to the table before you start peppering them with promotions.
How do you manage your customers on Facebook? Facebook Messenger Bots are a huge asset.
Head to the Facebook’s page on Messenger Bots for all the relevant statistics: 20 million businesses message with their customers every month. Your customers are inevitably going to direct message you on Facebook. The question is: will you message them back?
Chatbots are bomb because, well, you don’t have to be poking around in your inbox day in and day out to make sure you have a solid response time—the name of the game when it comes to Facebook customer service:
“Within an hour” is the gold standard (props to SEMrush), and if you want to achieve that, all you need to do is set up an automatic response, a la:
This will give your team time to coordinate and compose the appropriate responses. Make sure you get back to the user with a more detailed response, but that auto reply in itself is huge—customers and prospects really look at your brand’s response time when determining whether or not to reach out, and that initial, immediate response cuts down response times substantially.
Still, there are other (better) ways to leverage Facebook Messenger bots, and if you’re just using one for auto replies, you’re not making the most of its machine learning capabilities.
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A lot of chatbots on Facebook will get out ahead of user intent and steer customers and prospects toward the conversations they want to have. This can be accomplished with a “Get Started” button:
By having to click Get Started to engage with the bot, the customer does not have the ability to ask a question the bot doesn’t know the answer to (at least not initially). Instead, he’s guided toward pre-written responses and links, specific landing pages, or in-conversation lead forms. In this way, you can steer your customer or prospect to various stages of your sales funnel, or simply to the information he’s looking for.
3. Organic Posting: Do it. Don’t Believe the Hype.
Image via Kissmetrics
You’ve probably heard the chatter around how unabashedly crappy Facebook’s organic reach is. This much is true: In recent years, the reach rate among businesses that post organically on Facebook has lingered around 2.6%. That is, in a word, bad.
Two things changed Facebook’s organic reach for the worse. The first was Facebook ads. 93% of social media advertisers today use Facebook ads. News Feed is light years more competitive than it used to be. There’s just not as much room for posts that don’t have money behind them.
The second thing was this year’s Facebook News Feed Changes. Facebook changed its News Feed algorithm to bring users more friends-and-family-based content, and less business/marketing content.
So: is Facebook’s organic reach dead? Yeah. It kind of is. And not fake dead, like SEO. Real dead, like…the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Why am I telling you this? Because all this information has created a false narrative that posting organically on Facebook is BAD; when in fact, if done correctly, posting organically on Facebook is still very much a worthy endeavor. Here’s how to do it effectively:
Post a lot, but not too much. Studies have shown that a “moderate” amount of posting—not too much, not too little—is the best amount of posting. What does “moderate” mean? Actually, quite a bit:
So, for all intents and purposes, if you’re not posting once a day, you should be posting “a lot” more than you are now. Posting one piece of unique content to your page daily is not an easy thing to do, mind you; but if you do it, you’ll build a religious following among the 2.6% of your page likers that do see your content. Be consistent, and that following will grow.
- Post new stuff. We know: you’re strapped for content marketing budget at the moment. You’re not exactly churning out long-form content at a rampant rate. That’s actually not a huge problem. Post your own content when you have it, and on off days when you don’t, find articles from like businesses that are well-written, informative, and legitimately interest you (and might interest your fan base). Your followers will appreciate the ingenuity.
- Say something interesting. Don’t just copy/paste titles and links. If you’re sharing an article, share an insight about why you appreciated it and why your readers might find it insightful.
- Post at the right time. Don’t post at lunchtime every day. You’ll get user fatigue. Do run A/B tests in different time slots and see which accrue the most engagement. Go from there.
4. OK. Run Facebook Ads. It’s Time.
Listen: despite all the concerns about privacy, and overcrowding, and new regulations, Facebook is still the most powerful social media platform for advertisers, and Facebook ads themselves are still a glorious way to accrue and convert leads. The suite of targeting and remarketing features are unmatched. Here’s how to run successful Facebook advertising campaigns.
- Know your ad types. Various ad types work better for various campaigns. For instance: lead ads are great for…you guessed it, accruing leads. If you’re looking to tell a super immersive brand story, splurge on a Canvas ad. If you want to increase engagement on one of your organic posts, go for a page post engagement ad.
- Target in layers. “Layered” targeting broadly covers behavioral, interest, and demographic targeting. If you have a remarketing audience in place, this will be your final layer of targeting. If you don’t—if you don’t have enough brand engagement to form a remarketing audience—it’ll be your first. Think about the interests, behaviors, and demographic information of your ideal customer. That’s going to form the basis of your layered targeting.
- Target again. After having used layered targeting to create audiences for your initial campaigns, your website/Facebook Business page is going to be getting some traffic. The best part of Facebook: you can leverage the information of those users to create better-performing audiences—audiences based on people who have viewed your blog, interacted with your Facebook page, or taken a specific action on your site. This is called Facebook Custom Audiences, and it’s the essence of Facebook remarketing.
- Target again (again). Create lookalike audiences—audiences who exhibit similar behavior to the above users who have viewed your blog, taken specific actions, etc. This will allow you to branch out to a larger prospect base while maintaining that granular targeting.
Bonus: let’s return to organic reach for a second. Wait, you’re thinking. I thought we were talking about ads… We are!
WordStream found that running Facebook ads can increase organic reach by 90%. Which is way higher than 2.6%.
5. Insights, Insights, Insights
Listen: you can post until you’re blue in the face. You can target out the yin-yang. If you’re not analyzing your results, your organic and paid campaigns are going to run out of steam.
There are two main ways to analyze results on Facebook:
- Page Insights. The home to all your organic Facebook data. Track engagement metrics like likes, shares, and comments; track reach; determine which times of the day earn your posts the most engagement; see overall page likes and views; and see how well you’re responding in Messenger.
- Audience Insights. You’ll find audience insights in Ads Manager under “Tools”:
Audience Insights allows you to analyze data from three subsets: everyone on Facebook, people connected to your page, and custom audiences. For our purposes, you’re going to be most interested in the latter two. Audience Insights allows you to dig deep into your custom audience to determine even more granular demographic, interest-based, and activity-based information—all of which you can use in future campaigns.
Some Final Thoughts…
If you’re just getting into Facebook marketing, please: don’t splurge on ads right away—particularly if you’re a small business on a budget. There are myriad ways to market your business on Facebook without spending a dollar—and if you establish a history of exploring those methods, you’ll likely have a solid foundation to build off when you eventually move into paid promotions.
Have a question, some feedback, or a Facebook marketing tip you think we missed? Leave us a comment below!